What criteria should be used when determining whether to assess a minor penalty or a major plus game misconduct penalty for kneeing?
A kneeing penalty should be assessed any time a player delivers a check with the knee extended or uses the knee to deliberately contact an opponent. Rule Reference 628.
The difference between the minor or major plus game misconduct penalty is the degree of force used and the intent of the contact. The minor penalty is assessed in cases where a player may inadvertently use the knee as the first point of contact in delivering a check.
The major plus game misconduct penalty should be assessed in all instances when the knee is extended for the purpose of delivering a check and when the contact is made to the knee of the opponent. This contact can be very dangerous and is commonly done when a player is about to miss a check and at the last minute extends the knee to impede the opponent. As with the other infractions, a major plus game misconduct penalty, or match penalty, must be assessed in cases where an opponent is recklessly endangered as a result of kneeing.