(Ice) hockey: A form of punishment levied against a player or (more rarely) a team's coach for violation of the rules of hockey.

Most penalties result in a player sitting in the penalty box for a set period of time. In most cases the penalized team must play with one less player during the penalty time, and is thus shorthanded -- the other team is said to be on the power play. (The mechanics are thoroughly explained by VT_hawkeye's excellent entry at shorthanded.)

There are five different types of penalties:

  • A minor penalty, for 2 minutes or less (if the non-penalized team scores a power play goal this ends the penalty time). Most penalty calls are minors.
  • A bench minor, a minor penalty assessed to the coaching staff for a violation such as too many men on the ice.
  • A major penalty, for 5 minutes regardless of whether or how many times the non-penalized team scores.
  • A misconduct, which results in the player's banishment for either 10 minutes or the remainder of the game (a match penalty). This sort of penalty does not result in a shorthanded situation.
  • A goaltender's penalty. This is a special situation because the goalie cannot be sent to the penalty box, and so the coach must designate another player to serve the goalie's penalty for him or her. Should a goalie be so rash as to earn a misconduct, though, he or she is still ejected from the game.

In certain cases, such as interference on a breakaway, a referee may call a penalty shot instead of calling a penalty.

Pe"nal*ty (?), n.; pl. Penalties (#). [F. p'enalit'e. See Penal.]


Penal retribution; punishment for crime or offense; the suffering in person or property which is annexed by law or judicial decision to the commission of a crime, offense, or trespass.

Death is the penalty imposed. Milton.


The suffering, or the sum to be forfeited, to which a person subjects himself by covenant or agreement, in case of nonfulfillment of stipulations; forfeiture; fine.

The penalty and forfeit of my bond. Shak.


A handicap.

[Sporting Cant]

The term penalty is in law mostly applied to a pecuniary punishment.

Bill of pains and penalties. See under Bill. -- On, ∨ Under, penalty of, on pain of; with exposure to the penalty of, in case of transgression.


© Webster 1913.

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