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Week 8

By USA Hockey, 10/23/17, 8:45AM MDT


QUESTION: Whats the latest a pee wee game can start?  Is there a time that is too late by rule?

ANSWER: USA Hockey does not have any formal rules or policies regarding game start times (other than those drafted for National Tournaments). Your USA Hockey Affiliate Body is the governing body of all USA Hockey sanctioned games in your local area, and they would have discretion over game times and game lengths. Contact information for your local USAH Affiliate can be found in the USAH Annual Guidebook which is available under the ABOUT tab at

QUESTION: A player shots puck out of there zone and it hits linesmen by the blue line and then goes all the way down ice where goalie misplays puck and goes in net does goal count?

ANSWER: Rule 617(c)3 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

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

(3) The puck was deflected into the goal directly off an official.”

This means if a puck deflects off an official and directly enters the goal without making contact with any player or object (with the exception of the goal posts/cross-bar) then the goal must be disallowed. Your description of “misplayed” is ambiguous so we cannot give an objective decision as to whether the goal was legal.

QUESTION: I am wondering if there is a rule that states how high the stick must come up in squirts to be classified as a slap shot?

ANSWER: Rule 621(d) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“The use of the “slap shot” in the Youth and Girls’ 10 & under age classifications and below is prohibited. When a player who, in the process of making a forehand or backhand shot or pass, raises the blade of the stick above his waist as part of the backswing, play shall be stopped immediately and a face-off is conducted at one of the end zone face-off spots of the offending team.”

QUESTION: What is the rule when a goalie comes out into butterfly position (on his knees), tries to stop the puck, and a player makes stick contact with the GK's mask?

ANSWER: High-Sticking is defined as contact with an opponent above the normal height of the shoulders. This would exclude a goalkeeper or any player who has fallen to his/her knees. However, any stick contact with an opponent’s head while they are laying on the ice could be penalized for Slashing.

QUESTION: If a player or coach has been given a game misconduct and they are serving the suspension in the next regularly scheduled game for the same team, are they restricted from going into the locker room?

trictly speaking the USA Hockey National Office does not address or govern coach and player discipline. This would be the responsibility of the local governing body (League, Association, Affiliate, etc.) since they have a better understanding of all circumstances surrounding the incident.

That being stated, USA Hockey does suggest a guideline of “30 minutes prior to game time” for coaching suspensions. While we want to make sure the coach’s contact with his team is limited during his “suspended” game, there are certain circumstances (especially at lower levels) that might mandate his/her presence in the locker room before a game including,

  • Assisting his son/daughter with getting dressed (tying his skates)
  • Assisting with monitoring the locker room before a game if no other “screened” adult is available.
  • Assisting the eligible coaches with supportive duties (filling water bottles, taping sticks, etc.).

The general concept of a coach’s suspension is to avoid any attempt at directing or “coaching” his/her team during the game. With directions and correspondence from the local governing body, the “limits” should be clear to the coach and there should be no attempt at subverting the disciplinary action.