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2022-23 ATO | WEEK 16

By USA Hockey Officiating Program, 12/16/22, 1:15AM MST


QUESTIONTeam A has a power-play. During play the officials fail to notice Team B has five players on the ice. Play resumes for one minute until official notices and calls Too-Many-Players and gives a penalty. Coach argues it is the officials mistake and they should not be penalized. What is protocol for this?

ANSWER: Since the on-ice officials are responsible for confirming the correct number of players are on the ice prior to each face-off, there should be no penalty in your situation if the officials are certain they dropped the puck with too many players on the ice. If the player was added after the correct face-off, then an Illegal Substitution penalty should be assessed


QUESTIONTeam A is shorthanded. Team B should be at full-strength, but because of a misunderstanding with the refs, line up with only four players (empty box; nothing on the board). Team A scores a goal 20 seconds later during a delayed penalty on Team B. Referees disallow goal and put 20 seconds back on the clock. Goal or no goal? What about the delayed penalty?

ANSWER: In this situation, the goal should be allowed since Team A did nothing wrong. Team B was short one player due to an “Officials’ Error”, but that would not disallow the goal. Since Team A scored during the delayed penalty to Team B, the Team B penalty would be recorded but not served (assuming it was a minor penalty).


QUESTIONTeam is changing and has seven players on the ice for several seconds. No one plays the puck or impacts play, which is still outside their zone. Penalty?

ANSWER: This question is difficult to answer without seeing the play firsthand, but seven players on the ice for several seconds would generally constitute “Too Many Players”. It’s difficult to imagine how seven players on the ice for several seconds would not impact the play.


QUESTIONIn 10U, is using goal anchor-spikes a playing rule or league/rink preference?

ANSWER: USA Hockey does not have any official policy regarding the use of goal-post pins. The decision of what playing levels should use them is left to the Local Associations, Team Officials, and Game Officials to make with the best interests of fair play and player safety in mind. We recommend contacting your local Youth Association to receive more information about their policies.


QUESTIONA defending player in his defending zone slides his stick across the ice to block a pass coming out of the corner up to the blue line for an attacking defenseman. Does this warrant a penalty shot under 637 (a) and would the shot be taken by the passer because they were the last to have possession and control or by the defenseman who lost an opportunity due to the penalty?

ANSWERRule 637.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player on the ice who shoots or throws any portion of their stick or any other object in the direction of the puck or to a teammate.

(Note) When a player discards the broken portion of a stick by tossing it to the side of the rink (and not over the boards) in such a way as will not interfere with play or an opposing player, no penalty shall be assessed.

However, a penalty shot/optional minor penalty shall be awarded to the non-offending team if a stick or any other object is shot or thrown at the puck in the offending team’s defending zone. The Referee shall allow play to be completed and provided no goal is scored, the penalty shot/optional minor is awarded to the player who was in possession or last in possession of the puck. If the player fouled is not readily identified, the Captain of the non-offending team shall select the player to take the penalty shot from those players who were on the ice at the time the infraction occurred."


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