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2018-19 ATO Season: Week 17

By USA Hockey, 12/28/18, 6:15AM MST


QUESTION: I play goal in a local men's league and I got into a discussion with some folks about playing the puck with the hands. While I thought I had made sense of things, now I'm not sure.

If I'm reading correctly, according to Rule 618(b), a player or a goalkeeper is allowed to pass the puck forward (i.e. to bat it with their hand or push it along the ice) provided the pass is completed in the defensive zone.

However, 618(c) states that if the goalkeeper throws the puck towards the opponent's net and it is picked up by a teammate, play is stopped and a face-off is conducted at the nearest end-zone spot.

Is the difference between 618(b) and 618(c) the difference between batting/pushing vs. throwing or is it the difference between directing the puck towards the opponent's net vs. just in a general forward direction (i.e. if you played it forward but to one side.)

ANSWER: The difference between the two rules is how the puck is played by the player or goalkeeper.
Strictly speaking, players may not close their hand on a puck and direct it. They may bat the puck, or briefly catch the puck and immediately drop it to the ice. If this is done anywhere beyond the defending end zone and a teammate is the first player to play the puck afterwards, a hand pass is called.
Similarly, a goalkeeper may bat the puck in any direction. They may not close their hand on the puck and throw it forward (they must drop it off to the side of the goal).

QUESTION: If a goalie has a skate tight to the post and uses a catcher or stick to freeze the puck between the post and skate blade, is it a delay of game? The casebook gives a scenario of a puck on the netting but not on the post. What would be the difference of freezing it in the crease?

ANSWER: A goalkeeper may freeze the puck without a penalty as long as he stays within his privileged area and all actions are "in the act of playing goal" (or stopping an immediate scoring opportunity). Therefore, a puck that is located near the goal post may be covered with a stick or glove. The officials will stop play when they judge he/she has control of the puck.

QUESTION: When controlling a line change which arm should the official raise to signal to the visiting team that their time is up? I have always been told that it is the non-whistle hand but I can’t find any manual to support this procedure.

ANSWER: The official shall “hold” the visiting team from changing players by holding his/her non-whistle hand in the air.

QUESTION: My son was given a penalty for embellishment. I know my main responsibility is to make sure he is playing the game the right way. I just wanted to know mostly for my own information if "embellishment" penalties exist.

ANSWER: As for “embellishment”, there are no diving or embellishment rules in the USA Hockey Rulebook. However, an official can certainly address an “embellished” fall-down with the player’s coach.

QUESTION: A forward's stick knocks goalie's catching glove off as he goes around the net.  Looks inadvertent, but goalie is without glove.  Should play be stopped?

ANSWER: Situation #1 under Rule 304 of the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

"What action should the referee take when the goalkeeper loses one of his gloves during play?

Keeping safety as the primary consideration, the referee should stop play whenever the goalkeeper loses a glove and is in a vulnerable position UNLESS there is an imminent scoring opportunity in which play should be allowed to continue until the imminent scoring opportunity has passed. Rule References 304(a & e).

If the Referee judges the goalkeeper has deliberately removed any equipment during play he should assess the offending goalkeeper a ‘Delay of Game’ minor penalty."