Ask the Official: May an official suspend a game if a player is injured?

By Dave Zednik, IHOA Registrar

QUESTION: Here is the situation. During a 14U House game, a player was hit behind the goal and fell to the ice laying on his back. Noticing the player is injured, play was stopped immediately. We brought the medic onto the ice who deemed it to be a neck and back injury. We cleared the ice and sent players to the bench, the mother of the player called an ambulance who told them not to move the player and wait for them. There was 20 seconds left in the game with a tied game at 1 to 1. Being the last game of the night the coach of the injured player asked what the call was on the game. The opposing teams coach wanted us to wait until the player was cleared to finish the game and the coach of the injured player wanted to call it. The call we made was, without both coaches making a joint decision we had to wait and finish. What is the appropriate call? Do we call the game and end it or do we wait and then continue?

ANSWER: The USA Hockey Playing Rules do not provide a rule that allows an official to suspend a game simply because a player was injured. If both coaches agree that they do not want their teams to continue, then that is their decision and the officials may suspend the game and report the incident to the league or hockey association. 

Categories: Ask the Official, featured, IHOA, Officials

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