The USA Hockey Board of Directors has met at the annual Congress. Below is a brief outline of some changes that we see in the 2013-2014 season and will last for the next 4 years. I think these are important for all to know.
All players must wear HECC approved helmets. At the USA Hockey Annual Meeting, it was determined that helmets currently contain a HECC sticker affixed to the helmets. These stickers contain an expiration date and a player’s helmet must be within that expiration period. Parents please check your player’s helmets. Coaches will have to the double check when the season starts.
The electronic device rule was amended adding language prohibiting the use of electronics for the purpose of challenging or disputing a game official’s decision during the game.
Automatic GAME MISCONDUCT for a second misconduct in the same game: The next playing rule change calls for a game misconduct penalty to be assessed to a player in when he/she receives a second misconduct penalty during the same game. You should note that there are no differences or distinctions regarding misconduct penalties for purposes of this rule. For instance, in Illinois we enforce the AHAI neck guard rule similarly to the mouth guard rule. When a player does not have a neck guard, he/she and the teams are provided a verbal warning. Thereafter, any offending player receives a misconduct penalty. For purposes of the current rule change, this misconduct counts just as any other misconduct would and if a player receives a second misconduct in that game, a game misconduct is automatically given. Now, you must remember that the assessment of the second misconduct is deemed as a game misconduct. This becomes an issue for the 5 penalty rule applicable to a player and the 15 penalty rule applicable to a team. So, for example, if a player receives a mouth guard misconduct, and then subsequently in the same game receives a check from behind penalty, the score sheet would identify the player as having received a misconduct, a 2 minute minor and a game misconduct for a total of 3 penalties attributable to the player and counted against the 15 penalty rule for the team.
For infractions relating to head contact, boarding and charging, the ONLY penalty assessment options available to officials are a 2 minute minor AND a misconduct OR a 5 minute major AND a game misconduct. You will note that these assessments follow the check from behind assessments exactly. So, for the coming season, the infractions for checks from behind, boarding, charging and head contact will ONLY allow you to assess either a 2 minute minor and misconduct OR a 5 minute major and game misconduct.
These rules mentioned immediately above ALL carry mandatory minimums of 2 minutes and a misconduct. This is important not only for the proper assessment of a player’s penalty time, but also in light of the 2 misconduct penalties in the same game mentioned above.
As an extreme example of a particularly contentious player, suppose a player receives a delayed penalty for check from behind, and while the delayed penalty is signaled the same player commits a boarding minor and then a head contact minor and then the offending team gains possession and control of the puck so the whistle is blown. Suppose also that the offending player then does something to earn another misconduct penalty. What are the proper assessments? Well, according to the rules applicable for ’13-’14, the player would receive a 2 minute minor and misconduct for the check from behind; a 2 minute minor and a game misconduct for the boarding (remember the second misconduct act as a game misconduct); a 2 minute minor and misconduct for head contact; a game misconduct for the next sequential misconduct because the player did something to earn another misconduct penalty (remember again this is his second misconduct in the series so it’s converted to a game misconduct) and now another game misconduct for 5 or more penalties in the same game. The player just received 3 game misconducts. And there are now 8 penalties assessed against that team for that game so if the team gets 7 more penalties in the game making the total 15, the coach is to receive a game misconduct as well.
Referee Coordinator PYHA