41.1 Boarding – A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact the boards violently in the boards. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.
There is an enormous amount of judgment involved in the application of this rule by the Referees. The onus is on the player applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize the contact. However, in determining wheter such contact could have been avoided, the circumstances of the check, including whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position immediately prior to or simultaneously with the check or whether the check was unavoidable can be considered. This balance must be considered by the Referees when applying this rule.
Any unnecessary contact with a player playing the puck on an obvious “icing” or “off-side” play which results in that player hitting or impacting the boards is “boarding” and must be penalized as such. In other instances where there is no contact with the boards, it should be treated as “charging.”
41.2 Minor Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a minor penalty, based on the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, to a player guilty of boarding an opponent.
41.3 Major Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a major penalty, based on the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, to a player guilty of boarding an opponent (see 41.5).
41.4 Match Penalty – The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent by boarding.
41.5 Game Misconduct Penalty - When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury to the face or head of an opponent, a game misconduct shall be imposed.
41.6 Fines and Suspensions - Any player who incurs a total of two (2) game misconducts under Rule 41 and/or Rule 43, in either Regular season or Play-offs, shall be suspended automatically for the next game of his team. For each subsequent game misconduct penalty the automatic suspension shall be increased by one game.
When a major penalty is imposed under this rule, an automatic fine of one hundred dollars ($100) shall be imposed.
If deemed appropriate, supplementary discipline can be applied by the Commissioner at his discretion (refer to Rule 28).