Rules changes for 2014-15 season approved by NCAA oversight panel

WCHA referee Scott Bokal works during a Nov. 23, 2012, game in Duluth, Minn. (photo: Jim Rosvold).

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has given the thumbs-up to a number of changes proposed in June by the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee.

It also approved an option for officials to assess a major penalty for interference to penalize significant contact that occurs away from the head and neck.

That change wasn’t included in initial recommendations made public by the hockey rules committee and has more of a procedural impact in which penalty call is used by referees.

Among the changes are added scenarios for the use of video replay, including on plays where skaters may have been offside or a team had too many players on the ice.

Goals also may be reviewed to determine if they were scored before a penalty occurred, and video from any source available to game officials now may be used. Previously, only video from television broadcasts was allowed.

The other rule changes to be made for the 2014-15 season, according to the NCAA:

Major penalty for interference: To assist officials in properly penalizing significant contact — particularly blindside hits — that is not to the head or neck area, the panel approved the addition of a major penalty for interference.

Hand pass by faceoff player: The players taking a faceoff are no longer allowed to use their hand to play the puck. A violation of this rule will result in a minor penalty, similar to the NHL rule.

Faceoff procedure: During end zone faceoffs, the defending team’s player is required to put their stick down first. Previously, the attacking team was required to do so. Center ice and neutral zone faceoffs will continue to require the visiting team to put their stick down first.

Goal pegs: 10-inch goal pegs that are anchored into the ice or floor must be in place at all NCAA levels by the 2016-17 season.

Faceoff location (offensive scoring opportunity): If the offensive team is attempting to score and the puck goes out of play, the faceoff will remain in the attacking zone.

Faceoff location (high stick/hand pass): In these cases, the ensuing faceoff will be one zone closer to the offending team’s goal.

Penalty shot/shootout: During a shootout or penalty shot, if the goal becomes dislodged by the goalkeeper, the referee can either award a goal (if intentional, or if the goal was obvious and imminent) or allow the team to shoot again.

Penalty shot: If a player who 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 will be chosen to shoot.

Look-Up Line: The committee approved the use of a warning-track-style line intended to positively impact safety near the boards. The installation of this line will not be mandatory, but is permissible.

Experimental women’s rule: The panel also approved an experimental rule in women’s ice hockey only to allow the puck to be played legally with a high stick.


  1. What the what with the legal high-stick? Why is it less dangerous for women to bring their sticks up to play the puck than for men?


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