Ask the Official: Shootouts


By Dave Zednik, IHOA VP of Rules & Ethics

QUESTION: During the shootout, the player skated up to pick up the puck at center ice and missed it. He then circled back to center ice, picked up the puck, and scored. Or did he? Does it count if the player skates pass the puck initially and then circles back to pick up the puck at center ice? One could argue it made the goalie leave his crease prematurely, which he did. It seems to me that the official should have blown the shot dead, cited the goalie for leaving his crease early, and made the shooter shoot again.

ANSWER: If the forward scores a goal, then the goal should be allowed and play resumes. If the player misses the shot, the shot shall still be considered complete.

We could argue hypotheticals all night long. Did the player miss the puck on purpose, or was it an honest mistake? Did the goalkeeper leave the crease on purpose or was it a mistake due to the player’s error?

In the end, the goalkeeper was in position when the shot started (which is the spirit and intent of the rule) and no real unfair competitive advantage was gained. If the shooting coach wants to argue the goalkeeper’s position, one could argue the player missed the puck on purpose to buy insurance if the shot failed.

In the end, the “spirit and intent” of the penalty shot procedure was fulfilled.

Categories: Ask the Official

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