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Holding an Opponent

Situation 1

A Team A player momentarily grabs the stick of a Team B player, preventing the Team B player from playing the puck. Is this a legal action?

No. Rule Reference 622(a).

The Team A player gained a competitive advantage and impeded the progress of the opponent by holding the stick and preventing him from playing the puck.

Situation 2

Opposing players are involved in an altercation and one players uses his glove to push off on the facemask of the opponent. Does this action warrant a major and game misconduct penalty to be assessed for rubbing the facemask?

No. Rule Reference 622(b).

The spirit and intent of this rule is to strictly penalize those actions that result in a player grabbing or holding the facemask of an opponent. The rubbing portion of this rule is designed to address a “facewash” situation where the player uses the open palm of the glove to disrespect the opponent.

However, the push off action may still be penalized as Head Contact or Roughing at the discretion of the Referee.

Situation 3

What is the difference between normal holding and grabbing the facemask?

Grabbing the facemask results in the player having virtual control of the opponent’s head and neck – creating an injury potential situation. Rule Reference 622(b and c).

In this instance, a match penalty must be assessed if the player places their fingers inside the facemask and then twists or pulls. There is no other justification for this action other than to attempt to injure or recklessly endanger the opponent.