FAQs

By Dave Zednik, IHOA VP of Rules & Ethics

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December 4, 2017

QUESTION: Whose job is it to shut the penalty box doors in an adult league game with no penalty bench attendants?

ANSWER: It is the responsibility of the penalized player to make sure the penalty box door is completely shut after leaving the penalty box (if no penalty box attendant is assigned). The on-ice officials cannot drop their focus from the game to monitor this, and the timekeeper most likely will not have access to the penalty box doors.

QUESTION: When does the penalty box door open? Does it open the moment when the penalty clock reads zero? Or does it open a moment before the penalty clock reads zero so the offender can get his skate on the ice just as the penalty clock reads zero?

ANSWER: A player may not return to the ice prior to the expiration (or termination) of his/her penalty. Strictly speaking this has very little to do with the door considering players used to hop over the boards many years ago. As long as the player does not return to the ice before the end of the penalty it really does not matter when the door opens.


November 2, 2017

QUESTION: During a game the net was dislodged (about 12″). Our goalie tried to get the attention of the refs while play continued. About 10 seconds later, with the net still off, the other team scored. I immediately pointed out the net being dislodged. Although they didn’t notice the net was off until then, both officials acknowledged the net was off before the goal was scored, yet still allowed the goal. One ref said the net being off didn’t affect play. The other said he couldn’t wave off a goal after it’s been signaled.

ANSWER: Play should be stopped as soon as the goal frame is dislodged from its normal position (Rule 610[e]) and the officials should disallow any goal if they are 100% certain the puck entered the goal after it was displaced.

QUESTION: A Team A player is just outside the Team B goal crease. The puck rebounds into the air off the Team B goalie and the Team A player directs the puck into the net with his chest. It did not merely bounce or deflect off his chest. He moved his body to change the direction of the puck toward the net.

ANSWER: Rule 617(c)2 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, “A goal shall not be allowed if the following occurs: (2) The puck has been thrown or deliberately directed into the goal by any means other than a stick, even if subsequently deflecting off any player, including goalkeeper, prior to entering the goal.”


September 25, 2017

QUESTION: May a Tier I 15 (only) team ice the puck during short-handed play?

ANSWER: Yes, Tier I 15 Teams technically compete in the ’16 & Under’ Level.

QUESTION: An attacking player shoots the puck from the neutral zone (attacking side of the center red line) which strikes off the crossbar and out of play. Where is the face-off located?

ANSWER: In the attacking zone, at the end-zone face-off spot located on the side of the ice from where the puck was shot.


September 9, 2017

QUESTION: The ‘Summary of Face-Off Locations’ (in Appendix II) identifies three (3) situations that call for a center ice face-off. Are there any other situations that may result in a center ice face-off?

ANSWER: Yes, with the new ‘9 Spot’ face-off location rule a center ice face-off may take place provided it is the nearest marked face-off location to a stoppage of play that requires a Neutral Zone face-off under the last play face-off rules.

QUESTION: Rule 615(c) states that “A match penalty (for all age classifications) shall be assessed to any player who deliberately removes his opponent’s helmet/facemask prior to or during an altercation” yet Situation 13 (page 251/Rule/Case Book) states it should be only a game misconduct at the Adult level. Which is correct?

ANSWER: The correct penalty to assess in this situation is a Match penalty at the Adult level. Situation 13 in the Case Book was an oversight during the editing process and the reference to the Adult Age Classification exception should have been deleted.

QUESTION: Does the Rule 624(b.1) {Icing} apply to the Tier I 15 year old ONLY age classification?

ANSWER: Rule 624 (b.1) DOES apply to this age group. The 15 year old age classification can legally ice the puck when the team is shorthanded.


August 27, 2017

QUESTION: If an attacking player in the attacking zone takes a shot and it is deflected, directed or tipped off of or by an attacking player and as a result the puck goes off of the goal post or cross bar and out of play where is the ensuing face-off?

ANSWER: The face-off shall be at one of the marked end zone face spots in that attacking zone.

QUESTION: If an attacking player in the Neutral Zone on his attacking side of the center red line takes a shot and it goes off of the goal post or cross bar and out of play where is the ensuing face-off?

ANSWER: The face-off shall be at one of the marked end zone face-off spots in that attacking zone.

QUESTION: If an attacking player in the Neutral Zone on his defending side of the center red line takes a shot and it goes off of the goal post or cross bar and out of play where is the ensuing face-off?

ANSWER: In this situation, there is a potential icing violation involved. If the puck, after striking the cross bar or goal post crosses the goal line by going out of the rink anywhere behind the goal line extended vertically then an icing infraction should be enforced. If the puck goes out of the rink without crossing the goal line then an end zone face-off in the attacking end zone should take place.


July 17, 2017

QUESTION: Can you please give more clarification for coincidental and non-coincidental penalties?

ANSWER: In regard to your question about penalties,

  • COINCIDENTAL PENALTIES: Penalties of exact same duration (2 mins, 5 mins, etc.) that are assessed to two opponents at the same stoppage of play. These penalties will cancel in regard to on-ice strength, which means both teams will immediately place substitutes on the ice and play will resume at the on-ice strength before the penalties occurred. Both players will exit the penalty bench at the first stoppage after their penalties expire.
  • NON-COINCIDENTAL PENALTIES: Penalties of different duration (Team A: 2 min & Team B: 5 min) that are assessed to two opponents at the same stoppage. Neither player will be substituted for on the ice, and both players may leave the penalty bench immediately following the expiration of their penalties.

QUESTION: Is a player still eligible to play if there is no number on their sweater?

ANSWER: A player may be able to participate in a game if he/she is missing a number on their game sweater as long as they are properly added to the game roster. While all players should have identifying numbers on their sweater, sometimes circumstances occur that prevent the player from wearing a proper sweater.


May 22, 2017

QUESTION: I’m looking for the rule on whether a mouthpiece or mouth guard must be tethered to the helmet.

ANSWER: Mouthpieces are not required to be attached to the face-mask at any level of the game. This is mostly due to the fact that most of the top-end, custom-fitted mouthpieces that provide better protection are not designed with any form of attachment to the face-mask. In other words, if we required them to be attached we would disallow the better custom-fitted mouthpieces, but the $2.00 “boil n’ bites” are permitted.

