Happy Holidays! Wishing you a beautiful holiday season and a new year of peace and happiness.

203 – Players In Uniform

May players of the same team wear the numbers “01” and “1” during the same game?

Yes. Rule Reference 203(b).

While the numbers are mathematically the same, the addition of the leading zero makes “01” a distinct number that is different from “1.” The scorekeeper must enter the numbers as such on the game scoresheet prior to the game and for any event.

629 – Leaving the Players Bench

A Coach goes on the ice during the game to protest an Official’s decision. What penalty must be assessed?

A bench minor and game misconduct penalty. Rule Reference 629(d).

The Referee is given the option of imposing either or both penalties, depending on the severity of the incident. However, in all cases where a Team Official comes onto the ice during a period to protest a decision, both penalties must be assessed. Should the Coach continue the protest and refuse to leave the ice, he shall also be subject to a match penalty under Rule Reference 601(f.3).

639 – Tripping/Clipping/Leg Checking/Slew Footing

For a tripping penalty to be assessed, must the fouled player fall to the ice?

No. Rule Reference 639(Note).

The Rule uses the words “trip or fall” to describe the offense. In the case where a player does not fall, it must be clearly obvious his progress was impeded and a competitive advantage was gained as a result of the tripping action.

Your Turn

Have you had an odd situation, or a question that you’d like answered? Click reply, and let us know.

Points of Emphasis

You’re either part of the change or part of the problem.

The full text and video can be found at: https://www.usahockey.com/declaration

However, the Michagan Amatuer Hockey Association has put together a shorter version of the video that can be viewed below or via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JifeJMApfQU

** REMINDER ** You should have your 19/20 Crest on your sweater now! If you don’t have it, you can’t work!

Goalkeeper Penalties

A goalkeeper is assessed a minor penalty for which his team places a substitute player on the penalty bench. Prior to the completion of the ensuing face-off the substitute player is assessed a minor penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Can this penalty be added to the penalty that the substitute is serving?

No. Rule Reference 407(a).

This is a penalty to a designated player who has not yet begun serving the goalkeeper’s penalty. Thus the team must designate another player who was on the ice at the time of the goalkeeper’s penalty to serve that penalty. The originally designated player serves his minor penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Thus the team will be shorthanded by two players for two minutes.

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.

Delay Of Game

Play is stopped because of an injured player. As soon as the whistle blows, the player gets up and skates away, obviously faking the injury to obtain a stoppage of play. May the Referee call a minor penalty for delaying the game?

Yes. Rule References 610(e) and 206(a).

The Referee must assess a bench minor penalty if a player deliberately delays the game by faking an injury.

Your Turn

Have you had an odd situation, or a question that you’d like answered? Click reply, and let us know.

Points of Emphasis

You’re either part of the change or part of the problem.

The full text and video can be found at: https://www.usahockey.com/declaration

However, the Michagan Amatuer Hockey Association has put together a shorter version of the video that can be viewed below or via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JifeJMApfQU

** REMINDER ** You should have your 19/20 Crest on your sweater now! If you don’t have it, you can’t work!

Linesman
The Linesman shall report to the Referee at the next stoppage of play his version of any infraction of the rules that he believes constitutes a bench minor, major, match, misconduct, game misconduct or penalty shot under these rules. In addition, the Linesman shall give his version of any Injury Potential Penalty (see Glossary) that occurs behind the play and is not observed by the Referee. The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a penalty for such infractions.

What constitutes an “injury potential penalty?”
An aggressive foul that has the potential to cause injury to an opponent. Rule References 503(e) and Glossary.

The determining factor as to whether or not an infraction is an “injury potential infraction” is the penalty infraction itself. An injury to a player or goalkeeper is not a necessary requirement for a penalty to be classified as an “injury potential penalty.”

