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.