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2022-23 ATO | WEEK 10

By USA Hockey Officiating Program, 11/04/22, 6:00AM MDT


QUESTION: Four weeks ago, an official called a penalty against an attacking player for trying to kick the puck out of the crease back to his stick. Now fast forward to this past week, the same situation happens again and both officials state there is no such rule. Which set of officials was correct?

ANSWERProvided the kicking motion does not make contact with the goalkeeper or any opponent, there is no rule in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that prevents a player from kicking the puck.

Rule 627.c in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“Kicking the puck shall be permitted provided the puck is not kicked by an attacking player and entered the goal either directly or after deflecting off any player including the goalkeeper.

However, the puck may not be played by the so called "kick shot," which combines the use of the leg and foot driving the shaft and blade of the stick and producing a very dangerous shot.”


QUESTIONCan a substitute goalie serve a misconduct penalty for another player? For example, a player receives a Spearing penalty (5+GM), can the back-up goalie serve the 5-minute major?

ANSWER: Goalkeepers may not serve penalties under the USA Hockey Playing Rules.


QUESTIONWhat is the rule on mercy rules for 12U level games? If both teams would still like to continue playing in the third period even if one team has a very large lead, is it true that refs are not allowed to continue reffing the game.

ANSWERUSA Hockey does not have any official rules regarding “Mercy Rules”. These are left to the local association or league to determine since they are the ones purchasing the ice slots and managing the operations of the local games.

With that being said, officials are generally assigned to work a complete game regardless of how the game ends (mercy rule, normal game time, forfeit, etc.). Therefore, if teams want to continue playing then all USA Hockey Membership Benefits would be in effect for the complete game, overtime and shootout (and even if they just want to add some extra time to fill the ice slot).


QUESTIONDuring the same shift a single player commits a minor penalty, the other team maintains puck possession and the same player commits another minor penalty. Will play resume "5 v. 4" for four-minutes or "5 v. 3" for two minutes?

ANSWER: Since one player committed two penalties, play would resume "5 vs. 4" for four minutes. If a second player committed a penalty, then play would resume at "5 vs. 3" for two minutes.


QUESTIONPlayer A is pinned up against the side of the net by Player B. The puck is in possession by another player away from the net area. Player B is holding Player A, preventing Player A from escaping to an open ice area. Player A yells out "He's holding me" twice and the ref blows the whistle and proceeds to issue a 10-minute (Misconduct) against Player A. Is a Misconduct call the right call for Player A.

ANSWER: This question is very difficult to answer without seeing the play first hand. However, a player that holds or impedes the progress of an opponent should be penalized for Interference or Holding. Furthermore, any player who displays abusive or derogatory behavior toward an official should be penalized under Rule 601 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules


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Check out the USA Hockey mobile-friendly online rulebook application! Enter into your mobile device’s web browser to gain instant access to the USA Hockey Playing Rules (must have mobile or internet service).

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