top of page
Common Referee & Linesmen Signals
Please note: This list isn't exhaustive; different leagues and competitions may apply variants of the guidance below, but it is intended as a brief introduction for anyone wanting to know more about common referee and linesmen calls during a game. You are advised to check all rules with officials or tournament directors prior to a game and before a new season commences.


Referee points into the net. A goal is scored when the ball entirely crosses the goal line between the two goal posts and below the goal crossbar. 

Wash Out

No Goal. When used by the Referee, it means there is no goal, or violation, so play shall continue.

Penalty shot

A penalty shot is a type of penalty awarded when a team loses a clear scoring opportunity on a breakaway because of a foul committed by an opposing player. A player from the non-offending team is given an attempt to score a goal without opposition from any defending players except the goaltender.


Boarding is a penalty called when an offending player pushes, trips or checks an opposing player violently into the boards (or walls) of the ball hockey court.

Cross Checking

The action of using the shaft of the stick between the two hands to forcefully check an opponent. All forms of Body Checking are also prohibited in ball hockey (BHUK). Checking is the use of the body to knock an opponent against the boards / wall or to the floor to gain a defensive advantage. However, all forms of checking, with the exception of a poke check (where a player is dispossessed of the ball only, via a poking action using the stick blade), are not permitted.

High Sticking

High-sticking is the name of two infractions in the sport of ball hockey that may occur when a player intentionally or inadvertently plays the ball with his or her stick above the height of the shoulders or above the cross bar of a hockey goal. This can result in a penalty or a stoppage of play.


Any action by a player that restrains or impedes the progress of an opposing player whether or not he or she is in possession of the ball. Minor Penalty - A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who holds an opponent by using his hands, arms or legs.


Hooking is a penalty in ball hockey, defined as the act of using the stick in a manner that enables a player or goalkeeper to restrain an opponent.


Slashing in ball hockey is a penalty called when an offending player swings their hockey stick at an opposing player and hits an opponent with their stick, or “slashes” him or her, either to impede their progress or cause injury.


A tripping (or obstruction tripping) penalty in ball hockey is called by the referee when a player trips an opposing player with their stick, or uses their foot against the other players foot or leg, causing them to lose balance or fall and obstruct them from making their desired play

Fighting / Roughing

Roughing shall be considered any act where a player uses unnecessary force to push or shove an opponent or makes avoidable physical contact with an opponent after the whistle. Players engage in physical contact above and beyond a simple push or nudge. Typically a fight will involve punches landed, or an attempt to land punches on an opponent, often preceded by the deliberate removal of gloves and helmet.


Spearing is the act of poking, stabbing, or attempting to poke or stab an opponent with the tip of the blade of the stick while holding the stick with one or both hands.


Interference is defined as when a player uses his body to impede the progress of an opponent (non-ball carrier) with no effort to play the ball.


Elbowing is the use of an extended elbow as the point of contact with an opponent or as a means to create separation with an opponent, and may also include an attempted elbow.  

Delayed Penalty

A delayed penalty is one in which the penalty is called but play is not yet stopped because the non-offending team retains the ball.

Too Many Men

'Too many men' is a bench penalty in ball hockey called when a team has more than the legal number of players (if not already short handed) on the court at one time. The number of legal players permitted may depend on local rules and the variant of ball hockey being played.


There are several reasons that a referee may call a misconduct penalty. These include, but are not limited to: instigating a fight, continuing a fight after it's ended, verbally abusing an official, excessive use of profanity and throwing equipment.


Charging is the action where a player takes more than two strides or runs an excessive distance to accelerate into an opponent for the purpose of punishing them.

bottom of page