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2022-23 ATO | WEEK 31

By USA Hockey Officiating Program, 03/31/23, 6:30AM MDT


QUESTIONA player was escorted off the ice with one minute left in the game, but he was only given a minor penalty for Roughing. I thought you only escorted a kid off the ice for a game misconduct. Can you escort them off the ice for a minor penalty if there is less than two minutes left in the game?

ANSWER: Occasionally, game officials or coaches will send penalized players directly to the dressing room late in a game if the player’s penalty time outlasts the time remaining in the game. Especially, if they feel the player will become a “target” to opponents after the game, or if they feel the player might continue his poor behavior after the game.


QUESTIONTeam A and Team B have non coincidental minor penalties and are playing 4 on 4. Team B has a delayed penalty and team A scores. What happens to the delayed penalty?

ANSWER: If while both teams are playing at even-strength, the non-offending team scores during a delayed (minor) penalty, the delayed minor penalty is recorded (on the scoresheet) but not served. Both minors currently being served are not affected. Play resumes 4 v. 4.


QUESTIONDuring the course of play, the goalkeeper loses a glove just before an imminent scoring chance, and the potential for injury is present. Two questions: a) The glove comes off on its own, because of goalie movement. Can the official use discretion to end play? Is it mandated? b) The glove comes off due to contact with an opposing player. Can the official use discretion to end play? Is it mandated? The result of play is a goal on a goalie without a glove.

ANSWER: Situation #1 under Rule 304 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states:

“What action should the referee take when the goalkeeper loses one of his gloves during play?

Keeping safety as the primary consideration, the referee should stop play whenever the goalkeeper loses a glove and is in a vulnerable position UNLESS there is an imminent scoring opportunity in which play should be allowed to continue until the imminent scoring opportunity has passed. Rule References 304(a & e).

If the Referee judges the goalkeeper has deliberately removed any equipment during play he should assess the offending goalkeeper a ‘Delay of Game’ minor penalty.”


QUESTION: I have safe sport and registered with USA hockey as an ice manager volunteer. Am I able to be on the bench with a coach to open doors.

ANSWERRule 201 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“Each team shall designate on the scoresheet a Head Coach prior to the start of the game. The Head Coach shall be in control of and responsible for the actions of all team personnel, including players.

A team may have up to four Team Officials on the players’ bench. Only players in uniform and properly rostered Team Officials may occupy the players’ bench."

We recommend reaching out to your Youth Hockey Association and District Registrar for more information regarding your membership and what needs to be done to be able to be on the bench.


QUESTIONIn a youth game a player is assessed the following penalties: a major for slashing, a minor for roughing and a minor for unsportsmanlike behavior, a total of nine minutes. The penalties were all called at the early part of a 12-minute period. How many players are placed in the penalty box?

ANSWER: If one player is assessed nine minutes in penalties (a major plus two minors) all at one time, the offending player is removed from the game due to the automatic game misconduct that is assessed with the major penalty. His/her substitute enters the penalty bench, nine minutes are added to the penalty clock, and the teams play 5 v. 4 for the next nine minutes (assuming no other penalties are assessed or goals are scored during the next nine minutes).


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