By Dave Zednik, IHOA Registrar
QUESTION: When deciding on a major penalty, what constitutes “with injury” in the rules. Is it a player that needs to leave the ice or is it also when a player is down for a couple minutes but is able to return to the game?
ANSWER: There is no “definition” of an injury, and most officials have little to no medical training. Therefore, USA Hockey instructs all officials to take their time and observe how the player responds after the contact. How long does the player stay on the ice? Does he need assistance skating to the bench? Does he return to the bench or immediately go to the locker room? Is there any visible blood, or other obvious sign? It can be a difficult decision to make, so all officials should err on the side of caution and assess the Major plus Game Misconduct if there is no strong doubt of an injury.