QUESTION: There were two players in front of the net battling for position. The defensive player lost his stick during the battle for positioning. As the play headed out of the zone the defensive player went to his bench while the offensive player stomped on the defensive player’s stick that was left behind multiple times in what appear to be an attempt to break the stick. Should a penalty be assessed?

ANSWER: If the official is certain the offending player is trying to break the opponent’s stick (by stepping on it multiple times) then a minor for Unsportsmanlike Conduct could be assessed to the offending player. This is not a “hockey play” and it’s not a part of competition. The only conclusion is it is meant to incite the opponent.


April 24, 2017

QUESTION: During a game, one of my players received a penalty which stretched between periods. At the intermission I called the player to the team bench for the team discussion. The referee warned me that the individual had to remain in the penalty box for the duration of the intermission while serving the penalty. A week later I attended my son’s game and observed a similar situation.  In that instance the player was allowed to skate over to the bench for the intermission talk. What is the rule on this issue?

ANSWER: Penalized players may leave the penalty bench during intermissions. However they may not leave the penalty bench during timeouts. If players could not leave the penalty benches during intermission they could not return to the locker room during an intermission while the ice was being resurfaced.

QUESTION: Why do players get thrown out of the face-off?

ANSWER: All face-off procedures can be found under USAH Rule 613 in the USA Hockey Rule Book. Not complying with these rules will typically result in having your center removed from a face-off.


April 10, 2017

QUESTION: The officials in error started play with Team A having too many men on ice, but never noticed until Team A scored a goal and then admitted that they missed the extra skater until after the goal was scored. What would have been the correct call in this situation?

ANSWER: Rule 629(c) in the USAH Playing Rules states, “If a player illegally enters the game either from the players’ bench or penalty bench (Timekeeper error or not), any goal that is scored by the offending team while he is illegally on the ice shall be disallowed. However, all penalties assessed to either team shall be served in the normal manner.”

If the player was accidentally (but still illegally) placed on the ice and the game officials drop the puck, play should immediately be stopped. If the offending team scores a goal, the goal should be disallowed. The officials should explain the situation (disallow the goal & assess no additional penalty due to error), accept a reasonable amount of grief from coaches, and resume the game with the correct number of players on the ice.

QUESTION: Team A received a minor penalty at 4:30 of the period. Team B received a minor penalty at 4:00 of the period. Team B scores a goal at 3:45 of the period. Does Team A penalized player get to leave penalty box or the fact that the teams are playing at even strength (4 on 4) when goal is scored negate the player from Team A leaving the box?

ANSWER: Rule 402(c) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, “If the opposing team scores a goal while a team is shorthanded (below the on ice numerical strength of its opponent at the time of the goal) by one or more minor penalties, one of such penalties shall automatically terminate. The penalty that terminates automatically is the first minor or bench minor penalty (non-coincidental) then being served by the “shorthanded” team. This rule shall not apply when a goal is scored on a penalty shot or an awarded goal”. Therefore, if the teams are playing 4 on 4 and one team scores, neither penalty is terminated as a result of the goal.


March 27, 2017

QUESTION: In a bantam game in the process of playing the puck during face-off one center knocks over the other. Is it the correct call to give the center still standing a charging minor + misconduct?

ANSWER: A Charging or Interference minor (or 2+10) could be assessed to a center if he makes deliberate and overt contact with the opposing center during a face-off and makes no attempt to play the puck. However, any incidental body contact that occurs while attempting to play the puck (player is “puck focused”) should not be penalized as long as the contact is within the guidelines of the playing rules.

QUESTION: Puck is shot into the defensive zone of Team A and a delayed off-sides is signaled. Before the off-side Team B player can leave the zone, the defenseman takes possession of the puck and skates near his net and accidentally puts the puck into his own goal. Is this considered a legal goal?

ANSWER: The goal that occurred in the situation you presented cannot be allowed since the attacking team still gained an advantage through an illegal play. They shot the puck into the attacking zone with a player off-side (this is illegal), and the result of that dump in was a goal. This cannot be allowed.


March 12, 2017

QUESTION: A player picked the puck up on his stick and skated down the rink carrying it on his stick. The ref told him he could not do this.  I can’t find anything that says he can’t carry the puck on his stick down the rink.

ANSWER: Other than the High-Stick rules (above the shoulder), there are no playing rules that prevent a player from scooping the puck with the blade of his stick and carrying it. Opponents are permitted to knock the puck loose by making stick-on-stick contact with the lower portions of their sticks so the puck is not unplayable to opponents.

QUESTION: Goalie covers the puck however the ref does not blow the whistle.  Can you keep going after the puck? What if you can see part of the puck from under the glove? What if it’s fully covered? My understanding is the play does not stop until the ref blows the whistle. This was men’s hockey and I was told by the ref that once the goalie covered the puck that I cannot go after it anymore. Isn’t the ref, using his whistle, the one who decides what is covered and what’s not?

ANSWER: Play should stop as soon as the official judges the goalkeeper has possession and control of the puck (notice there is no mention of whistle in this definition). This means once the goalkeeper covers the puck then in theory play is done. Additionally, we cannot think of any way to knock the puck loose without making some type of contact with the goalkeeper, and players may not make stick contact with the goalkeeper (“I was just playing to the whistle” is not an excuse).


February 13, 2017

QUESTION: Does play have to stop immediately if a player is body checked through one of the doors (ice resurfacer door) and it is swinging open. Or does play only stop if there is not an immediate scoring opportunity?

ANSWER: This question is a little difficult to answer without seeing the incident first-hand. The situation might depend on whether the door was a team bench door, a penalty box door, an entrance/exit door or a resurfacer door. If the player immediately gets back up, there is no threat of injury and the door can be immediately closed (team bench or penalty box) then it’s possible play could continue. However, a resurfacer door or rink entrance/exit door would likely require an immediate stoppage so the door can be closed. Due to a reasonable possibility that a player could be seriously injured by falling through a door, the officials should always err on the side of caution when determining whether to stop play.

QUESTION: Delayed offside situation with attacking player in their attacking zone hustling to tag up. Defense has possession of the puck and attempts to pass to a teammate just outside in the neutral zone. Pass hits the intended recipients skate (defending team) and deflects back into the attacking zone before the attacking player tags up. Attacking player gains possession and control. Is he off-sides?

