skip navigation

Ask the Official

USA Hockey's "Ask the Official" question forum has returned for the 2022-23 season. Please use the link below to submit your USA Hockey Playing Rules based question.

IMPORTANT NOTEDiscipline, Suspension, and Team Roster related questions cannot be answered at this forum. Please contact your USAH Affiliate for answers to these questions. Contact information is located in the Directory of the USA Hockey Annual Guidebook.

ASK THE OFFICIAL

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 11

By USA Hockey Officiating Program 11/11/2022, 6:15am MST

THIS WEEK: High-Sticking...serving goalkeeper penalties...equipment...and more.

QUESTIONCan a referee call a High-Sticking penalty against a player if the player's stick hits the referee above the shoulder after the referee drops the puck during a face-off?

ANSWER: Officials cannot penalize accidental stick contact with a player, even if it results in an injury. However, any intentional attempt to injure an official or intentional injury of an official should result in a Match Penalty.

 

QUESTIONAre neck-guards and mouthpieces mandatory at 10U level?

ANSWER: Under the USA Hockey Youth Playing Rules, mouthpieces and neck-guards are not required equipment at the 10U level. However, leagues and hockey associations are entitled to strengthen equipment rules with approval by the local governing USA Hockey Affiliate. Therefore, we encourage you to check to see if any additional rules apply in your games.

 

QUESTION: Team A is shorthanded, and Team B is called for a penalty but play continues because Team B has not touched the puck. During this time, Team A scores. Is the penalty called on Team B wiped out as it would be if the teams were at even strength?

ANSWER: In this situation, the Team B penalty (assuming it is a minor) is recorded but not served. Play resumes 5 v. 4.

 

QUESTIONIn a U10 game, a penalty is assessed to the attacking team. Due ti an officials' error, the face-off is not moved outside the attacking zone. The attacking team scores, and the coach notifies officials of their error. The officials disallow the goal and have ensuing face-off in neutral zone. Is it correct for the goal to be disallowed on the officials error?

ANSWER: Due to the fact that this goal resulted after a face-off location error by the officials, the goal must be allowed.

 

QUESTIONIf a goalkeeper and an opposing player receive coincident minor penalties does someone have to serve the penalty time for the goalkeeper even though it’s a coincident minor?

ANSWER: The “spirit and intent” of the Goalkeeper Penalty rules (Rule 407) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules is the offending team must lose a player when a goalkeeper commits an infraction. Therefore, despite the fact that the two minors are coincidental and result in immediate substitution (play resumes 5 v. 5), the offending team must still place a substitute player (who must be one of the players on the ice at the time of the infraction) in the penalty bench to return at the first stoppage after two minutes.

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 10

By USA Hockey Officiating Program 11/04/2022, 6:00am MDT

QUESTION: Four weeks ago, an official called a penalty against an attacking player for trying to kick the puck out of the crease back to his stick. Now fast forward to this past week, the same situation happens again and both officials state there is no such rule. Which set of officials was correct?

ANSWERProvided the kicking motion does not make contact with the goalkeeper or any opponent, there is no rule in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that prevents a player from kicking the puck.

Rule 627.c in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“Kicking the puck shall be permitted provided the puck is not kicked by an attacking player and entered the goal either directly or after deflecting off any player including the goalkeeper.

However, the puck may not be played by the so called "kick shot," which combines the use of the leg and foot driving the shaft and blade of the stick and producing a very dangerous shot.”

 

QUESTIONCan a substitute goalie serve a misconduct penalty for another player? For example, a player receives a Spearing penalty (5+GM), can the back-up goalie serve the 5-minute major?

ANSWER: Goalkeepers may not serve penalties under the USA Hockey Playing Rules.

 

QUESTIONWhat is the rule on mercy rules for 12U level games? If both teams would still like to continue playing in the third period even if one team has a very large lead, is it true that refs are not allowed to continue reffing the game.

ANSWERUSA Hockey does not have any official rules regarding “Mercy Rules”. These are left to the local association or league to determine since they are the ones purchasing the ice slots and managing the operations of the local games.

