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2021-22 ATO | WEEK 8

By USA Hockey, 09/24/21, 6:15AM MDT


This week’s features: Short rosters, high-sticking an official, hitting a vulnerable opponent.

QUESTION: How many goalies can you dress in a game? Can you dress more than 2 if you only have 15 skaters?

ANSWERA team is allowed to dress up to 18 “skaters” and up to 20 total participants. Therefore, a team may dress more than two goalkeepers if there are less than 18 “skaters” on the roster (e.g. 4 Goalkeepers + 16 Skaters).


QUESTION: The law enforcement, and fire league (mens league) at my rink has a hard time putting 5, and a goalie on the ice to fulfill the rule at the beginning of their game because of their scheduling conflicts. Im being told by hockey staff that they can play 4 on 4 (even though the rulebook says 6 skaters) and everyone including officials are covered under USA hockey regulations. Is this true, and if so what are the guidelines?

ANSWER: Under the terms of USA Hockey Membership, any game that involves properly registered USA Hockey Members (players, coaches, officials, etc.) and follows the USA Hockey Playing Rules is a USA Hockey sanctioned game. While no latitude with playing rules can be given to top-level teams (Tier I & II Youth, Junior, or National Tournament Bound teams), teams at the “recreational” level (Adult or Youth House) could be given some flexibility with regard to team rosters provided the Host League and respective USA Hockey Affiliate Governing Body permits it.

Aside from modifying team roster rules, all other USA Hockey Playing Rules must be followed during the game.


QUESTION: A player accidentally high sticks an official during the game. The high stick causes an injury to the official which requires the official to get stitches. Can the player be assessed a penalty for accidentally high sticking an official? If so what would the exact call be?

ANSWERUnless the stick contact was intentional, no penalty can be assessed for this action.


QUESTION: In a checking division game a defensive player has engaged an attacking player (body on body) in attempt to take the puck away. Simultaneously an additional defending player now enters in and physically checks the attacking player with no attempt to play the puck. Would a minor/major penalty for interference by appropriate for this action?

ANSWER: Rule 640(e) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

"A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who delivers a body check to an opponent who is physically engaged for possession of the puck with one or more other players.

(Note) When two or more players are physically engaged for possession of the puck they are considered vulnerable or defenseless and are not eligible to be body checked."


QUESTION: I was wondering what penalty should be assessed if someone slew foots another player? Does it matter how sever it is?

ANSWERRule 639 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

"(Note 1) Tripping is the act of placing a stick, knee, foot, arm, hand or elbow in such a manner that causes their opponent to lose balance or fall.

(Note 2) Clipping is the act of deliberately leaving the feet or lowering the body for the purpose of making contact with the opponent at or below the knees.

(Note 3) Leg checking is the act of extending the leg from the front or from behind for the purpose of tripping the opponent.

(Note 4) Slew Footing is the act of a player using their leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under them. This is done by pushing an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow and at the same time using a forward motion of their leg causing the opponent to fall to the ice.

(a) A minor penalty shall be assessed under this rule for any of the actions described above, except slew footing.

(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.

(b) A major penalty plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who recklessly endangers an opponent as a result of tripping, clipping or leg checking. The minimum penalty to be assessed for slew footing is a major plus game misconduct penalty.

(c) A match penalty for reckless endangerment may also be assessed under this rule.


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