A Player who obstructs or prevents an opponent “without possession of the puck” from skating, receiving a pass, or moving about the ice freely is considered as “interference”.
A “late-hit” constitutes reckless endangerment of a Player who “no longer has control or possession of the puck”.
Any Player who is in the process of “abandoning” or “losing control or possession of the puck” is subject to a bodycheck so long as the aggressor is in the immediate vicinity of the Skater with the puck.
A strict standard on acts of interference must be adhered to in all areas of the Rink.Body Position:
“Body position” shall be determined as the Player skating in front of or beside their opponent, traveling in the same direction. A Player who is behind an opponent, who does not have the puck, may not use their stick, body, or free hand in order to restrain their opponent, but must skate in order to gain or reestablish their “proper position” in order to make a check.
A Player is allowed the ice they are standing on (body position) and are not required to move in order to let an opponent proceed. A Player may “block the path” of an opponent provided they are in front of their opponent and moving in the same direction. Moving laterally and without “establishing body position”, then making contact with the non-puck carrier is not permitted and will be penalized as “interference”. A Player is always entitled to use their “body position” to lengthen an opponent’s path to the puck, provided their stick is not utilized (to make themself “bigger” and therefore considerably lengthening the distance their opponent must travel to get where they are going); their “free hand” is not used, and they do not take advantage of their “body position” to deliver an otherwise illegal check.Possession of the Puck:
The last Player to touch the puck, other than the Goalkeeper, shall be considered the Player in “possession”. The Player deemed in “possession” of the puck may be checked legally, provided the check is rendered immediately following the “loss of possession” and their opponent still finds themself within an “objectively reasonable window of opportunity” to deliver such a check refer to Rule 56.4 – Interference
The actions of a Player who does not have “body position”, but instead uses illegal means (e.g., “hook” with stick; “hold” with hands, “trip” with the stick or in any manner) to impede an opponent who is not in “possession” of the puck. Illegal means are acts which allow a Player or Goalkeeper to “establish, maintain or restore body position” other than by skating.Pick:
A “pick” is the action of a Player who checks an opponent who is not in “possession” of the puck and is unaware of the impending check/hit.
A Player who is aware of an impending hit, not deemed to be a legal “battle for the puck,” may not be interfered with by a Player or Goalkeeper delivering a “pick.”
A Player delivering a “pick” is one who moves into an opponent’s path without initially having “body position”, thereby taking them “out of the play”. When this is done, an “interference” penalty shall be assessed.Free Hand:
When a “free hand” is used to hold, pull, tug, grab or physically restrain an opponent from moving “freely”, this must be penalized as “holding”. The “free hand” may be used by a Player to “fend off” an opponent or their stick but may not be used to hold an opponent’s stick or body.Stick:
A Player who does not have “body position” on their opponent, who uses their stick (either the blade or the shaft, including the butt-end of the shaft) to impede or prevent their opponent from moving “freely” on the ice shall be assessed a “hooking” penalty.
→ Rule 55 – Hooking