With that being said, officials are generally assigned to work a complete game regardless of how the game ends (mercy rule, normal game time, forfeit, etc.). Therefore, if teams want to continue playing then all USA Hockey Membership Benefits would be in effect for the complete game, overtime and shootout (and even if they just want to add some extra time to fill the ice slot).

 

QUESTIONDuring the same shift a single player commits a minor penalty, the other team maintains puck possession and the same player commits another minor penalty. Will play resume "5 v. 4" for four-minutes or "5 v. 3" for two minutes?

ANSWER: Since one player committed two penalties, play would resume "5 vs. 4" for four minutes. If a second player committed a penalty, then play would resume at "5 vs. 3" for two minutes.

 

QUESTIONPlayer A is pinned up against the side of the net by Player B. The puck is in possession by another player away from the net area. Player B is holding Player A, preventing Player A from escaping to an open ice area. Player A yells out "He's holding me" twice and the ref blows the whistle and proceeds to issue a 10-minute (Misconduct) against Player A. Is a Misconduct call the right call for Player A.

ANSWER: This question is very difficult to answer without seeing the play first hand. However, a player that holds or impedes the progress of an opponent should be penalized for Interference or Holding. Furthermore, any player who displays abusive or derogatory behavior toward an official should be penalized under Rule 601 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 9

By USA Hockey Officiating Program 10/28/2022, 6:15am MDT

QUESTION: If a player turns his/her back before a player makes contact and as a result is injured from the body contact, what is the ruling? Does the ruling change if it is deemed unintentional?

ANSWER: Under the USA Hockey Body Checking Standard of Play initiative, all players are expected to maintain control of their body when they execute body checks. Therefore, if an opponent turns their back to a player just before contact then all Checking from Behind penalty interpretations would still apply to the contact.

 

QUESTIONReferring to USA Hockey's Zero-Tolerance Policy, my question is what if the offender is not with a team or neither team claims the offender? What if it is a tactic if Team A is ahead near the end of the game and the offender is a supporter of Team A and they are attempting to run the clock down for the win? How can it be proven that the offender is with a team if neither team "claims" the offender?

ANSWER: The situation you propose is extremely unlikely to ever happen. When you think of the spirit and intent of the USA Hockey Zero Tolerance Policy, it’s to manage a spectator who has become a detriment to the game. Which means something during the game has gone unfavorably for that spectator and their behavior is displaying their displeasure. One would think that by the time the game officials have determined that the spectator needs to leave, they have already figured out who the spectator is with (why would a spectator with no involvement in the game reach that point?). Odds are, he/she has complained about penalties, non-penalties, off-sides calls and other parts of the game which displays which team that spectator is with.

 

QUESTIONWhat penalty (or penalties) would be assessed to a team that deliberately tackles a goaltender who is vacating the net for an extra attacker (let's assume the team is losing towards the end of the game)? Let's assume the team that pulled the goaltender has already sent the extra attacker on the ice. Would the team with the extra attacker be assessed a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty if the goaltender, who has been tackled, is still on the ice?

ANSWERIn your situation, the team that tackled the goalkeeper would be assessed the appropriate penalties under USA Hockey Rule 625, Rule 622, Rule 640 or Rule 601.

Since a team is required to wait until the goalkeeper is at the bench and out of play to make the player substitution, it’s very unlikely that they would send the player before the opponent’s tackle the goalkeeper.

 

QUESTIONIf there are coincidental minor penalties, how do you determine whether teams play full strength or four on four? I could've sworn I've seen both conditions.

ANSWERRule 402.f in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“When an equal number of minor penalties (coincidental) are assessed to players from both teams, the penalized players shall take their place on the penalty bench and immediate substitution will take place for an equal number of minor penalties. The penalized players shall not leave the penalty bench until the first stoppage of play following the expiration of their penalties. Additional minor penalties assessed at the same stoppage that are not considered coincidental minor penalties shall be served in the normal manner."

Taking this rule into consideration, the teams remain at 5 vs. 5 if coincidental penalties are assessed.

 

QUESTION: In the league I currently work in, we need to count body checks per team, but if there is an illegal check (interference, boarding, charging etc...), do we count them as a body check? 

