Age Restriction Notice for Officials

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In order to comply with Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 149, Sections 54 – 105, all officials must reach the age of 14 prior to being allowed to officiate USA Hockey games within the Massachusetts District.  In addition, all officials age 14 to 17 must submit the proper documentation to the league(s) they work for prior to being assigned any games. M.G.L. Chapter 149 also restricts officials age 14 to 17 on the number of hours they can work in a day and the times of day they are allowed to officiate.

[mass.gov]

Posted in Announcements

3 Rules You Thought You Knew – Issue 12

Goals And Assists 

A player is skating toward the opposing net, takes a shot and falls down sliding toward the net. His momentum carries him in to the goal keeper, knocking the puck loose and in to the net. The goal keeper did not have possession long enough for the play to be blown dead. Is this a good goal?

No – Rule 617(c)2

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

(2)The puck has been thrown or deliberately directed into the goal by any means other than a stick, even if subsequently deflecting off any player, including goalkeeper, prior to entering the goal.”

The general rule is a puck must be propelled into the goal by a stick. Which means a player may not knock the puck into the goal by making contact with the goalkeeper after he/she makes a save.

Basic Manual

In a squirt game the puck is next to the goalie’s leg pad and the other team is trying to hit it in but instead of hitting the puck they are hitting the goalie. Do you blow the whistle even though the puck is not covered?

The officials should stop play if they determine that the goalkeeper has control of the puck (or has covered the puck) while the attacking team is applying direct offensive pressure. If the puck is loose, play should be allowed to continue.

However,attacking players may not slash or make any type of illegal stick-contact with the goalkeeper just because they are “trying to play the puck”. Players are expected to control their sticks at all times, and any type of dangerous,reckless, or illegal stick contact with goalkeepers should be penalized.

Penalties

A player (Youth, Girls’ or High School) is assessed a minor plus a misconduct penalty. Does this infraction count as one or two penalties toward the cumulative penalty rule?

Two. Rule Reference 401(b). Even though there has been only one infraction of the rules, there are two penalties assessed for this infraction that both count towards the cumulative penalty rule.

Posted in Announcements

3 Rules You Thought You Knew – Issue 11

** REMINDER RETURNING OFFICIALS **

You need to have the new Crest on your sweater! If it’s not blue, no games for you!

BOARDING
What degree of force is necessary in order to be considered to be thrown dangerously into the boards?

For USA Hockey youth games, the onus is on the player delivering the check to do so in a manner that does not place the opponent in danger. Rule Reference 603(Note).
The purpose of a body check is to separate the opponent from the puck. Anytime a player delivers a check for the purpose of intimidating or punishing the opponent, and therefore causes the opponent to be driven excessively into the boards (uses the boards to punish the opponent), a boarding penalty must be assessed.

The degree of force with the boards is certainly subject to discretion and a more practical question may be “was the check necessary and/or what was the vulnerability of the player being checked?” For example, a boarding penalty may be assessed when a player was not necessarily hit that hard,but was in a vulnerable position when unnecessarily hit with a degree of force that caused them to be thrown into the boards excessively.

In contrast, a penalty may not be warranted when a player is hit much harder, but his preparedness for the hit causes him to go only mildly into the boards.

USA Hockey is not eliminating a good, hard and clean check. However, players must be aware of the situation when delivering a check and then held accountable for taking “liberties” and therefore endangering an opponent.

BOARDING
A player is skating behind an opponent as they head towards the end boards. At the bottom of end zone face-off circle, the trailing player trips the opponent and causes him to lose control and crash into the end boards. May a boarding penalty be called in this instance?

Yes. Rule Reference 603(a).

The boarding rule covers all potential illegal actions that causes an opponent to dangerously contact the boards. Even though a tripping penalty may also be appropriate, the boarding call is preferred to draw attention to the more aggressive infraction.

ROUGHING

What is the USA Hockey interpretation of illegal body checking to a player who is no longer in possession and control of the puck?

Any avoidable check delivered to a player who is no longer in possession and control of the puck. Rule Reference 640(b).

A player is considered to still be in possession of the puck after he releases it up until the point the puck is next played by another player. An avoidable check delivered to a player after he has released the puck must be penalized under this rule.

An avoidable check is when the player delivering the check has an opportunity to avoid contact once it is realized the opponent no longer has possession and control of the puck.
The concept of “finishing the check” is one that is meant to intimidate or punish the opponent and has no place in youth hockey. Provided this check is avoidable, it must be penalized in every instance.

