2017-2021 Rule Change Summary

The attached document is a brief summary of playing rule changes and does not reflect the actual language used in the official rules.

The purpose of this document is to provide a quick reference to the rule changes.

For specific language related to each rule, please see the 2017-21 USA Hockey Official Playing Rules Book.

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2017 National Tournament Officials

Congratulations to the Massachusetts Officials chosen to work in National Tournaments this year!

Kelly Cook
Sarah Hickman
Rachel Hutchinson
Jean Goodwin
Jenny Cameron
Katie Guay
Aida Margolin

Steve Drain
Jarred Mitrano
Devin Golden
John Collins
Joey Tomaino
Dave Sanshagrin

Well deserved, thank you for representing!

Posted in Announcements

2018 National Championships

USA Hockey Announces Dates and Locations for the 2018 National Championships. The 2018 Girls Tier 1 and Tier II National Championships will be held in Marlboro, MA April 5-9, 2018, additionally, Women’s A, B & C will be in Bedford, MA April 5-8, 2018. Why are we telling you about the 2018 National Championships in 2017? Because the crews for the national championships are selected from Level 4 Officials. If you want to have a shot at working a national championship, you must be a Level 4 for the 2017-2018 season. For those who plan ahead, plan on registering as a Level 4 (you must be a Level 3 now) next season.

Crews are selected from across the nation, but traditionally, the districts hosting the events have more Officials than those who have to travel. However, just because a national championship is not local to the district, we have often sent Officials across the country to work national championship games. The key is the Level 4 certification. So if you want to work at the national level, you must improve your officiating skills to attain Level 4 status.

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Summer Development Camps

Each summer, the development of young officials continues at the USA Hockey Officiating Development Camps. These camps are used to identify and prepare officials for junior, collegiate, and professional competition, and provide all participants with the fundamental skills needed to return home to their grassroots hockey community and be the best amateur hockey officials they can become. Many of the top officials in the United States have progressed through the various summer development camps, and USA Hockey recruits the top instructors available from professional and collegiate leagues to educate and evaluate the participants in all aspects of officiating. Here is a brief synopsis of each of the camps.

Note: The USA Hockey District Referees-in-Chief have more information regarding each of the development camps. All interested officials that meet the criteria for participation should contact their District RIC. Applications must be submitted to the District RIC by the prescribed deadline.


OBJECTIVE – This camp is a thoroughly educational review of the fundamentals of amateur ice hockey officiating. The Futures Camp establishes a practical understanding of the fundamentals of game management as recommended by the USA Hockey Officiating Program. These areas include positioning, skating fundamentals, rules knowledge, physical fitness, mental preparation, and setting goals. This camp is educational in nature and focuses on reinforcing basic techniques an official needs to manage all levels of amateur hockey.

PARTICIPANTS – These programs each host 12 -18 participants between the ages of (but not exclusive to) 18-28 years old. Applicants should have 2-3 years of overall experience (minimum) and some experience working 14 & Under hockey and higher. Furthermore, all participants should possess a desire to bring all information they learn back home to share with their local officiating community.

COST – $90.00 Registration Fee if selected to participate, plus travel to and from camp location. Housing, meals, facilities use, and classroom materials are provided by USA Hockey.


OBJECTIVE – To advance the educational process of the amateur official who has successfully proven his proficiency with application of the fundamentals of ice hockey officiating as presented at the Futures Camp level. To review and refine the lessons learned at the Futures Camp as the participants attempt to advance to the higher levels of hockey. This camp is focused on the advanced techniques that officials must master to effectively manage hockey games at the highest levels (Tier I & II Junior, NCAA, & Professional), but in doing so re-emphasizing the need to master the fundamentals of officiating. Additional supporting areas of instruction will include power skating, nutrition, physical conditioning and mental preparedness.

PARTICIPANTS – This program hosts 18-24 participants who are between the ages of (but not exclusive to) 20-30 years old. All officials must be USA Hockey registered officials. Experience at the Tier III Junior or ACHA Collegiate level, or participating at NAPHL development events or USA Hockey National Tournaments is preferred (but not required).

COSTS – $90.00 Registration Fee if selected to participate, plus travel costs to and from the camp location. Housing, meals, facilities use, and classroom materials will be provided by USA Hockey.


OBJECTIVE – To instruct those officials who work at the most advanced levels of competitive hockey (Tier I Junior, NCAA, & Professional). To provide participants with the opportunity to receive high levels of both individual and group instruction on college, international and professional mental-function and techniques, including both on and off-ice environments. This camp is focused on the advance techniques that officials must master to effectively manage hockey games at the highest levels.

PARTICIPANTS – All participants will be invited based on selections made by a committee comprised of top Tier I Junior, NCAA, and Professional officials.

COST – No registration fee required, and USA Hockey will subsidize portion of travel costs to camp location. Housing, meals, facilities use, and classroom materials will be provided by USA Hockey.