ANSWER: Situation #25 on Page 289 of the USA Hockey Case Book states, “A defending player shoots the puck into the Neutral Zone. It then deflects off another defending player in the Neutral Zone back into his Defending Zone while an attacking player is in the zone. Is the play off-side? Yes. Rule Reference 630(b). Any deflection, whether off a teammate, an opponent, an Official, or the boards or glass creating an off-side situation at the blue line, must be treated as such. The puck deflecting off a defending player is not the same as a defending player carrying or passing the puck back into his Defending Zone.”


January 27, 2017

QUESTION: What is the proper call for a penalized player (in the penalty box) who reaches out during play and punches the puck carrier who is skating near the box?

ANSWER: Rule 615(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, “A major plus game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player involved in fighting off the playing surface, before, during or after the game.”

QUESTION: As a defenseman, if I am standing still in a spot and an offensive player skates backwards without looking runs into me and falls down, should I be called for tripping?

ANSWER: A player is always entitled to the space they occupy on the ice. Therefore, if a player is standing still or skating, and an opponent collides with him/her and falls, the initial player should not be penalized if they did not change their skating lane, extend any part of the body, or perform some other action that purposefully causes the opponent to trip and fall.


January 3, 2017

QUESTION: What is the position of USA Hockey regarding a PeeWee player that is unable to play due to injury, taking a seat on the bench?

ANSWER: The definition of Team Official in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, “A player or goalkeeper on the roster who is unable to play, other than through suspension, may be on the players’ bench without being considered a Team Official if he is wearing the team jersey and all required head and face protective equipment.”

QUESTION: What is the proper call for a penalized player (in the penalty box) who reaches out during play and punches the puck carrier who is skating near the box?

ANSWER: Rule 615(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, “A major plus game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player involved in fighting off the playing surface, before, during or after the game.”


December 19, 2016

QUESTION: When officiating a game, in the second period there was an injured player and when he was down the opposing goalkeeper skated over the red line to his bench without asking permission. My partner and I gave the coach his options and he chose to skate 6 on 5 until the next stoppage of play. The coach did not complain and said he never heard of the rule. At the next stoppage of play the goalie returned to his goal. Later in the period when I was at the blue line I saw the coach put his phone away and he told me that we made the correct call. I informed him after the game that if he had disputed the call while using his phone he would have received a bench minor under Rule 308. He brought up a good point – what would be the difference if he was using a hard copy of the rule book instead of the mobile rule book? Would this be a violation of rule 308? I have asked several other officials and we all have different opinions.

ANSWER: In regard to your question about electronic devices:

  • We’re very excited to hear the coach is aware of the mobile USA Hockey Rule Book and used it to learn the playing rules.
  • We’re further excited to hear the coach had the sportsmanship to acknowledge your good call.
  • A coach who pulls out a Rule Book (mobile or otherwise) to challenge or dispute a call should be assessed a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. Since he’s such a good sport, we probably would have asked the coach how he would react if you as the official came over to the bench during a timeout, grabbed his marker-board, and told his team how to “really” set up a power-play (no one likes being shown up visually).

QUESTION: Does a goal count if the puck goes into the net off an attacking players skate, whether there was a kicking motion or not?

ANSWER: The difference between legal and illegal goals depends on whether the puck was “directed” (intentional) or “deflected” (no intent) into the goal. A player may not deliberately kick or “direct” the puck into the opponent’s goal. However, a shot or pass that “deflects” off an attacking player’s skate and enters the goal shall be allowed.


December 4, 2016

QUESTION: Can you tell me at what age level the goal pegs should be in place?

ANSWER: USA Hockey does not have any official policy regarding the use of goal-post pins. The decision of what playing levels should use them is left to the Local Associations, Team Officials, and Game Officials to make with the best interests of fair play and player safety in mind. We recommend contacting your local Youth Association to receive more information about their policies.

QUESTION: During a bantam game, in the process of playing the puck during a face-off, one center knocks over the other. Is it the correct call to give the center still standing a charging minor and misconduct?

ANSWER: A Charging (2 and 10) or Interference minor could be assessed to a center if he makes deliberate and overt contact with the opposing center during a face-off and makes no attempt to play the puck. However, any incidental body contact that occurs while attempting to play the puck (player is “puck focused”) should not be penalized as long as the contact is within the guidelines of the playing rules.


November 2, 2016

QUESTION: I have been involved in 2 separate instances this year where a minor penalty was assessed to a player on my team. In the first instance the officials did not know who caused the penalty so they did not just pick a player and send them to the bench. In a more recent game an official assessed a minor penalty to a player on my team and did not remember or see who caused the infraction. He then randomly picked a player to serve the penalty. He did however come to our bench and tell us that was what he was doing. How is an official supposed to handle the situation where there was definitely a penalty and they do not know who caused the infraction: do they just pick a player?

ANSWER: This situation is rare but it does happen to even experienced officials. The main concept to remember is that an opposing player had an opportunity taken away or suffered an injury-potential infraction. The player who committed the infraction should be held accountable.

In most cases, it’s pretty simple for the official and coach to work this out…

Official: “Coach, one of your players slashed an opponent in the corner. You saw it, I saw it, and the peanut vendors saw it. However, I lost the number. Who was it?”

Coach: “It was #9; I’ll send him over to the box.”

Official: “Thank you.”

In some cases, the penalty might be subtle and the coach might honestly not know who committed the infraction…

Official: “Coach, one of your players hooked their attacker in the slot area as he was trying to shoot. I lost the number, can you help me here?”

Coach: “There was too much traffic, I couldn’t see who it was.”

Official: “Well, it was someone on the ice. Why don’t we treat this one like a bench minor and give me someone who was on the ice at the time of the infraction.”

In almost all cases, the official makes the correct call and identifies the correct player. However, sometimes players do get lost due to traffic, inexperience, missing jersey numbers, events occurring in the game, etc. Therefore, if the player cannot be identified then the coach is the place to start for help. However, coaches are talking to players, managing lines, and thinking about strategy. Sometimes they just don’t see the infraction. In this case, it just makes sense to identify a player who was on the ice when the infraction occurred (you have a 20% chance of being correct), instead of making a mockery of the playing rules and competition by allowing the coach to play games.


October 24, 2016

QUESTION: I need clarification on penalty minutes on the clock; non-coincidental situation. If a player receives a double minor, do you put 4 minutes on the clock, or 2 minutes and then upon termination of that penalty does the timekeeper put up the 2nd minor penalty? Also a similar situation – if there is a non-coincidental situation and a player receives a 5 minute major plus a 2 minute minor, do you put 5 minutes on the clock and upon termination of that penalty does the scorekeeper immediately put up the 2 minutes? Or do you put 7 minutes up? I’ve seen both. The argument to put 7 minutes up is to make sure the player does not leave the penalty box early. The other argument is that it is the timekeeper’s responsibility to communicate that. Any help would be great.