**NOTE** Roughing is NOT a substitute for a Boarding call, please make the proper call!

Posted in Announcements

3 Rules You Thought You Knew – Issue 10

** REMINDER RETURNING OFFICIALS **

Returning officials have 5 days to complete their requirements for the 18/19 season AND have their new crest on their sweater.

Off-Side

An attacking or defending player in an end zone shoots the puck into the Neutral Zone. The puck hits an Official in the Neutral Zone and deflects off the Official back into the end zone while an attacking player is still in the Attacking Zone. Where is the ensuing face-off?

At the point of deflection. Rule Reference 630(b).

Any deflection, whether off a teammate, an opponent, an Official, or the boards or glass creating an off-side situation at the blue line, must be treated as such. Officials must always strive to position themselves in such a manner that would allow the puck to leave the zone before striking them, thereby creating the off-side situation.

Sticks

During the course of play, a goaltender loses his stick. His defensemen picks up the goaltenders stick while in possession of his own stick; in the process of returning the stick to the goaltender, the defensemen plays the puck, is this a legal play?

No, Rule Reference 301(e)

A minor penalty for an equipment violation shall be assessed to a player or goalkeeper who participates in the play while he is in possession of more than one stick, except that no penalty shall be assessed to a player who is accidentally struck by the puck while he is carrying a replacement stick to a teammate.

Composition of Teams

During the course of the game the referee is notified that Players or Team Officials that have received a previous suspension are participating in the game. These players did not sit out or fulfill their obligated suspension time. Should the referee penalize the offending team?

No. Rule Reference 201(c).

The referee may not be aware of the time period that has taken place between games and therefore cannot enforce suspensions to Players or Team Officials. The referee is required to report the incident to the proper authorities for further review.

Posted in Rules

3 Rules You Thought You Knew – Issue 9

** REMINDER RETURNING OFFICIALS **

Returning officials need complete their requirements for the 18/19 season AND have their new crest on their sweater by December 1st.

Standard of Play

The attacking team is in possession of the puck in the Attacking Zone and the puck is passed back to the blue line. The puck stops on the blue line, then is shot back again. Has an off-sides infraction occurred?

No. Rule Reference 630(a).

The puck would have had to completely cross the blue line before being shot back into the Attacking Zone for an off-side to occur.

Throwing the Stick

 A defending player throws his stick along the ice at an attacking player in possession and control of the puck. The attacking player is in his Attacking Zone when the stick is thrown. The stick does not hit the puck or the player, but the player loses possession of the puck. Is a penalty shot to be awarded?

Yes. The offended team has a penalty shot/optional minor penalty option. Rule Reference 637(a).

When a defending player throws his stick in the direction of the puck that is in his Defending Zone, a penalty shot must be awarded. In this situation the Referee cannot be expected to determine whether the stick caused the attacking player to lose his concentration or if he lost possession by his own actions.

Abuse of Officials

A player on the ice makes physical contact with an Official following a decision made by that Official. What penalty or penalties shall be assessed?

A misconduct, game misconduct or match penalty, depending on the severity of the offense. Rule References 601(d.1, e.4 and f.1). The officials must be able to distinguish between the severity of the contact and the intent of the player in order to assess the appropriate penalty. Simply touching an official does not constitute a physical assault calling for a match penalty.

Posted in Rules

3 Rules You Thought You Knew – Issue 8

To those in uniform serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honor you today and every day.

Hooking
What would be examples of an infraction warranting a major penalty for hooking?

Rule Reference 623(a).

1) A player is hooked around the waist, and the offending player is able to steer the opponent violently into the boards or goal frame.

2) A player is hooked between the legs and the offending player uses the blade of the stick to punish the opponent (AKA cup check). This could also be penalized under Spearing if the toe of the blade is used.

401 – Penalties
Any player who receives five penalties in the same game shall be assessed a game misconduct penalty. [Game Misconduct shall be recorded on the game sheet in addition to the players other penalties.]
(note: know any league specific rules!)

Any Head Coach whose team receives 15 or more penalties during one game shall be suspended for the next scheduled game of that team. See 401 – Situation 4, page 95. [15 or more penalties shall be noted on the game sheet]
In both situations, a Game Report is required.

Broken Stick
What does the word “participate” mean in reference to a player who participates in play with a broken stick?

“Participate” shall mean playing or attempting to play the puck, body-checking or attempting to body-check an opponent, or continuing any action that directly affects the play. Rule Reference 605(a).

A player may carry a broken stick to his players’ bench only if he is in the immediate vicinity of the bench, is completely out of the play and does so immediately upon breaking the stick.

18 Days!
You have 18 days left to complete your requirements for the 18/19 season, don’t wait!

Your turn
Have a question that you’d like to see answered here? Knowledge that you’d like to share? Just hit reply, we’d love to hear from you. 

