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Week 21

By USA Hockey, 01/22/18, 6:00AM MST

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QUESTION: Based on the off-sides rule, if a player skates backwards into the attacking zone and both skates enter the zone before the puck, but he has control of the puck and pulls it into the zone after him this is NOT offsides. Am I correct in this interpretation?

ANSWER: A player’s skates may proceed the puck into his/her attacking zone provided the player has “possession and control” of the puck prior to completely crossing the determining edge of the blue line.


QUESTION: During a game, a player from Team A chipped the puck into the zone, then crosschecked an opponent (I signaled a delayed penalty). The puck then bounced over the goalie into the net.

I disallowed the goal because a goal cannot be scored on a delayed penalty by the offending team. My partner says I should have allowed the goal, because the "shot" was taken before the infraction occurred. Did I make the right call?

ANSWER: The “spirit and intent” of the USA Hockey Playing Rules is a team cannot score a goal during a delayed calling of a rule infraction. Your situation with the penalty infraction is similar to a player shooting the puck into the attacking zone with a teammate already in the zone (off-side). This play creates a delayed off-side situation (assuming the age level) that nullifies the goal if the puck enters the net, even if the teammate “tags up” the blue line before the pucks enters the goal.

This same “spirit and intent” would be applied to a player who shoots the puck and high-sticks an opponent on the “follow through” of the shot, or a player who commits an infraction as his teammate is shooting the puck into the goal. The “spirit” of the rules are you cannot score a goal with a pending rule infraction call.


QUESTION: I'm a new ref with USA Hockey and I have a trusty black hockey helmet; it has expired HECC certification stickers and, due to my huge ears, I have removed the protective ear plastic bits. Am I wearing a legal helmet?

ANSWER: Rule 501(c) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“All On-Ice Officials shall wear black trousers and an official sweater with the current USA Hockey officiating crest on the left chest of the sweater during all games. Any other crest that is worn must be located on either arm of the sweater. The wearing of nameplates shall be regulated by each League. Each official is required to wear a black hockey helmet, with chin strap properly fastened, and a half-shield visor properly attached to their helmets.”

In other words, all officials are required to wear a black “hockey” helmet (not motorcycle, bicycle, Darth Vader, etc.) and while this helmet does not need to be HECC Certified (no valid sticker required), it must not be altered in any fashion. Removing ear pieces is not interpreted as a major alteration and is permitted. However, the helmet must be free of cracks, it must have a proper chin-strap, and must have a half-shield visor “properly” attached.


QUESTION: Does a USAH 14U team need to wear neck guards when playing in Canada?

ANSWER: The general agreement between the two National Governing Bodies of amateur hockey (i.e. USA Hockey and Hockey Canada) is teams that travel across the border must play under the host-association’s Playing Rules, but they may follow their own equipment guidelines. Therefore, a 14 & Under team that travels to Canada does not have to wear neck-guards (not required by USAH), but they must wear a mouthpiece and proper HECC approved helmet.

This assumes there are no supplemental rules in place for the tournament, league, or exhibition game. A local associating or league may strengthen equipment rules, therefore we encourage you to double check with them if any apply to your games.


QUESTION: If a player takes two misconducts in the same game – the second misconduct becomes a game misconduct as outlined in Rule 404(a)?

ANSWER: Correct, when a player receives their second misconduct penalty (for any infraction) during the same game, the second misconduct penalty is changed to a game misconduct and the player is immediately removed from the game.