The group that governs Minnesota high school sports is setting tougher penalties for illegal checking in the wake of a horrific injury to a 16-year-old player.
The Minnesota State High School League says checking from behind will now be a five-minute major penalty, instead of a two-minute. Boarding, defined as any move that sends a player violently into the boards, will be an automatic five-minute major instead of an optional two- or five-minute penalty.
Contact to the head also becomes an automatic five, instead of an official having discretion to choose between two- or five-minute penalties.
The league's move comes after Jack Jablonski, a Benilde-St. Margaret's student, suffered a severed spinal cord when he went head-first into the boards after being checked in a game in December.