It’s not a new college hockey season without a rules video.
If you’re not into 14-minute videos, here are the rule changes in list form: (You also can find these in the new NCAA rule book.)
1. Goal Pegs. (Rule 2.1) Effective with the 2016-17 season, all institutions must have a goal anchoring system with 10-inch pegs in place.
Rationale. To reduce the number of stoppages for the goal cage becoming dislodged. Most NCAA institutions already use some anchoring system, but allowing some time to prepare and work with off-campus facilities is needed.
2. Faceoff Location — Offensive Scoring Opportunity. (Rule 81.2) When the attacking team is attempting to score a goal and the puck goes out of play as a result, the faceoff shall remain in the attacking zone. The puck must have been shot/passed from the attacking zone and be a clear attempt to score for the faceoff to remain in the zone.
Rationale. Rewards the offensive team and eliminates the sometimes difficult determination of which team the puck deflected off of before leaving the ice.
3. Faceoff Location — High Stick/Hand Pass. (Rule 81.2) When play is stopped due to a high stick or hand pass violation, the ensuing faceoff will take place one zone closer to the offending team’s goal.
Rationale. Previously, the faceoff was always in the offending team’s defending zone, which the committee believes is too punitive.
4. Video Review: Sequence of Penalty and Goal. (Rule 93.2) The video criteria will be changed to review if a goal was scored before a penalty infraction occurred.
Rationale. Provides officials with another opportunity to correctly administer the game.
5. Video Review: Offsides/Too Many Men. (Rule 93.2) The time sequence for review of an offside or too many men infraction ends when the puck leaves the attacking zone. Previously, the review was to take place only if the infraction led directly to a goal.
Rationale. Clarifies the allowable amount of time/play that can occur with the review still being in effect.
6. Video Review: General. (Rule 93.1) Any video that is available for review purposes will be allowed. Previously, only games that were televised were eligible for review purposes.
Rationale. Clarifies the allowable use of video.
7. Video Review: NCAA Championship. (Rule 93.4) During the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship only, the rules committee has authorized officials in the tournament to use video replay during the game to review penalties that would result in the removal of a student-athlete to ensure proper enforcement.
Rationale. The quality and availability of video replay in the Division I Men’s Championship is consistent and will enhance the game officials’ effort to properly penalize actions on the ice immediately.
8. Interference: Blindside hits. (Rule 59.1) A category of penalty in the interference rule will be added to separate a severe blindside hit from the contact to the head penalty. In these cases, a major penalty may be called for blindside contact when the head is not contacted.
Rationale. Allows officials to appropriately designate these penalties. The NHL has taken a similar approach in this area.
9. Faceoffs: Dropping the Puck. (Rule 81.3) Linesmen shall “present” the puck; current mechanic is to drop the puck from the beltline.
Rationale. More in line with mechanics used in most other areas of hockey.
10. Faceoffs: Closing the Hand on the Puck. (Rule 81.2) If either faceoff player closes the hand on the puck during the immediate action after the puck is dropped, it shall be an automatic minor penalty.
Rationale. Eliminates an unfair tactic and forces faceoff players to use their stick/skates to win the faceoff
11. Faceoffs: Official’s Error on Icing. (Rule 81.2) All faceoffs in this situation will be moved to center ice. Previously, the officials could conduct a faceoff at a place that did not unduly penalize one team; that led to some inconsistencies and the consensus was to move to the center ice faceoff.
Rationale. Eliminates inconsistent rulings and is as fair as possible to both teams.
12. Faceoffs: Attacking Team Stick Down Last in Zone Line. (Rule 81.3) In faceoffs in the attacking zone, the defending team will put down the stick first during the faceoff. In all other faceoffs, the visiting team will put the stick down first.
Rationale. To provide the attacking team some advantage during offensive zone faceoffs.
13. Penalty Shot/Shootouts: Goal Dislodged. (Rule 25.2) During a shootout or penalty shot, if the goal becomes dislodged by the goalkeeper, the referee shall either award a goal (if intentional or if the goal was obvious and imminent) or allow the team to shoot again.
Rationale. This guarantees the offensive team the opportunity to shoot, whether the dislodgement was intentional or not.
14. Penalty Shot: Injured Player. (Rule 25.2) If a player that is awarded a penalty shot is injured and unable to take the shot, one of the players on the ice at the time of the infraction shall be chosen to shoot.
Rationale. Clarifies and makes NCAA rule consistent with most other levels.
15. Intermissions: Allowable Time During NCAA Championships. (Rule 82.1) Intermissions in the NCAA championship may be as many as 18 minutes.
Rationale. Allows the NCAA championship committees to adjust timing for better ice conditions and broadcasting concerns.
16. Overtime Period: Stoppage Under 10 Minutes. (Rule 91.4) In these cases, at the first stoppage of play under the 10 minute mark, ice maintenance shall be allowed, if available. Note: The allowable stoppages are the same as the NCAA TV Timeout protocol (e.g., stoppage for icing does not qualify).
Rationale. Will provide better ice conditions and a brief timeout for both teams.
17. Uniforms: Contrast Between Number and Jersey. (Rule 9.1) Uniform numbers must be a light color number on dark sweaters and a dark colored number on light colored jerseys.
Rationale. Eliminates any confusion on numbering and provides manufacturers/teams with clear direction.
18. Uniforms: Numbers on Helmets Recommended. (Rule 9.4) The committee recommends that teams add numbers to the front of student-athlete helmets.
Rationale. Will assist with proper identification of student-athletes.
19. Goal Nets: NHL-Style Nets Allowed. (Rule 2.2) Note that the new NHL nets are considered to be legal for NCAA play.
Rationale. Editorial clarification.
20. Two Goalkeeper Requirement. (Rule 5.3) To remove the requirement for a waiver to start the game with one goalkeeper. A delay will not be allowed if the goalkeeper is penalized or otherwise incapacitated.
Rationale. Removes unneeded paperwork to a rare situation.
21. Women’s Hockey: Experimental Rule — High Sticking the Puck. (Rule 64) For the next two seasons, in women’s ice hockey, players shall be allowed to legally high-stick the puck. This experimental rule will be allowed in exhibition games and by conference request only; any non-conference and NCAA championship games will continue to enforce the current high-sticking rule.
Rationale. Strong support in the women’s ice hockey community exists to allow play to continue in these cases. Rules remain that protect student-athlete safety and will continue to be strictly enforced.
22. Look-Up Line. (Rule 1.1) Recommendation. The committee approved the use of a warning-track style line. The use of this line will not be mandatory, but is permissible.
Rationale. Potential enhancement to student-athlete safety; USA Hockey has formed a task force to study its use and implementation.
In that list, I’d push for No. 7 to be included for all games, not just the NCAA tournament.
The rationale in limiting review of penalties that could include an ejection to just NCAA tournament games seems to be that those games have more usable video available.
There was a point, however, when the rules committee opened up video replay for goals in regular season play, knowing that the quality (and utilization, for that matter) was not going to be consistent from conference to conference.
I’d say if there’s video available that can help determine if a hit rises to the level of an ejectable offense, referees should be able to use it for such an important decision.