ANSWER: In regard to your question about penalties, if a player receives a non-coincidental double minor penalty, he shall enter the penalty bench and not be substituted for on the ice (5 v. 4). Four minutes shall be added to the penalty clock. If the opposing team scores a power-play goal within the first two minutes, the penalty clock is reset to two minutes and the second minor begins.

If a player receives non-coincidental minor plus major penalties, he shall enter the penalty bench and not be substituted for on the ice (5 v. 4). Seven (7) minutes shall be added to the penalty clock. If the opposing team scores a power-play goal with the first five minutes the penalty clock shall not be altered. If the opposing team scores a power-play goal when two minutes (or less) of penalty time remains then the minor penalty shall be terminated.

QUESTION: Can tournaments using USA Hockey rules modify penalties, discipline and game misconducts as spelled out by USA Hockey rules?

ANSWER: In regard to your question about penalties, discipline, and suspensions…in a word…”no”.

Suspensions and discipline are outlined by the USA Hockey Annual Guidebook, Playing Rules, and the Local Affiliate governing the games. If this is a USA Hockey sanctioned event, the tournament committee has no authority to overturn or overrule any discipline guidelines.


September 7, 2016

QUESTION: During a stoppage of play, a coach calls the referee over to the bench and attempts to question the ruling of the officials by utilizing an electronic device. The team is assessed a bench minor for an equipment violation according to the rule and the device has been removed. While the bench minor penalty is still being served, a team official now starts verbally abusing the referee. What penalty should be assessed to the coach?

ANSWER: A Game Misconduct Penalty is assessed to the team official verbally abusing the referee. Rule References 308(b), 308(c) and 601(e.1). Even though the actual bench minor penalty is assessed under the electronic equipment rule, the fact the rule was applied because a team official was challenging or disputing a decision by the official indicates that this bench minor penalty also falls under the unsportsmanlike conduct guidelines. Any subsequent continuation of this behavior during the same incident would result in following the proper penalty progression.

QUESTION: Team A’s Head Coach is assessed a bench minor penalty for Abuse of Officials. While that penalty is still being served, the Assistant Coach now starts verbally abusing the Referee. What penalty should the Referee assess?

ANSWER: Game Misconduct Penalty. Rule Reference 601(e.1). Provided the abuse is a continuation of the original action causing the bench minor penalty to be assessed, the game misconduct shall be assessed even though it is a different Team Official. This helps avoid the situation where two or more Team Officials work together to continue their inappropriate behavior without consequence greater than a bench minor penalty. This is only applied when the abuse is a continuation of the original penalty. If the second Team Official engages in improper conduct several minutes later in response to a different situation, then the Referee must assess another bench minor penalty to start the penalty progression over.


August 24, 2016

QUESTION: In an attempt to catch an opponent who is skating ahead of him/her and not near the boards, a player pushes the opponent from behind, causing him/her to fall to the ice. What is the proper penalty?

ANSWER: Rule 608 Checking from Behind: the minor plus misconduct penalty must be assessed in the following situations:

(1) A player, in an attempt to catch an opponent who is skating ahead of him and not near the boards, pushes the opponent from behind, causing him to fall to the ice.

QUESTION: A player sitting on the players’ bench uses profanity towards an Official. If the Official can recognize the player using this language, may he assess a misconduct penalty rather than a bench minor?

ANSWER: Yes. Rule References 601 (Note), 601(b. Note) and 601(c.2). The Officials shall assess a misconduct to a player if the player can be readily recognized. If the Official cannot determine the identity of the player, he must impose a bench minor on the team. This interpretation only applies to players on the players’ bench or penalty bench.


August 11, 2016

QUESTION: A player has been assessed a Misconduct Penalty for playing without a required mouthpiece after that team has been issued their warning. After he serves this penalty, may he continue to play without a mouthpiece?

ANSWER: No. Rule Reference 304(f). A player cannot “buy” the right to play with illegal equipment or without required equipment by simply serving a penalty. The player may continue to play after serving his penalty, but only after securing a mouthpiece.

QUESTION: If a player paints a HECC approved helmet to change the color of the helmet, is the helmet considered to be an altered piece of protective equipment?

ANSWER: Yes. Rule References 304(c & d Note). A helmet that is painted voids the manufacturer’s warranty and may weaken the plastic components of the helmet. The HECC certification is voided. Helmets that have small painted logos or small stickers attached to them shall be deemed to be legal under this rule, provided that such paint or sticker does not cover the entire surface of the helmet.


June 6, 2016

QUESTION: A player who is “friends” with a referee on Facebook posts an insult on the referee’s personal page. The referee expects the player to be suspended. What should the league do to the offending player?

ANSWER: Unfortunately we cannot answer your question at this forum since it does not regard any playing rule. Since suspensions and other forms of discipline are handled by the local Disciplinary Body of the team we recommend contacting them. As digital media becomes more widely used there are constantly new ways for players, officials, coaches, and other members of the game to be questioned, insulted, and bullied. In most cases, there is very little precedent set for suspensions or fines. However, all USA Hockey sanctioned leagues, affiliates, and hockey associations are expected to hold membership accountable for behavior on the ice, in the locker room, and in the media forums.


May 23, 2016

QUESTION: Is a photographer allowed in the penalty box or players’ bench area?

ANSWER: Rule 201(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, “Only players in uniform and properly rostered Team Officials may occupy the players’ bench.” That being stated, if a professional photographer needs to step onto a Team Bench or Penalty Bench to take a few pictures this could be permitted. However, due to the fact that there is no guarantee that any photographer is screened (background check) they should not be given access to Team Benches and players.

QUESTION: How old do you have to be to become a referee in Illinois?

ANSWER: New officials must be 14 years old by December 31 of the current year to register with IHOA for the current season.


May 8, 2016

QUESTION: I was recently at a game and the coach would whistle to his team on the ice during game play. The whistle would immediately make most of the kids stop play thinking it was the official whistle. Is this really allowed during game play? Seems to be very disruptive and makes the coach look like he’s cheating.

