The body check is the end result of a number of skills coming together in a defensive tactic designed to regain puck possession from the opponent. Good skating skills allow for players to close on an opponent at the appropriate angle and speed to eliminate the puck carrier's space. The resulting body check should separate the opponent from the puck. While full body-checking is not allowed until the 14U age category, it is important for players in the 12U group to be exposed to body-checking in practice, both on and off the ice. All of the skills that lead to the final body check are used in the body-contact game that is played at 12U. The practice setting at 12U is the proper time to refine body-checking skills with our players so that they are prepared for play at 14U.
For more information, click here to view USA Hockey's body-checking manual.