#WeHaveYourBack
Have you as an official been placed in a situation that you feel was not resolved to your satisfaction? We can help you. We are here to support you. Abuse by a player or coach is never acceptable, we have your back. Click reply, and we’ll do what we can to help.

If you would like to promote your business to other officials, 
click reply to this email with the details.

Posted in Rules

Meet the NHL Officials

On February 22-24, 2019 USA Hockey will celebrate the 12th Anniversary of Hockey Weekend Across America. This weekend is a special time when all of our membership (players, parents, coaches and officials) take time to celebrate everything great about ice hockey in America.

As in the past, the USA Hockey Officiating Program will be collaborating with the National Hockey League and National Hockey League Officials Association to offer the “Meet the NHL Officials” program. This unique program will give a handful of young grassroots officials the opportunity to attend an NHL game and meet the game officials in their dressing room.

Do you know an official you would like to nominate for this program? For more information regarding this program and instructions to nominate an official in your area, please click the link below, www.usahockey.com/hockeyweekend.

Posted in Announcements Tagged with:

3 Rules You Thought You Knew – Issue 7

26 Days

Friendly reminder that you need to have the 18/19 Crest on your sweater in 26 days. Complete your requirements now! Avoid having to turn back games, don’t wait!

3 Rules You Thought You Knew – Issue 7

Injured Players

In a Youth or Girls’ game a player is hit by the puck in the neck area and falls to the ice. When should the play be stopped?

Play should always be stopped the instant any of the On-Ice Officials believes the injury to be serious or when the injured player’s team gains possession of the puck in a non-scoring position. Rule Reference 206(a).

Although the Referee will generally stop play for an injured player, any on-ice official should stop play immediately at the younger age levels anytime they deem the injury may be serious. If unsure as to the seriousness of the injury, officials should always err on the side of caution.
If the injury is not deemed to be serious, play should continue until that player’s team gains possession and control of the puck in a non-scoring situation.

Tripping

The goalkeeper skates out of his goal crease to meet an attacking player on a breakaway and deliberately trips the player as he tries to go around the goalkeeper. What penalty should be assessed?

A minor penalty. Rule Reference 639(Note & a).
This situation does not call for a penalty shot because the player has not been fouled from behind.

What is the minimum penalty for Slew Footing?

A minor Penalty, Rule Reference 639 Note 4

Note 4) Slew Footing is the act of a player using his leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet from under him. This is done by pushing an opponent’s upper body backward with an arm or elbow and at the same time using a forward motion of his leg causing the opponent to fall to the ice.

(a) A minor or major penalty shall be assessed under this rule for any of the actions described above.
(Note) However, no penalty shall be assessed under this rule if, in the opinion of the Referee, the player was clearly hook-checking or poke-checking the puck for the purpose of gaining possession.
(b) A major penalty plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent as a result of tripping, clipping, leg checking or slew footing.

NOTE Case Book 639 Situation 4 – Injury Potential – in most instances a Slew Foot should be called as at least a Major Penalty because it is an injury potential penalty.

Your turn

Have a question that you’d like to see answered here? Knowledge that you’d like to share? Just hit reply, we’d love to hear from you.

#WeHaveYourBack

Have you as an official been placed in a situation that you feel was not resolved to your satisfaction? We can help you. We are here to support you. Abuse by a player or coach is never acceptable, we have your back. Click reply, and we’ll do what we can to help.

If you would like to promote your business to other officials,
email with the details.

Posted in Announcements, Rules

Rule Review – Issue 6

Goalkeeper

What’s the call if a goaltender comes to the bench during a stoppage of play

Rule 205(e)

During a stoppage of play a goalkeeper may not go to his players’ bench without the permission of the Referee (except during time-outs) unless he is substituted for by another player or goalkeeper. For a violation of this rule a bench minor penalty for illegal substitution shall be assessed.

Hand Pass

Puck is flipped in the air near goal crease. Attacking player and defenseman both reach up to try and bat puck with hand (jump ball). Attacking player bats puck into defenseman and then puck goes into goal. Puck would not have gone in without contact by defenseman. Goal or no goal?

618(b)
No goal can be scored as a result of the puck being propelled by the hand of an attacking player regardless if the puck enters the goal directly from the hand or deflects off of any player prior to entering the goal.

Goalkeeper Equipment

Can a goalkeeper playing in the Youth or Girls’ age classifications wear a “cats-eye” facemask?

