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Progressive Suspensions

Situation 1

A player is rostered and plays on two different USA Hockey sanctioned teams; one 18 & under team and one high school team. During the course of the season, the player receives a major penalty for an aggressive infraction while playing for the high school team, but had previously received two aggressive infraction major penalties while playing with the 18 & under team. Since the penalties were assessed while playing for different teams, does the progressive suspension rule apply and how is the suspension served?

Yes, the intent of the rule is to hold the individual player accountable for his actions and the progressive major penalties accumulate while playing in any USA Hockey sanctioned game during the course of a season. Rule Reference 411(a).

The player and/or team manager(s) are responsible for being aware of the rule and serving the appropriate game suspension(s) whether or not they have been officially notified by the proper disciplinary authority.

In this instance, the player would be suspended for the next three regularly scheduled USA Hockey sanctioned games he would have participated in – regardless as to which team has game(s) scheduled. The onus is on the player to provide the necessary documentation and proof of suspension served to the proper disciplinary authority.

Situation 2

A player is assessed a match penalty for an aggressive infraction that was deemed to be a deliberate attempt to injure. Does the match penalty count towards the progressive major penalty rule?

No. Rule Reference 411(a).

Since a match penalty already requires a hearing and possible additional suspension, it would not count towards the player’s aggressive major penalty progression.

Situation 3

A team is assessed four major penalties in the same game for a variety of different infractions, including two major penalties for fighting. Do the fighting majors count toward the three majors in one game and is the coach removed from that game?

No. Rule Reference 411(b).

The portion of this rule that pertains to a coach being suspended when the team receives major penalties in the same game is not exclusive to the list of aggressive major infractions. This rule is intended to include all major penalties assessed to the team in the same game regardless of penalty type. In this instance, the coach is not removed from the game or assessed any additional penalty, however would be required to serve the appropriate suspension(s) outlined by the rule during the next regularly scheduled game(s).

Situation 4

What responsibility do the officials have to file the appropriate game report according to this rule?

The game official(s) are required to file the appropriate game report within a reasonable time frame upon the conclusion of the game. Game reports should be filed for all major penalties that fall under the aggressive infraction category, game misconduct penalties or match penalties that are assessed. Some Affiliates may also require officials to complete a game report for other infractions, as well. Rule Reference 411 (Note).

The intent of the term ‘immediately” that appears in the Rule (Note) is for the official to submit the report as soon as reasonably possible (within 24 hours) upon the completion of the game. With the development of online game reporting systems that can be used by many different electronic devices, is easily accessed and automatically forwards the completed report to the appropriate proper disciplinary authority, it is not unreasonable to expect an official to be able to find the 5-10 minutes necessary to successfully complete this process in a timely manner.