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2021-22 ATO | WEEK 5

By USA Hockey, 09/03/21, 6:15AM MDT


This week’s features: Curfews, Sled Hockey rules, and When to start the game clock.


QUESTIONWhat type of offsides will all sled hockey games be played under?

ANSWER: The USA Hockey Sled Hockey Playing Rules can be found at the Rulebook and Resources page in the Officials section of Currently, all Sled Hockey games use delayed "tag-up" offsides.


QUESTIONA Referee notified the coaches that the third period would be shortened to 6 minutes from 15 minutes due to the games being behind (ice time) by 20 minutes. The rink manager wanted to keep the 3rd period to the usual 15 minutes but was overruled by the referee who shorted the period to six minutes. The question is does a USA hockey referee have the authority to shorten a game?

ANSWER: Game Officials might be forced to modify period lengths due to short ice time, however if the Rink Manager is willing to allow the game to be played to completion then the game should be completed. These situations should be managed between the teams, the officials and rink management with the best interest of the game in mind

Furthermore, guidelines for these situations should to be outlined by your local league and local officials association for future reference.


QUESTION: Two players receive coincidental 2-minute minors. One of the players also receives a 10-minute misconduct. At the first whistle following the expiration of the minor penalty both players are let out of the penalty box. Eight minutes later, the same player scores a goal. What is the ruling? Is the goal allowed? Does the player have to server all ten minutes or the remain two minutes?

ANSWER: In the case where two opponent’s each receive a minor penalty and one player receives an additional misconduct, they both immediately enter the penalty bench. Since the two minors are coincidental and cancel each other out, play remains at 5 vs. 5. Player A (single minor) would leave the penalty bench at the first whistle after two minutes elapsed, and Player B (minor plus misconduct) would leave the penalty bench at the first whistle after twelve minutes elapsed.
If Player B leaves early due to “Timekeeper Error” and scores a goal, the goal shall be allowed. However, they must return to the penalty bench and serve all unserved penalty time.


QUESTIONWhen does the clock start on a face-off? When the ref drops the puck, when the puck hits the ice, or when a player's stick hits the puck?

ANSWER: Play shall begin as soon as the puck is dropped, and no player is required to play the puck once it hits the ice. Therefore, the clock shall start as soon as the official drops the duck (“dropping the puck” and “hitting the ice” is a split-second difference so there’s no distinction).


QUESTIONIs there a way to submit a post game complaint about a player's behavior on ice? My son was badly slashed by an opponent during today's game.

ANSWER: We encourage you to contact your league or hockey association with this problem. At the very least they can track the behavior of teams and players and as reports pile up they can address the problem with the team.

Furthermore, we suggest filing your complaint through your team due to the credibility it will carry, rather than risk being dismissed as an email from a grumpy player or parent who didn’t agree with how a game situation was handled.


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