Ice Hockey Rules Revisions Focus on Concussion Prevention and Flow of Game
July 04, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 4, 2011) — No contact with an opposing player’s head or neck area will be allowed at any time in high school ice hockey, effective with the 2011-12 school year. Any contact of that kind could result in a stand-alone minor or major penalty, or even a disqualification.
This was one of six rules changes approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Ice Hockey Rules Committee at its April 18-19 meeting in Indianapolis. The rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
The change to Rule 6-8 was made to heighten awareness of the seriousness of any type of contact to the head, as well as that of any action that might cause a concussion, much like the potential of serious injury caused by checking from behind.
“Removal of language allowing officials discretion in administering penalties from Rule 6-8 regarding contact to the head places additional emphasis on head or neck contact to an opposing player,” said Tom Shafranski, chair of the rules committee and an assistant director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. “It is the hope of the committee that this stricter language will further address concussion management, rough play and the overall wellbeing of a player’s health in high school ice hockey.”
The committee also revised Rule 6-29-2, which now allows play to continue after a shot on goal, resulting in a delayed offside. The committee removed language from the rule and added a note stating, “If the puck enters
the defending team’s goal during a delayed offside or immediately after the offside, the goal is disallowed.”
The revised rule will allow play to continue, allow a defensive player to gain possession of the puck and advance the puck up the ice, and allow the game to continue without a faceoff. “The present rule is a disadvantage to the defensive team because it provides the attacking team a faceoff,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS Education Program Specialist and liaison to the Ice Hockey Rules Committee. “The change will add flow to the game, eliminating unnecessary
stoppages in play.”
The addition of Rule 2-3-4 requires teams to remain in their respective bench areas until the referee signals the players to proceed directly to their respective dressing rooms. The intent of this new rule is to decrease the potential of conflict between the teams at the end of a period. “The committee felt it unnecessary for teams to cross paths after periods and wanted to minimize the opportunity for unsportsmanlike behavior,” Schuster said.
The committee also changed Rule 6-39-1, which will allow all regular-season games to be played under overtime procedures adopted by the respective state high school associations.
Two final changes to the ice hockey rules book are revisions that the NFHS Board of Directors has approved for use in all NFHS rules books.
The first rule extends the clerical duties of officials beyond the end of the game through the completion of any reports required from actions that occurred while the officials had jurisdiction. The second authorizes state associations to grant exceptions to NFHS playing rules forparticipants with disabilities, special needs or extenuating circumstances. “The rules revisions approved by the 2011 NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee reflect the current stability of high school ice hockey,” Shafranski said. “The NFHS has been at the forefront of national organizations in emphasizing the importance of recognizing and properly managing concussions, as well as educating individuals associated with the game regarding such practices.”
Penalties for Boarding, Checking From Behind Increase in High School Ice Hockey
July 16, 2014
More stringent penalties for boarding and checking from behind in high school ice hockey have been approved for the 2014-15 season.
Changes to Rule 6-4 (boarding) and Rule 6-7 (checking from behind) were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Ice Hockey Rules Committee at its April 28-29 meeting in Indianapolis. The committee’s recommendations were subsequently Approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
In its ongoing attempt to minimize the risk of injury in the sport, the committee increased the penalty for boarding (Rule 6-4-1) to an automatic major. Previously, it was only a major for a flagrant violation of the rule, which states: “No player shall check, cross-check, elbow, charge or trip an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently into the boards.”
Now, if a flagrant violation of boarding (6-4-2) occurs, or if the check causes the player to crash headfirst into the boards, either a major and misconduct penalty, or a game disqualification Penalty, must be assessed.
“Increasing the first level of penalty for boarding should act as a deterrent when combined with proper teaching and education,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS staff liaison to the committee who also serves as NFHS assistant director of coach education. “Boarding is one of the most dangerous plays in the sport, and a flagrant boarding act can carry severe consequences to participants and must be accompanied with stiff penalties.”
Equally dangerous is the act of checking from behind, and the committee increased the first penalty level to an automatic major. A violation of Rule 6-7-1, which states “No player shall push, charge, cross-check or body-check an opponent from behind in open ice,” will now be a major penalty instead of a minor and misconduct.
Schuster said that by increasing the penalties for boarding and checking from behind, the committee wanted to make it clear that this type of dangerous play has no place in high school ice hockey.
“The NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee continues in its belief that the main threat to the health of high school ice hockey is violent and reckless play,” said Tom Shafranski, assistant director of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee. “The safety and well-being of the participants is paramount and the primary focus of this committee.”
Among the points of emphasis formulated by the committee for the coming season are player safety/dangerous hits, concussion recognition and management, proper communication to eliminate unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting, and proper equipment.
6-4-1 ART 1…No player shall check, cross-check, elbow, charge or trip an opponent in such a
manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently into the boards. PENALTY: MAJOR
MINOR. If flagrant, Major.
6-4-2 ART 2 …If flagrant or the check causes the player to crash headfirst into the boards, either
a MAJOR and MISCONDUCT or GAME DISQUALIFICATION penalty must be assessed.
6-7-1 ART 1…No player shall push, charge, cross-check or body-check an opponent from
behind in open ice. PENALTY: MAJOR
MINOR AND MISCONDUCT.
OTHER ICE HOCKEY RULES CHANGES
3-4-4 Description of a proper tooth and mouth protector language was updated.
4-10-2 Emphasized that all penalties, served or not, shall be recorded on the score sheet
5-2-2 Officials shall wear all required equipment for both the warm-up and the game.
5-3-1b Officials are responsible for having access to a NFHS Rules Book during games.