Program Dates Location Application Deadline
Eastern Futures Camp July 9-14 Keene, NH March 13
Women’s Futures Camp July 15-21 St. Cloud, MN March 13
High Performance Camp July 7-13 Buffalo, NY March 13
Program of Merit June 24-30 Buffalo, NY Invite Only

Applications must be submitted through online website by posted deadline. Click Here for Applications

Posted in Announcements

Rule Change Proposals

New Rulebook Next Year. In 2013 USA Hockey moved from a two-year to a four-year rulebook update schedule. Consequently, this will be the final year for the 2013-2017 Rulebook. Playing rule change proposals are submitted Playing Rules Committee and reviewed by the USA Hockey Playing Rules Committee. The Playing Rules Committee meets in early winter to discuss and make a preliminary recommendation on each proposal. These recommendations are then forwarded to the various Councils/Sections and Committees and are posted on USAHockey.com. The Board of Directors will review and make any amendments to the proposals during the Winter Meeting and they are again posted on USAHockey.com. The Winter Meeting was held in Orlando Jan. 12-15 and the results of this preliminary review are posted here: 2017_Rule_Change_Proposals.

The Playing Rules Committee will meet one more time during the Annual Congress in an open forum and will review each proposal taking into consideration the feedback received from the respective Councils/Sections and Committees. At that time, they will make a final recommendation on each proposal to be presented to the Board of Directors for adoption or defeat. The Board can accept the recommendation of the Playing Rules Committee or can make their own determination. Once the Board has voted and adopted the changes, work on editing the rule book gets started right away so the new version can be ready at the start of the season. The playing rule changes that are formally adopted in June 2017 by the USA Hockey Board of Directors will go into effect for the 2017-18 through 2020-21 seasons.

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Getting Started as an Official

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USA Hockey Officials Development Program Week 6

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2017 National Tournament Locations

2017 Toyota-USA Hockey National Championships Sites

Division Location Host Dates
Youth Tier I (14U) Scottsdale, Arizona Arizona Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier I (16U, 18U) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Penguins Elite April 6-10, 2017
Girls Tier I Farmington, Michigan HoneyBaked Hockey Club April 6-10, 2017
Women’s A, B, C Farmington, Michigan HoneyBaked Hockey Club April 6-9, 2017
High School Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland Suburban Hockey March 30-April 3, 2017
Girls Tier II Troy, Michigan Troy Youth Hockey Association April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (14U) Coral Springs, Florida Florida Panthers Ice Den April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (16U) Dallas, Texas Texas Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (18U) Lansing, Michigan Lansing Hockey Club April 6-10, 2017
Sled San Jose, California Sharks Ice April 6-9, 2017
Americas Showcase Pittsburgh, Penn April 20-24, 2017
Posted in Announcements

USA Hockey removes usage of traditional age classifications

There is a big change coming to youth hockey, and it’s all about names.

Based on a rule change by USA Hockey, age classifications will no longer have name labels like ‘midget’ or ‘bantam’ in the USAH rulebook.

Instead, all age categories for youth hockey are to be referred to only by age number – 12U, 14U, 16U, etc.

Within the legislative proposals addressed at USA Hockey’s Annual Congress, ‘Legal Council #3 Amended’ is the document in which the name changes take place; the proposal was approved by the board of directors.

The ‘intention of proposal’ states: “To remove references to age classifications using Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget, and instead refer to them using age categories.”

USA Hockey’s Legal Council and Disabled Section submitted the original proposal.

The proposal states that the ‘housekeeping changes’ of removing the names would take place in these areas:

  • References to age classifications would list ages only
  • ADM chart would list classifications by age only
  • Split Season Dormant Program would remove references to “midget”
  • Under age coach examples would refer to age categories only
  • Junior relocation section seeking information on “midget” teams would refer to 18U
  • References to “Midget Hockey” would refer to “Youth Hockey”

You can see the approved proposal here.

How age categories will now be referred to:


  • Seventeen (17) and Eighteen (18) – 18U (Midget)
  • Fifteen (15) and Sixteen (16) – 16U (Midget)
  • Fifteen (15) Tier I only – 15 (Midget)
  • Thirteen (13) and Fourteen (14) – 14U (Bantam)
  • Eleven (11) and Twelve (12) – 12U (Pee Wee)
  • Nine (9) and Ten (10) – 10U (Squirt)
  • Eight (8) and Seven (7) – 8U (Mite)
  • Six (6) and Under – 6U (Mini Mite)


  • Seventeen (17) through Nineteen (19) – 19U
  • Fifteen (15) and Sixteen (16) – 16U
  • Thirteen (13) and Fourteen (14) – 14U
  • Eleven (11) and Twelve (12) – 12U
  • Nine (9) and Ten (10) – 10U
  • Eight (8) and Seven (7) – 8U (Mite)
  • Six (6) and Under – 6U (Mini Mite)
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Clip of the Week – Holding – A closer look

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