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2019-20 ATO Season: Week 17

By USA Hockey, 12/27/19, 6:00AM MST


QUESTION: If one official in the offensive zone corner blows the whistle because he lost sight of the puck in crease, but the other official from his vantage at the blue line maintained a view of puck the entire time and saw the puck slide over the goal line as the whistle was being blown- is the blue line official allowed to overrule the stoppage and allow the goal?

ANSWER: In this situation, both officials should confer and determine whether the puck completely crossed the goal line prior to the whistle being blown. They must be 110% sure that the puck was completely across the line to award the goal.

QUESTION: Hello, I was just curious why delayed offsides is only played in 14U and above? Why not teach the kids the rules earlier than later? They are more than capable of understanding and following that rule. My son is 9 and played with delayed offsides last year and had no issues with it. Trying to understand what the benefit is to not teaching them this rule.

ANSWER: While this question does regard the USA Hockey Playing Rules, it is more in regard to the philosophy behind the playing rules. 12 & Under players are certainly capable of learning “Tag-up Off-sides”. However, the USA Hockey Player Development Committee, Coaching Program and ADM Department believes Immediate Off-sides offers better development for young players. Instead of allowing defensemen to give up possession of the puck and not making a play by dumping it into the attacking end-zone, they are forced to mentally develop and physically execute a play at the blue line to continue play.
For more information, please feel free to contact your ADM Regional Manager or the USA Hockey Youth Department. Contact information can be found by using the ABOUT link at

QUESTION: In a youth hockey game, a team uses one ineligible player as a forward, and another ineligible player as a goalie. Players are listed on the scoresheet, along with 12 other players and no other goalie. The two players are ineligible under league rules because they play for a team in a higher division. If this is noticed in a game and reported to officials, should this result in a bench minor for using a non-eligible player? Could it result in two separate bench minors?

ANSWER: Unfortunately we cannot answer this question since it does not specifically regard the USA Hockey Playing Rules.
Strictly speaking, if this issue comes out during a game, the officials should not do anything. They are not the Roster Police, and they have no idea which players are registered with which team.
We encourage you to contact your District or State Registrar (through your local hockey association) with this question. Registrars are responsible for tracking all team rosters and player eligibility in their respective areas.

QUESTION: Team A is serving a minor penalty. With 30 seconds remaining in the penalty, the officials accidentally allow a play to begin 5 on 5. The penalty expires, the penalized player re-enters the game and the officials recognize a 6 on 5 situation and stop play. Should a penalty be assessed for too many men on the ice, since an additional player entered the game after the officials' error?

ANSWER: Since the officials are responsible for checking that the proper number of players are on the ice prior to dropping the puck, they cannot assess a penalty for “Too Many Players”.

QUESTION: If during a scramble in the crease, a defensive player covers the puck two times in the same sequence, would this illicit two penalty shots?

ANSWER: This is not an easy question to answer without watching the infraction first-hand. There cannot be two Penalty Shots awarded. However, if the official determines that two “scoring opportunities” were taken away (two separate infractions) then the officials can award a penalty shot and a separate minor penalty.