What’s That Call: Roughing
What you need to know about roughing: Officially called "Unnecessary Roughness" as in football, roughing is one of those penalties that a referee knows when he sees it. In leagues without checking—such as girls’ teams, some men’s leagues and Squirt and under—a body check will garner a roughing penalty as will shoving, elbowing and punching. (A body check is basically a body slam with a lot of rules attached that make it a “clean hit” or a “dirty hit.”) In leagues with checking, you still see plenty of roughing penalties due to shoving, elbowing and punching after—or instead of—a check. Surefire ways to get a roughing call include scrapping after the whistle is blown (i.e., right in front of the referee) and flagrant retaliation against an opponent.
The referee (the official with the orange arm bands) uses a punching motion out to the side to indicate a roughing call. Roughing can result in a minor, double minor or major penalty at the referee’s discretion—basically, a whole lot of time in the penalty box and/or out of the game. Why not just call it fighting if players are throwing punches? Generally, if the players don’t drop their gloves, it is not considered fighting.
What else is there to know? For example, what happens if you “accidentally” check a referee? You can find other details on pages 91-92 of the 2007–09 Official Rules of Ice Hockey booklet available at www.usahockey.com (pdf).
See it in action:
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Kelly Kordes Anton for this article.
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