QUESTION: What judgment should an Official use in assessing a match penalty for a player or coach using language that is deemed to be hateful or discriminatory in nature?
ANSWER: If the official hears a comment that they deem to be hateful or discriminatory directed at anyone in the rink at any time, the match penalty must be assessed. Rule Reference 601(e.3).
There is no place in the game for this type of action and the officials must strictly enforce this rule. Although there is no easy criteria to establish the type of language that falls into the hateful or discriminatory category, the officials must use their best judgment as to the spirit and intent of the language that is used and if it is deemed to have in anyway been hateful or discriminatory in nature, the match penalty must be assessed.