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Update from USAH

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09-26-2006, 05:09 PM
Gino 14
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Update from USAH

Got this from USAH. It sheds some additional light on the points of emphasis.

USA Hockey Standard of Play and Rule Emphasis Interpretations

Battling in Front of Goal

With the standard of play initiative, players are still legally able to battle for position in front of the goal and in the
corners. This may include considerable body contact. A player using their size, strength and balance to establish a
favorable body position is an effective play and rewards players who use this skill to gain a competitive advantage.
The use of the stick in this process to steer the opponent is also allowed as long as it remains close to the body and the
arms are not extended in a manner that cross-checks the opponent. An example of an illegal tactic would include the
extension or use of the arm(s) to push off in an effort to create distance between the player and the opponent or prevent
them from legally playing the puck.

Free Hand Used By Offensive Player

A player who is in possession and control of the puck and has established body position may use their free hand to
maintain that body position. In this situation, both players are skating shoulder-to-shoulder, or the defensive player is
slightly behind, and the attacking player uses the free arm to fend off the defensive player and simply maintain their
already established body position, as long as they do not grab the stick, sweater or arm of the opponent.

However, a player who uses a free arm to push off of an opponent and create space, or uses the free arm to originally
establish body position by impeding the progress of the opponent, will be penalized for holding or interference.

Lifting an Opponent Stick and Stick Presses

The use of the stick to lift an opponent’s stick and gain possession of the puck, or prevent them from gaining
possession of the puck, is considered a good defensive play that should not be penalized. Lifting a non-puck carrier’s
stick in a manner that does not impede their progress is also allowable under the rules. In addition, the use of the stick
to check an opponent’s stick, or press the opponent’s stick to the ice or boards, is a good defensive play as long as it is
done on the lower portion of the stick shaft and the intended purpose is to dislodge the puck or prevent the opponent
from playing the puck.

Turning the stick blade over on top of the stick of an opponent for the purpose of pressing the stick and preventing the
opponent from playing the puck is also allowable. If done, it must be on the lower portion of the stick and for the sole
purpose of preventing the opponent from playing the puck. However, if done in a manner that impedes the progress of
an opponent, or contact is made higher up on the stick, a penalty for hooking should be assessed.


One area that has gotten more attention as a result of the Standard of Play is diving. Although there is no indication
this is a significant problem at the youth level, the action does exist and everyone will need to be on the same page in
handling those rare situations.

First off, it is important to recognize that under the new standard, there is no inherent advantage to embellishing an
action by the opponent. A player no longer has to fall down to have a penalty called, so the end result is a player will
essentially be taking himself or herself completely out of the play by doing so. It is also important to establish that
even the most obvious dive does not excuse the illegal action of the opponent.

Since USA Hockey’s current rules do not specifically identify diving as an infraction, we are somewhat limited in how
officials can react to this type of action. When an obvious dive occurs, the recommendation is to have the official
skate over and request to speak to the coach of the offending team. In doing so, they are acknowledging the fact a dive
occurred and are asking the coach to address this action with their team. A friendly reminder that a diving action will
have no effect on a penalty being called or not would also be warranted.

Gino 14 is offline   Reply With Quote
09-26-2006, 07:30 PM
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The free hand and lifting the stick came into play my last game. Few guys were complaining on getting their stick held while we were on D, and one instance we got called for holding the stick...kinda screwy there. But lifting the stick was the biggest thing, the other team kept screaming for hooking calls the whole night whenever we went to play the stick. Good to see USAH on top of things and clarifying.

sc37 is offline   Reply With Quote

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