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2020-21 ATO SEASON: WEEK 4

By USA Hockey, 09/25/20, 6:00AM MDT


QUESTION: 10U House) player is on a breakaway. A shot is taken, and the goalie saves and covers the puck. The skater's momentum causes him to run into goalie. Did not look intentional but rather due to weak skating skill of shooter. Is this a penalty?

ANSWERA player is always expected to stay under control while skating. Similar to use of the stick, they must maintain control and prevent illegal contact with an opponent.


QUESTION: According to rule 302b "No additional equipment or contrivance shall be attached to the skates of any player or goalkeeper". Does this include plastic skate protectors or "fenders" as worn by many NHL defensemen for protection against hard shots that hit the foot?

ANSWER: Under the interpretation of the USA Hockey Playing Rule Committee, skate boot shell protectors may be worn as long as they are worn for the purpose of protection and follow the contours of the skate boot.


QUESTION: A Boarding infraction happened with 2:41 left in a game, and major plus game misconduct penalties were assessed. 5 minutes were placed on the scoreboard, and the ref told the coach a player was required in the penalty box and that it must be someone from the ice. Why must a coach put a player in the box since with 2:41 of playing time left the player who supposedly was to serve the major penalty wouldn't be returning until the end of the game?

ANSWER: Under USAH Rule 403(d), if a player is assessed a Major plus Game Misconduct penalty (regardless of time in game), that player is ejected from the game and (assuming Youth Rules) the offending team must immediately place a substitute player in the penalty bench to serve the Major penalty. The substitute player may be any non-penalized player, other than a goalkeeper.


QUESTION: Is there a "mercy rule" at the 12U level? A team was losing 12-1 mid-way through the second period. Losing team coach decided to forfeit game because of his team's lack of effort. Also stated that the mercy rule ends the game after 2nd period when there is a 10 goal differential.

ANSWERTechnically, there are no “Mercy Rules” in the USA Hockey Playing Rules. However, your local association, league or tournament committee might have their own so we suggest checking with them.


QUESTION: Can an official, who is not scheduled to work a game, officiate a game if another referee contacts you and tells you that his/her partner can not show up. Also, can an official, who is not scheduled to work a game, do so anyway, without wanting to get paid and turn the game into a three man style of officiating?

ANSWERSince this question regards Game Assignments, we encourage you to contact your Local Assignor or Hockey Officials Association to find out more information about assignments in your area. USA Hockey does not coordinate any game assignments.