College Hockey:
Might We Propose? Potential Rules-to-Be

The NCAA Ice Hockey Rules Committee submitted 22 proposed amendments to the rule book, to take effect at the commencement of the 2010-11 season and to become eligible for review following the 2011-12 campaign. The panel also recommended three experimental rules – which would only be enforced in non-NCAA contests – and noted two “future considerations”, to be revisited at a future date. Here are those items, courtesy of Rules Committee Chairman Forrest Karr and the NCAA:


Rule: Stopping play when video review is imminent

Explanation: In games with video review, when a close play occurs at the goal and the referee is certain he/she will review the situation, play shall be stopped when no advantage is gained, similar to a stoppage for an injured player.

Rationale: Currently, there is no rules support to stop play in these situations. Allowing some referee discretion would save potential issues with the opposing team scoring a goal, penalties assessed, etc.

Rule: Half Shield allowance (mens play only)

Explanation: To work with the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport to research and study the use of half shield facial protection and the potential impact on NCAA competition.

Rationale: The committee believes that the technology of the half shield facial protection has improved in recent years and plans to work collaboratively with the mens college hockey community and the sports medical and athletic training community to determine if this type of protection is appropriate for NCAA competition. Many other similar age levels (Olympic competition, juniors, etc.) allow the use of the improved half shield protection.

Rule: Delayed penalty enforcement

Explanation: If the non-offending team scores during the delayed penalty, the penalty would still be enforced and that team would receive a power play.

Rationale: Would provide the non-offending team an extra opportunity to create some scoring chances.

Rule: Contact to the Head

Explanation: Alter the language to read: A player shall not target and make contact with an opposing players head or neck area in any manner or force the head of an opposing player into the protective glass, boards or goal cage.”

PENALTYMajor and a game misconduct or disqualification at the discretion of the referee.

Rationale: This is an important safety issue and the committee is concerned about some violent contact that has occurred in the game and caused injury. To make this rule more clear, any time a player targets the head or neck area of an opponent, it must be a major penalty and a game misconduct penalty at a minimum. This rule is not intended to cover incidental contact or contact with the head that occurs that should be a minor penalty (e.g., unintentional high stick, body check where the contact is initiated at the shoulder or torso, but the follow through makes some contact with the head). Clear direction is being provided here to assist officials, coaches and players with this rule.
The committee expects a heightened awareness to direct contact to head, but it should be noted that many contact to the head fouls in previous seasons that were minor penalties should remain minor penalties (for example, an incidental high sticking foul would remain a minor for high sticking).

Rule: Defensive team shoots puck out of play from defensive zone

Explanation: When a delay of game penalty is not called, the team that shoots the puck directly out of play would not be allowed to change its players.

Rationale: This would provide some penalty for a defending team that shoots the puck out of play directly. If the puck is ruled to be deliberately shot out of play, a delay of game penalty may still be issued.

Rule: Faceoff location – Shot off of goal and out of play

Explanation: When the puck is shot by the offensive team and it hits the goal cage and goes out of play, keep the faceoff in the offensive zone.

Rationale: The offensive team seems to be penalized unfairly for this faceoff location.

Rule: Hand Passes

Explanation: Require that a hand pass must be deliberately directed to a teammate or create a gained advantage for this rule to be in effect.

Rationale: Too many hand passes are being called that are not truly hand passes. For example, a defenseman is trying to hold the line at the offensive blue line and the puck deflects off of the players glove and goes to a teammate in the neutral zone. This was not deliberately directed and therefore should not be a violation of the hand pass rule. This change will assist officials to properly administer this rule.

Rule: Hybrid Icing

Explanation: New rule that would mirror a system used in some junior leagues where the linesmen judge which player would touch the puck first if an icing is in effect.

Rationale: To add an element of touch-up icing used in professional levels and eliminate some whistles in the game without compromising safety.

Rule: Shorthanded team not allowed to ice the puck

Explanation: Enforce icing at all times of the game.

Rationale: This change would remove a contradiction in the rules that allows a team that has violated the rules in one area to violate another rule in order to compensate for being shorthanded. This would provide more scoring opportunities for the power play team and could encourage more skilled play from the defensive team.

Rule: Obtainable pass

Explanation: Remove this provision in the rules.

Rationale: This rule has created more difficulty for linesmen to judge icing calls and some teams have used this rule to their advantage without making a skilled play.

Rule: Overtime

Explanation: To have goalkeepers change ends of the ice before the overtime period begins.

Rationale: This rule would make line changes more difficult for both teams and will lead to scoring opportunities and a reduction in the number of tie games.

Rule: Overtime

Explanation: To have goalkeepers change ends of the ice before each overtime period when games are played to a winner (20 minute, sudden death periods).

Rationale: This rule would continue the progression that is natural to the game. The overtime periods are intended to be an extension of the game; teams change ends during regular play and this would be consistent.

Rule: Awarding goals

Explanation: To allow a goal to be awarded during a breakaway situation with an empty net if the player is fouled.

Rationale: This has occurred in a handful of games and a goal was awarded as obvious and imminent. The committee believes this was the right call, but rules support was not clear.

Rule: Use of timeout to change players

Explanation: If a team ices the puck or creates a stoppage that does not allow a change of players and the

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