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Unbiased opinion of Spearing Major, Game Misonduct

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02-25-2014, 10:06 AM
  #1
Teppo
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Unbiased opinion of Spearing Major, Game Misonduct

Hi All,

I know I can NOT be objective when looking at this penalty called against my son. I was hoping to get an honest, non-biased opinion. He is a peewee player. The penalty resulted in a 5 minute major, and a game misconduct. This means an automatic suspension for the next game which is the league Semi Final.

I won't add anything to the description to impact your analysis, other than to say the penalty is called on #78 in black at about 25 seconds into the clip, and that audio is important as there is dispute over when the whistle sounded.

Attached is the referees description, and the best video available.


[Thanks for all the great comments and opinions on this - was very helpful. I am going to remove the video and ref report just for privacy sake (not for me, but the other team). If you want to see the video just PM me.]

I hope I am not being lame by asking people to look at this. Thanks in advance if you do take the time to review.


Last edited by Teppo: 02-26-2014 at 09:03 AM.
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02-25-2014, 10:23 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Difficult to tell from that distance and angle, but generally when the goalie has the puck in his midsection it's unacceptable to jab at it.

The timing of the whistle isn't an issue. Spearing is spearing, whether the play is live or not. It's an automatic 5+game, and based on the fact that your son didn't get a match penalty it sounds like it was judged NOT to be an attempt to injure.

Unless there's a factor that isn't visible in this video, it looks like the right call to me. Unfortunate because it wasn't intentional, but it's a teachable moment about the limits of contact with the goalie and how to handle his stick.

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02-25-2014, 10:31 AM
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Teppo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
Difficult to tell from that distance and angle, but generally when the goalie has the puck in his midsection it's unacceptable to jab at it.

The timing of the whistle isn't an issue. Spearing is spearing, whether the play is live or not. It's an automatic 5+game, and based on the fact that your son didn't get a match penalty it sounds like it was judged NOT to be an attempt to injure.

Unless there's a factor that isn't visible in this video, it looks like the right call to me. Unfortunate because it wasn't intentional, but it's a teachable moment about the limits of contact with the goalie and how to handle his stick.
Thanks. I guess the part that is not visible is that the puck dropped from his midsection and was on the ice. There was no stick contact with the midsection - it was the goalie's knee which was on the ice.

The part about the whistle is that the referee report said the incident occured after the whistle went.

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02-25-2014, 10:32 AM
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SaintMorose
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Using his stick irresponsibly and hurting a goalie with a "trainer" (other team's assist. coach) coming out to attend to him is an automatic 5+game. From this video it looks like the goalie had the puck frozen in his gut area before the whistle and a kid goes in and sticks his hockey stick into his gut/hand to try and get the puck free. You really can't prove the goalie is not legitimately hurt on the play and so the ref made the correct call.

I know a lot of places you get taught to play and dig until the whistle but the way the rules are written and called once a goaltender has the puck you cannot hack at his hand/wrist/gut to get it free as its a dangerous play; so it does not matter when the whistle went only the result of what happened.

Spearing penalty also on a goalie in his crease (same with charging) in some zones of minor hockey can be an automatic 5+game regardless of injury.

edit: yeah as tarheel mentions it does not look or get called as an attempt to injure I think it's just letting the "play until the whistle" coaching not drawing a boundary about where you can legally put your stick and then you have some bad luck in getting through the goaltenders padding.


Last edited by SaintMorose: 02-25-2014 at 10:39 AM.
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02-25-2014, 10:38 AM
  #5
Mike Martin
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It was the right call, the Goalie was injured by the Spear, the referees are reacting the same way NHL officials would. And these are kids so the fear of a serious injury is much more scary for the parents than if this happened to an adult NHL player.

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02-25-2014, 11:02 AM
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Chau Vo
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I don't like the spearing motion regardless of circumstance (before or after the whistle). You can really hurt someone.

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02-25-2014, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Chau Vo View Post
I don't like the spearing motion regardless of circumstance (before or after the whistle). You can really hurt someone.
I am not seeing a spearing motion in the video (biased admittedly) - are you going by the referee report?

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02-25-2014, 11:21 AM
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Mike Martin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teppo View Post
I am not seeing a spearing motion in the video (biased admittedly) - are you going by the referee report?
If it wasn't a spearing motion that doesn't really matter to the referees, the outcome was a spear because the Goalie was injured by the poke.

