(a) Play shall start when one of the officials drops the puck between the sticks of two opposing players.
For face-offs occurring at a designated end zone face-off spot, the players facing-off will stand squarely facing their opponents’ end of the rink and clear of the ice markings. The stick blades of both players shall be in contact with the nearest white area of the face-off spot and clear of the center red area.
For face-offs occurring at the center ice or neutral zone face-off spots, the players facing-off shall squarely face their opponent’s end of the ice and stand approximately one stick length apart.
The attacking player shall be the first to place his stick on the ice, except for a center ice face-off where the visiting team player shall be first to place his stick on the ice.
(b) No other player shall be allowed to enter the face-off circle or come within 15 feet of the players facing-off the puck. All other players must position themselves behind the hash marks on the outer edge of the face-off circle or stand approximately one stick length apart from the opponent.
(c) At the conclusion of the line change procedure [see Rule 204(a) and Glossary], the Official conducting the face-off shall blow his whistle. This will signal each team that they have no more than five seconds to line up for the ensuing face-off. Prior to the conclusion of five seconds, the Official shall conduct a proper face-off.
(d) If a player facing-off fails to take his proper position immediately when directed by the Official, the Official may order him replaced for that face-off by any teammate then on the ice.
If a player, other than the player facing off, fails to maintain his proper position, the center of his team shall be ejected from the face-off.
A second violation of any of the provisions of this subsection by the same team during the same face-off shall result in a minor penalty for delay of game being assessed to the player committing the second violation.
(e) A minor penalty for interference shall be assessed to any player facing-off who makes any physical contact with his opponent’s body by means of his own body or by his stick except in the course of playing the puck after the face-off has been completed.