Injury Potential Penalties
Injury Potential Penalties include Boarding, Body Checking (Body Contact Classifications), Butt-Ending, Charging, Checking from Behind, Cross-Checking, Elbowing, Head-Butting, Head Contact, High Sticking, Holding the Facemask, Kicking, Kneeing, Roughing, Slashing and Spearing. The linesman is required to report these infractions to the referee following the next stoppage of play that may have occurred and were unobserved by the referee.

Interference
A defending player shoots the puck into his own goal from outside the crease with an attacking player standing unimpeded in the crease (the goalkeeper is in the crease). Does the goal count?

No. Rule Reference 625(b).

Regardless of what player puts the puck into the goal, no goal may be scored if a player of the attacking team intentionally stands in the goal crease, with the goalkeeper in the crease, unless the puck is already in the goal crease.

Slashing
For a slashing penalty to be assessed, must stick contact be made with the opposing player?

No. Rule Reference 634(a).

If the object of a slashing motion is to intimidate an opponent or to actually try to strike him, stick contact is not necessary in order for a penalty to be assessed.

Points of Emphasis
You’re either part of the change or part of the problem.
The full text and video can be found at: www.usahockey.com/declaration
However, the Michagan Amatuer Hockey Association <www.maha.org/> has put together a shorter version of the video that can be viewed below or via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JifeJMApfQU

** REMINDER ** You should have your 19/20 Crest on your sweater now! If you don’t have it, you can’t work! * *

*304 – Protective Equipment*
Must a request come from the Captain of the opposing team before the Referee may warn a team or assess a Misconduct Penalty to a player who does not wear a required mouthpiece?

No. Rule References 304(f) and 307(c).

Whenever a player is on the ice, he is deemed ready to play and the mouthpiece rule enforced.

*605 – Broken Stick*

A stick is thrown onto the ice from the players’ bench to a player who has broken his stick. What penalty is imposed if the stick is picked up by any player?
A bench minor penalty is assessed to the team for throwing articles onto the ice.

Rule References 605(b) and 601(b.4).

No penalty is assessed to the player receiving the stick under this rule as only one penalty should be assessed for the same infraction.

*SafeSport Locker Room Policy *
Officials locker rooms in hockey arenas are usually set apart from the team locker rooms. For a given game, there may be 2, 3 or 4 officials, and there may also be officials sharing the officials’ locker room that are present for the game prior or game following. There may be officials of different genders, or there may be Minor age officials working with adult officials. Additionally, officiating supervisors or assignors may be present in some or all of these situations. Officials should never assume that other officials are comfortable with the same locker room situation as they are. If separate dressing rooms are not available, then the following protocol shall be followed:
1. Prior to the game, officials of one gender enters the dressing room to get dressed while the other official(s) steps out. 2. Once dressed, the first official(s) steps out and allows the other official(s) to enter the dressing room to get dressed. 3. Once both dressed, both genders can be in the dressing room to conduct pre-game meeting. The same procedure must be followed after the game.
In situations with Minor officials working with or sharing locker rooms with adult officials, _*the adult officials*__*should take precautions*_ to minimize and avoid extended unobserved time alone with minors. This can be addressed by: A. Inviting the parent into the locker room; B. Asking another official to wait in the locker room before leaving; and/or C. Leaving the locker room door open.
Supervisors and assignors of officials must always avoid any one-on-one interactions with any official (regardless of age or gender) unless such interactions occur at an observable and interruptible distance by another adult.

*Your Turn*
Have you had an odd situation, or a question that you’d like answered? Click reply, and let us know.

*Points of Emphasis*
You’re either part of the change or part of the problem.
The full text and video can be found at: www.usahockey.com/declaration
However, the Michagan Amatuer Hockey Association <www.maha.org/> has put together a shorter version of the video that can be viewed below or via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JifeJMApfQU

Minnesota Hockey addressed the issue of negative fan behavior by making some changes in their Honor the Game Tournament. Tom Hanneman has the story.

Honor the Game Tournament

Minnesota Hockey addressed the issue of negative fan behavior by making some changes in their Honor the Game Tournament. Tom Hanneman has the story.