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02-25-2014, 11:34 AM
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Teppo
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Originally Posted by Mike Martin View Post
If it wasn't a spearing motion that doesn't really matter to the referees, the outcome was a spear because the Goalie was injured by the poke.
That is my take on it. I think what happened is my son went for the puck as it dropped between the goalies legs. He was down in a butterfly, and my son's stick wedged in between the bottom of the goalie's pants, and behind the top of his goal pads -so right at the top of the unprotected knee. Definitely painful. It was a bit of a fluke. Had his stick just glanced off the goalie's pad, I don't think anyone would have looked twice at the play.

My big issue is that the referee's report stated that there was a "forceful" and "energetic" "spearing motion" that happened after the whistle. I don't think any of that is accurate (but I understand none of that is required for it to be a legitimate spearing penalty). I also do not like that the report makes no mention of where the stick made contact - in the gut or throat is a lot different than in the leg which was on the ice. Again, does not matter where contact (or even if contact was made) to call a spear, but deciding further discipline, it all has relevance.

I do appreciate all the replies and the intelligent analysis - much appreciated.

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02-25-2014, 11:37 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Missing Details.

A few details are missing - jurisdiction, Pee Wee but which level? Minor, major, mixed, single, double triple letter, etc?

Few points. Whistle blown or referee intends to blow the whistle is one and the same. Although well beyond whistle could go to intent. Does not seem to be an issue here.

Player has to control his stick at all times. Digging for the puck be it in the crease, in the corner or elsewhere may be acceptable as long as it is done using the stick as part of a normal hockey play or motion.

Gestures that may be interpreted as a spear are not usually considered normal hockey plays or motions.

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02-25-2014, 11:40 AM
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Jarick
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I would agree with the other posters. it might be an unfortunate mistake, but it's still the right call. A "forceful, energetic" motion can be great when applied to the puck and a penalty when applied to a person. It's like when you try and lift a stick but miss and hit the player in the face, not intentional but still a penalty.

I'd say the most important thing is for the player to be a good sport about it and learn from the mistake in terms of awareness and player safety. That's bigger than wins and losses IMO.

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02-25-2014, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
A few details are missing - jurisdiction, Pee Wee but which level? Minor, major, mixed, single, double triple letter, etc?
It is USAHockey - Peewee. It is A level, major/minor mixed.

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02-25-2014, 11:49 AM
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Canadiens1958
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Appropriate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teppo View Post
It is USAHockey - Peewee. It is A level, major/minor mixed.
At that level it is the cautious, appropriate call. The game is not close based on the scoreboard. Chances are the referee does not want the game to get out of control creating other situations.

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02-25-2014, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
I would agree with the other posters. it might be an unfortunate mistake, but it's still the right call. A "forceful, energetic" motion can be great when applied to the puck and a penalty when applied to a person. It's like when you try and lift a stick but miss and hit the player in the face, not intentional but still a penalty.

I'd say the most important thing is for the player to be a good sport about it and learn from the mistake in terms of awareness and player safety. That's bigger than wins and losses IMO.
This is something I struggle with. What is the lesson to teach? When your teammate takes a shot, you fly to the net for a rebound - that is fundamental. If you see the puck loose in the crease and the whistle has not sounded you try and poke it in, in a legal, controlled manner. I don't know that I can say not to do any of this - its fundamental hockey. The only problem on this play was that as he went for the puck along the ice his stick slid under the goalie's pad.

I don't know - maybe the teaching point is to be sure to use more of a flattened slapping motion at the loose puck rather than a poking/pushing method? I know I was specifically taught to use a poking motion for a loose puck in the goalie's pads, but maybe safety concerns have changed the game a bit (rightfully so).

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02-25-2014, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Canadiens1958 View Post
At that level it is the cautious, appropriate call. The game is not close based on the scoreboard. Chances are the referee does not want the game to get out of control creating other situations.
I can see making a call to keep things under control. Maybe even a major. But to add a game misconduct knowing that it will result in a one game suspension, I just can't see how the play warranted that (but as I say I am bias).

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02-25-2014, 11:53 AM
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if the stick is on the ice and you jab the goalie most times its not a big deal as its into the pads. as soon as the stick comes up its spearing regardless of the intent.

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02-25-2014, 11:55 AM
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Jarick
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If it's truly an accident, it probably won't ever happen again.

What I mean by awareness of player safety is that, in the end, it's a game. You don't want to see other kids getting hurt. There's accidents and you can't help that, but that's why the refs are cautious. And to be a good sport, not to pout and be upset at the decision, but to understand why it's there. To be gracious, you know?

My kid's not at that level yet, so I can't speak from experience, just how I would try and explain it.

Did he turn the stick around so he's literally using a spearing motion? Or did he try and poke at the puck using the toe holding it normally?

