A check from behind is a check delivered to a vulnerable Player who is not aware of the impending hit, therefore unable to protect or defend themself from such a hit and contact is made on the back part of the body.
A Player who hits an opponent from behind into the Boards, the Goal Net, or on open ice in any manner (i.e., high-sticking, cross-checking, etc.) shall be penalized according to this rule.
When a Player being bodychecked, intentionally turns their back towards an opponent and puts themself in a vulnerable position immediately before a bodycheck, to create a “checking from behind” situation, no penalty for “checking from behind” shall be assessed. However, other penalties may still be assessed.
Regel 43.2: Minor Penalty
This foul is considered serious and dangerous, therefore there is no option to award a Minor Penalty for “Checking from Behind”.
Regel 43.3: Major Penalty
The Referee, at their discretion, shall assess a Major Penalty to a Player guilty of “checking from behind” an opponent, and who recklessly endangers the fouled Player. Refer to Rule 43.5 for an additional Game Misconduct Penalty.
Regel 43.4: Match Penalty
The Referee, at their discretion, may assess a Match Penalty if, in their judgment, the Player recklessly endangers their opponent by “checking from behind”. Such assessment of reckless endangerment shall be based on the severity of the infraction, severity of the contact, the degree of violence and the general reprehensibility involved.
Regel 43.5: Game Misconduct
A Game Misconduct Penalty must be assessed anytime a Major Penalty is imposed for “Checking from Behind”.