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Injured Players

Situation 1

In a Youth or Girls’ game a player is hit by the puck in the neck area and falls to the ice. When should the play be stopped?

Play should always be stopped the instant any of the On-Ice Officials believes the injury to be serious or when the injured player’s team gains possession of the puck in a non-scoring position. Rule Reference 206(a).

Although the Referee will generally stop play for an injured player, any on-ice official should stop play immediately at the younger age levels any time they deem the injury may be serious. If unsure as to the seriousness of the injury, officials should always err on the side of caution.

If the injury is not deemed to be serious, play should continue until that player’s team gains possession of the puck in a non-scoring situation.

Whereas officials should always be aware of situations where a player may fake an injury to gain a stoppage of play, the safety of the player should always come first at the youth levels of play and officials will not be scrutinized for taking an overly cautious approach to stopping play. As an official gains experience, they will be better equipped with awareness and understanding to assist them in making the right decision as to when to stop play.

Situation 2

The Referee stops play for an apparent injury to a skater. If the skater is not injured, must they leave the ice?

Yes. Rule Reference 206(a).

Any time play is stopped for what the official deems to have been an injured skater, that skater must leave the ice until play has resumed. This is the case even when the official was overly cautious in stopping play and the skater recovers quickly.

Situation 3

Play has been stopped due to an injured skater. The skater recovers quickly, but refuses to leave the ice. What penalty, if any, shall be assessed?

A bench minor penalty for delaying the game shall be assessed to the offending team. Rule References 206(a) and 610(h).

The Referee shall allow ample time for the skater to be treated. Once the injured skater has been treated, they must proceed to their players’ bench (off the ice) immediately after being told to do so by the Referee.

Situation 4

The Referee stops play due to an injured skater. The injured skater recovers quickly, does not leave the ice as required by the rules and scores a goal. The opposing team appeals to the Referee that the skater who scored the goal did not leave the ice after the injury. What action should be taken by the Referee?

The Referee must allow the goal and assess no penalty. Rule Reference 206(a).

The onus of making sure that an injured skater leaves the ice after play has been stopped due to that injury is with the On-Ice Officials. The offending team/skater cannot be penalized for failure to comply with a rule that the Referee did not enforce.

Situation 5

May a Team Official go onto the ice to attend to an injured goalkeeper without the goalkeeper having to leave the ice and be replaced by a substitute, temporary goalkeeper or another player.

Yes. Rule References 206(a and b).

After a quick assessment by the official and it is deemed that the goalkeeper needs additional assistance, the Team Official should be invited onto the ice to tend to the injured goalkeeper. The goalkeeper shall be allowed only minimal time to recover. If more time is needed for the goalkeeper to fully recover, they should be sent to their players’ bench or dressing room. The game would then continue with a substitute, temporary goalkeeper or another player.

Situation 6

A team has only one goalkeeper and they are injured during the course of the game and unable to continue. May any skater take up the goalkeeper’s position?

Yes. Rule References 206(b), 203(d) and Glossary.

In all games all teams are requested to have a substitute goalkeeper dressed and ready to play at the beginning of the game. In the case of a team having only one goalkeeper dressed and they become unable to play for any reason, the team must resume play immediately.

The team may elect:

(1) To play the remainder of the game using an extra “skater,” thereby having six skaters on the ice, none of whom are designated as a goalkeeper with goalkeeper’s privileges and restrictions.

(2) To delay the game momentarily while a “temporary” goalkeeper acquires the chest protector, gloves and stick of the goalkeeper. They shall have all goalkeeper’s privileges and restrictions. They may return to their
normal position if a substitute goalkeeper becomes designated or if the original goalkeeper returns. The “temporary” goalkeeper must remain the temporary goalkeeper until a substitute becomes available, the original goalkeeper returns or is required to leave the ice due to a penalty or injury.

(3) To continue playing under 1 or 2 while another skater goes to the dressing room to change into complete goalkeeper’s equipment. That skater may then be designated as the substitute goalkeeper.

Situation 7

The Referee observes a player who has a significant amount of blood on their uniform. Is the Referee obligated to stop play immediately?

Yes. Rule Reference 206(c).

That player must be instructed to either decontaminate the uniform or change it. Note that blood on the uniform does not necessarily have to be the blood of the player wearing that uniform.

Situation 8

A penalized skater is injured and is unable to take their proper place on the penalty bench. The team places a substitute on the penalty bench for the injured skater and prior to the penalty expiring, the injured skater recovers and returns to participate in play. What penalty, if any, should be assessed?

Bench minor penalty for illegal substitution. Rule Reference 206(d).

As soon as the injured skater is able to replace the substitute on the penalty bench, they must do so at the first stoppage of play. The returning injured skater or substitute must return to the game from the penalty bench.