Ask a Ref - Referee Signal Guide, News (Brampton Hockey Inc.)

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Ask a Ref - Referee Signal Guide
Submitted By Josh Hamilton on Monday, March 4, 2019
ASK A REF is a Brampton Hockey series to help Brampton Hockey players, parents and coaches learn a little more about the game we all know and love. If you have a particular rule you would like to know a little more about and would like us to feature it, please email Josh Hamilton @ [email protected]

Hockey Referee/Official signals can be very confusing to anyone unfamiliar or new to the sport. For every action/call an official makes on the ice, there is typically a corresponding hand signal to assist them in showcasing the call that is being made to both teams, the timekeeper and the individuals in the crowd.

If you are new to the game and want to learn a little more about these signals and what they mean or you simply wish to brush up on your knowledge in order to better understand what it happening in your son/daughter's game, read through the following guide and you will be better prepared for the upcoming season.

TYPES OF PENALTIES - To better understand the signals, you should also be aware of the types of penalties that will be called (using the signals mentioned below)


Minor penalties are two minutes in length and include: Tripping, hooking, boarding, spearing, slashing, roughing, holding, high sticking, elbowing and charging.


Major penalties are five minutes long and are usually called for fighting or when a minor penalty is committed with deliberate attempt to injure.


For deliberately injuring an opponent. The team must play shorthanded for five to 10 minutes, with the severity of the injury determining the length of the assessment. The offending player is ejected from the game.

Penalty Shot

A free shot, unopposed except by the goalie, is given to a player who is illegally impeded from behind when in possession of the puck and with no opponent between him and the goal except for the goalie. The team that commits the offense is not penalized beyond the penalty shot, whether it is successful or not.

A visual guide to the signals used by Referees (as outlined by Hockey Canada)

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