NCAA approves rule changes for 2020-21 hockey season pertaining to overtime, faceoffs, postgame handshakes

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday approved changes to the overtime format in men’s and women’s hockey, starting with the 2020-21 season.

Under the new rule, all teams tied at the end of regulation will play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-victory overtime period to decide a winner. If neither team scores, a three-person shootout could be used in conference games or in-season tournaments for advancement purposes.

In addition, the “spin-o-rama” move, where the player with the puck completes a 360-degree turn while approaching the goal, will not be allowed in shootouts.

In regular-season nonconference games that go into overtime, teams are required to play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-victory period. If neither team scores, the result of the game would be a tie.

The panel approved allowing teams to choose which faceoff circle the puck would be dropped in at the start of a power play or after icing violations, and also approved allowing officials to issue a warning on faceoff violations instead of ejecting the center. If a second violation by the same team occurs during the same faceoff, a two-minute bench minor penalty for delay of game will be called.

Committee members think this will speed up the pace of play.

As well, the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee voted to remove the rule that required team members to shake hands after a game. Committee members think it is best for conferences or schools to decide postgame sportsmanship protocols rather than for a national rule to establish the only postgame sportsmanship protocol.