Signals are how we communicate our decisions on the ice with the other participants in the game. Therefore, it is critical that we know the correct signals for our decisions and execute them well enough that we can be understood.
The game runs more smoothly when the players and coaches know what’s going on and coming next.
Take the time to practice your signals in the mirror. It feels weird to do, but it will help you establish what the signals feel like when they look right. Try really hard for straight lines and sharp angles.
When: Before starting play on a free pass.
How: Extend both arms horizontally from the body, palms down.
When: The team not in control of the ring commits a penalty. (i.e. body contact, boarding, etc.)
How: Extend your arm (ideally, the hand without the whistle) straight up, palm toward you, with your thumb tucked towards your palm.
When: The team not in control of the ring commits a violation (i.e. 4-in, crease, etc.)
How: Lift one arm to shoulder height and bend your elbow 90º upward so that forearm and hand are upright with the palm facing forward.
When: Following the whistle to start play on a free pass or goalkeeper ring. Anytime the ring enters the crease in the course of the game.
How: One arm will move at shoulder height, from the shoulder or chest, outward and back with the palm down. One stroke of the arm should equal one second.
When: The team not in control of the ring committed a violation with a five-second count, and they’ve corrected the violation. (ie. 4-in, crease, early check, contact after crossing blue line, etc).
How: Make one arm signal the Delayed Violation (as above). The other arm performs a five-second count (also as above).
When: The ring crosses the goal line, and you deem it a good goal. (Or following an awarded goal scenario).
How: Extend your arm out at shoulder height, pointing at the net with your hand, thumb tucked towards your palm.
When: A stoppage occurs during the game where the ring is awarded to the defensive team, in the defensive zone, as a goalkeeper ring.
How: Raise both arms above your head, and towards either side at 45º, keeping your arms in line with your body.
When: The ring carrier commits a violation by placing their front hand too low on their stick while an opponent is close enough to check them.
How: Clench both fists beside your body at chest height and bring them together, thumb to thumb, in front of your chest.
When: A team requests a timeout (during a stoppage in play), and you approve it.
How: Form a horizontal “T” with your hands in front of your chest.
When: As the back official, when it looks like a two-blue-line pass is imminent. As the lead official, when the ring fully crosses the 2nd blue line. Also, as the lead official, if play is stopped due to a violation related to two blue lines, repeat the “two blue line pass” signal to communicate your decision.
How: Fully extend your arm straight out and up from your shoulder height at 22.5º (halfway to 45º) with your index and middle fingers extended. Be sure to vocalize the word “two.”
When: A goal is nullified. It is also used during a two blue line pass when the team eligible to play the ring fails to skate directly to it and play it or when the player skating to the ring misses and skates past.
How: Sweep both arms sideways, in opposite directions, across the front of your body at shoulder height with your palms down.
When: The shot clock should be reset, but it hasn’t been.
How: Using the arm nearest the shot clock operator, make a modified “Delayed Violation” signal: Bend your arm 90º so that forearm and hand are upright with your index finger extended, making a circular motion with your wrist.
When: Play is stopped due to a line violation such as blue line, free play line, crease or circle.
How: Fully extend your arm downwards, towards the ice at 45º, with your thumb tucked towards your palm.
When: Play is stopped due to too many skaters entering the restricted area
How: Raise your non-whistle hand at shoulder height, palm out and arm relaxed, fingers indicating the number of skaters found to have been in the restricted area for the violation.
When: A player makes contact with the ring with the toe of their skate with the intent to propel it forward.
How: Raise the toe of one skate upward and point towards it with the non-whistle hand fully extended, with the thumb tucked towards the palm.
When: The five-second count completes on a goalkeeper ring or free pass, and the ring has not been successfully passed out of the crease or circle.
How: Raise your non-whistle hand outward at shoulder height, palm out and arm relaxed, with the fingers and thumb extended and spread to indicate “five seconds.”
When: On a potential two blue line pass, blue line violation (including the goalkeeper throwing the ring), or similar where a ring glances off a player or is barely touched by a stick where your partner might not be able to see it.
How: Reach both hands out in front of your forehead and brush the fingers of the non-whistle hand over the other. Be sure to vocalize the word “touch.”
When: At the end of all other signals at a stoppage in play, if the ring is not being granted as a goalkeeper ring.
How: Fully extend your arm in the direction that the ring will travel when play resumes. Your arm should be at shoulder height, fingers pointing forwards, and thumb tucked towards your palm.
When: Before beginning play, whether “all clear” has been signalled or not, if there is a reason not to start play. For example, if the goalkeeper is fixing required equipment, a gate has become unlatched, a player has removed her glove, etc.
How: Fully extend your arm in front of your body at shoulder height with palm out and your fingers raised upwards.
For when you are reporting a penalty.
How: In front of your chest, strike the clenched fist of one hand into the open palm of the other.
How: Clench your fist and extend your arm to the side of your body, at shoulder height.
How: Clench your fists and rotate them around each other in front of your chest once.
How: Clench both fists at chest height, shoulder-width apart. Then extend both arms simultaneously.
How: Clench your fist and place it just below your opposite shoulder. Your arm will form an approximately 45º angle in front of your body.
How: Raise an elbow to chest height, place the opposite hand below it and bring them together.
How: With both fists clenched, raise them such that one is at about the height of your forehead while the other is at the height of and immediately beside the elbow of the first.
How: Place one fist in front of the centre of your chest and clasp your wrist with the other hand.
How: Reach both fists out to one side of your body at belly-button height. Draw both towards your belly button.
How: Pat the palm of one hand on the top of your helmet.
How: With hands open but palms towards your sides, cross your arms over your chest with hands even with your shoulders.
How: Place one hand across your body in front of your chest, with your thumb tucked towards the palm and the palm facing your chest. With your other hand shaped the same, chop down towards the arm in front of your chest.
How: With both skates on the ice, bend your knees slightly and lean forward. With the edge of one hand, strike the leg on the same side of your body below the knee.
How: Clench both fists and cross wrists above the head.
How: Place the fist of one hand in the small of your back.
How: Form a “T” with your hands in front of your chest. Afterwards, signal the related minor penalty signal or the rough play signal below.
How: Clench one fist and extend your arm out in front of your body at shoulder height.
How: Place both hands on the hips.