A player sitting on the players’ bench uses profanity towards an Official. If the Official can recognize the player using this language, may he assess a misconduct penalty rather than a bench minor?
Yes. Rule References 601 (Note), 601(b. Note) and 601(c.2).
The Officials shall assess a misconduct to a player if the player can be readily recognized. If the Official cannot determine the identity of the player, he must impose a bench minor on the team. This interpretation only applies to players on the players’ bench or penalty bench.
A player is assessed a minor penalty for tripping and does not proceed immediately to the penalty bench while disputing the call. Should any additional penalty be called?
Yes, in addition to the original tripping penalty, the player must be assessed a minor penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct. Rule Reference 601(a.1).
The misconduct penalty (601(c.4)) for failure to proceed directly and immediately to the penalty bench applies in all other situations. In this instance, the fact the player is challenging or disputing the ruling of the Referee calls for the unsportsmanlike minor penalty to be assessed.
What is the proper sequence of penalties to be assessed to a player who continues to verbally abuse an Official or who persists in disputing a call?
Minor, misconduct, game misconduct, warning to the Captain, bench minor penalty. Rule References 601(a.1, c.1 and d.1) and 633(a).
This sequence must be followed in every instance as the rules are clear that a match penalty is not an option in this situation. Once the Abuse of Officials progression has been exercised, the proper sequence is shifted to Refusing to Start Play.
At a stoppage of play, two players are circling each other and trying to incite the other into getting a penalty. The Referee deems that penalties are warranted (taunting). What penalties, if any, shall be assessed?
Minor penalties for Unsportsmanlike Conduct shall be assessed to each player. Rule Reference 601(a.2).
There are many different things that can be said that various people may find offensive. What judgment should an Official use in assessing a penalty?
Preferably, good judgment that holds players/coaches accountable for these types of actions. Rule References 601(a.2, b.1, c.2 and e.3).
There is no easy answer as individual people deem different things to be offensive. Most people will know an obscene gesture when they see it or hateful or discriminatory language when heard. These situations must be penalized according to the rules.
There are certainly other areas where offensive language may also be used and should be appropriately penalized. Officials are reminded that other penalties exist for these types of actions, including unsportsmanlike conduct (taunting or inciting an opponent), or bench minor/misconduct for obscene, profane or abusive language. In each instance, the official should use their best judgment in assessing the proper penalty.
And, if in doubt, assess the proper penalty and report the actions to the Proper Authorities to review under supplementary discipline.
The head coach is assessed a bench minor penalty for improper conduct during the first period. During the second period the coach again exhibits improper conduct. Is the coach assessed a game misconduct because the improper conduct has been repeated?
No. Rule Reference 601(b.1 and d.1).
The spirit and intent of the rule is to treat each incident separately. If the coach is assessed a bench minor penalty, he would only be assessed a game misconduct penalty provided he continues his actions regarding this incident. This would also apply in cases where one coach receives the bench minor and different coach continues the abuse.
If the coach refrains from continuing his behavior and then engages in improper conduct later over a separate incident, he would need to be assessed another bench minor penalty to start the sequence over.
What is the rationale behind USA Hockey’s rule that requires a bench minor penalty to be assessed to a team for banging the boards on the bench?
To penalize unsportsmanlike conduct that is designed to incite, intimidate or escalate dangerous actions. Rule Reference 601(b.5).
The spirit and intent of this rule has never been to penalize a team for celebrating a good play such as a save by the goalkeeper, a blocked shot or goal scored. However, when this action is done in a manner that celebrates a body check that is meant to punish or intimidate an opponent and there has been no effort to legally play the puck, it is done so in an unsportsmanlike manner. This action tends to only escalate additional dangerous play and must be penalized.
Although delivering a legal body check where the focus is on winning possession of the puck is also considered a good play, it is no more worthy of excessive celebration than making a good poke-check to win the puck and then delivering a tape-to-tape outlet pass.
A Coach verbally abuses an Official on the way to the dressing room at the end of a period. What is the sequence of penalties assessed to the Coach?
A bench minor penalty followed by a game misconduct penalty if the abuse continues. Rule References 601(b.1 and d.1).
Just as if it was during play, the proper sequence of penalties as outlined in the rules must be followed by the Referee. Rule 633 Refusing to Start Play would kick in if the situation were to persist at the start of the next period.
What penalty is imposed on a player who collides with a Linesman and verbally abuses him for being in the way with no reference made to a previous decision?
A misconduct penalty. Rule Reference 601(c.2).
Since the player was not disputing a ruling, the verbal abuse falls under the misconduct rule.
A player verbally abuses an Official on the way to the dressing room at the end of a period or the end of the game. What is the sequence of penalties assessed to the player?
A misconduct penalty followed by a game misconduct penalty if the abuse continues. Rule References 601(c.2 and d.1).
Just as if it was during play, the proper sequence of penalties as outlined in the rules must be followed by the Referee.
What is the purpose of the Referee’s Crease?
To provide an area where On-Ice and Off-Ice Officials can converse with each other without player interference. Rule References 601(c.5 and 104.f).
According to Rule 601(c.5), a player could be assessed a misconduct penalty for entering the Referee’s Crease during such a discussion. Under normal circumstances, a player would be asked to leave the crease before being assessed the misconduct penalty.
A player on the ice makes physical contact with an Official following a decision made by that Official. What penalty or penalties shall be assessed?