Posted by FOX Sports North on Thursday, November 7, 2019

Original Link to the Facebook Post

610 – Delaying The Game

When a goal post has been displaced intentionally, does the Referee or Linesman stop the play?

Any of the On-Ice Officials may stop play, but only the Referee may assess the penalty. Rule Reference 610(e).

Regardless of the intent of the player, the play must be stopped immediately if the goal post is displaced.

615 – Fighting

Can a major penalty for roughing be assessed in order to avoid the automatic game misconduct penalty required when a fighting major penalty is assessed?

No. Rule References 615(a) and 640(a).

The Referee has a great variety of penalties to call to differentiate various degrees of participation in an altercation. However, a major penalty for roughing can only be assessed for body checking an opponent after the whistle has blown or for a late avoidable body check.

The Referee should not attempt to manipulate the rulebook. A game misconduct was added to the fighting major penalty for a specific reason and has been in effect for many years now. Regardless of a Referee’s personal opinion about a rule, he is expected to apply the rules within their spirit and intent.

Failure to do so results in the compromised integrity of the game and a loss of credibility for the officials.

304 – Protective Equipment

All players, including goalkeepers, in all age classifications below Adults, are required to wear a facemask certified by HECC, plus any chin protection that accompanies the facemask.

(Note) Any helmet or facemask that is altered except as permitted in Rule 304(c) shall be deemed to be illegal equipment and shall not be allowed to be used in a game. The player, or such equipment, shall be removed from the game until corrected. (This shall include helmets from which a part has been cut or removed, facemasks from which the chin-cup has been removed or any other such alterations from the original manufacturing specifications.)

By now,  you should have received an email from USA Hockey entitled “Stronger Penalty For Hate Language”. If you can’t find it in your Inbox, check your Spam folder.
Hateful, discriminatory, and offensive language have no place in our sport (or any sport for that matter). Per the directive from Jim Smith, we are to swing the biggest hammer we have – the match penalty – when we hear such language. The goal is to eradicate such behavior. The best way to do so is by penalizing those actions aggressively and with zero tolerance.

If you do not hear such language, but it is reported to you, you must file a game report .Since a penalty was not assessed, use the “Other Incident Report” entry at the very bottom of the Rule Reference field in the form.When filing a game report for this kind of language, it will be important to communicate exactly  what was said. In your report, do not soften or censor the words that were spoken.

Be aware that when you issue a match penalty, the player is suspended from all USA Hockey activity, including practices and team functions until there is a hearing or until 30 days have elapsed. To that end, make sure you penalize appropriately for the language you hear.

Language that is clearly unacceptable in society, is particularly heinous, or is hateful and discriminatory should incur a match penalty.
Language that is abusive, but does not rise to the level of hateful, discriminatory, or heinous can still be penalized with a bench minor, misconduct, or game misconduct (continued conduct) per 601b2, 601b3, 601c1, 601c2, and 601e1.
From www.usahockey.com/news_article/show/1061121

*COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.*– USA Hockey announced today a presidential directive that changes the penalty for racial/derogatory slurs of any kind that fall under Rule 601 (e. 3) from a game misconduct to a match penalty.
“We continue to get reports of disturbing incidents of racial and other derogatory slurs, behavior which is reprehensible and has absolutely no place in our game, especially around our children,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “For reasons I cannot explain or understand, the current penalty in place does not seem to be enough of a deterrent to stop this type of conduct.”
cdn3.sportngin.com/attachments/document/1d54-2015486/Jim_Smith_Letter.pdf

403 – Major Penalties

The Referee assesses a minor penalty to a player and it is announced as such. Before the ensuing face-off he decides that the situation warrants a major penalty to be called instead of the minor penalty. Should he change the minor penalty even though it has already been announced?

Yes. Rule Reference 403(a).

Even though this is a situation that the Referee must try to avoid, he is still required to change the call. The Referee has an obligation to get the call right, whenever possible, and take the time when making this type of decision to improve his chances of doing so. Potential criticism by the offending team for changing the call is not a valid reason not to do what is right.

