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2020-21 ATO SEASON: WEEK 6

By USA Hockey, 10/09/20, 6:00AM MDT


QUESTION: I heard a coach get a bench minor from a ref for saying, "Well, call something." He hadn't been saying a whole lot up until that point. When he said that, he got a bench minor. When he asked if he could ask a question, the response was, "You've lost that privilege." Shouldn't the coach retain that right even if he has the bench minor? I thought officials were supposed to politely answer questions when asked in a polite manner.

ANSWERThere is no way we can give an objective opinion to this question without witnessing the situation first-hand. While officials should develop a certain level of "thick-skin" toward negative comments, all officials are instructed to enforce (and coaches are expected to abide by) the Zero-Tolerance Policy in regard to the USA Hockey Code-of-Conduct for Players and Coaches. Once the line is crossed and a Bench Minor penalty is assessed, it's rare that anything good that will come from approaching the team bench at that time to discuss the call.


QUESTION: Is it allowable to run time? Our governing body told our membership recently the answer is YES if both benches agree. If running time is initiated, it does not stop for any reason (goals, penalties, etc.). I have always been told the was not allowed.

ANSWERUSA Hockey does not have any playing rules that govern a running clock. Those rules would be decided by the Hockey Association or League that govern the games and allow the running clock.


QUESTION: The goaltender knocks the net off of its anchors, but it is not noticeable to the official on the goal line. The offensive team shoots the puck and it goes into the net. The puck would have gone in regardless of the net displacement. After the official signals goal he /she notices that the net was off. Is this a good goal? What specifically is the rule when this occurs? 

ANSWERRule 610(e) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“Play shall be stopped immediately when the goal frame has been displaced from its normal position.”
Therefore, if the official is 100% certain the goal was displaced from the goal line before the puck entered the goal, then the goal must be disallowed.


QUESTION: Are players required to wear a chest protector during adult league games? Is there any rule, penalty, or violation if they do not?

ANSWERThere are no rules in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that state any player or goalkeeper must wear a chest-protector. However, Rule 304(g) does state,
“All players must wear the required, or recommended, protective equipment in the manner for which it is designed.”
So if you choose to wear one, it must be worn properly.
That being said, Hockey Associations and Leagues are entitled to make their own rules that strengthen Protective Equipment Rules (e.g. require mouthpieces). Therefore, if your league requires chest protectors, then you must follow that rule to play in that league.


QUESTION: If a section of the rink glass breaks during play from a hit, should a referee whistle stop play until the section is repaired?

ANSWERPlay should always be stopped when the officials notice a defect in the playing area. Furthermore, the game should not continue until the defect is repaired.