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2022-23 ATO | WEEK 19

By USA Hockey Officiating Program, 01/06/23, 6:00AM MST


QUESTIONThe penalty options for Unnecessary Roughness (Rule 640) are Minor, Double Minor, Major, or Major & Game Misconduct. However in reading all the wording of this rule and all the Casebook situations of Rule 640 I don't see a clarification of when one should issue a Double Minor vs. just a Single Minor under this rule. Could you give a situation example or a clarification of when the Double Minor penalty option would apply over giving out just a Single Minor under this rule?

ANSWERThe spirit and intent of USAH Playing Rule 640.a is to manage altercations after the whistle. When two players engage in an altercation, the officials have some latitude with what penalties to assess that either hold both players equally accountable (coincidental minors or majors) or identifies one player as an “aggressor” and penalizes him more harshly.

Therefore, if the officials determine that one player deserves an additional minor penalty due to his behavior during an altercation, they can assess that player a double-minor penalty while assessing a minor to the opponent (creating a power-play situation for the opponent’s team).


QUESTIONWhat is the minimum number of players needed for an official game? Is the goalie included in the minimum number?

ANSWERRule 201.a in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states:

“A team must start a game with a minimum of six players. Any time that a team has been reduced to less than four players, the game shall be declared a forfeit.

A maximum of 20 players, in which not more than 18 are skaters, shall be permitted to play in the game.”


QUESTIONMy son was officiating a game, and there was a play along the boards in front of a team bench. He got caught in the traffic, and he jumped up on the dasher to avoid contact and get out of the way. What is the correct procedure when that happens?

ANSWER: Officials should never jump on top of the boards in front of the team benches. This places the official in a dangerous position where he cannot move away from players and runs the risk of being knocked into the team bench. While there will always be moments where officials get caught in the play, as an official develops his or her skills at reading the play and anticipation they will be able to determine where they need to move to avoid players.


QUESTION: Scrum around the net, goalie loses his/her stick and covers the puck. After the whistle, the attacking player deliberately stomps on the goalie stick with his/her skate and breaks it. What's the rule? What's the maximum penalty?

ANSWER: This should be penalized with a minor penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct for taunting and inciting an opponent, and creating a disturbance during the game (Rule 601.a).


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