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2021-22 ATO | WEEK 20

By USA Hockey, 12/17/21, 6:15AM MST


This week’s features: Hand-passes...Taunting...Leaving the penalty bench...and more.

QUESTIONA player from Team A and Team B are assessed coincidental penalties. Player A leaves the penalty box and returns to the ice at the expiration of the penalty while play is continuing at one end of the rink. Player A realizes his mistake and returns to the players bench without becoming involved in any part of the play. Play continues and Team A scores a goal. Team B protests the call and makes the officials aware of the situation. Should the goal count?

ANSWERIf the Team A Player becomes involved in the play then the goal must be disallowed. However, if the Team A Player entered the ice but quickly and immediately returned to the Penalty Bench or Team Bench (wasn’t involved in the play at all), then the goal could be allowed since the extra player had absolutely no impact on the play.

In either case, the Team A Player should not be assessed an additional penalty for leaving the Penalty Bench since this would be considered an Officials’ Error (they should have informed the player when he may leave).


QUESTIONA team arrives with 6 skaters and 1 goalie. During the 1st period a player is injured reducing the team to 5 skaters and a goalie. During the 3rd period coincidental minor penalties are assessed (play should resume 5 v. 5). However the short team is unable to place its entitled 5 players on the ice. The game continued 4 v. 4 because the short teams strength by penalty and injury was not reduced to LESS than 4 players on the ice (which would cause a forfeit under rule 201). Is this correct?

ANSWER: In this situation, the team with the short bench must play 5 vs. 4. The opposing team has not done anything wrong to mandate they play with only four players. So play would continue 5 vs. 4, and the team with the four players may not “ice” the puck or receive any advantage due to being shorthanded.


QUESTION: Does slew footing come with an automatic major? If not, what determines a minor or major being called?

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 his 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 check 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 his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent's feet from under him. This is done by pushing an opponent's upper body backwards with an arm or elbow at the same time using a forward motion of his 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.


QUESTION: In the neutral zone, an airborne puck is batted by an attacking player, who then controls the puck with his stick. Play is whistled for a hand pass. This doesn't seem correct as the player batting the puck got the puck on his stick (not a teammates stick). Looking at 618b, it stipulates the puck batted directly to a teammate, not the same player.

ANSWER: You are correct, play should be allowed to continue if a player bats the puck with his/her hand and is the first player to play the puck afterwards. The “hand-pass” rule only applies to a puck batted to a teammate.


QUESTIONDo we (USAH) have a rule against an attacker that faces the goal to interfere?

ANSWER: This could be penalized under Rule 601(a) for “taunting”.

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