I Ain’t Misbehaving…The Difference Between a Misconduct and a Game Misconduct

488Have you seen a player or coach receive a Game Misconduct penalty? Do you know what that means? A misconduct penalty means the removal of a player (player only, not a coach) from the game for 10 Minutes. A Game Misconduct penalty means the removal of a player or coach for the remainder of the game and at least one additional game.

Let’s talk about a Misconduct penalty first. Misconduct penalties usually come in one of two ways. First, an outright Misconduct (a player abuses an Official) or second, as an added penalty for various Rules infractions also popularly known as a 2 and 10. An example of the latter is a call for boarding, which last season was a 2 minute minor and is now a two minute minor and a Misconduct penalty. The player can sit up to a total of twelve minutes depending on if a goal is scored during the two minute power play by the other team. With a Misconduct penalty the player is not removed from the game and no additional penalties carry over to the next game. A player receiving a 2nd Misconduct in the same game does receive a Game Misconduct penalty.

A Game Misconduct requires the removal of a player or coach from the remainder of the game. Examples of players’ Game Misconduct penalties would be fighting or a penalty resulting in an injury. A coach may receive a Game Misconduct for continued abuse of an official AFTER already being assessed a bench minor penalty. A coach also receives a Game Misconduct penalty when his or her team receives 15 penalties in one game. In this instance, the coach is allowed to remain in the game and the Game Misconduct penalty is assessed for the team’s next game. Game Misconducts can also be assessed for game-related actions off the ice.

Some other considerations for Game Misconducts 

Game Misconducts follow the team. For example if a player plays on two different teams, a High School and Tier II team, and receives a Game Misconduct penalty in the High School game, he is suspended from the next High School game. He or she may participate in their next Tier II game. Also, different rules and different leagues might have additional penalties for Game Misconducts. Fighting is an automatic 3 game suspension in Illinois. However, some leagues add on additional game suspensions to the USA Hockey/AHAI rules in order to maintain their leagues’ integrity.

Game Misconduct penalties fall under the AHAI Suspension and Review Committee

The Suspension and Review Committee sees and reviews all Game Misconduct penalties. They review these to determine patterns for players, coaches and teams. Excessive penalties will require participants to appear before the Committee for a review. Also a team/coach that plays a suspended player will appear before the Suspension Committee for possible discipline.

We hope this helps you have a little better understanding on the penalties. If not, here is the actual USA Hockey rule. Enjoy!


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USA Hockey Rule

(a) A “MISCONDUCT” penalty involves the removal of a player, other than a goalkeeper, from the game for a period of 10 minutes with immediate substitution taking place on ice. A player whose misconduct penalty has expired shall remain on the penalty bench until the next stoppage of play. Unless immediate substitution is permitted under the coincidental minor penalty rule 402(f), when a player receives a minor penalty plus a misconduct or game misconduct penalty at the same time, the penalized team shall immediately place an additional non-penalized player, other than a goalkeeper, on the penalty bench and such player may not be changed. In the case where a player receives a major plus misconduct or game misconduct penalty, unless immediate substitution is allowed under the coincidental major penalty rule 403(c), the penalized team shall place a substitute player on the penalty bench immediately (for Youth, Girls’ and High School Classifications) or before the penalty expires (for Adult Classifications). No other replacement for the penalized player shall be permitted to enter the game except from the penalty bench upon expiration of the penalty. For violation of this rule a bench minor penalty for illegal substitution shall be imposed. For the second misconduct penalty assessed to the same player during the same game, a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to that player in lieu of the second misconduct penalty.

(b) A “GAME MISCONDUCT” penalty involves the suspension of a player or Team Official for the balance of the game with immediate substitution taking place on ice. 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. (Note) In all cases where a game misconduct penalty is assessed, the incident shall be reported to the proper authorities who shall have full power to impose further suspensions. 36 USA Hockey PENALTIES (Note 2) For all game misconduct penalties regardless of when imposed, a total of 10 minutes shall be charged in the records against an offending player. 

(c) If any Team Official is assessed a game misconduct penalty, he may not remain near the bench of his team, nor in any way attempt to direct the play of his team.



Categories: Advice, AHAI, Rules & Regulations, USA Hockey News

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