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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

A player has been assessed a second major penalty in the same game. At the time the penalty is assessed, the Penalty Timekeeper fails to notify the Referee that the player has just received his second major in one game, calling for a game misconduct penalty. The situation is brought to the attention of the Referee a few minutes of play following the incident. What action should the Referee take?

Assess the game misconduct penalty as soon as the Referee becomes aware of the oversight. Rule Reference 403(b).

The offending player is immediately removed from the game and the offending team must place a substitute player on the penalty bench according to Rule 403(d).

Situation 3

A player has been assessed a second major penalty in the same game. The Referee is not aware of the fact that the player had received two major penalties in the same game and thus should have been assessed a game misconduct penalty. What happens if the player later scores a goal while illegally in the game?

In this instance, the goal shall be allowed, but the player must be assessed the required game misconduct as soon as the Referee becomes aware of the oversight. Rule References 403(b) and 203(a).

The onus of assessing the game misconduct penalty is on the Game Officials. A team cannot be denied any goals scored by a player who should not have been in the game. If the omission is discovered after the game, the Referee shall still assess the appropriate game misconduct penalty.

Situation 4

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.

Click to view all Coincident Major Penalty Charts

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