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Week 4

By USA Hockey, 09/25/17, 11:15AM MDT


QUESTION: During a game the net was dislodged (about 12"). Our goalie tried to get the attention of the refs while play continued. About 10 seconds later, with the net still off, the other team scored. I immediately pointed out the net being dislodged. Although they didn't notice the net was off until then, both officials acknowledged the net was off before the goal was scored, yet still allowed the goal. One ref said the net being off didn't affect play. The other said he couldn't wave off a goal after it's been signaled.

ANSWER: Play should be stopped as soon as the goal frame is dislodged from its normal position (Rule 610[e]) and the officials should disallow any goal if they are 100% certain the puck entered the goal after it was displaced.

QUESTION: A Team A player is just outside the Team B goal crease. The puck rebounds into the air off the Team B goalie and the Team A player directs the puck into the net with his chest. It did not merely bounce or deflect off his chest. He moved his body to change the direction of the puck toward the net.

ANSWER: Rule 617(c)2 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“A goal shall not be allowed if the following occurs:

(2) The puck has been thrown or deliberately directed into the goal by any means other than a stick, even if ubsequently deflecting off any player, including goalkeeper, prior to entering the goal.”

QUESTION: Is it ever okay for a coach to swear at a player?

ANSWER: We cannot answer this question at this forum due to the fact that it does not regard the USA Hockey Playing Rules. However, we recommend bringing this behavior to the attention of your Local Hockey Association or Local USAH Affiliate. These local governing and disciplinary bodies are in the best position to review this incident. Affiliate contact information can be found in the USA Hockey Annual Guide which is available for download under the ABOUT tab at

QUESTION: Team A is killing a penalty. Player A1 is in penalty box serving a 2 minute minor penalty. Player A2 takes down an opponent in front of net (ref raises arm to signal “delayed call”, Team B scores a goal, Player A2 cross checks a Team B player after whistle. The time remaining on Player A1's penalty is 0:02 after the goal.

I assume player A1 gets released? What penalty gets assessed to Player A2?

ANSWER: Since Team A is already shorthanded, the minor penalty being served would terminate after the Team B goal. Player A#2’s minor penalties would both be assessed and served in the normal manner.

QUESTION: My son is a Level 2 Referee and is continually getting into arguments with coaches and even other referees with regards to intentional off sides. My son will call an intentional off sides at all age levels he officiates. Coaches and even certain referees continue to tell him that intentional off sides is not applicable to the "10 & Under" level players. Is there an age limit when intentional off sides is not applicable?

ANSWER: Nowhere in the rules does it state or even imply that the “intentional off-sides” rule is only to be applied at certain levels.  Those officials who tend to enforce their “own personal views” of the rules (and coaches who support them) actually delay the learning process and development of the players plus tend to make things that much more difficult for those officials that properly enforce the rules.

The purpose of the rule is to encourage players to handle the puck and be aware of their surroundings with the primary goal being to create a legal play at the blue line.  Doing so will help them develop some puck handling and passing skills while also creating awareness and learning to keep their head up.  This applies at all levels of play (even the Squirts – where they are learning to play the game – might as well teach them to play the right way versus having to correct a behavior later on) and when an intentional off-sides occurs (meaning there was no effort to make a legal play at the blue line) and is properly called, the obligation then falls on the coach to teach the players the skills necessary and the decision making process to avoid a similar situation in the future.  Those coaches who are not willing to do that are simply taking a shortcut in skill development and may place too much emphasis on winning.  The officials that then facilitate these coaches by not making the proper call are then contributing to this environment in a negative way.