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2017-18 Season: Week 26

By USA Hockey, 02/26/18, 6:00AM MST


QUESTION: I realize that it is the official’s responsibility if there are too many players on the ice at a face off, but what is the rule if the face off is in an end zone and the defending team only puts four skaters on the ice (no penalties involved) and then AFTER the drop of the puck the fifth skater enters the ice surface from the players’ bench? I can’t find the rule and I have asked my peers and gotten two different and opposite responses.

ANSWERRule 629(e) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

Play shall be stopped and the face-off conducted at the last play face-off location anytime a team starts play with fewer players than entitled to and the additional entering player is the first to play any puck coming from his defending zone, unless he has first made skate contact with his defending zone.”

Defensive player in his zone try’s to ice the puck and ends up shooting the puck out of play. Is this a delay of game?

ANSWER: There is no rule in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that mandates a minor penalty if a defending player accidentally shoots the puck out of play from their defending zone. A minor penalty should be assessed in all cases where any player deliberately shoots the puck out of play (regardless of location).

QUESTION: A player received a penalty which included a “game misconduct” and was to sit the “next scheduled game”.  The coach then arranged a game which was not previously scheduled in order for this player to be eligible to play in a tournament which was scheduled prior to the game where the penalty was incurred.  Everything I have read says “next scheduled game”.   So does is game which was arranged just so this player could play in the tournament allowed to act as the “game suspension” or should it have been the first game of the tournament – which technically was the “next scheduled game”?

ANSWER: Rule 404(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

A player or Team Official incurring a game misconduct penalty shall also be suspended for his team’s next game (the game already appearing on the schedule of that team at the time of the infraction), except that when such penalty is imposed under Rule 403(b) (Second Major in Game) there shall be a minimum two-game suspension."

A team may not schedule a “placebo” game in order to circumvent this suspension. Furthermore, any type of manipulation of the discipline process would likely be further penalized by the team’s USA Hockey Affiliate Disciplinary Body including additional suspensions to the player and/or coach.

Can a player appeal a suspension for a game misconduct penalty if film shows he was clearly away from the play and the infraction was committed by another player?

ANSWER: Unfortunately we cannot answer this question since it does not deal specifically with the USA Hockey Playing Rules and the USA Hockey Officiating Program and its member officials does not coordinate game suspensions.

We encourage you to contact your local disciplinary body (league, hockey association, USAH Affiliate, etc.) for more insight into your situation.

Is there a situation where the puck lands on the top of the goal (not on the back netting) and the ensuing face off is moved all the way down the ice to the opposite end zone face off spot?

ANSWER: If a team shoots the puck from behind the center red line and it crosses the attacking goal line and lands on top of the goal this would be an immediate whistle for icing. The face-off would be located in the defending end-zone of the offending team.