ANSWER: Strictly speaking there is no rule in the USA Hockey Playing Rules that prevents a coach from whistling to his players from the bench. However, if the whistling is clearly disrupting the flow of the game then the game officials should make the coach aware of this and ask him to stop.


April 11, 2016

QUESTION: A team enters a tournament with 10 players (9 skaters and a goalie). During the course of the game, 5 skaters receive game misconducts which require them to sit their next scheduled game. That would leave the team with only 5 players for their next scheduled tournament game (also the next game on their schedule). Does the tournament have any latitude to have 3 players sit the next game and 2 different players the following game so that the team does not have to forfeit the second tournament game (reference Rule 201a)?

ANSWER: Unfortunately we cannot answer this question at this forum since it does not regard any playing rule. However, USA Hockey Playing Rule 404(b) states that any player who receives a Game Misconduct must be suspended for the next game appearing on that team’s schedule at the time of the infraction. Therefore, the team would likely have to forfeit their next game due to their roster restrictions and “lack of control” by players.


March 28, 2016

QUESTION: During play, Team A inadvertently plays while having six players plus a goalkeeper on the ice. When the team gains possession of the puck the Referee stops the play and assesses a bench minor penalty for “too many players on the ice.” The Coach vehemently protests the call and is subsequently assessed an additional bench minor penalty before the ensuing face-off. May the Coach designate the same player to serve both bench minor penalties?

ANSWER: No. Rule Reference 402(b). The team must designate two players who were on the ice at the time of the infractions, except a goalkeeper, to serve these penalties. Because each infraction is considered to be a separate penalty, the team must play short-handed by two players for two minutes. They do not have the option of playing shorthanded by one player for four minutes.


February 15, 2016

QUESTION: Team A is short-handed by one minor penalty. With play in progress, the Referee signals another minor penalty on Team A. Before play is stopped, Team B scores. Which penalties, if any, are washed out because of the goal?

ANSWER: The minor penalty being served is terminated and the delayed penalty is assessed in the normal manner. Rule References 402(c) and Rule 409(b). Only one minor penalty is terminated as the result of a goal being scored.


QUESTION: Play is stopped in error when a shorthanded team “ices” the puck. Where is the face-off?

ANSWER: At the nearest end zone face-off spot with respect to the location of the puck when it crossed the goal line. Rule Reference 624(c). The puck should have been “live” behind the goal line, thus the face-off now takes place in that zone. Under the previous rule, a center spot face-off deprived the attacking team of approximately 100 feet of territorial advantage.


February 1, 2016

QUESTION: The Team A goalkeeper skates toward his players’ bench during play. While he is approximately 30 feet away from the bench, a teammate enters the play as a substitute for the goalkeeper. While the opposing team has possession and control of the puck (the goalkeeper is still moving toward the bench and his replacement is now involved in the play) the goalkeeper turns and skates back toward his goal to defend against an opposing shot on goal. Does this infraction of the rules constitute “premature substitution” or “too many players on the ice?”

ANSWER: Too many players on the ice. Rule References 205 (a & b). Once the substituting player enters the ice, the goalkeeper is considered to be substituted for. If the goalkeeper participates in play while this condition exists, a penalty for “too many players on the ice” shall be assessed to the offending team.


January 9, 2016

QUESTION: Can a goalie skate the puck past the center red line?

ANSWER: No, a goaltender cannot play the puck beyond the center line.  Rule reference 407(c) – if a goalkeeper deliberately participates in the play in any manner when he is beyond the center red line, a minor penalty shall be assessed.


January 3, 2016

QUESTION: When can an attacking player make contact with a goalie (not including times when he/she is pushed into the goalie by a defender)?

ANSWER: Rule 607(d) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, “A goalkeeper is NOT “fair game” because he is outside his privileged area. A penalty for interference or charging should be called in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper. Likewise, Referees should be alert to penalize goalkeepers for any infractions they commit in the vicinity of the goal.

(Note 1) For the purpose of this rule, any accidental or unavoidable contact that occurs with the goalkeeper shall be penalized under the Interference rule. Any deliberate body contact or check that is delivered to the goalkeeper shall be penalized as Charging.

(Note 2) The goalkeeper’s “Privileged Area” is an area outlined by connecting the end zone face-off spots with an imaginary line and imaginary lines from each face-off spot running perpendicular to the end boards.”


December 6, 2015

QUESTION: During a stoppage of play, a coach calls the referee over to the bench and attempts to question the ruling of the officials by utilizing an electronic device. The team is assessed a bench minor for an equipment violation according to the rule and the device has been removed. While the bench minor penalty is still being served, a team official now starts verbally abusing the referee. What penalty should be assessed to the coach?

ANSWER: A Game Misconduct Penalty is assessed to the team official verbally abusing the referee. Rule References 308(b), 308(c) and 601(e.1). Even though the actual bench minor penalty is assessed under the electronic equipment rule, the fact the rule was applied because a team official was challenging or disputing a decision by the official indicates that this bench minor penalty also falls under the unsportsmanlike conduct guidelines. Any subsequent continuation of this behavior during the same incident would result in following the proper penalty progression.


November 23, 2015

QUESTION: A player has been assessed a second major penalty in the same game. The Referee is not aware of the fact that the player had received two major penalties in the same game and thus should have been assessed a game misconduct penalty. What happens if the player later scores a goal while illegally in the game?

ANSWER: In this instance, the goal shall be allowed, but the player must be assessed the required game misconduct as soon as the Referee becomes aware of the oversight. Rule References 403(b) and 203(a).

The onus of assessing the game misconduct penalty is on the Game Officials. A team cannot be denied any goals scored by a player who should not have been in the game. If the omission is discovered after the game, the Referee shall still assess the appropriate game misconduct penalty.


November 6, 2015

QUESTION: Just prior to the puck being received by an attacking player, the defensive player chops down on top of the stick and prevents him from being able to play the puck. Should this be penalized under the Standard of Play guidelines? Does it make any difference as to the angle of the stick blade when done?

ANSWER: The use of the stick to check an opponent’s stick, or press the opponent’s stick to the ice or the boards, is a good defensive play as long as it is done on the lower portion of the stick shaft and the intended purpose is to dislodge the puck or prevent the opponent from playing the puck. The angle of the stick blade (inverted or parallel to the ice), would not make a difference in this determination. However, anytime this action is done higher up on the stick or clearly impedes the opponent with no reasonable effort to play the puck, a penalty for slashing, holding or hooking should be called.