612 – Face Off Locations

A stoppage of play in the Defending Zone was caused by a defending player and the Official assessed the defending team a penalty. Subsequently, during the same stoppage of play, an attacking player is assessed a penalty. Where is the ensuing face-off?

At the nearest Neutral Zone face-off spot. Rule Reference 612(c).

The stoppage of play was not caused by the actions of players from both teams for the purpose of establishing a last play face-off. The penalty by the attacking player causes the face- off to occur at the nearest Neutral Zone face-off spot.

108 – Timing and Signaling Devices

The horn sounds to end a period; however, the clock shows two seconds remaining. Is the period over?

Yes. Rule Reference 108(e).

Whenever the timing device is equipped with an automatic sounding alarm that signifies the end of a period, the “sound” shall be considered the end of the period, even though the clock may show minimal time remaining.

There has been a little confusion and mis-application of these points of emphasis, and we wanted to take the opportunity to hopefully clarify a little and get these videos to you again for your review. This video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JifeJMApfQU does a really good job of breaking it down, take 5 minutes out of your day to watch!

A body check must an attempt to win possession of the puck, and not an effort to punish, intimidate or take advantage of a vulnerable or unsuspecting opponent.

Finishing the check is no longer permitted, after the player has released the puck they are no longer ‘eligible’ to be hit.

The player delivering the body check must do so with their stick on the ice or below the knees and make an effort to play the puck (this does not mean that they have to play the puck first, just that they need to make an effort to play the puck before, during or after the check, they can’t “just hit the guy”)

USA Hockey is committed to creating a safe and fair environment for all participants. Respect for the game, opponents, coaches, and officials is a critical part of that environment and it covers several different aspects of sportsmanship and fair play. This Declaration of Safety, Fair Play and Respect will guide a change in culture as to what is considered to be acceptable/unacceptable body checking and competitive contact at all levels of play.

The Declaration clarifies and updates existing rules/definitions to emphasize the key points to more clearly outline what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Below is a video that shows examples of actions deemed “acceptable” and “unacceptable” to help illustrate expected behavior.

We would suggest that when you introduce yourself to the coach prior to the start of the game, that you take the opportunity to ask the coaches if they are familiar with the Points of Emphasis for this season.

A suggested script may look like:
Hello coach, my name is . Have you watched the video on the Points of Emphasis for this season?
YES – Great! Do you have any questions or concerns about what we will be looking at today?
NO?! – Well, you really should take a look it’s a pretty good video that describes what is acceptable and what is not. We’ll do our best to help your players through and explain calls as best we can, but we’re going to need your help here.

The full text and video can be found at: www.usahockey.com/declaration
However, the Michagan Amatuer Hockey Association <www.maha.org/> has put together a shorter version of the video that can be viewed below or via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JifeJMApfQU

The USA officials registration season has been in swing for a month and a half.. Please note and spread the word to anybody who might be interested in becoming an official…

With that – All registration requirements now must be completed by March 15 the following year, although your current card/crest is still good until November 30.

Here are the seminar dates and they are all posted on https://usahockey.com/officialseminars

Aug. 1 – Level 3 – Canton
Aug. 10 – Level 1 & 2 – Canton
Aug. 20 – Level 3 – Shrewsbury
Aug. 24 – Level 1 & 2 – Shrewsbury
Aug. 25 – Level 1, 2 & 3 – Agawam
Sept. 7 – Level 1 & 2 – Andover
Sept. 10 – Level 3 – Andover
Sept. 18 – Level 4 – Marlboro
Sept. 21 – Level 1, 2 & 3 – Hyannis

Note that Hyannis is the last seminar so if you miss it there is no make up. Canton is early and easy to get to if you want to get everything out of the way early.

You must register with USAHockey as an official (https://usahockeyregistration.com) before you can register for a seminar!

If you have any questions about registration of the upcoming season please reach out, and again if you know of anybody who might be interested in becoming an official please pass this along. With the early seminar dates we can not wait until hockey season starts to start recruiting officials.