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High Sticks

Situation 1

How much force is necessary to assess a penalty for high sticking when a stick makes contact with an opponent’s head or neck?

If the stick makes contact with the head area, the Referee must assess the penalty. Rule Reference 621(a).

Although a high stick has occurred, if the contact from the stick was made to the head area of an opponent during the process of delivering a check, the penalty shall be called under the Head Contact rule.

A high stick infraction would be called when the stick makes contact to the head area of an opponent when a check is not being delivered.

Situation 2

Must contact with an opponent occur in order for the Referee to assess a penalty for high sticking? No. Rule Reference 621(a).

It is not a requirement that a stick make contact above shoulder height for high sticking to be called. Whenever a player raises his stick above his shoulders in an attempt to intimidate an opponent or is careless in his actions, high sticking must be called.

Situation 3

Should a major penalty and a game misconduct penalty for high sticking be assessed to a player who is body checked and who, as he is falling to the ice, cuts an opponent on the head with his “high” stick?

Yes. Rule Reference 621(b).

The player must be assessed a major and a game misconduct penalty. All players are expected to have their sticks under control at all times.

Situation 4

An attacking player deflects the puck with his stick, which is above the height of the shoulder. The puck deflects off a defending player’s body and into the goal. Does the goal count?

No. Rule Reference 621(c).

The puck must come into possession and control, however briefly, of the defending player for it to be considered “batted to an opponent.” A deflection in this case would not be considered possession and control.

Situation 5

An attacking player deflects the puck with his stick, which is above the height of the shoulder. The puck deflects off a defending player’s body to another attacker, who shoots the puck into the goal. Does the goal count?

No. Rule Reference 621(c).

The puck must come into possession and control, however briefly, of the defending player for it to be considered “batted to an opponent.” A deflection in this case would not be considered possession and control, thus play shall be stopped.

Situation 6

A defending player high sticks the puck in his Defending Zone to his own goalkeeper. When is play stopped?

When the goalkeeper gains possession and control of the puck. Rule Reference 621(c).

Situation 7

A player has his stick blade above the height of the shoulders. The puck strikes the butt-end of the stick, which is below the height of the shoulder, and goes into the goal. Should the goal be allowed?

No. Rule Reference 621(c).

When any part of the stick is carried above the shoulders, the entire stick is considered to be high. Therefore, in this case, no goal can be allowed and the ensuing face-off is held at a Defending Zone face-off spot of the offending team.

Situation 8

The puck is deflected directly out of the rink by an attacking player’s high stick in his Attacking Zone. Where is the ensuing face-off?

At an end face-off spot in the offending player’s Defending Zone. Rule Reference 621(c).

Even though no player has subsequently played the puck after the infraction, the intent of the high stick rule is to keep the sticks below the height of the shoulder. The violation would be considered to be complete as soon as the puck became unplayable.

Situation 9

The puck is deflected into the goal crease by an attacking player’s high stick. The goalkeeper immediately covers the puck, causing a stoppage. Where is the ensuing face-off?

At an end face-off spot in the offending player’s Defending Zone. Rule Reference 621(c).

Even though an opponent has “played” the puck by falling on it, the intent of this exception to the rule has not been satisfied. The goalkeeper has not elected to “play” the puck in a manner that would allow play to continue, but has instead determined to stop play and, in effect, allowed the high stick violation to be enforced.

Situation 10

Where does the face-off take place when an attacking player in the Attacking Zone bats the puck with his stick above the height of his shoulders and, as a result, the puck goes into the corner and is touched simultaneously by opposing players?

At an end face-off spot in the offending player’s Defending Zone. Rule Reference 621(c).

The high stick violation is considered to be completed because the puck was not in possession and control of the opposing team.

Situation 11

Team A high sticks the puck in its Defending Zone, and the puck moves into the Neutral Zone, where a Team B defenseman strikes the puck with a high stick and the puck leaves the rink. Where is the ensuing face-off?

At an end face-off spot in Team B’s Defending Zone. Rule Reference 621(c).

Even though both teams have committed an infraction, once the Team B player strikes the puck with his high stick, possession of the puck is established and the violation against Team A is nullified. The stoppage was caused by Team B, and since it was a “high sticking the puck” violation, the normal rules regarding face-off location would apply.

Situation 12

A player high sticks the puck which deflects to an opponent. The opponent makes no attempt to play the puck, hoping to get a face-off in the offending team’s Defending Zone when the puck is first played by a member of the offending team. What should the Referee do?

The Referee should stop play and the ensuing face-off shall take place at an end face-off spot in the Defending Zone of the offending team. Rule Reference 621(c).

The non-offending team has no obligation to play the puck in this instance, because of the high stick infraction committed by the opposing team.

Situation 13 (Classifications With Delayed Off-Sides Only)

Team A has a player trapped deep in the Attacking Zone when a Team A player shoots the puck into the zone. The Linesman correctly signals a delayed off-side. A Team B player plays the puck with the blade of his stick two feet over his head, and he is the next player to play the puck. The Referee stops play with the puck in the Defending Zone and the off-side Team A player still in the zone. Where is the face-off?

At the nearest Neutral Zone face-off spot. Rule References 621(c) and 630(d).

Even though the puck was played with a high stick, the original infraction was off-sides.

Situation 14 (Classifications With Delayed Off-Sides Only)

Team A has a player deep in the Attacking Zone as a teammate high sticks the puck to him, creating an off-side when he gains possession of the illegal pass. Where is the ensuing face-off?

At an end face-off spot in Team A’s Defending Zone. Rule Reference 621(c).

Team A has committed two infractions during the same play. For purposes of determining face-off location in this instance, the more serious high stick infraction shall take precedence.

Situation 15

The puck is played with a high stick by a Team A player in his Attacking Zone. It deflects off a teammate and goes directly to an opponent who has a clear opportunity to advance the puck. Shall this play be permitted to continue?

Yes. Rule Reference 621(c.1).

For play to be stopped for the high stick violation, an offending team player must be the first to gain possession and control of the puck. A deflection off of a player from either team would not cause the play to be completed. The exception to this rule is when the high-sticked puck goes directly in the goal of the non-offending team, which calls for an immediate stoppage of play and a face-off in the defending zone of the offending team.