When Did The Hip Check Become Illegal?

Discussion in 'Hockey Talk' started by Sir Rodney, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Sir Rodney

    Oct 27, 2001
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    If you do a search on YouTube for Keith Ballard Hip Check, you will see numerous examples of a play that has all but disappeared in the NHL. The link I've provided is to the one he laid on Tootoo last Spring. You can tell by the commentary that Craig Simpson didn't think it warranted a penalty. Last night Ballard laid another in the Red Wings game and was assessed an Interference Penalty. I don't know whether it's part of the crackdown on hockey injuries or the scarcity of players knowing how to either use a hip check, how to protect themselves from receiving one or in the case of the referees what to do on the play but there are way too many penalties being called on what should be a legitimate hockey play. What exactly is a defenseman expected to do when a player charges into the attacking zone along the boards? Grab them? Direct them in to a stanchion (okay, that one we know for sure is legal)? Let them go unimpeded?

    I totally understand the desire to take head shots out of the game but when a player goes ass over tea kettle (old fart hockey expression from a waaaaaay back) there's a responsibility to get the hands up and cushion the return to earth (sorry, return to ice). Landing on one's head was never a recommended move in gymnastics which my grandkids learned early on in Physical Education classes.

    If Shanahan is going to send out videos on what constitutes head shots and what constitutes hockey plays, here's one he should add to the list. Today's players have to learn that there is more to a body contact game like hockey than giving a hit in whatever form it takes. They also need to be taught how to take a hit. To me, the most logical instruction I ever gave my players was to keep their head up. A hit avoided is a heck of a lot less painful than the one you blundered in to by not paying attention.

  2. rikster

    rikster 2nd Team All-Star

    Jul 5, 2001
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    Hi Sir Rodney

    I think the officials have had an overall poor start to the season...

    If I'm coach V, I tell Ballard to keep on making that hit every opportunity he gets and let Gillis straighten it out with the league...

    As you said, it might be a short term issue for the officials because the hip check is a lost art and is used very few times in a season ..

    Take care...

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