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Start of Game and Time of Match/Time-Outs

Situation 1

Should the On-Ice Officials blow the whistle at the end of a period?

Yes. Rule Reference 636(a).

In the Three Official system, it is the responsibility of the Linesman who is on the opposite side of the ice as the Referee to skate into the Attacking Zone to the goal line to assist the Referee. The other Linesman watches the clock and blows the whistle the instant time expires. The horn may not always be in working order.

In the Two Official system, the Referee on the blue line shall be responsible for blowing the whistle the instant time expires.

Situation 2

A team is late returning to the ice at the start of the second period. Should the Referee assess a bench minor penalty for delay of game?

Yes, provided the team was given ample warning to return to the ice. Rule Reference 636(b)

When the intermission clock is running, it is the responsibility of the team to ensure that they keep track of the time and return to the ice prior to the end of the intermission. As long as the team is heading in the direction of the ice when the intermission ends, no penalty shall be assessed.

However, if the horn sounds to end the intermission and an official has to go to the dressing room to notify the team, a bench minor penalty is warranted.

At younger levels of play where no intermission clock is used, no penalty should be assessed provided the team makes a reasonable effort to return to the ice in a timely manner.

Situation 3

Under what circumstances may a Referee terminate a game prematurely?

The only acceptable reason for an official to suspend a game (other than refusing to start play) is if playing conditions that are outside of the control of the participants have become unsatisfactory. Rule Reference 636(e).

Examples of conditions beyond the control of all game participants would include:
     (1) a portion of the ice melts
     (2) significant lighting failure (dark or long shadows)
     (3) glass falls out or shatters and can’t be replaced
     (4) a gate falls off or cannot be locked in place
     (5) time clock failure and no alternative timing means
     (6) weather conditions (outdoor facility only)

The improper behavior of players, coaches and/or spectators is not a viable reason to suspend a game and the on-ice officials do not have the authority to do so.

In every instance when a game is suspended, a written report should be submitted to the Proper Authorities.

Situation 4

If the goalkeeper is injured within the last minute of play in a period, is it necessary for the substitute goalkeeper to replace them immediately, or can play be carried over to the next period?

The injured goalkeeper must be replaced immediately. Rule References 636(e) and 206(b).

This occurrence is not normally considered to be an “unusual delay.” However, in the case where a player or goalkeeper can’t be moved due to the seriousness of his injury, the Referee has the option of considering this to be an “unusual delay” and taking the intermission at that point.

Situation 5

May a team use its time-out prior to the opening face-off?

Yes. Rule Reference 636(f).

Once the Referee has blown the whistle to end the warm-up or to summon the teams for the opening face-off, any team may use its time-out.

Situation 6

May a team use its time-out before or during regulation play or any time during overtime?

Yes. Rule Reference 636(f).

The Official Playing Rules do not restrict when a team may use its time-out, provided that the time-out is taken during a stoppage of play.

Situation 7

May a team use its time-out to warm up a goalkeeper?

Yes. Rule Reference 636(f).

The time-out may be used for warming up the goalkeeper or for any other purpose. The On-Ice Officials must make sure that the warm-up does not last any longer than the allotted one minute, and that a maximum of four pucks are on the ice. It is also their responsibility to make sure that all pucks are retrieved from the ice prior to resuming play and that the net and goal are checked for pucks.

Situation 8

During a stoppage of play, Team A uses its time-out. May Team B warm up its goalkeeper during the Team A time-out?

Yes. Rule Reference 636(f).

During a time-out, each team may warm up a goalkeeper within the prescribed warm-up area and with a maximum of four pucks.

Situation 9

May a penalized player leave the penalty bench during a time- out?

No. Rule References 636(f) and 629(b).

All penalized players must remain on the penalty bench during a time-out.

Situation 10

Team A takes its time-out during a stoppage of play. After the time-out has expired and before play resumes, Team B requests to have its time-out during the same stoppage. Should the Referee allow the second time-out to take place?

No. Rule Reference 636(f).

Each team is allowed to take one time-out during any stoppage of play. But if Team B wishes to take its time-out, it must be requested before the expiration of the Team A time-out.

Situation 11

Both teams line up for a face-off late in the game. Just prior to the conducting of the face-off, Team A requests a time-out. Is the Referee obligated to allow this time-out to take place?

No. Rule Reference 636(f).

Once the line-up procedure has been completed (both teams had an opportunity to change players), the Referee may not allow any request for a time-out.