October 25, 2015

QUESTION: Can a goalkeeper playing in the Youth, High School or Girls’ age classifications wear a “cats-eye” facemask?

ANSWER: Yes, as long as it is HECC approved. Rule References 303(b) and 304 (c & d). There are some HECC approved goalkeeper facemasks that do have the look of a “cat’s-eye” shape. In these cases, the openings of the facemask are small enough to meet ASTM standards and do receive HECC approval. The shape of the opening is not important, it is the size of the opening that will determine whether certification is gained.


October 11, 2015

QUESTION: A player who is “friends” with a referee on Facebook posts an insult on the referee’s personal page. The referee expects the player to be suspended. What should the league do to the offending player?

ANSWER: As digital media becomes more widely used there are constantly new ways for players, officials, coaches, and other members of the game to be questioned, insulted, and bullied. In most cases, there is very little precedent set for suspensions or fines. However, all USA Hockey sanctioned leagues, affiliates, and hockey associations are expected to hold membership accountable for behavior on the ice, in the locker room, and in the media forums.


September 27, 2015

QUESTION: Go-Pros???

ANSWER: No-Pros!!!

QUESTION: As a minor official working the penalty box during games can a coach come into the penalty box and/or talk to their player during their player’s penalty?

ANSWER: There is no rule in the current USA Hockey Playing Rules that prevents a coach from talking to his player while the player is serving a penalty. One would hopefully think that the coach might be explaining to the player what he did wrong to earn the penalty in the first place.

This assumes there is no glass divider between the team bench and penalty bench. If the coach must physically leave the bench to enter the penalty bench, then this should only be allowed if the coach is addressing a medical issue with the player. Otherwise, the coach should not leave the team bench during the game.


September 7, 2015

QUESTION: Team A’s Head Coach is assessed a bench minor penalty for Abuse of Officials. While that penalty is still being served, the Assistant Coach now starts verbally abusing the Referee. What penalty should the Referee assess?

ANSWER: Game Misconduct Penalty. Rule Reference 601(e.1). Provided the abuse is a continuation of the original action causing the bench minor penalty to be assessed, the game misconduct shall be assessed even though it is a different Team Official. This helps avoid the situation where two or more Team Officials work together to continue their inappropriate behavior without consequence greater than a bench minor penalty. This is only applied when the abuse is a continuation of the original penalty. If the second Team Official engages in improper conduct several minutes later in response to a different situation, then the Referee must assess another bench minor penalty to start the penalty progression over.


August 29, 2015

QUESTION: The head coach is assessed a bench minor penalty for improper conduct during the first period. During the second period the coach again exhibits improper conduct. Is the coach assessed a game misconduct because the improper conduct has been repeated?

ANSWER: No. Rule Reference 601(b.1). The spirit and intent of the rule is to treat each incident separately. If the coach is assessed a bench minor penalty, he would only be assessed a game misconduct penalty provided he continues his actions regarding this incident. This would also apply in cases where one coach receives the bench minor and different coach continues the abuse. If the coach refrains from continuing his behavior and then engages in improper conduct later over a separate incident, he would need to be assessed another bench minor penalty to start the sequence over. A good rule of thumb is once the original bench minor penalty has been served, that incident is over and the new sequence would begin with the assessment of a bench minor penalty.


August 16, 2015

QUESTION: There are many different things that can be said that various people may find offensive. What judgment should an Official use in assessing a penalty?

ANSWER: Preferably, good judgment that holds players/coaches accountable for these types of actions. Rule References 601(a.2, b.1, c.2 and e.2). There is no easy answer as individual people deem different things to be offensive. Most people will know an obscene gesture when they see it or a racial/ethnic slur when heard. These situations must be penalized according to the rule. There are certainly other areas where offensive language may also be used and should be appropriately penalized. Officials are reminded that other penalties exist for these types of actions, including unsportsmanlike conduct (taunting or inciting an opponent), or bench minor/misconduct for obscene, profane or abusive language. In each instance, the official should use their best judgment in assessing the proper penalty. And, if in doubt, assess the penalty and report the actions to the Proper Authorities to review under supplementary discipline.


August 3, 2015

QUESTION: The Team A goalkeeper skates toward his players’ bench during play. While he is approximately 30 feet away from the bench, a teammate enters the play as a substitute for the goalkeeper. While the opposing team has possession and control of the puck (the goalkeeper is still moving toward the bench and his replacement is now involved in the play) the goalkeeper turns and skates back toward his goal to defend against an opposing shot on goal. Does this infraction of the rules constitute “premature substitution” or “too many players on the ice?”

ANSWER: Too many players on the ice. Rule References 205(a & b). Once the substituting player enters the ice, the goalkeeper is considered to be substituted for. If the goalkeeper participates in play while this condition exists, a penalty for “too many players on the ice” shall be assessed to the offending team.


July 22, 2015

QUESTION: A player has been properly listed on the scoresheet but is not present at the start of the game and his name was crossed off. Does this situation require a bench minor penalty in order to make the player eligible to participate when he arrives?

ANSWER: No. Rule Reference 203(a). If the player was eligible to play in the game, his name should not be crossed off the scoresheet just because he is not present for the start of the game. Names should only be crossed off the scoresheet at the conclusion of the game once it has been confirmed the player did not participate.


June 22, 2015

QUESTION: If a player has possession of the puck in the Neutral Zone, turns around and skates backwards, and precedes the puck across the attacking blue line while still in possession and control of the puck, is he considered to be off-side?

ANSWER: No. Rule Reference 630(b). As long as he establishes possession and control in the Neutral Zone before and while he crosses the line, play shall be permitted to continue.


June 8, 2015

QUESTION: During play, Team A inadvertently plays while having six players plus a goalkeeper on the ice. When the team gains possession of the puck the Referee stops the play and assesses a bench minor penalty for “too many players on the ice.” The Coach vehemently protests the call and is subsequently assessed an additional bench minor penalty before the ensuing face-off. May the Coach designate the same player to serve both bench minor penalties?

ANSWER: No. Rule Reference 402(b). The team must designate two players who were on the ice at the time of the infractions, except a goalkeeper, to serve these penalties. Because each infraction is considered to be a separate penalty, the team must play short-handed by two players for two minutes. They do not have the option of playing shorthanded by one player for four minutes.


May 26, 2015

QUESTION: A player is discovered to be wearing his elbow pads outside of his sweater. What action shall the Referee take to correct this situation?

