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Week 13

02/15/2014, 9:00am EST
By Ask the Official

Question: I am curious as to USA Hockey's position on players officiating in the league in which they play. We see it as an opportunity for  a conflict of interest.

Answer: USA Hockey does discourage the assignment of officials to games that involve participants that are friends or relatives. However, all assignments are handled by Local Officials Associations (outside group) and Local Assignors (in some cases rink management). Therefore, we recommend contacting them to find out more about their policies.


Question: I had a scramble with the puck in the crease in front of Team A’s goal. During the battle for the puck two Team A players fell to the ice (not deliberately) and one landed on top of the puck in the crease causing a stoppage of play. I awarded a penalty shot to Team B because the rule does not specify that falling on the puck in the crease needs to be deliberate. Was this the correct call?

Answer: Rule 618(a) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“A penalty shot/optional minor penalty shall be awarded to the non-offending team anytime a defending player, other than the goalkeeper, picks the puck up off the ice with his hand or holds the puck while play is in progress and the puck is in the goal crease. If this infraction occurs while the goalkeeper has been removed from the ice and prevents and obvious and imminent goal, a goal shall be awarded to the non-offending team.”

As the rule states (or doesn’t state), the infraction does not need to be deliberate for the penalty shot to be awarded.


Question: I’m a coach. After a game I was verbally abused by the mother of an official.  She stated I was being disrespectful to her son. I was not disrespectful to her son; we simply spoke a few times during the game about situations that were occurring. I was never given a penalty, nor did I even get a warning. In fact, it was just the opposite (we had multiple constructive talks).  If it had been any other parent (such as the parent of a player) that did this after the game was over I would have gotten the official to help me. What is USA Hockey's ruling on a family member of an official speaking to coaches after a game?

Answer: This issue can certainly be brought to the attention of your Local Supervisor of Officials or Local Officials Association President. Contact information can be found through the Game Officials Assignor for your Local Hockey Association.


Question: Team A pulls their goalkeeper. Team B keeps the puck in their attacking zone and Team B has a guy in the crease, but Team A has no goalie there. Immediately, I decide that if there is no goalie there is no stoppage of play. I assume that the crease is just like any other spot on the ice if there is no goalie there. Is this correct?

Answer: Situation 9 on Page 262 of the USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook states,
“The goalkeeper leaves his crease to stop a shot. Before he can return to his crease, an attacking player enters the crease before the puck, and a teammate shoots the puck into the goal. Is the goal legal?

Yes. Rule Reference 625(b & a.8).

If the goalkeeper is completely out of his crease, an attacking player may precede the puck into the crease and any legally scored goal in this situation shall be allowed.

However, if the goalkeeper is attempting to return to the goal crease and there is any interference by the attacking player who prevents the goalkeeper from making a play, then the goal must be disallowed and an interference penalty shall be assessed.”


Question: What is supposed to happen when the net is knocked off the goal line during play?  Not with intent to prevent a goal or to delay the game, just during a normal play the net has come off the goal line.

Answer: Rule 610(e) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“Play shall be stopped immediately when the goal frame has been displaced from its normal position.”

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Tag(s): ATO Archive