ANSWER: The USA Hockey Playing Rules are not a guidebook for tracking statistics during games (considering how many different possible types of statistics a team could possibly track). Therefore, you will have to consult online resources for how professional hockey stats are tracked.

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 8

By USA Hockey Officiating 10/21/2022, 6:15am MDT

QUESTIONDo I need my last name on my referee jersey?

ANSWER: USA Hockey does not require officials to wear names or numbers on their sweaters. This policy would be decided by the Local Officials Association or League that the official works under.

 

QUESTIONShould players who are ineligible for the game be crossed off the scoresheet at the conclusion of the game?

ANSWERRule 203.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“Prior to the start of each game the Manager or Coach of each team shall designate on the scoresheet the players and goalkeepers who shall be eligible to play in the game.

Once the game has started, an eligible player or goalkeeper may be added to the scoresheet during a stoppage of play provided no players are deleted from the game roster and maximum roster size has not been exceeded. For each player added however, a bench minor penalty for illegal substitution shall be assessed.”

 

QUESTIONWhat's the call for a stick between the legs to the groin area from behind in an upward motion on an opposing team? 

ANSWER: It’s very difficult to give an accurate opinion on this question without seeing the infraction firsthand. However, an official could assess a minor or major plus game misconduct penalty for either Hooking, Slashing or Spearing depending on what part of the offending player’s stick makes contact with the opponent, the degree of force of the contact and the result of the infraction.

 

QUESTIONCan a goalkeeper continue to use a broken stick after a stoppage of play?

ANSWER: A player or goalkeeper may never use a broken stick during a USA Hockey game. They must drop the stick immediately before participating in play.

 

QUESTIONWhat and when is a penalty called for leaving a team door or penalty box door open?

ANSWER: There is no penalty in the USA Hockey Playing Rules for leaving a Team Bench or Penalty Bench door open during play.

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 7

By USA Hockey Officiating 10/14/2022, 6:45am MDT

QUESTIONPlay is stopped for premature substitution of the goalkeeper with play over the red line, so the face-off is at center ice. Is the offending team required to put the goalkeeper back in net in order to attempt to legally substitute their goalkeeper during the next play or can they pull their goalkeeper?

ANSWER: If a team violates the Premature Goalkeeper Substitution rule (Rule 205.a), they are not required to place the goalkeeper back on the ice before the face-off.

 

QUESTIONIs there a difference between "suspended" and "forfeited" in regards to lack of adult supervision? During a game, the coach got sick and had to leave. There were no other adults around, so was I supposed to just suspend the game and contact local authorities? Or is it considered a forfeit and written down as a loss?

ANSWERA game is considered suspended when the officials determine that due to whatever extenuating circumstances (rink defect, coach pulls his/her team, etc.) that it can no longer be played, but no playing rule determines a winner given the circumstances (e.g. Rule 201.a). The officials will report the suspended game to the proper authorities (league, association, etc.) who will decide on an outcome (re-schedule, declare a winner, etc.).

Rule 201.a is currently the only circumstance where an official can terminate a game and declare a winner.

 

QUESTIONWhat is the difference between the " Golden Triangle" and "Home Base"?

ANSWER: The “Golden Triangle” is outlined on page 19 of the USA Hockey Basic Officiating Manual, and “Home Base” is one of the three points of the triangle. “Home Base” is the point on the Goal Line closest to the goal where an imaginary line connecting the face-off spots on one side of the ice would intersect with the goal line. This is where the referee should spend as much time as possible unless play moves to his/her side of the ice, at which point they would move back into the corner.

 

QUESTIONAre youth players required to wear a strapped mouthpiece? I could not find anything in the rules pertaining to a strapped mouthpiece.

ANSWER: While mouthpieces are required (and recommended) at certain levels of the game, they are not required to be attached to the face-mask at any level.

 

QUESTIONIf NO injury occurs, can a major plus game misconduct for boarding be assessed under Rule 603.a anyway (based on degree of violence, at the official’s discretion, etc.)? I have been taught both 'yes' and 'no' at various seminars.

ANSWERRule 603.b in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

"A major plus game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who recklessly endangers an opponent as a result of boarding."