Yes, as long as it is HECC approved. Rule References 303(b) and 304 (c & d).
There are some HECC approved goalkeeper facemasks that do have the look of a “cat’s-eye” shape. In these cases, the openings of the facemask are small enough to meet ASTM standards and do receive HECC approval. The shape of the opening is not important, it is the size of the opening that will determine whether certification is gained.

Why? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8w6eR0o7vw

HECC Certification

The Non-Certified Cat-Eye on the RIGHT, will NOT have the HECC Sticker on it

Your turn

Today’s questions came from you! Have a question that you’d like to see answered here? Knowledge that you’d like to share? Just hit reply, we’d love to hear from you.

#WeHaveYourBack

Have you as an official been placed in a situation that you feel was not resolved to your satisfaction? We can help you. We are here to support you. Abuse by a player or coach is never acceptable, we have your back. Click reply, and we’ll do what we can to help.

Posted in Rules

Rule Review – Issue 5

Puck Must Be Kept In Motion

A player is playing the puck along the boards with his skates or stick, but not advancing the puck in an attempt to obtain a stoppage of play. What should the Referee do if this action continues?

Initially the Referee should verbally alert the player to advance the puck, provided he is not being checked. If, after approximately three seconds expire, no attempt has been made to advance the puck, the Referee shall stop play and assess a minor penalty for delaying the game. Rule References 632(b) and 610(a).

It is most important for the Referee to verbally instruct the player to move the puck.

Throwing The Stick

With the goalkeeper off the ice, an opposing player gains possession of the puck on a breakaway in the Neutral Zone, and the puck is knocked off his stick by a stick thrown by a trailing defending player. The attacking player himself is not interfered with, and would easily be able to regain possession of the loose puck, continue on his breakaway and (in the Referee’s opinion) score a goal. Should the Referee stop play immediately and award the goal?

Yes. Rule Reference 637(b).

In this situation the offended player is not required to be in his Attacking Zone for an awarded goal to apply when a stick or other object is thrown or shot. Note also that if the Referee does not feel that the player would have had a clear shot on goal had the thrown stick not occurred, then the proper call is a minor penalty since the infraction did not occur in the offending player’s Defending Zone.

Sticks

A player uses a hollow shafted stick without the insertion plug on the top. Shall the Referee allow a player to play with such a stick?

No, the stick shall be replaced immediately. Rule Reference 301(a).

The player must have the plug inserted or have a sufficient amount of tape covering the exposed end of the shaft to prevent injury.

Your turn

Have a question that you’d like to see answered here? Knowledge that you’d like to share? Just hit reply, we’d love to hear from you.

#WeHaveYourBack

Have you as an official been placed in a situation that you feel was not resolved to your satisfaction? We can help you. We are here to support you. Abuse by a player or coach is never acceptable, we have your back. Click reply, and we’ll do what we can to help.

If you would like to promote your business to other officials, click reply to this email with the details.

Posted in Rules

Rule Review – Issue 4

Broken Stick

The goalkeeper breaks his stick. A player of the same team obtains a goalkeeper’s stick at the players’ bench and, in the act of taking the stick to the goalkeeper, he slides it along the ice to the goalkeeper. Is this action considered to be legal?

Yes. Rule References 605(b), 625(a.7) and 637(a). No penalty would be imposed unless the stick was thrown in the direction of the puck (Rule 637) or does so for the purpose of distracting an opponent (Rule 625).

High Stick / Faceoff Location

A player high sticks the puck which deflects to an opponent. The opponent makes no attempt to play the puck, hoping to get a face-off in the offending team’s Defending Zone when the puck is first played by a member of the offending team. What should the Referee do?

The Referee should stop play and the ensuing face-off shall take place at an end face-off spot in the Defending Zone of the offending team. Rule Reference 621(c). The non- offending team has no obligation to play the puck in this instance, because of the high stick infraction committed by the opposing team.

Interference

The puck is legally in the crease. It is loose. It is sitting next to the goalie’s leg pad, with the leg horizontal to the ice. An attacking player pushes the puck in the net, along with the goalie’s leg. Goal or no goal?

An attacking player may not physically interfere with a goalkeeper in his/her crease. While a puck that is located in the crease is “in play”, an attacking player may not push or otherwise force the puck into the goal by making contact with the goalkeeper.

Your turn

Have a question that you’d like to see answered here? Knowledge that you’d like to share? Just hit reply, we’d love to hear from you.

#WeHaveYourBack

Have you as an official been placed in a situation that you feel was not resolved to your satisfaction? We can help you. We are here to support you. Abuse by a player or coach is never acceptable, we have your back. Click reply, and we’ll do what we can to help.

If you would like to promote your business to other officials, click reply to this email with the details.

Posted in Rules