What Are Hits Or Hitting In Hockey? (Explained!)

Last Updated on March 16, 2022 by

Hits or hitting, in the game of hockey, means that a player was able to initiate physical contact with the opposing player possessing the puck, and the opposing player sustaining the contact must lose possession of the puck as a result of the contact.

For a long time, hits/hitting has been an integral part of hockey that has been heavily criticized by a lot of people. Nonetheless, that’s not to say that some people do not enjoy hitting as an element of the game. As an NHL player or fan, you should know how and when checking or hitting is done during the heat of the game. Hitting doesn’t necessarily have to be violent and aggressive. It just has to check other players at the right time. 

How To Do Proper Hitting In Hockey 

Proper Hitting In Hockey

For a better understanding, we’ve listed some steps involved in making the proper hits in the game of hockey. Let’s check it out.

Step One: Make sure your speed is almost the same momentum as the puck carrier. Most of the time, the opposing player with the puck is in the speed of motion. You are likely to miss the opposing player if you’re slower than him in motion. By the way, if you miss the opponent, then you’ll certainly be out of position, risking your team. Also, if you’re traveling faster than the opponent, you’ll find it more challenging to control yourself after the hitting. 

Step Two: Make use of the right path to the opposing player. A defenseman should always keep his body between the net and the wing if he sees a wing trying to penetrate the offensive zone. 

Step Three: Know when to make quick decisions on whether to initiate contact if the player in the offensive zone passes the puck. You’re not allowed to hit a player without possession of the puck.

Step Four: Before hitting a player, assess the relation of the player to the boards. If an opposing player is defenseless or can’t see you coming, it is illegal to check him even if he’s still in possession of the puck. In hockey, players are not allowed to hit a defenseless player. If you’re found guilty by the puck when you’re trying to check an opposing player with the possession of the puck into the boards. Make sure the opposing player couldn’t hold possession of the puck by pinning him against the boards.

Related Terms Of The Game

We’ve handpicked some of the related terms of the game of hockey. Let’s check them out! 


Happens when a player positions himself between an opposing player and the ball.

Flagrant Foul

Any intentionally unsportsmanlike or dangerous play. The offending player is issued a red card and removed from the game.

Give And Go

Passing strategy whereby the player passes the ball to his teammate and then immediately skates to receive a return pass.

Reverse Stick

For players to make a clean hit, he needs to turn the stick so that the blade points to the right. 


While in possession of the ball, players use peripheral vision to assess options.

Set Play

It is a team tactic to help score more points. Set plays are normally practiced before the game (set play includes free hits, long corners, short corners). 


We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers. These FAQs will help you understand everything you need to know about hits or hitting in the game of hockey. Let’s check it out!

What Is A Clean Hit In Hockey?

A clean hit in hockey occurs when a player puts himself in a prone position before the hit gets hit by an attacking player. A clean hit is normally determined by the referee. A dirty hit results in a foul or penalty. To make a clean hit, the opposing player must see it coming. 

How Hard Can A Hockey Player Hit A Puck?

How Hard Can A Hockey Player Hit A Puck

Using a technique known as the slap shot, hockey players can hit a pick at speeds up to 45 m/s (100 mph). Well, that’s not an exaggeration in the world of sport. We’ve seen other sports like golf balls, baseballs, and tennis balls project at that speed. 

Is Body Checking Allowed In Hockey?

In 2011, the NHL modified the age at which body checking or hitting is allowed among players. The under 12 and 14 leagues do not allow hitting. However, high school and college hockey allow body checking and hitting. International Ice Hockey Federation now allows women to do body checking. 

How Are Hits Counted In The NHL?

Before you can make a clean hit, the opposing player must have possession of the puck. Hits are only counted if they impede the opposing player in some manner (at least slow him up with direct contact). For the judges to count it as a clean hit, the contact must also be intentional and legal. 

Are Hits Good In Hockey?

Yes! Hits are allowed in hockey because it is an effective way of dislodging the puck from your opponent and forcing a turnover. Besides, it can lead to getting possession of the puck along the walls. 

Closing Thoughts 

Like we said earlier, hitting happens in the game of hockey when a player drives his hip, shoulder, and upper arm to dispossess the opposing player from the puck. It happens when you see players knocking each other against the board or to the ice.  Players are only permitted to body check or hit an opponent with the possession of the puck. If a player hits an opposing player without possession of the puck, then he will be penalized by the judges.

To make a clean hit, an NHL player must initiate physical contact with the opposing player possessing the puck, and the opposing player sustaining the contact must lose possession of the puck as a result of the contact. We’ve reached the final session of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good and reliable resources in your quest to know about hits or hitting in the game of hockey. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks!

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