A misconduct, game misconduct or match penalty, depending on the severity of the offense. Rule References 601(c.7, d.4 and e.1).
The officials must be able to distinguish between the severity of the contact and the intent of the player in order to assess the appropriate penalty. Simply touching an official does not constitute a physical assault calling for a match penalty.
A player on the players’ bench interferes with a Linesman. The Linesman does not have the authority to stop the play. Play continues and the offending team scores a goal. What penalties are imposed and what procedure does the Linesman employ?
The Linesman reports to the Referee at the stoppage of play. The goal is disallowed and a penalty is assessed. Rule References 601(c.7, d.4, e.1) and 503(e).
A misconduct, game misconduct or match penalty, depending on the severity of the offense, is assessed.
A fight breaks out between two opposing players. The Referee rushes to the scene and from about 10 feet away loudly orders the players to stop fighting. The Linesmen have not yet arrived to break up the fight. Should each player receive an additional misconduct or game misconduct penalty for continuing the fight after being ordered to stop?
No. Rule Reference 601(c.8 and d.4).
The spirit and intent of the rule is to assess the proper penalty in cases where the players have been physically separated and one or more players attempt to continue the altercation or one, or both players, blatantly ignore the instructions of the officials while physically separating the players.
A goalkeeper or player bangs his stick on the glass at the Goal Judge after a disputed goal. What penalty must be assessed?
A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct plus a misconduct or game misconduct penalty. Rule Reference 601(c.9 and d.3).
The Goal Judge is considered part of the officiating team, so any protest directed at him would be penalized in the normal manner.
Team A’s Head Coach is assessed a bench minor penalty for Abuse of Officials. While that penalty is still being served, the Assistant Coach now starts verbally abusing the Referee. What penalty should the Referee assess?
Game Misconduct Penalty. Rule Reference 601(d.1).
Provided the abuse is a continuation of the original action causing the bench minor penalty to be assessed, the game misconduct shall be assessed even though it is a different Team Official. This helps avoid the situation where two or more Team Officials work together to continue their inappropriate behavior without consequence greater than a bench minor penalty.
This is only applied when the abuse is a continuation of the original penalty. If the second Team Official engages in improper conduct several minutes later in response to a different situation, then the Referee must assess another bench minor penalty to start the penalty progression over.
What judgment should an Official use in assessing a game misconduct penalty for an obscene gesture?
If the official sees an obscene gesture, the game misconduct penalty must be assessed. Rule Reference 601(d.2)
There is no place in the game for this type of action and the officials must strictly enforce this rule.
What judgment should an Official use in assessing a match penalty for a player or coach using language that is deemed to be offensive, hateful or discriminatory in nature?
If the official hears a comment that he deems to be offensive, hateful or discriminatory directed at anyone in the rink at anytime, the match penalty must be assessed. Rule Reference 601(e.3).
There is no place in the game for this type of action and the officials must strictly enforce this rule. Although there is no easy criteria to establish the type of language that falls into the offensive category, the officials must use their best judgment as to the spirit and intent of the language that is used and if it is deemed to have in anyway been hateful or discriminatory in nature, the match penalty must be assessed.
A player directs offensive or hateful comments or actions towards an opponent, which the Referee does not hear. The non-offending team brings it to the Referee’s attention. May the Referee assess the prescribed match penalty based on the reported incident?
No. While these situations threaten the integrity of the game, the actual incident must be heard and/or seen by an On-Ice Official in order to assess the match penalty. Rule Reference 601(e.3).
The Referee should report the incident to the Coach or Captain of the team allegedly using the offensive comments or actions, and advise the team of the required penalty if such comments or actions are subsequently heard (or seen). At the same stoppage, the Referee should similarly advise the team reporting the incident.
In addition, the Referee is required to submit an incident report through the game reporting system to notify the Proper Authorities of the incident.
A player of Team A reaches into the Timekeeper’s bench and turns off the time clock. What penalty is assessed?
A game misconduct penalty shall be assessed. Rule Reference 601(d.4).
This would be considered physically interfering with an off-ice official in performing their duties.
While play is in progress or during a stoppage of play, a Team Official grabs an On-Ice Official to inquire about a situation. What penalty shall be assessed?
A game misconduct should be assessed. Rule Reference 601(c.7).
Unless the official deems the intent was to inflict physical harm – in which case a match penalty would be appropriate.
In many instances, the team official is attempting to grab the official’s attention and does not intend to harm the official. In this scenario, the game misconduct penalty is proper.
A player on the penalty bench grabs or assaults the Timekeeper. What penalty is assessed?
A game misconduct or match penalty is assessed, depending on the severity of the offense. Rule References 601(d.4 and e.1).
If an assault occurs, the match penalty must be assessed. The same rule applies for all Officials, regardless of whether they are On-Ice or Off-Ice Officials.
If a player bites a Linesman who is attempting to break up an altercation, should the player be assessed a match penalty?
Yes. Rule Reference 601(e.1).
This action would potentially be deemed as a physical assault on an official.
The Referee hears a coach instructing his player to “get” an opponent, interpreted as intentionally fouling the opponent for purposes of intimidation or physical harm. May the Referee assess a Match penalty?
Yes. Rule References 601(e.2).
This may be interpreted as threatening the opponent, even though there is no threat made directly to the opponent.
Note that this applies only if directed toward an opponent. There is no provision under this rule for a coach who threatens his own player.
In either case, a written report to the Proper Authorities is a must.