Therefore, the determining factor with assessing "minor plus misconduct" vs. "major plus game misconduct" penalties is the action of the infraction itself. If the player recklessly endangers the opponent with his/her actions, the game officials must assess major plus game misconduct penalties.

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 6

By USA Hockey Officiating 10/07/2022, 6:45am MDT

QUESTIONHow do I find the Closed Book Exam?

ANSWER: Starting with the 2022-23 registration season, the USA Hockey Referee Section (represented by the volunteer USA Hockey Referees-in-Chief) made the decision to eliminate the Closed Book Exam from all levels of registration.

This step has been replaced with a longer (100 question) Open Book Exam for Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 officials. The USAH Referee Section believes this will still hold officials accountable for maintaining rule knowledge, but make the overall process more of an educational experience.

 

QUESTIONIs there a study guide for the Level 3 Open Book Exam. If not, any suggestions on topics to study?

ANSWER: The best study guides available for all USA Hockey Playing Rules exams are the USA Hockey Rule Book & Casebook and the BasicIntermediate and Advanced Officiating Manuals.

 

QUESTIONTeam A has a player in the box serving two minor penalties. While serving the first of the two minors, Team A picks up a delayed minor penalty for Hooking. During the delayed penalty, Team A gives up a goal to Team B. Is the delayed penalty wiped out in this scenario, or is the first minor to the player in the box wiped out?

ANSWERRule 409.b in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“If the Referee signals an additional minor penalty(s) against a team that is already shorthanded (below the numerical strength of its opponent on the ice at the time of the goal) because of one or more minor or bench minor penalties, and a goal is scored by the non-offending team, the goal shall be allowed. The delayed penalty(s) shall be assessed and the first non-coincidental minor penalty already being served shall terminate automatically under Rule 402.c (Minor Penalties).”

 

QUESTIONIs a team allowed to dress five Goalkeepers and fifteen skaters?

ANSWERRule 201.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“A maximum of 20 players, in which not more than 18 are skaters, shall be permitted to play in the game.”

Therefore, a team may dress any combination of skaters and goalkeepers provided they do not dress more than 18 skaters or 20 overall participants.

 

QUESTIONAre officials allowed to wear helmet cameras during games for training and continued development purposes?

ANSWER: The USA Hockey Playing Rules prohibit all participants (officials and players) from wearing any type of camera during games.

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 5

By USA Hockey Officiating Program 09/30/2022, 6:45am MDT

QUESTIONAs a player is raising up his stick to take a shot, a defending player caught up to him. The attacking player hit the opponent behind him in the face-mask with his stick swing. The player taking the shot was called for high-sticking. What are your thoughts on this?

ANSWER: Under the USA Hockey Playing Rules, all players are responsible for maintaining control of their stick at all times and a player may not make stick-contact with an opponent above the height of the shoulders. While some non-USAH sanctioned leagues do not penalize stick contact during the back-swing and follow-through of a shot, this does not apply to the USA Hockey Playing Rules.

 

QUESTIONIf a player with the puck is cut in the face by an accidental high stick by a defender while challenging for the puck, is a major penalty always assessed? When is a minor vs a major penalty assessed for such an incident (blood vs no blood, intent vs no intent)? I do not see a good explanation of the difference in your casebook situations or video examples. Does your answer change if the stick that caused injury was not above the shoulder of the defender.

ANSWERUnder the USA Hockey Playing Rules, all players are responsible for controlling their sticks at all times, and it is illegal to make stick-contact with an opponent above the height of the shoulders.

With that being said, any high-stick contact that draws blood would be considered "reckless endangerment" to the opponent and result in Major plus Game Misconduct penalties (or a Match penalty if the contact is determined as intentional).

 

QUESTIONMy helmet is HECC certified. However, the sticker fell off. Can I still use it to officiate games?

ANSWERRule 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.”

USA Hockey Officials are not required to wear a HECC Certified hockey helmet during games.

 

QUESTIONA goalie is in their crease, in the butterfly position, and makes a save. The subsequent rebound pops into the air and the attacking player attempts to bat the puck out of the air. The attacking player misses the puck and hits the goalie in the face with his stick. No call on the play. When the referee on the ice was asked about it he basically said that is part of the risk of playing goalie. Why is it an automatic penalty when a skater is hit in the face and not a goaltender?

