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2019-20 ATO Season: Week 23

By USA Hockey, 02/14/20, 6:00AM MST


QUESTION: In a two official system, can the high official on the blue line, call a goal if he saw the puck in the net prior to the deep officials whistle? I am a USA Hockey level 3 official but can not locate the ruling in the rule book.

ANSWER: If the Back Official is 110% certain the puck entered the goal prior to the whistle, he/she should have a conversation with the Front Official. If the Front Official has no evidence to argue against it, the goal should be awarded. It is very important that the Back Official does not guess in this situation.

QUESTION: Player gets 2 minor and 10 min misconduct how many minutes will they have to serve. 10 or 12?

ANSWER: If a player receives a Minor and Misconduct penalty he must serve the entire twelve minutes (2+10) consecutively. The additional player his team must place in the box is serving the shorthanded time (not the Minor itself). Since the Minor penalty must be served first (and posted on the penalty clock) the additional player is in the box so their team will have someone available to leave the penalty box and enter the game at the end of the Minor.
If the opposing team scores during the shorthanded Minor penalty time, the Minor is immediately terminated and the Misconduct penalty begins. In other words, the player who received the penalties will be released at the first whistle after ten minutes after the goal.

QUESTION: Team A Player returns to the ice (minor penalty) prematurely when Team B scores. Does the goal count?

ANSWER: In this situation, the Team B goal would be allowed.
If Player A left the penalty bench due to an error by the Timekeeper and the penalty was a minor, then the penalty is terminated.
If Player A left the penalty bench on his own, he must return to the penalty bench to serve an additional minor penalty for leaving early.

QUESTION: Do other refs have an issue with coaches in Tier 1 (aaa) or Tier 2 (a & aa) that believe the USA hockey rules are different or should be interpreted different than for b level hockey? I will hear from higher skating level coaches that a penalty should not be called because it's aa hockey not house.

ANSWER: The USA Hockey Playing Rules apply equally to all levels of the game. There are not exceptions to interpretation at Tier I Levels.


QUESTION: What is the rule on checking a player from behind. I see this all the time by NHL players on the boards but never see a penalty called for it.

ANSWER: Rule 608 in the USA Hockey Rule Book states,
“(a) A minor plus a misconduct penalty, or a major plus a game misconduct penalty, shall be assessed to any player who body checks or pushes an opponent from behind.
(b) A major penalty plus game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent as a result of checking from behind or who body checks or pushes an opponent from behind causing them to go head first into the boards or goal frame.
(c) A match penalty for attempt to injure or deliberate injury to an opponent may also be assessed for checking from behind.”

In regard to NHL Games, we cannot answer any questions that relate to penalties called during NHL games at this USA Hockey forum.