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02-25-2014, 12:03 PM
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Teppo
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
If it's truly an accident, it probably won't ever happen again.

What I mean by awareness of player safety is that, in the end, it's a game. You don't want to see other kids getting hurt. There's accidents and you can't help that, but that's why the refs are cautious. And to be a good sport, not to pout and be upset at the decision, but to understand why it's there. To be gracious, you know?

My kid's not at that level yet, so I can't speak from experience, just how I would try and explain it.

Did he turn the stick around so he's literally using a spearing motion? Or did he try and poke at the puck using the toe holding it normally?
5 years of playing hockey and he never had a penalty for trying to hurt someone (plenty of lazy trips and hooks). It was 5-0, he just scored on the shift before, and there was nothing chippy/rough going on in the game. I know for sure it was an accident (but does not mean it was not a spear). The one thing I did tell him is to be aware of the score and maybe consider how aggressive to be. It hurt saying that, because I do not think aggressiveness should be turned on/off, but I felt I should at least give him something.

I think he handled it very graciously. He did not argue with the referee at all. He skated right off when told to. The opposing coach called him "A stupid little shxx" and he did not respond back. You are right that it wins/losses are not important, but after the hard work he has put into his season, to be told that he cannot play in his first ever playoff game is hard to comprehend based on that play.

I am not sure what you mean about turning the stick around - but you can see on the video it was clearly a poke/push along the ice. Unfortunately you cannot see that the puck fell down.

P.S. Go Wild - no tanking.

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02-25-2014, 12:12 PM
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Jarick
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Sounds like an isolated incident then and I wouldn't be worried about it.

What I mean by turning the wrists over is, when you hold the stick the blade points up, did he turn the blade down or sideways first? That would exaggerate the spearing motion. Otherwise you literally have to spear UP if you're holding the stick normally.

The other thing I can think of is, did he wind up and step into the spearing motion? If I were standing by the goalie and the puck was loose, I'd literally be poking at the puck and it wouldn't be much of a shot. To hurt someone bad enough to get a trainer out, I'd have to wind my arms back and really jab into the person, like I was going to try and dig a hole with a shovel. If the refs see that, arms are going up and that's not a hockey play.

I hope the opposing coach was reprimanded for that behavior. Sets a terrible example for his kids.

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02-25-2014, 12:14 PM
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Teppo
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Sounds like an isolated incident then and I wouldn't be worried about it.

What I mean by turning the wrists over is, when you hold the stick the blade points up, did he turn the blade down or sideways first? That would exaggerate the spearing motion. Otherwise you literally have to spear UP if you're holding the stick normally.

The other thing I can think of is, did he wind up and step into the spearing motion? If I were standing by the goalie and the puck was loose, I'd literally be poking at the puck and it wouldn't be much of a shot. To hurt someone bad enough to get a trainer out, I'd have to wind my arms back and really jab into the person, like I was going to try and dig a hole with a shovel. If the refs see that, arms are going up and that's not a hockey play.

I hope the opposing coach was reprimanded for that behavior. Sets a terrible example for his kids.
Did you watch the video of it - or was it just not clear on the video?

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02-25-2014, 12:35 PM
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Is this a USA Hockey game?

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02-25-2014, 12:38 PM
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Game Misconduct

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Originally Posted by Teppo View Post
I can see making a call to keep things under control. Maybe even a major. But to add a game misconduct knowing that it will result in a one game suspension, I just can't see how the play warranted that (but as I say I am bias).
Game misconduct may be automatic with any five minute injury major in the jurisdiction.

If the referee does not apply it he may be reprimanded but the one game suspension may be overturned without consequences to the referee.

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02-25-2014, 12:39 PM
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Teppo
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Is this a USA Hockey game?
Yes - USAHockey. Peewee.

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02-25-2014, 12:42 PM
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Game misconduct may be automatic with any five minute injury major in the jurisdiction.

If the referee does not apply it he may be reprimanded but the one game suspension may be overturned without consequences to the referee.
I think it is mandatory with a major - which is why I think a minor was the right call to "keep the peace." As you can see on the video however, there was very little reaction from the opposing players and more importantly the opposing parents (the ones doing the video taping). One call of "late hit" - but that was obviously not something that occurred. Usually when games are getting out of hand the parents are going nuts in the stands and you can hear it on the tape. This was a pretty uneventful game - nothing rough/chippy going on.

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02-25-2014, 12:53 PM
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fryer98
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Is this a USA Hockey game?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teppo View Post
Yes - USAHockey. Peewee.
I should have refreshed before I posted, sorry for asking again.


Anyway, did the goalie stay in the game? It looks to me like he did.

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