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2019-20 ATO Season: Week 18

By USA Hockey, 01/03/20, 6:00AM MST


QUESTION: What can a parent do if a referee is disrespecting players during a game?

ANSWER: If an official does not conduct his behavior within the USA Hockey Officials Code of Conduct, you may report this to your Local Supervisor of Officials or District Referee-in-Chief. Contact information can be found by using the District Directory link under the OFFICIALS tab at

We strongly encourage you to make this complaint through your team or hockey association to add credibility to your claim, instead of simply sounding like a grumpy parent.

QUESTION: Team A ices the puck. Is Team A allowed to have a line change?

ANSWER: There is no rule in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that prevents a team from changing players after committing an Icing infraction.

QUESTION: If a goalie plays the puck and brings it to the blue line and gets checked from an offensive player in a Midget level game is it a penalty to the player for checking the goalie?

ANSWER: Rule 607 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“A minor plus a misconduct or a major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to a player who body checks or charges a goalkeeper while the goalkeeper is within his goal crease or privileged area.

(d) A goalkeeper is NOT “fair game” because he is outside his privileged area. A penalty for interference or charging should be called in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper. Likewise, Referees should be alert to penalize goalkeepers for any infractions they commit in the vicinity of the goal.

(Note 1) For the purpose of this rule, any accidental or unavoidable contact that occurs with the goalkeeper shall be penalized under the Interference rule. Any deliberate body contact or check that is delivered to the goalkeeper shall be penalized as Charging.

(Note 2) The goalkeeper’s “Privileged Area” is an area outlined by connecting the end zone face-off spots with an imaginary line and imaginary lines from each face-off spot running perpendicular to the end boards.”


QUESTION: Is it ok for a player to play a game with goalie skates?

ANSWER: No. Similar to the helmet, leg-guards and other equipment specifically designed for goalkeepers, skates do not conform to the “Skaters’” equipment guidelines. This would be no different than a skater trying to play with a goalkeeper’s stick.

QUESTION: I thought I read somewhere a couple of years ago that it is not acceptable to play music during league games (during stoppages and between periods) unless the opposing team gives consent. I can't find anything on it now. Is playing music allowed if both teams are ok with it? Or can it be played regardless of the preference of the visiting coach?

ANSWER: There are no rules in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that govern playing music during games. This might be governed by the league, hockey association or rink.