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Week 5

By USA Hockey, 10/02/17, 10:15AM MDT


QUESTION: How much of the puck needs to cross the blue line (into the neutral zone) to force a team out of the attack zone? Is it all of the puck or any part of it?

ANSWER: The blue line is always considered a part of the zone the puck is located in. Therefore, the puck must completely cross the entire blue line (into the neutral zone) to be considered “out of the attacking zone”.

QUESTION: Can a score sheet be changed? Specifically, a player was given credit for playing in a game, but it is unclear if they were in attendance.

ANSWER: It is not the responsibility of the game officials to determine "player eligibility" before or during a game. If the question comes up whether a player is eligible to participate, the game should continue as normal and the game officials should follow-up with a Game Report to their Local Supervisor who will pass it to the hockey league or association to investigate.

Question regarding the proper call on a shorthanded team icing the puck.  If an official incorrectly blows the play dead on the icing, does the faceoff return to  center ice or, as explained to me, the ensuing faceoff takes place in the defensive zone of the team with the man advantage (essentially, where the play was whistled dead)?

If the faceoff takes place in in the defensive zone of the team with the man advantage, why would the team with the man advantage be penalized for an official error?  A neutral zone faceoff eliminates a zone advantage for an official error and the potential for a scoring opportunity created because of the error.

ANSWER: Rule 624(c) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

If the Officials shall have erred in calling an “icing the puck” infraction (regardless of whether either team is shorthanded) a last play face-off (end zone face-off spot nearest to the location of the puck when play was stopped) shall occur.”

While one coach might believe he is being penalized with a defensive zone face-off, the other coach would certainly be penalized by having the puck brought back to center ice when his team didn’t do anything wrong. They had every right to shoot the puck completely down the ice to the other end of the rink.

QUESTION: Is there a penalty for playing a zone type defense?

ANSWER: There is no rule in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that prevents any type of defense.

QUESTION: We were whistled for premature substitution for our goaltender while trailing by 1 goal with under a minute left in the game.  The referee’s interpretation for us was that the goaltender must be physically off the ice prior to the extra skater setting foot on the ice – essentially that the “at the bench” treatment of normal on-the-fly changes does not apply to goalies.  I read the rule and it seems to me that the wording is the same in cases of goaltenders coming to the bench as any other player.  Can you please clarify?

ANSWER: Rule 205(b) in the USA Hockey Rulebook states,

A goalkeeper may be changed for another player (who shall not have goalkeeper privileges) at any time provided the goalkeeper is at the bench and out of play prior to the substitute entering the ice. If the substitution is made prematurely, there shall be no time penalty assessed. However, the resulting face-off will take place at the center face-off spot unless play was stopped with the play in the offending team’s defending half of the ice, in which case the face-off will take place where play was stopped, unless otherwise specified in the rules.”

The goalkeeper needs to be at the bench and not involved with the play to be substituted for.