what is delay of game in hockey

what is delay of game in hockey

Delay of Game in Ice Hockey

Delay of game is a penalty used in ice hockey when a player disrupts the flow of the game. This penalty is in place to prevent one team from having an unfair advantage when the other team is unable to move the puck forward quickly.

Reasons For Delay Of Game Penalty

Below are the main causes why a player may be penalized with delay of game:

  • Puck Over Boards – If a player deliberately shoots or passes the puck out of play from his/her own defensive zone.
  • Face-Off Infraction – If a player or players disrupt the face-off by either not facing the official, not being ready for the face-off or attempting to win the face-off unfairly.
  • Goalie Freezing the Puck – If a goaltender freezes the puck other than when making a save, this can lead to a delay of game penalty.
  • False Start – If a player begins to make a between-periods line change before the whistle has been blown.

Length of Penalty

The length of a delay of game penalty is dependent on the severity of the disruption. Generally speaking, a minor delay of game penalty is assessed for 2 minutes, with a major penalty being assessed for 5 minutes.


Delay of game penalties in ice hockey are important as they ensure that one team cannot gain an advantage by disrupting play. It is important for players to be aware of this penalty, so that they can avoid it when possible, and not disrupt the game unfairly.



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