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Throwing Stick/Object

Situation 1

Attacking player A1 in his Attacking Zone passes the puck to teammate A2, but before the puck reaches A2 the opposing goalkeeper throws their stick and deflects the puck out of the zone. Which of the two players is to be designated as the “fouled player” and allowed to take the ensuing penalty shot?

Player A1. Rule Reference 637(a).

Even though the puck was passed to player A2, player A1 was the last attacking player to have possession and control of the puck prior to the infraction.

Situation 2

A defending player throws their stick along the ice at an attacking player in possession and control of the puck. The attacking player is in their Attacking Zone when the stick is thrown. The stick does not hit the puck or the player, but the player loses possession of the puck. Is a penalty shot to be awarded?

Yes. The offended team has a penalty shot/optional minor penalty option. Rule Reference 637(a).

When a defending player throws their stick in the direction of the puck that is in their Defending Zone, a penalty shot must be awarded. In this situation the Referee cannot be expected to determine whether the stick caused the attacking player to lose their concentration or if he lost possession by their own actions.

Situation 3

With the puck in their Defending Zone, a defending player deliberately throws their stick at an opponent who does not have possession of the puck. The stick does not interfere with a scoring opportunity. What penalty is to be assessed?

A minor penalty for Interference. Rule References 637(a) and 625(a.7).

If a stick is thrown at an opponent who does not have possession of the puck, a minor penalty for interference must be assessed, regardless of in which zone the puck is located. A penalty shot should only be awarded if the stick is thrown in the direction of the puck when the puck is in the Defending Zone.

Situation 4

A defending player in their Defending Zone throws their stick at an opponent who has possession of the puck in the Neutral Zone. What is the proper penalty to be assessed?

A minor penalty. Rule Reference 637(a).

The determining factor in the awarding of a penalty shot or the assessment of a minor penalty is the location of the puck at the time of the infraction.

Situation 5

With an attacking player in the Attacking Zone on a breakaway, a stick is thrown from the opposing team’s players’ bench and as a result the Referee assesses a penalty shot. Should the Referee also assess a bench minor penalty for throwing the stick?

No. Rule Reference 637(b).

Only one penalty should be assessed for this single infraction. In this instance, the penalty shot/optional minor is assessed in lieu of the bench minor penalty.

Situation 6

Having been substituted for by another player, a goalkeeper throws their stick at the opposing team’s puck carrier, who has no opponent between themself and the “open goal.” The goalkeeper is at their players’ bench when they throw the stick. Should a penalty shot be assessed or a goal awarded?

The Referee has the option of either a penalty shot or awarded goal, depending on their perception of whether a goal was actually prevented. Rule Reference 637(b).

In general, if the thrown stick clearly affects the movements of the puck carrier or the puck, then an awarded goal would be proper. If the stick clearly did not affect either the puck carrier or the puck, then a penalty shot would be proper and a goalkeeper would go onto the ice to defend against it. The awarded goal decision only applies if the goalkeeper is at the bench (they are then considered “off the ice”). If they are on the ice and the infraction occurred in the goalkeeper’s Defending Zone, then the penalty shot is the Referee’s only option. If the infraction occurred in any other zone, a minor penalty must be assessed.

Situation 7

With the goalkeeper off the ice, an opposing player gains possession of the puck on a breakaway in the Neutral Zone, and the puck is knocked off their stick by a stick thrown by a trailing defending player. The attacking player themself is not interfered with, and would easily be able to regain possession of the loose puck, continue on their breakaway and (in the Referee’s opinion) score a goal. Should the Referee stop play immediately and award the goal?

Yes. Rule Reference 637(b).

In this situation the offended player is not required to be in their Attacking Zone for an awarded goal to apply when a stick or other object is thrown or shot. Note also that if the Referee does not feel that the player would have had a clear shot on goal had the thrown stick not occurred, then the proper call is a minor penalty since the infraction did not occur in the offending player’s Defending Zone.

Situation 8

The Referee has signaled a delayed penalty on Team A, and Team B has substituted for its goalkeeper. The puck deflects off a Team B player and is heading for Team B’s empty goal. A Team B player is chasing the puck and just before it enters the goal, they throw their stick at the puck and knock it away from the goal. Should the Referee assess a penalty shot or award the goal?

Award the goal. Rule Reference 637(b).

They must also assess the delayed penalty to Team A.

Situation 9

With the goalkeeper off the ice, an attacking player has no defending player to pass and a chance to score on the open goal. The Coach of the defending team throws a stick off the players’ bench preventing a shot on the open goal. What penalty is imposed?

Award a goal to the non-offending team. Rule Reference 637(b).

It makes no difference whether or not the stick is thrown from the bench or from the ice, a goal is always awarded in this situation if a clear scoring opportunity is lost.

Situation 10

A player throws their stick outside the playing area after a goal has been scored against their team. What penalty should be assessed?

A misconduct or game misconduct penalty. Rule Reference 637(c).

When a player throws their stick outside the playing area, not in the direction of any spectators, a misconduct penalty must be assessed. If a player throws their stick as a violent act or in the direction of any spectators, a game misconduct penalty must be assessed.

Situation 11

A player breaks their stick and instead of dropping it on the ice they deposit it over the boards and outside of the playing area. Does this action warrant a penalty?

Yes. A misconduct penalty must be assessed. Rule Reference 637(c).

Even though the player may be trying to keep the broken stick off the ice, the Referee has no choice but to assess a misconduct penalty to that player.