ANSWER: The Referee must inform the offending player and order him off the ice until the situation is corrected. Rule References 304(b) and 304(g). The team is warned and any player from this team who returns to play with the elbow pads outside of the sweater shall be assessed a misconduct penalty.


May 11, 2015

QUESTION: A player is standing in front of the opponent’s goal and has his arms “tied up” with a defending player so that he cannot play the puck in the normal manner. The puck goes out in front of the goal and the attacking player kicks the blade of his stick which knocks the puck into the goal. Is this considered a legal goal?

ANSWER: No. Rule References 624(a) and 614(c). Even though the puck was not directly kicked with the skate, the puck entered the goal as the direct result of the kicking action.


April 27, 2015

QUESTION: Can an official disallow a goal after he signaled a goal? There was question as to whether the net had been dislodged before the goal was scored. After consulting the Linesman who was sure the net came off before the puck entered the goal, the official then disallowed the goal. Is this correct; can he change his decision in this case based off the Linesman?

ANSWER: Rule 502(a) in the USAH Playing Rules states, “The Referee may not change his decision, or that of any other official, after the resumption of play following the rendering of the original decision.” Furthermore, Rule 502(c) states, “It shall be the Referee’s duty to impose such infractions as outlined in the rules and give the final decision in matters pertaining to disputed goals after consultation with the Linesmen and/or Goal Judges.”


April 12, 2015

QUESTION: The puck is shot by either an attacking or defending player and hits an Official. After hitting the Official, the puck hits the boards then rebounds into the goal. Is the goal allowed?

ANSWER: Yes. Rule Reference 617(c.3). No goal may be scored from a direct deflection off an Official. However, if the puck deflects off an Official and then off any other obstruction, other than the goal post or cross bar, including any player, the goal must be allowed.


April 1, 2015

QUESTION: An icing situation is created as the puck is shot past the defending team’s players’ bench. The defending team, in the process of making a line change, elects to let the puck continue down the ice in fear of being called for “too many players on the ice” if it is played.  Is the icing is still in effect?

ANSWER: No. Rule References 620(d) and Note. Icing must be nullified if one player of that team had a reasonable chance to play the puck, but didn’t.


March 16, 2015

QUESTION:  Team A took a shot which was saved and then the goalkeeper (while sliding after initial stop) knocked the net off before we shot the rebound into the goal. Was this goal legal since the goalkeeper knocked the net off?

ANSWER: A goal can never be allowed if the goal frame is knocked loose from its normal position before the puck crosses the line. Even if the goalkeeper’s actions are deliberate (assess a minor penalty, but disallow the goal).


February 25, 2015

QUESTION: The goalkeeper has frozen the puck with his glove when an attacking player comes in and makes stick contact with the goalkeeper’s glove. The puck comes free prior to the Referee blowing the whistle to stop play. Should the Referee allow play to continue?

ANSWER: No. Rule Reference 634(d). Once the goalkeeper has clearly covered the puck, any stick contact with the glove must be penalized as slashing. The puck is considered frozen at the time the Referee determines it has been covered and play has stopped at that time, even though it may take a fraction of a second to blow the whistle.


February 16, 2015

QUESTION: Two opposing players skate into the corner in an effort to move the puck out of the corner. During their attempts, a third player takes more than two strides and charges into the opposing player who is attempting to move the puck. Should the Referee stop play?

ANSWER: Yes. Rule Reference 632(a Note). The Referee must stop play the instant he realizes that unnecessary contact will result from allowing the play to continue. If contact is made in this instance, he must assess a penalty to the third player who entered the corner for the charging infraction. The intent of this rule is to keep the play moving and eliminate whistles for a frozen puck along the boards. If any player commits any infraction against an opposing player, such as Charging, Boarding, Elbowing, etc., he must be penalized for this infraction.


February 3, 2015

QUESTION: The White team scores a goal that is unobserved by the Referee so play continues. At the next stoppage of play, which happens to be a goal scored by the Blue team, the Linesman informs the Referee of the White goal and it is determined that White did indeed score the goal. What actions should the Referee take in this instance?

ANSWER: The White goal is awarded, the Blue goal is not counted and the officials put time back on the clock to the point where the goal was scored by the White team. Rule Reference 617(a). Play would have technically stopped at the time that the White team had scored their goal, so any goal scored after that would not be counted (however, any penalties occurring would be assessed in the normal manner). The officials should use any resource available to them to best determine the time the White goal was scored so that time can be replaced on the clock and the game continued from that point.


January 19, 2015

QUESTION: Team A’s Head Coach is assessed a bench minor penalty for Abuse of Officials. While that penalty is still being served, the Assistant Coach now starts verbally abusing the Referee. What penalty should the Referee assess?

ANSWER: Game Misconduct Penalty. Rule Reference 601(e.1). Provided the abuse is a continuation of the original action causing the bench minor penalty to be assessed, the game misconduct shall be assessed even though it is a different Team Official. This helps avoid the situation where two or more Team Officials work together to continue their inappropriate behavior without consequence greater than a bench minor penalty. This is only applied when the abuse is a continuation of the original penalty. If the second Team Official engages in improper conduct several minutes later in response to a different situation, then the Referee must assess another bench minor penalty to start the penalty progression over.


January 5, 2015

QUESTION: What is the USA Hockey interpretation of body contact versus body checking? Is a penalty required every time body contact is made?

ANSWER: No. Rule References 604(c Note) and Glossary.

No check does not mean no contact and the Body Contact category game can be very physical. The Glossary defines both Body Contact and Body Checking, as well as several other educational materials (including videos). In fact, USA Hockey strongly encourages legal body contact to occur in all ages of the Body Contact category as part of the skill progression that teaches legal body checking.

When determining whether a body check has occurred, the official must focus on whether the player is attempting to play the puck and whether there is any overt hip, shoulder or forearm action used to initiate contact and separate the opponent from the puck.

Legal body contact occurs when players are focused on the puck and are simply maintaining legally established body position. This most often occurs when two players are “battling” in front of the goal or along the boards. Legal body contact also commonly occurs when a player has established an angle on the opponent and closes the gap to create an opening that is too small for the puck carrier.

Officials must be well versed in understanding the spirit and intent of this rule so the proper application of the rule is enforced. Officials are expected to review all of the educational materials available on this subject on a regular basis. It is USA Hockey’s intent to create a safe environment for players to be able to develop their skills – including body checking in age appropriate classifications – while being able to physically compete within the rules.


