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Week 22

By USA Hockey, 01/29/18, 6:00AM MST

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QUESTION: Can refs do games that exceed 20 minutes if the clock is running?

ANSWER: Admittedly Rule 636 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules is a guideline for all USA Hockey games. Ultimately, the rules that regard start times, period length, and overtime are governed by the local governing body (Affiliate, League, Association, etc.) of the games. They are the ones operating games and purchasing ice so they are in a much better position to make these decisions.

In regard to officials covering games, ultimately the governing body for the games will have to negotiate with the officials (or Local Officiating Association) to reach an agreement for compensation. All USA Hockey Officials are independent contractors who are free to work any games they choose.


QUESTION: In reference to high sticks, the rulebook states the "average shoulder height". What if the average shoulder height is higher than the four feet of the goal cross-bar?  Is four feet the max or if the average shoulder height is five feet, is it now 5 feet?

ANSWER: A player may not make stick-contact with the puck if it is located above the “normal” height of the player’s shoulders. This rule is enforced regardless of how tall he/she is due to the fact that our Playing Rules cover all levels of the game (8 & Under through Adult). Therefore, there can be no reference to the cross-bar in this playing rule.


QUESTION: Thank you.  Just to be clear it would be the normal height of the age group that is playing and not the shoulder height of that particular player that is playing the puck with a potential high stick?

ANSWER: No, the rule is interpreted as the normal height of the player playing the puck with a potential high stick.


QUESTION: Sorry, I am still unclear. Let’s say I work a Mite game and everyone on the ice (with the exception of the player potentially high sticking the puck) is three feet for shoulder height which is considered normal. However, the player playing the puck has a shoulder height of five feet. What is the height of "high sticking" the puck? I would think it would be three feet (the normal height of the shoulder).

ANSWER: No, Consider the same situation where a five-foot player makes contact with the puck about stomach or chest height, are you going to look around and check every other single player on the ice (including GK’s) to see if the puck was high-sticked? Does an official have time to do this during play?


QUESTION: So, you are saying its the shoulder height of the person playing the puck? That is certainly easier to enforce.

ANSWER: Yes, it certainly is.