Ask The Official

Ask The Official: Presented by LAHOA. Officials, players, parents and coaches are encouraged to submit questions. ALL QUESTIONS ARE ACCEPTED! Please CLICK HERE to submit a question. Also, check out USA Hockey’s Ask The Official.


QUESTION: From an ADHSHL Goalkeeper,


I currently play goalie in the ADHSHL and just turned 18. I know that USA Hockey does not allow uncertified “cats-eye” facemasks for goalies but am I allowed to change my facemask now that I am 18?


ANSWER: No, no goalkeeper at any level in USA Hockey may wear an uncertified “cats-eye” facemask. ALTHOUGH…

From The Situation Manual Rule 303 Situation 4:

Can a goalkeeper playing in the Youth, High School or Girls’ age classifications wear a “cats-eye” facemask?

Yes, as long as it is HECC approved. Rule References 303(b) and 304 (c & d).

There are some HECC approved goalkeeper facemasks that do have the look of a “cat’s-eye” shape. In these cases, the openings of the facemask are small enough to meet ASTM standards and do receive HECC approval. The shape of the opening is not important, it is the size of the opening that will determine whether certification is gained.


QUESTION: According to 618(c), play shall be stopped and an end zone face-off taken when a goalkeeper holds the puck for more than three seconds while being pressured. My question is, should the referee wait three seconds, even when pressured, before they stop play?


ANSWER: No, the referee shall stop the play immediately when the goalkeeper has covered the puck. Here is an excerpt from The Situation Manual Rule 632 Situation 2, “Referees are expected to act quickly to prevent
 possible altercations around the goal area by means of prompt stoppages when the puck has been frozen [by the goalkeeper].”


QUESTION: Play is continuous (no stoppages in play). When the clock hits 11:10, what happens?



Team A

14:25 #17 – Minor
13:15 #23 – Minor
13:00 #38 – Minor




At 11:10, the minor penalties to #17 and to #23 have expired, but Team Red is still one player short-handed. Therefore, one player is permitted to leave the penalty box. Since #17’s penalty expired first, he is the player to be released.

NOTE: If play continues without a whistle, at 10:25, #23 would be released and Team Red would be back to full-strength. Players are released in the order in which their penalties expire. #38 must then wait until there is a stoppage of play in order to be released.


QUESTION: Which penalty terminates?



Team A

Team B

10:00 #16 – Major  
9:30   #14 – Minor
9:00   #12 – Minor
8:00 Goal  




USA Hockey & Juniors: The minor penalty to #14 would terminate because #14 has less time remaining in their penalty.

NCAA: The minor to #12 would terminate because #12’s infraction was the penalty that put Team B shorthanded.


QUESTION: SCAHA – Two goalies are on the roster for a team, during warm-ups, one goalie was not present but the manager said they were on the way. Since the goalie is on the roster, does the referee allow the goalie to join the bench/game without a bench minor penalty under rule 203(a)? What if it was a skater?


ANSWER: Yes, Rule 203 Situation 4 states, “If the player was eligible to play in the game, his name should not be crossed off the scoresheet just because he is not present for the start of the game. Names should only be crossed off the scoresheet at the conclusion of the game once it has been confirmed the player did not participate.” If a players is NOT going to be present for the game then he would be crossed off before the game has started to allow for that roster spot to be taken by another player.

NOTE: CAHA, SCAHA & the ADHSHL use a modified rule.


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.”


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.

2017-2021 Rule Changes


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: 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 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: 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.