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2022-23 ATO | WEEK 1

By USA Hockey, 09/02/22, 6:15AM MDT


QUESTIONCan a player intentionally play at the puck with his head (as in soccer ) can a goal be scored by intentionally heading the puck into the goal?

ANSWERRule 617.c in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

A goal shall not be allowed if the following occurs:

1.   An attacking player kicks the puck directly into the goal or a kicked puck deflects off any player, including goalkeeper, prior to entering the goal.

2.   The puck has been thrown or deliberately directed into the goal by any means other than a stick, even if subsequently deflecting off any player, including goalkeeper, prior to entering the goal.

3.   The puck was deflected into the goal directly off an official.

4.   The puck entered the goal while an attacking player was positioned in the crease (unless physically interfered with by a defending player causing him to be in the goal crease) or interfering with the goalkeeper (see Rule 625(b) Interference).

5.   The puck has not completely crossed the goal line prior to the expiration of the period.

6.   As otherwise specified in the Official Playing Rules.”


QUESTION: My team was assessed a minor penalty. With 53 seconds left in the penalty, the other team was assessed a minor. Now we are 4 v. 4. The other team scored. Should my player have been release from the box? The officials and scorekeeper said he must wait until all the time expired before he could leave the box because it was 4 v. 4. Any explanation would be great.

ANSWERRule 402.c in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

If the opposing team scores a goal while a team is shorthanded (below the on ice numerical strength of its opponent at the time of the goal) by one or more minor penalties, one of such penalties shall automatically terminate. The penalty that terminates automatically is the first minor or bench minor penalty (non-coincidental) then being served by the “shorthanded” team. This rule shall not apply when a goal is scored on a penalty shot or an awarded goal.”

Since your team was not playing shorthanded (4 v. 4) at the time of the goal, your penalty does not terminate.


QUESTION: In a shootout/penalty shot, the shooter skates in and goes to his left, then comes back across to his right. As he does that, the goalie follows and pushes off the post. The net comes off unintentionally prior to shot being taken. What's the call?

ANSWER: In this situation, the Penalty Shot attempt must be stopped and taken over.


QUESTION: Can a player be moving during a face-off? Specifically, can a player other than the center, be moving forward, backward, or in any direction prior to the puck being dropped? Recently had players already moving around, and in some cases through, the face-off circle prior to the puck drop, and another case of a player who started 10 foot or so off the hash mark and who got a running start to the puck drop.

ANSWERSituation #7 under USA Hockey Playing Rule 613 in the USA Hockey Playing Rule Casebook states,

Should a Linesman allow a player not taking the face-off to be in motion, and not in a stationary position?

Yes. Rule Reference 613(b).

A player not taking the face-off may be moving, provided he is outside the circle and on-side.”


QUESTION: What is the penalty for a youth hockey player that has been removed from the game, skating across the ice surface without their helmet or removes their helmet before exiting the ice surface.

ANSWER: Strictly speaking, Rule 304.c only allows a Misconduct penalty for this offense after a warning to the Team Bench.

The USA Hockey Playing Rules are now available as a mobile device app! Check your Apple, Android, or Windows app store to download this playing rule app free of charge.