Ask the Official: Delayed Offsides


By Dave Zednik

QUESTION: Delayed offside situation with attacking player in their attacking zone hustling to tag up. Defense has possession of the puck and attempts to pass to a teammate just outside in the neutral zone. Pass hits the intended recipients skate (defending team) and deflects back into the attacking zone before the attacking player tags up. Attacking player gains possession and control. Is he off-sides?

ANSWER: Situation #25 on Page 289 of the USA Hockey Case Book states, “A defending player shoots the puck into the Neutral Zone. It then deflects off another defending player in the Neutral Zone back into his Defending Zone while an attacking player is in the zone. Is the play off-side? Yes. 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. The puck deflecting off a defending player is not the same as a defending player carrying or passing the puck back into his Defending Zone.”

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