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Week 17

By USA Hockey, 12/26/17, 7:30AM MST


QUESTION: Can you please give me the official rule on mouth guards?  I understand that they are required for Pee Wee's on up.  Do they have to be colored?  Do they have to be secured to the face mask? Also, my son's team will be playing in the State playoffs in March. Are there any rules on mouth guards for State playoffs that you are aware of?

ANSWER: Mouthpieces are required at the 12 & Under level and up. Furthermore, they must be non-clear and they do not have to be attached to the facemask. For further information about District or State rules, we recommend contacting your USA Hockey Affiliate using the contact information in the USA Hockey Annual Guide.

QUESTION: I am a long time official and someone in my local area is looking to start a Union for the offiicals in the area. My question is, is that something USA Hockey allows?

ANSWER: Since all officials (whether USAH registered or not) are Independent Contractors they may work any games they choose and for any type of Assignor, Local Officials Association, or Union they choose. While USAH does not encourage or discourage the establishment of Local Officiating Associations or Unions, we do encourage each type of group to research local labor laws as they formulate their policies, bylaws, and benefits.

If this group is attempting to start a Local Officials Association, the USA Hockey Local Officials Association Guide Book is available here,

This manual is not an official USAH policy manual with regard to how to start a local association (some things work in some areas of the country and some things don’t). It is simply a document that provides guidelines and suggestions on how to design a functional local association based on the experience and history of long established associations.

QUESTION: Our opponent had committed two penalties, thus we were on a 5 on 3. The opponent committed a 3rd penalty, but it was a delayed minor penalty as they hadn’t touched up the puck. Our team didn’t get an extra attacker on, but did score while the delayed penalty was signaled. At the time of the score the original penalty had 0:02 seconds left. The 2nd penalty had 0:49 seconds left. How is this handled?

ANSWER: Rule 409(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“If the Referee signals an additional minor penalty(s) against a team that is already shorthanded (below the numerical strength of its opponent on the ice at the time of the goal) because of one or more minor or bench minor penalties, and a goal is scored by the non-offending team, the goal shall be allowed. The delayed penalty(s) shall be assessed and the first non-coincidental minor penalty already being served shall terminate automatically under Rule 402(c) (Minor Penalties).”

QUESTION: If a team has an injured player who can not play, can he be on the bench? If he is allowed, must he be in full uniform (not just helmet and jersey) and will he count against the team total of players?

ANSWER: The definition of Team Official in the USA Hockey Rule Book Glossary states,

A player or goalkeeper on the roster who is unable to play, other than through suspension, may be on the players’ bench without being considered a Team Official if he is wearing the team jersey and all required head and face protective equipment.

QUESTION: The kid starting skating with the puck. About halfway to the goal he lost possession, he actually skated beyond the puck closer to the goal. He stopped and the puck Caught up to him and he grabbed it and continued.  The puck remained in forward motion the whole time and did not stop. Is that legal?

ANSWER: As long as the puck stays in forward motion toward the opponent’s goal line during the penalty shot attempt it does not matter if the player temporarily loses control of the puck or completely whiffs on the shot (no contact made with the puck during a shot attempt).