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2020-21 ATO SEASON: WEEK 16

By USA Hockey, 12/18/20, 6:00AM MST


QUESTION: A player on the attacking team shoots the puck on net. While the puck is in the air, a player in front of the net on the attacking team cross-checks a defending team player and knocks him to the ice. The referee puts his hand up to signal a delayed penalty. The initial shot goes in the goal. Is this a good goal?

ANSWERThe goal must be disallowed in this situation. Otherwise, a team could shoot a puck toward an empty net from their defending end-zone while a teammate knocks an opposing defenseman (at the blue line) to the ice to prevent him from playing the puck, thereby allowing the puck to glide the length of the ice and enter the goal.


QUESTION: During an Adult league game, a defenseman fell on the ice in the neutral zone around the face-off circle. While laying on the ice the defenseman pushed and advanced the puck forward with his hand. I stopped play and called a hand pass because it was not initiated in the defensive zone which is how I interpreted rule 618(b). Did I make the right call? Some of the players believe that it must be touched by another player first.

ANSWERRule 618(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“A player or goalkeeper shall not be allowed to “bat” the puck in the air, or push it along the ice with his hand, directly to a teammate unless the “hand pass” has been initiated and completed in his defending zone, in which case play shall be allowed to continue. If the “hand pass” occurs in the neutral or attacking zone, a stoppage of play will occur and a face-off will take place according to last play face-off rules provided no territorial advantage has been gained.”
A Hand Pass must be completed between two teammates before the official may stop play. Otherwise, play would continue if an opponent gained control of the puck.


QUESTION: If a player aggressively hits an opponent in the head with his stick what should the punishment be?

ANSWERRule 602 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“A match penalty shall be assessed to any player or team official who deliberately injures or attempts to injure any opposing player or team official.”


QUESTION: An official has signaled a delayed penalty on Team B in Team B's defending zone. Team A player shoots the puck from just inside the attacking zone which deflects off a Team B player's stick (Team B player located half way between the top of the face off circle and blue line) and goes out of bounds. Where is the ensuing face-off?

ANSWERIn the situation you describe, the face-off would be located at the closest end-zone face-off spot in Team B’s defending zone.


QUESTION: Is there such a thing as a Major tripping penalty?

ANSWERRule 639 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“(a) A minor or major penalty shall be assessed to any player who commits the following:

-     Uses his stick or any portion of his body and causes an opponent to trip or fall. (Note) However, no penalty shall be assessed under this rule if, in the opinion of the Referee, the player was clearly hook-checking or poke-checking the puck for the purpose of gaining possession.
-     Deliberately leaves his feet or lowers his body to make contact with the opponent at or below the knees (Clipping), unless done so for the purpose of blocking a shot.
-     Extends his leg from the front or from behind for the purpose of tripping their opponent (Leg Checking).
-     Extends the leg behind a player and takes their feet out from under them, especially when used in conjunction with a push to the chest area (Slew Foot).
(b) A major penalty plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent as a result of tripping, clipping, leg checking or slew footing."