Rule 49f:

“A Match penalty shall be assessed any player or team official who deliberately butt-ends or deliberately attempts to butt-end an opponent by jabbing her forcefully with the butt-end of the stick, or who injures an opponent by any butt-ending action.

At the discretion of the Referee, a double Minor penalty shall be assessed to any player or team official who attempts to butt-end an opponent with the butt-end of her stick.  A Minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who uses the shaft of the stick above the upper hand to hold or hook an opponent.  This is also refereed to as “Butt-end hooking”. (Canadian Hockey Referee’s Case Book/Rule Combination, 2001, pg.132).

Butt-ending is very similar to Spearing except that the opposite end of the stick is being used.  Butt-ending occurs when a player slides his upper hand (the hand closest to the top end of the hockey stick) down the shaft of the stick a few inches, and uses the remainder of the exposed stick above the upper hand to hit an opponent.


Butt-ending if rarely called, and when it is, it usually results in a Match penalty, however there are some instances when a double Minor penalty will be assessed.  One such example is when an attacking player is in the corner digging for the puck against an opponent that is located behind and to the side of him.  This attacking player out of frustration slides his upper hand down the shaft of his stick and hits the opponent in the chest with the butt-end.  This is what would be considered a double Minor penalty. 

The only problem with this situation is that it is much more difficult to catch a Butt-Ending infraction than it is to see a Spear because players are sneaky and they tend to only pop the butt-end of the stick out at the last second, hit the opponent, and then slide their hand back up the shaft of the stick all within a second or two.  Unless the referee is close to the infraction it is difficult to catch this type of penalty.

Most of the double Minor Butt-ending penalties occur when there are many players close together.  Sometimes you may see an elbowing penalty assessed instead of a Butt-Ending penalty because players tend to hide the butt-end of their stick with their elbow.


This is much more obvious than the double minor situation because it usually results in an injury to the player receiving the butt-end.  One very common Match penalty that is called because of a butt-end occurs when a player gets butt-ended in the neck as this is a vulnerable area with little protection.

This infraction tends to occur as a player is about to throw a check on an opponent.  The checker skates towards the opponent and just as he is about to hit him the opponent tries to dodge the check. By doing this, the checker now has to readjust in a split second.  When the checker readjusts he tends to bring his arms up to in an attempt to hit the player who is now about a stride away.  When he does this he slides his fist down the shaft of the stick and contacts the opponent in the head region with the butt-end.  If the butt-end hits the opponent on the facemask or helmet it will cause little damage and may be called a double Minor penalty.  However, if the stick contacts the neck region there tends to be an injury and this helps the referee determine that a butt-end occurred.


This is a common occurrence and it is also considered a stick infraction for the purpose of enforcing the multiple stick infraction game ejection rule.  Butt-end hooking is exactly what is sounds like. The extended end of the stick is used to hook some portion of an opponent’s body in order to impede his progress. The possibility of injury is increased because of the sharp end of the stick penetrating a vulnerable spot on the body. This can be called hooking and given a two-minute minor, or it can result in a double minor for butt-ending, depending on the discretion of the referee.


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