Rule Changes adopted by USA Hockey beginning in the 2017-18 season

By Michael Barrett, Illinois Referee-in-Chief & Supervisor of Officials

I hope you are enjoying what should turn out to be a great summer.

AHAI and IHOA representatives returned from the USA Hockey Annual Meeting in Colorado the weekend of June 10. This year was a rule change year at USA Hockey; therefore, I am writing this article to inform you of the rule changes adopted by the USA Hockey Board of Directors.

As a backdrop to all of these changes, you must remember that USA Hockey, AHAI and IHOA are committed to providing a safe and fair environment for all participants. There are quite a number of changes applicable to playing rules and equipment so let’s get started.

The following rules will be applicable starting with the 2017-2018 playing season and will continue for the next four (4) years until the next time rule changes are permitted. I will highlight the major changes to the playing rules in this article and will issue a separate article for rules which were amended as a result of “language clarification”.  A summary of the changes to the playing rules is below, so here goes….

  • At the Bantam (14U) and below age categories, a shorthanded team is no longer permitted to ice the puck without a consequence. The consequence is that such a situation will now result in an icing call by the officials and the resulting faceoff will occur in the offending team’s defensive zone similar to when both teams are at equal on-ice strength.
  • All faceoffs will occur at one of the nine dots on the ice.
  • Rule 601 now includes language for racial/ethnic slur to include any language that is “offensive, hateful or discriminatory in nature”.

Obviously some of these changes will have a significant impact on the ice hockey community this coming season and IHOA is studiously working to incorporate these changes to the fall officiating seminars.

Starting with the fall season, these changes will be applicable and enforced by the on-ice officials so it is certainly in everyone’s interests to know the rules for the upcoming season.

AHAI and IHOA are always willing to come to your organization and discuss these issues and others with your players, coaches, administrators and families.  To schedule a discussion, please send an email to me at

In the interim, please have a safe and enjoyable summer!

Categories: Hockey Headlines, Officials, USA Hockey News

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  1. USA Hockey Still Pushing No Ice PK Rules | Goonsworld Blog
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