December 22, 2014

QUESTION: A 6’2″ player checks a 5’2″ player legally separating him from the puck. Neither player is knocked down and both players continue to play. The Referee stopped play and called a Head Contact penalty. Does the Head Contact rule mean that our larger players have to play zero contact hockey against anyone who is small? I am not sure that this is the intended interpretation.

ANSWER: The 2013 Rule Changes that mandate a minor plus misconduct penalty for Boarding, Charging, and Head Contact incidents were put in place to remove dangerous contact from the youth game. Dangerous, punishing and intimidating hits need to be removed if we want to see players enjoy the sport and reach full potential. Therefore, players are always expected to make contact with players “under control” and with the intention of separating the opponent from the puck.

This does not mean bigger players need to avoid contact, it simply means they might need to focus harder when executing body checks to make sure they make contact with the opponent’s shoulders and/or hips. Height is not a cheap excuse for reckless body contact. Smaller players will always have the challenge of accepting body checks from bigger players and bigger players will always have the added responsibility of maintaining control when executing body checks.


December 5, 2014

QUESTION:

Opposing players are involved in an altercation and their helmet(s) come off during the altercation. It cannot be determined how the player’s helmet came off. Does this constitute a rule violation?

ANSWER:

YES, Rule reference 615(c)

All players are responsible for properly wearing their helmet and facemask at all times. If a player participates in an altercation without their helmet properly worn, then they should be assessed a game misconduct penalty along with any other penalties that they have incurred as a result of the altercation.


November 22, 2014

QUESTION:

A team has only one goalkeeper and he is injured during the course of the game and unable to continue. May any player take up the goalkeeper’s position?

ANSWER:

Yes. Rule References 206(b), 203(d) and Glossary.

In all games all teams are requested to have a substitute goalkeeper dressed and ready to play at the beginning of the game. In the case of a team having only one goalkeeper dressed and he becomes unable to play for any reason, the team must resume play immediately.

The team may elect:

(1) To play the remainder of the game using an extra “player,” thereby having six players on the ice, none of whom are designated as a goalkeeper with goalkeeper’s privileges and restrictions.

(2) To delay the game momentarily while a “temporary” goalkeeper acquires the chest protector, gloves and stick of the goalkeeper. He shall have all goalkeeper’s privileges and restrictions. He may return to his normal position if a substitute goalkeeper becomes designated or if the original goalkeeper returns. The “temporary” goalkeeper must remain the temporary goalkeeper until a substitute becomes available, the original goalkeeper returns or he is required to leave the ice due to a penalty or injury.

(3) To continue playing under 1 or 2 while another player goes to the dressing room to change into complete goalkeeper’s equipment. That player may then be designated as the substitute goalkeeper.


November 5, 2014

QUESTION:

A player who is about to come onto the ice plays the puck with his stick. However, that player has either one or both skates still on the bench. What penalty, if any, shall be assessed?

ANSWER:

A minor penalty. Rule Reference 625(a.9).

A player’s skates must not be in contact with the bench in order for him to participate in the play. This ruling would apply whether or not the team has the correct number of players on the ice. In the case of a player entering or leaving the players’ bench who intentionally plays the puck with one or both skates on the bench, the same ruling would apply.


October 25, 2014

QUESTION:

What criteria should be used when determining whether to assess a minor and a misconduct penalty, a major and game misconduct penalty or a match penalty for Checking from Behind?

ANSWER:

The minor plus misconduct penalty must be assessed in the following situations:

(1) A player, in an attempt to catch an opponent who is skating ahead of him and not near the boards, pushes the opponent from behind, causing him to fall to the ice.

(2) A player makes minimal body contact from behind to an opponent who is in close proximity to him, and board contact is made. This check should be called as a minor and a misconduct as the result of this “pinch” against the boards from behind.

The major plus a game misconduct penalty, or match penalty, must be called in the following instances:

(1) In every instance where a player forcefully checks an opponent who is standing along the boards (back toward the middle of the ice).

(2) In every instance where a player is thrust head first into the boards or goal frame.

(3) In every instance where injury results from a check from behind, regardless of whether or not board contact is made.

A match penalty must be assessed in all instances when a player clearly checks an opponent from behind with excessive force while the opponent is in a vulnerable position.

Rule Reference 608.

Checking from behind is senseless and extremely dangerous. On-Ice Officials must be sensitive to all checks from behind that occur within the “danger zone,” which is the area approximately ten feet out from the boards. Players who are checked from behind in this area and who then crash into the boards may be at high risk of receiving a serious and possibly life altering injury.


October 9, 2014

QUESTION: 

A player directs a racial or ethnic slur to an opponent, which the Referee does not hear. The non-offending team brings it to the Referee’s attention. May the Referee assess the prescribed game misconduct penalty based on the reported incident?

ANSWER: 

No. While these situations threaten the integrity of the game, the actual incident must be heard and/or seen by an On-Ice Official in order to assess the game misconduct penalty. Rule Reference 601(e.2). The Referee should report the incident to the Coach or Captain of the team allegedly using the slur, and advise the team of the required penalty if such a slur is subsequently heard (or seen). At the same stoppage, the Referee should similarly advise the team reporting the slur.


September 24, 2014

QUESTION:

A penalized player is injured and is unable to take his proper place on the penalty bench. The team places a substitute on the penalty bench for the injured player. Prior to the penalty expiring the injured player recovers and returns to participate in play. What penalty, if any, should be assessed?

ANSWER:

A bench minor penalty for illegal substitution should be assessed (Rule Reference: 206(d)). As soon as the injured player is able to replace the substitute on the penalty bench, he must do so at the first stoppage of play.


September 5, 2014

QUESTION:

A coach’s team gets 14 penalties of which 3 are majors in one game.  Rule 411 says he sits the next game due to the three major penalties.  If the official gives him a game misconduct, he now has 15 penalties which would necessitate another game. It appears as though he sits for the 411 infractions (3 majors) and for 15 penalties in a game as well.

ANSWER:

Yes the officials would have to file a game report stating that the coach had received three major penalties as listed under Rule 411. That game report would also list the three major penalties and the three different players that received them. But that coach is only suspended, he does not receive a game misconduct. He is allowed to finish that game and is then suspended for the next regularly scheduled game of his team. Consequently, there are not 15 penalties.


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