What Does ‘Finish Your Check’ Mean in Hockey?

A college hockey player in yellow finishes his check against a player in blue.

Hockey is a physical sport played on ice that is extremely popular in Canada and is gaining popularity in the United States. Because hockey is a contact sport, hitting or checking your opponent by skating into them is a big part of the game. You may have heard the term ‘finish your check’ while either playing or watching a game.

So, what does finish your check mean in hockey?

Finishing your check is the act of checking or hitting an opposing player immediately after they have given up the puck. To successfully finish your check without being called for a penalty, you must start your check while your opponent still has the puck.

Finishing your check is an important part of hockey and it’s also important to understand its meaning as a spectator or fan. In this article, we’re going to explore the different aspects of finishing your check, such as when you should and shouldn’t.

Why Should You Finish Your Check in Hockey?

Finishing your check is an important component of defense and the intimidation factor in hockey. Finishing your check is a great way to separate your opponent from the puck and force a turnover.

In professional hockey, finishing your check has a similar effect as a big hit in football. It’s used to get your team and crowd excited and their emotions running high. Outside of scoring goals, body checking is one of the most exciting components of hockey.

Therefore, aside from playing sound defense, finishing your check has the bonus of rallying your team. A big body check can quickly shift the momentum of a hockey game and get things going your way

When Shouldn’t You Finish Your Check?

The downside of finishing your check is when you attempt it too late. If a player finishes a check too late on their opponent they might be called for interference.

Finishing your check is all about timing in the sport of hockey. It’s a great way to take an opponent out of a play or force a bad pass, but it can also get you into trouble. Whether or not finishing the check is done on time is largely up to the discretion of the official.

Outside of possibly being called for a penalty, finishing your check on an unassuming player could also lead to an unnecessary injury. Especially in youth hockey, finishing a check shouldn’t be done unless it’ll have a positive impact on a play.

Lastly, trying to finish a check can pull you out of position and give the other team scoring opportunities if not performed well.

What Is a Late Hit in Hockey?

A late hit in hockey is when a player hits their opponent when they no longer have the puck. It usually happens when a player passes or shoots the puck and is checked by their opponent soon thereafter. While the player might think they’re finishing their check, if they do it too late, a penalty might get called.

How to Teach Hockey Players to Finish Their Checks

The best way to teach hockey players how to finish their checks is to start teaching them at a young age. The younger they are (once checking becomes legal in the age division), the more likely they are to be receptive to what you’re trying to teach them.

You should help them understand that checking is meant to positively impact a play and not hurt a player. If they’re checking an opponent in an attempt to steal the puck or force a bad decision, finishing their check is a good idea. Checking should never be done to inflict pain on an opponent and a proper angle should always be taken when trying to check an opponent.

Is Checking Allowed in Youth Hockey?

Whether or not checking is allowed in youth hockey is dependent on where you’re playing and the age division. Some youth hockey leagues allow checking, but other leagues don’t allow it.

In recent years, USA Hockey has tried to emphasize having less checking in youth games. As a result, checking is becoming more and more frowned upon.

Is Checking Allowed in High School Hockey?

Checking is allowed in high school hockey, but not as freely as it once was. All levels of hockey are cracking down on checking to reduce head injuries. For now, checking is still allowed in high school hockey.

Is Checking Allowed in College Hockey?

Checking is allowed in college hockey in the same way that it’s allowed in high school hockey. More and more rules are being made to limit checking, but it’s still allowed at the college level.

Is Checking Allowed in Women’s Hockey?

Checking is no longer allowed in women’s hockey at any level. In the 1990s, women’s hockey deceided to no longer allow checking. Having said that, physical contact is still allowed on a limited basis in women’s hockey.

Steven G.

My name is Steven and I love everything sports! I created this website to share my passion with all of you. Enjoy!

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