ANSWER: The USA Hockey High Sticking rule is pretty specific about contact occurring above the “normal height of the shoulders”. With that being said, a Slashing penalty could be assessed for this type of dangerous contact. Players (and Goalkeepers) are always expected to maintain control of their sticks at all times.

 

QUESTIONPlayers and student coaches "17 and Under" are required to wear shielded helmets. The USA Hockey Official's Manual states "USA Hockey strongly recommends that all officials wear a half-shield visor..." Does that apply to underage officials?

ANSWERRule 501.c in the USA Hockey Playing Rules (which overrules the Basic Officiating Manual) 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.

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 4

By USA Hockey Officiating Program 09/23/2022, 6:45am MDT

QUESTION: In a game with two referees, during a stoppage both teams accidentally send six skaters out during the line change (both teams have their goalkeeper in). The ref dropping the puck does not notice both teams have too many players on the ice and drops the puck. The attacking team scores after the face-off and the goal stands. Is this the correct call?

ANSWER: A team cannot score a legal goal while having too many players on the ice. However, since it is the responsibility of the officials to ensure the proper number of players are on the ice prior to dropping the puck, the team with the extra players should not be penalized.

 

QUESTIONI’m allowed to have 18 skaters dress for a game, but can I have alternates that are allowed to practice and not play in games? My team is the lowest available level in our program for our age. I have two players that are on the bubble and would like them to continue to develop as an alternate on top of my 18 skaters and 1 goalie. Is this allowed?

ANSWER: The Ask the Official forum is dedicated to the Playing Rules of USA Hockey, which do not govern practices. Please submit your question to your local hockey association, USAH Affiliate Body, or District Registrar for an answer to this question. Contact information can be found in the USA Hockey Annual Guide.

 

QUESTION: After the whistle a player takes 4 - 6 strides towards an opponent, launching himself at him in a violent fashion but not making contact due to the opponent moving out of the way. What penalty would/should be called if any? Charging is not an option based on the wording of contact having to be made. Would Attempt to Injure be a valid in the situation?

ANSWERContact must be made to assess a player a penalty for Charging. However, if the game officials determine that the player was deliberately attempting to injure the opponent, then a Match penalty could be assessed.

 

QUESTIONWhen is the puck considered tied up and the whistle should be blown stopping play. Does it have to be covered up or can he have it frozen between his arm and chest.

ANSWER: Play should be stopped when the officials determine that the goalkeeper has possession and control of the puck.

 

QUESTIONShould players ineligible for the game be crossed off the scoresheet at the conclusion of the game?

ANSWER: The game-sheet team rosters should list all players who were present, dressed and eligible to participate in the game. All missing, sick or injured players should be removed the team roster after the game concludes.

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 3

By USA Hockey Officiating Program 09/16/2022, 6:45am MDT

QUESTIONI was a timekeeper at my daughter’s game where the referee disagreed with a "running clock" rule. I was not rude to the ref, however he ejected me from the timekeeper position. The question I have is whether an on-ice official can eject an off-ice official?

ANSWER: The on-ice officials can remove an off-ice official if they feel they are not acting professionally or within the Game Officials’ Code of Conduct of USA Hockey.

 

QUESTION: During a Two-Official System game, the Front Official mistakenly waves off an icing believing because the goalie left the crease then icing is nullified. The Back Official doesn't blow his whistle as he's unsure why an otherwise obvious icing is waved off. The puck never leaves the end-zone, and a goal is scored. Referees convene and decide the icing rule was misinterpreted. The goal is disallowed. Is this correct call?

ANSWER: If the goal is the result of a missed icing call (officials are 100% certain), and the puck never left the end-zone the goal was scored in, and there are no play stoppages between the missed icing and the goal, then the goal should be disallowed.

 

QUESTIONIf a player's jersey number is listed incorrectly on the game-sheet, is there a penalty or even a forfeit of the game if the mistake is found after the game? The player is legally rostered, and listed in the playing line-up. The roster label had wrong jersey number listed.

ANSWER: This type of roster clerical issue must be brought to the local governing body of the game (league, hockey association, tournament committee, etc.) to decide upon. Generally, there are no penalties for small clerical errors as long as the player is listed on the game roster.

