College Hockey:
NCAA wants men’s and women’s rules enforced, not changed

Enforcing current college hockey rules, instead of rule changes, was the focus of the recent annual meeting of the men’s and women’s ice hockey rules committee.

According to NCAA.com, “in reviewing several key initiatives and data about the game, the committee determined that enforcement of the current rules is an area that needs improvement. The emphasis in the 2013-14 season will incorporate many pieces of past standards, but with a renewed focus in some areas that would be in similar alignment with the National Hockey League. In all cases, current rules support this renewed emphasis.”

The committee will focus on protecting the puck carrier, holding and pinning along the boards, interference during faceoff plays and slashing as an illegal tactic to separate a player from the puck

“We looked at the game overall and really believe the standard of enforcement at all levels needs a renewed focus,” said committee chair and Michigan State coach Tom Anastos in the report. “This is a perfect time to reset the standard a bit, since it does not require any rules changes.”

One of the significant points the committee raised dealt with hitting from behind. Penalties on plays like this are getting called, but the fact of the matter is that these types of plays continue to happen. In addition, some of these violations are being penalized as a minor penalty for boarding or other penalty.

“Enforcement is part of the issue here, but improving this area has to be collaborative,” Anastos said. “Coaches and players are reminded that the responsibility remains with the player approaching an opponent along the boards. Our rule is very clear.”

The committee also believes officials have “become lax” with enforcing the limitations of player advancement during faceoffs.

The men’s committee also continued to review the use of three-quarter face shields.

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  • Joe Crowley

    Of all the things to focus on for emphasis, hitting from behind would be at the top of my list. ANY hits where the player being checked cannot see the checker should be a penalty. I would also like to see minor penalties called on players that turn to face the boards just before getting hit.

    • bronxbomberz41

      That last one is a tricky one though. Leaving a lot of judgement by refs around the intent of the player receiving the hit. They may be just turning away in anticipation of the hit. I think the penalties for hitting from behind, especially into the boards, should always carry a 5 minute though, and multiple infractions should lead to suspension. Its not like you can fine these kids (not yet, until NCAA says you can start paying student-athletes).

      • Joe Crowley

        I absolutely agree about the five-minor major and the automatic game misconduct.

        I am also a fan of the “intent” rule for penalties like elbowing, hit to the head and the like.

        It really cuts down on people swinging elbows, knowing that it does not matter if you make contact. Of course, someone should tell the broadcast crews covering college hockey of this.

  • A Shot and a Goal

    When I read the phrase “enforcing current college hockey rules” [instead of enacting rules changes] it says to me on-ice officials will be asked to be more vigilant in applying close adherence to rules already in place. These existing rules–rather newly enacted rules–will be Points Of Emphasis [POE]–in the coming season.
    Further, it says to me that early in the 2013-2014 college hockey season, frequently, penalty calls will be made in an effort to draw closer attention to certain rules which are already in place, but which may not have been whislted in the past. I think there may be a period of adjustment in which it will be necessary for players and coaches to accustom themselves to rules which will receive greater attention and enforcement by game officials.

  • noonan18

    A good chunk of these players will be heading to the NHL/AHL levels where the rules regarding hits from behind have really be a point of emphasis. Better to start them out of these habits now. The pros are starting to get it and the violent hits into the boards and the open ice head hunting have also been minimized in the last few years. The college guys will start to get it too if the punishment is severe enough for these types of hits.

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