A penalty box, also known as the bad box, is a small area in ice hockey. When A player commits an offence that is not severe enough to expel him from the contest, the match official sends him to the penalty box. The payer who committed the offence will rest at the penalty box for a specified amount of time. Three types of penalties for which cause a penalty.
When a player is sent to the penalty box, it gives an advantage to the opponent team as the penalized team now has to play with one less skater.
When a Player is Sent to the Penalty Box
A player will be sent to the penalty box if any of the following types of penalties is declared.
Aminor penaltyis a two-minute penalty assessed to any player/skater. The penalized team will play with one less player for the next two minutes.
Amajor penaltywill be declared when any of the stronger infractions (discussed later) takes place. When a player/skater commits this type of breach, he will be sent to the penalty box for 5 minutes.
A minor bench penaltyis also a two-minute penalty assessed to the team as opposed to a minor penalty which is assessed to specific players. Any player of the team can serve it.
Amisconduct penaltyis a 10-minute penalty to be served by a player who shows any sign of misconduct. As opposed to the others, a penalized player can be replaced.
As said just now, a player will be sent to the penalty box if he commits any of the penalties mentioned above. Here are some of the common infractions for which a player will be sent to the penalty box.
Abuse of Officials
If a player attempts to demean an official or calls into the official’s integrity, a penalty can be assessed. For example, if a skater breaks his protective stick or any other objects in protest of an official’s decision, he will be assessed a minor penalty, for two minutes. A bench-minor penalty can also be determined depending on the situation.
As per the rule book, a player will be sent to the penalty box if he trips, elbows, charges, or bodychecks an opposing player in a fashion that makes the opponent player to be thrown violently into the boards.
This sort of infraction will result in a minor penalty or a misconduct penalty. Depending on the severity, he might be assessed either a match penalty or a game misconduct penalty.
A butt-ending refers to when a player drives the butt of a stick into the body of an opponent. An attempt to butt-end is assessed a minor penalty, that is, the payer will be sent to the penalty box for 2 minutes. However, if the payer butt-end an opponent, he will be ejected from the match – either a game-conduct penalty or match penalty.
Consider, a player intentionally jumps into an opponent or checks with unnecessary force. This will be considered as charging. The skater will be sent to the penalty box for 2 minutes. But if the charging recklessly endangers the opponent, the player will be expelled from the game.
If the player check the body of an opponent while his both hand are on the stick and no part is touching the ground. It endangers the opponent, and he will be expelled from the game.
Delay of Game
If a player is the cause of the game being delayed, he will be assessed a minor penalty. Wearing of equipment, falling on the puck, freezing the puck, late lineup, and goal celebration are some of the reasons causing the delay. If no player can be identified for the delay, then a minor bench penalty will be declared.
When a player carries any part of his stick above his shoulders and hits any opponent with the stick. The player will be sent to the penalty box for 2 minutes – a minor penalty if he makes any contact with an opponent with a high stick. If it recklessly endangers the opponent, he will be from the match.
Fighting is defined as repeatedly punching an opponent. Fighting can, most of the time, result in expulsion from the game. But if a player retaliates to being punched, for example, he will be assessed a minor penalty only.
If a player uses his stick to impede the progress of an opponent regardless of whether he has the puck or not, he will be assessed a minor penalty. If it endangers the opponent, he will be expelled from the game.
There are also many offences such as kicking, kneeling, late hit, spitting, spearing, taunting, tripping, roughing, holding, etc. for which a player can be sent to the penalty box or expelled from the match. If you are more in knowing more about the penalty rules, you should check out the IIHF Rule Book which elaborately explains the rules relating to penalty.