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2022-23 ATO | WEEK 18

By USA Hockey Officiating Program, 12/30/22, 6:45AM MST


QUESTION: A team is down a goal late in the game, and the goalkeeper leaves the ice for an extra attacker. Extra attacker leaves bench when goalie is at top of face off circle in defending zone. Extra player is not at the play until goalie gets to the bench. Ref calls too many men penalty. Coaches say it is not a penalty because of Rule 205(c) and Casebook situation 6 and 7. Can refs rely on section 205(b) and Casebook situation 2 to call the too many men penalty?

ANSWER: Based on your description, this would be a Premature Substitution infraction (Rule 205.c) with no penalty.


QUESTIONIf a bench door opens inadvertently during play, play is stopped. Is there a delay of game penalty assessed to the team whose door opened?”

ANSWER: There is no penalty assessed if the game stops due to a door accidentally opening.


QUESTIONLast weekend's game of 10U hockey, they were using small nets that mites use and stopping the play every two minutes. Week 1 was a regular squirt game with on the fly line changes with the regular size goals. Is stopping play every two minutes and using smaller nets the proper way my 10U should be playing the game, or should they be changing on the fly and using regulation size nets and play is stopped by either a goal or a penalty?

ANSWERUnfortunately, this question falls outside the scope of this USA Hockey Playing Rules question forum. With that said, we encourage you to bring this question to your USA Hockey American Development Model (ADM) Regional Manager. Contact information can be found at


QUESTIONCan a ref add a misconduct to a Charge after giving a minor? Is there a list of penalties you can add a misconduct to?

ANSWERRule 607.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“A minor plus a misconduct or a major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed for charging an opponent.”

Charging, Boarding, Checking-from-behind and Head Contact all have mandatory minor plus misconduct penalties.


QUESTIONWould you please let me know where and what I need to purchase for the referee uniform for my son?

ANSWER: As Rule 501.c in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“All On-Ice Officials shall wear black trousers and an official sweater with the current USA Hockey officiating crest on the left chest of the sweater during all games. Any other crest that is worn must be located on either arm of the sweater. The wearing of nameplates shall be regulated by each League. Each official is required to wear a black hockey helmet, with chin strap properly fastened, and a half-shield visor properly attached to their helmets.”

There are few options for brand new officials to purchase their uniform. Pure Hockey and the Officials Wearhouse are long-time partners of USA Hockey and offer good prices on both Recreational Referee Sweaters and Professional Referee Sweaters, and lots of options for pants. For most USA Hockey sanctioned games, a traditional Referee/Linesman Sweater (with no arm-bands) will work perfectly. Strictly speaking, Force Sports is another partner of USA Hockey and the official referee uniform supplier of USA Hockey. However, if you find better options with another brand of sweater that is acceptable.

Generally, we advise all beginner officials to keep their initial investment cheap. While the options for sweaters are somewhat limited, there are lots of options for the rest of the uniform and equipment. Since officials are only required to wear a black hockey helmet (does not need to be HECC approved) you can check lots of online stores, local pro-shops and even second-hand equipment stores (provided the helmet is not overly scratched) for a good deal. This applies to half-shield visors too.

Also, a pair of plain black wind-pants with no logos, decals or stripes will work during your first 1 – 3 seasons. They should not be too loose and baggy, but they should offer room to move freely.

Lastly, you have the greatest flexibility with equipment under the uniform. You can consider many options when selecting shin-guards, elbow-pads and athletic cup. While hip-girdles are strongly recommended for higher-level games, they are not typically required for lower-level game with slower speeds and no body-checking. Basically, think creatively taking safety into consideration and you will find affordable options for all equipment.

With that said, we wish you luck as you start your officiating career. As you continue to officiate, you will find opportunities to invest more in your equipment and uniform and adopt a truly professional look.


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.

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).

The USA Hockey Playing Rules Casebook and other educational material can be found under the OFFICIALS tab at