The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

January 15, 2012

High school league to toughen penalties on checking

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.

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