Is there a list of all possible penalty reasons in ice-hockey/NHL? Like High sticking, Holding, Hooking... but all of possible reasons. I would like to have the complete list for statistical purposes, like what could a referee officially write down for penalty reason on the match sheet.

1 Answer 1


Yes like almost all sports, there's a full list of penalties, otherwise referees wouldn't done what play is a foul or not. In hockey the penalties are split to minor (2 minute) or major (5 minute) penalties.

Here is the list of minor penalties:

  • Charging
  • Clipping
  • Closing hand on puck
  • Cross-checking
  • Delay of game
  • Elbowing
  • Embellishment
  • Goaltender interference
  • High-sticking
  • Holding
  • Holding the stick
  • Hooking
  • Illegal equipment
  • Illegal stick
  • Instigator
  • Kneeing
  • Leaving penalty bench too early
  • Leaving the crease (goalkeeper)
  • Participating in the play beyond the centre red line (goalkeeper)
  • Roughing
  • Slashing
  • Throwing puck towards opponent’s goal (goalkeeper)
  • Throwing stick
  • Tripping
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct

And here is the list of major penalties:

  • Boarding
  • Butt-ending
  • Charging
  • Checking from behind
  • Clipping
  • Cross-checking
  • Elbowing
  • Fighting
  • Head-butting
  • Hooking
  • Illegal Check to the Head
  • Interference
  • Kneeing
  • Slashing
  • Spearing

Take a look at Wikipedia's article on hockey penalties for what each penalty is. There's also info on what results in a game misconduct, or 10 minute misconduct, or what results penalty on bench participants.

This is also a good resource talking about the penalties, with visualization for the signals.

  • 2
    Wikipedia is pretty badly inaccurate here. Some things which can be either minor or major penalties are missing from the minors list (e.g. boarding) and for statistical purposes you probably also want to be aware of the concept of double minors and goalkeeper penalties. See reference tables 2-13 in the NHL Rulebook 2020-21.
    – Philip Kendall
    Feb 9, 2021 at 21:57
  • Please don't use codeblocks for text that is not actual code. List formatting and tables are now well-established and available.
    – Nij
    Feb 10, 2021 at 4:01

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