 

QUESTION: During a game, a player used the inside of her skate blade to keep the puck under her control (by kicking the puck) and move it ahead. I wondered if that was a legal move? No one else commented on it.

ANSWERRule 627.c in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states:

Kicking the puck shall be permitted provided the puck is not kicked by an attacking player and entered the goal either directly or after deflecting off any player including the goalkeeper.

However, the puck may not be played by the so called "kick shot," which combines the use of the leg and foot driving the shaft and blade of the stick and producing a very dangerous shot.”

 

QUESTIONAn incident occurred recently in a game where a player in the offensive zone had their feet pushed forward by a defender positioned behind them, as a result the offensive player lost his balance and while falling clipped the defender in the face with his stick drawing blood. What should the call be?

ANSWERPlayers are always accountable for controlling their stick at all times. Therefore, if a player recklessly endangers an opponent as a result of illegal stick contact (even if accidental) then they must be assessed a major plus game misconduct. However, any illegal action of an opponent that causes the illegal stick contact by the player who recklessly endangers the opponent should be penalized too.

 

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter usahockeyrulebook.com into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at USAHockey.com.

2022-23 ATO | WEEK 2

By USA Hockey Officiating Education Program 09/09/2022, 6:45am MDT

QUESTIONWhat is the rule on removing a player's helmet while on the ice while the national anthem is being played? We have been told that it must remain on by some, and that it may be removed by others. What is the official rule?

ANSWER: There are no rules in the USA Hockey Rulebook that cover behavior during pre-game anthems. However, general culture dictates that players should remove their helmets once they position themselves on the blue line (or while on the team bench), and immediately replace them as soon as the song ends.

 

QUESTIONIs there a rule that forbids a late-arriving player from joining the game later than the end of the first period?

ANSWERRule 203.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

Once the game has started, an eligible player or goalkeeper may be added to the scoresheet during a stoppage of play provided no players are deleted from the game roster and maximum roster size has not been exceeded. For each player added however, a bench minor penalty for illegal substitution shall be assessed.”

If the player is listed on the game roster when he arrives to the game, he may enter the game with no penalty. However, if the player must be added to the game roster when he arrives (assuming there is room on the roster), then the player may enter the game but the team must be assessed a Bench Minor penalty.

 

QUESTIONPlayer A is in possession of the puck and is impeded (stick contact) by Player B. Player A momentarily loses his balance due to the stick contact, but then appears to go down in an unnatural manner in an attempt to "sell" the tripping penalty. The official assesses a minor penalty for tripping to Player B. He then assesses a minor penalty for embellishment/diving to Player A. Is this the correct assessment of penalties by the official?

ANSWER: There are no “diving” or “embellishment” penalties in the USA Hockey Playing Rules. However, this type of behavior (which is not in the spirit of the game) should be brought to the attention of the team’s coach who should correct the behavior.

 

QUESTIONTeam A commits a minor penalty. Team B commits a minor penalty 30-seconds later. Team A commits another minor penalty 20 seconds later. Team B scores 40 seconds later while 4 on 3. What player comes out of the penalty box for Team A when the goal is scored?

ANSWER: When a team scores a power-play goal, the minor penalty currently being served (active on the penalty clock) with the least amount of time left to be served is terminated. So the first minor to Team A is terminated after Team B scores in your situation.

 

QUESTIONUsing the USA Hockey rulebook, how is a forfeit scored? During a game, if a team gets down to less than four players the game is a forfeit (Rule 201.a). What is the official score? If Team A is leading Team B by a 4 - 1 score, and Team B has to forfeit, what is the official final recorded score? If it happens in the first period as opposed to the third period, is there a difference in how the resultant score is handled?

ANSWER: This question is not covered by the USA Hockey Playing Rules, which deal with how the game is actually managed. Forfeits and scoring would be decided by the league or hockey association that governs the game.

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.

Officiating News

  • 2022-23 ATO | WEEK 11

  • By USA Hockey Officiating Program 11/11/2022, 6:15am MST
  • THIS WEEK: High-Sticking...serving goalkeeper penalties...equipment...and more.
  • Read More