skip navigation

Rule 205 | Change of Players

Rule 205 | Change of Players

(a) Immediately following the stoppage of play, the visiting team shall have five seconds to complete any player substitutions. After the visiting player substitutions, the home team shall have five seconds to complete any player substitutions (See Glossary - Line Change Procedure). Once all player substitutions have been made, all players must take position for the ensuing face-off.

If there is any undue delay by either team in changing players, the Referee shall order the offending team or teams to take their face-off positions immediately and not permit any further player changes.

Both teams must place the full number of players on the ice to which they are entitled to prior to the face-off.

Once the line change procedure has been completed, no additional player substitutions shall be permitted until the face-off has been completed legally and play has resumed, except when a penalty or penalties are imposed that affect the on-ice strength of either or both teams. This may include penalties imposed following the completion of the line change and prior to the face-off, or due to a penalty assessed for a face-off violation.

(b) Players may be changed at any time during play from the players' bench, provided that the player or players leaving the ice shall always be at the players' bench and out of the play before any change is made. If either the player entering or leaving the game deliberately plays the puck in any manner or makes physical contact with an opposing player while the retiring player is actually on the ice, or causes his team to gain a competitive advantage, then a bench minor penalty for "too many players on the ice" shall be assessed.

If, in the course of a substitution, either the player entering the play or the player retiring is struck by the puck accidentally, the play will not be stopped and no penalty shall be called.

(c) A goalkeeper may be changed for another goalkeeper or player (who shall not have goalkeeper privileges) at any time during play provided the goalkeeper is at the bench and out of play prior to the substitute entering the ice. If the substitution is made prematurely, there shall be no time penalty assessed. However, the resulting face-off will take place at the center face-off spot unless play was stopped with the play in the offending team's defending half of the ice, in which case the face-off will take place where play was stopped, unless otherwise specified in the rules.

When a goalkeeper leaves his goal area and proceeds to his players' bench for the purpose of substitution during play, the rear Linesman shall be responsible to see that the substitution made is legal. If the substitution is made prematurely, the Linesman shall stop the play immediately unless the non-offending team has possession of the puck, in which event the stoppage will be delayed until a change in possession take place.

(d) A goalkeeper may be substituted for by another goalkeeper or player (who shall not have goalkeeper privileges) during a stoppage provided the change occurs within the line change procedure outlined in Rule 205(a).

When the substitute goalkeeper enters the game he will take his position without delay and no warm-up shall be permitted, except when either team uses its time-out under Rule 636[f]. The original goalkeeper may not return to play until the next stoppage of play. For a violation, the offending team shall be assessed a bench minor penalty for illegal substitution.

(e) During a stoppage of play a goalkeeper may not go to his players' bench without the permission of the Referee (except during time-outs) unless he is substituted for by another player or goalkeeper. For a violation of this rule a bench minor penalty for illegal substitution shall be assessed.

When a substitution for the goalkeeper has been made under paragraph (e) of this rule, the goalkeeper shall not resume his position until the next stoppage of play, except that he shall be permitted immediate re-entry into the game when any penalty is imposed.

(f) A player serving a penalty on the penalty bench, whose penalty has expired, must proceed by way of the ice and be at his players' bench before any substitution can be made.

(g) If there are less than two minutes remaining in regulation time or anytime during overtime and a minor or bench minor penalty is imposed for deliberate illegal substitution, such as too many players on the ice or leaving the penalty bench too soon, a penalty shot/optional minor penalty shall be assessed against the offending team.

(Note) The intent of this rule is to award a penalty shot/optional minor only when the extra player(s) are “deliberately” put on the ice. When a substitution error is made and there are too many players on the ice, the normal bench minor penalty shall be assessed regardless of the time remaining in the game.