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Major Penalties

Situation 1

The Referee assesses a minor penalty to a player and it is announced as such. Before the ensuing face-off he decides that the situation warrants a major penalty to be called instead of the minor penalty. Should he change the minor penalty even though it has already been announced?

Yes. Rule Reference 403(a).

Even though this is a situation that the Referee must try to avoid, he is still required to change the call. The Referee has an obligation to get the call right, whenever possible, and take the time when making this type of decision to improve his chances of doing so. Potential criticism by the offending team for changing the call is not a valid reason not to do what is right.

Situation 2

Is a major penalty ever considered to be “coincident” with a match penalty?

Yes. The coincident major penalty rule should be applied with major against major, then match against match. If there are any remaining major and match penalties to the opposing teams, then offset major against match. Rule References 403(c) and 405(b).

One objective of the coincident major penalty rule is to maximize players on the ice when players are assessed penalties. Otherwise the teams would be required to play for extended periods at less than full on-ice numerical strength.

Situation 3

A player is assessed a major plus game misconduct penalty, may their team wait until the major penalty is near expiration before placing the additional player on the penalty bench?

No (Youth, Girls’ and High School). Rule Reference 403(d).

(Adults) The team is not required to place an additional player on the penalty bench. Rule Reference 403(d).

(For Youth, Girls’ and High School Classifications) When the player is assessed a game misconduct in addition to a noncoincident major penalty, the team must place an additional player on the penalty bench immediately.

(For Adult Classifications) The team is not required to place an additional player on the penalty bench. They are permitted to replace the penalized player on the ice from the player’s bench upon the expiration of the major penalty.

Click to view all Coincident Major Penalty Charts