By Dave Zednik, IHOA Registrar
QUESTION: There is a scramble around the goal and the goalkeeper covers the puck for a stoppage of play. A defensive player then “protects” his goalkeeper by pushing an attacking player– who has clearly stopped as a result of the whistle. The attacking player pushes back in retaliation. What penalties if any should be assessed?
ANSWER: In this instance, both players should be assessed minor penalties for roughing.
This is one area where officials tend to be lax in their standard and needs to be tightened up. Oftentimes, officials will only assess penalties after several warnings or after a player retaliates, in which case they go back and assess one minor penalty to each player, even though they had no intention of assessing the first penalty until the retaliation occurred. This approach discredits the officials and will only create more problems later in the game. Under this Standard of Play, officials should enforce any unnecessary contact after the whistle with a strict penalty standard. When at all possible, the aggressor should be identified and assessed an additional minor penalty in order to hold them accountable for starting the altercation.