Ask The Official

“Ask The Official” is gathering content! USA Hockey does a weekly Ask The Official during the hockey season. Officials, players, parents and coaches are allowed to submit questions. We are working to create a similar concept, but for officials only. ALL QUESTIONS ARE ACCEPTED! If it’s about CAHA or SCAHA, we can find out the answer. If it’s a game situation, we would like to have our junior and professional officials give us their opinion on how it should be handled. Please CLICK HERE to submit a question.

Also, check out USA Hockey’s Ask The Official.


QUESTION: The Summary of Face-Off Locations (in Appendix II) identifies three situations that call for a center ice face-off. Are there any other situations that may result in a center ice face-off?


ANSWER: Yes, with the new 9 Dot face-off location rule a center ice face-off may take place provided it is the nearest marked face-off location to a stoppage of play that requires a Neutral Zone face-off under the last play face-off rules.


QUESTION: If an attacking player in the attacking zone takes a shot and it is deflected, directed or tipped off of or by an attacking player and as a result the puck goes off of the goal post or cross bar and out of play where is the ensuing face-off?


ANSWER: The face-off shall be at one of the marked end zone face spots in that attacking zone.


QUESTION: If an attacking player in the Neutral Zone on his defending side of the center red line takes a shot and it goes off of the goal post or cross bar and out of play where is the ensuing face-off?


ANSWER: In this situation, there is a potential icing violation involved. If the puck, after striking the cross bar or goal post crosses the goal line by going out of the rink anywhere behind the goal line extended vertically then an icing infraction should be enforced. If the puck goes out of the rink without crossing the goal line then an end zone face-off in the attacking end zone should take place.


QUESTION:Rule 615(c) states that “A match penalty (for all age classifications) shall be assessed to any player who deliberately removes his opponent’s helmet/facemask prior to or during an altercation” yet Situation 13 (page 251/Rule/Case Book) states it should be only a game misconduct at the Adult level. Which is correct?


ANSWER: The correct penalty to assess in this situation is a Match penalty at the Adult level. Situation 13 in the Case Book was an oversight during the editing process and the reference to the Adult Age Classification exception should have been deleted.


QUESTION: In regards to the new rule where when a shot goes off the crossbar and out of play, the face-off stays in the end zone, would this only apply when the shot is taken in the offensive zone? If the shot is taken in neutral zone, where would the face-off location be?



ANSWER: Rule 612(g): “A team causing a stoppage of play shall not gain a territorial advantage with the ensuing face-off. In this instance, the ensuing face-off shall be at the nearest face-off spot closer to their own goal.”

EXAMPLE: if the shot was taken behind the neutral zone face off dots but in front of the red line, the resulting face off would be at center ice.


QUESTION: If an attacking player in the attacking zone attempts a pass and the puck strikes off the back of the goal frame and out of play, where should the face-off be located?


ANSWER: The face-off shall be located at the closest marked Neutral Zone face-off spot nearest to where the pass was originated.


QUESTION:Does the Rule 624(b.1) (Icing) apply to the Tier I 15 year old ONLY age classification?


ANSWER: Rule 624 (b.1) DOES apply to this age group. The 15 year old age classification can legally ice the puck when the team is shorthanded.


QUESTION: Are adult league goalies allowed to play with a players helmet?


ANSWER: Yes. Rule 304(c) states, “All players, including goalkeepers, in all age classifications except Adults, are required to properly wear a HECC approved helmet as designed by the manufacturer and with no alterations and chin strap properly fastened.”

From the USA Hockey Casebook, Situation 3, “What are the guidelines regarding the wearing of a non-HECC
approved form-fitted goalkeeper’s facemask? A goalkeeper in the Adult age classification must wear a hockey helmet and full facemask. There is no HECC requirement, but no form-fitted masks are permitted.”