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Week 9

By USA Hockey, 10/29/17, 3:00PM MDT


QUESTION: An Attacking Player in his Attacking End Zone bats the puck in air with his hand toward the goal. After blocking the puck, the goalkeeper covers it for a stoppage of play. Where is the face-off located?

ANSWER: The face-off remains in the Attacking End Zone. The USA Hockey Playing Rules allow a player to bat the puck with a hand (unlike a high-stick) but they cannot bat it to a teammate. Since the puck was not played by a teammate, there was no violation of the rules.

The goalkeeper caused the stoppage of play, so the face-off is located in his end zone. 

QUESTION: May a professional photographer stand on a team bench during a game?

ANSWER: Rule 201(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

"Only players in uniform and properly rostered Team Officials may occupy the players’ bench."

Therefore, a professional photographer is not entitled to stand on a team bench during an entire game. However, they may be permitted to temporarily stand behind the bench to capture a few shots provided they do not interfere with the game.

QUESTION: Rule 408(b): 

"When either team has three players serving penalties at the same time under this rule and a substitute is on the ice to replace the third penalized player, no players may return to the ice upon expiration of their penalty except at a stoppage of play. 

However, if the penalized team is entitled to have more players on the ice as a result of expired penalties, the Penalty Timekeeper shall permit the player(s) to return in the order in which their penalty has expired."

 Please explain this further.


  1. Neither team may play at an on-ice strength lower than 5 v. 3.
  2. If a team is short-handed by two players (Player #1 and Player #2) and an additional player (Player #3) receives a minor or major penalty, Player #3 must immediately enter the penalty bench but his penalty does not begin until one of the other two “active” penalties terminate (otherwise there’s no incentive to avoid penalties if you’re team is playing 5 v. 3).
  3. Normally, once one of the “active” penalties expires the player would return to the ice. However, since there is a “delayed” penalty (Player #3) the team must continue at 5 v. 3, the delayed penalty begins, and the player whose penalty terminated must wait for the first stoppage to leave the penalty bench.
  4. Assuming play continues to a point when both of the original penalties (Player #1 and Player #2) terminate (before either leave the penalty bench), then the team is entitled to play 5 v. 4 (still short due to Player #3). At this point Player #1 may return to the ice and Player #2 will return at the next stoppage (or when Player #3’s penalty expires).

Basically, this rule boils down to common sense in regard to multiple penalties and on-ice strength of the team. The officials must make sure a team is not allowed to play with more players than they are entitled to, but make sure players are allowed to leave the penalty bench once penalty time expires and they are entitled to more players.

QUESTION: Our player was called for "face wiping" and given a major and game misconduct tonight. I can't find any such rule. I'm aware of an NHL rule prohibiting a face wash but not for youth hockey. Is there such a rule?

ANSWERRule 622(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“A major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to a player who uses his hand to rub, grab or hold the facemask of an opponent.”

QUESTION: If a player receives a suspension in his AAA team for fighting and two misconducts in the same games does the suspensions apply to his high school team also?  And if he has two misconducts in his high school team and one for his AAA team, does this add together for a suspension?  Which team would the suspension apply?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, we cannot answer this question at this forum due to the fact that the USA Hockey National Office does not impose or govern player/coach suspensions or discipline of any kind. For further information we encourage you to contact your local disciplinary body (League, Association, Affiliate, etc.) through your team.