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2020-21 ATO SEASON: WEEK 26

By USA Hockey, 02/26/21, 6:15AM MST


QUESTION: I can no longer find the rule that states how much time a team must rest between games. I thought it used to say 4-hours during the day and 12-hours from one day to the next, but I can no longer find reference to the rule. Has it changed?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered by the USA Hockey Playing Rules. Guidelines for game times, period lengths, and other game operations are dictated by the local hockey association and USA Hockey Affiliate of each team. We recommend reaching out to them with this question.


QUESTION: A player on Team A in the defensive zone near the right face-off circle throws his stick at the player with the puck from Team B, who is over near the left face-off circle. The throwing of the stick was not an attempt to play the puck, and it did not occur during a breakaway. The thrown stick landed short of the Team B player and slide on the ice into him. What should the penalty be and what is the rule reference?

ANSWER: Rule 637(a) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player on the ice who shoots or throws any portion of his stick or any other object in the direction of the puck.
Note) When a player discards the broken portion of a stick by tossing it to the side of the rink (and not over the boards) in such a way as will not interfere with play or an opposing player, no penalty shall be assessed.
However, a penalty shot/optional minor penalty shall be awarded to the non-offending team if done in his defending zone. The Referee shall allow play to be completed and provided no goal is scored, the penalty shot/optional minor is awarded to the player who was fouled. If the player fouled is not readily identified, the Captain of the non-offending team shall select the player to take the penalty shot from those players who were on the ice at the time the infraction occurred.”


QUESTION: Can you please explain the spirit and intent of Rule 612a, Situation 1? Let's just assume the Team A goalie makes a save. Subsequently, a Team B forward slashes the Team A goalie. The Team A defenseman comes to his goalie's "defense" and a scuffle ensues, where all players earn a minor for roughing. With the face-off remaining in Team A defensive zone has Team B not earned an unfair advantage?

ANSWER: The interpretation of this situation is both incidents occurred at the same time (or seconds apart) and were part of the same incident. Therefore, the face-off would stay inside the end zone. The Attacking Team has not gained an unfair advantage due to the fact that the Defending Team committed an infraction at the same time.
However, if the attacking player slashed the goalkeeper (which was immediately penalized) and a defending player attacks the penalized player while skating to the penalty bench, the face-off would be treated as two separate incidents and the face-off would stay in the Neutral Zone (due to the initial Attacking Team penalty). However, the penalties would sit be considered coincidental and play would remain 5 vs. 5.


QUESTION: Center Ice face off, per the rule book, can take place at the start of a period, after goals, and premature goalie substitution. The rule also states a last-play face-off is defined as the nearest face-off spot in the zone where the puck was last played. Can a center ice face off take place if the stoppage occurs when the puck is last played on the center ice dot? 

ANSWER: Center ice can be used for a Last Play Face-off in the Neutral Zone.


QUESTION: The puck has been shot from the end zone by the defending team and crossed the goal line before the opposing team could cross the blue line of their zone. There was no chance of them playing the puck, but there has been no race for the puck as there was no chance of reaching it. Icing was signaled. Should the front linesman call icing or wave it off in this situation? We play hybrid icing in our league.”

ANSWER: Hybrid Icing is not used in any USA Hockey sanctioned Youth, Girls, High School, or Adult games. Therefore, we cannot answer this question at this forum.