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Tied Games

Situation 1

What is USA Hockey’s policy regarding overtime played with a reduced number of players and shoot-outs?

Affiliates and Local Governing Bodies have the authority to establish overtime guidelines for games under their jurisdiction. Rule Reference 638 (c Note).

The Local Governing bodies who establish their own overtime policy related to reduced players and/or a shootout are recommended to also provide guidelines as to how these rules should be managed. USA Hockey has established some recommended guidelines for these procedures that are outlined on usahockey.com.

However, under no circumstances can the on-ice strength be reduced to fewer than three skaters per side plus a goalkeeper (or four skaters). If the local governing body establishes that overtimes will be played with fewer than five skaters, the assessment of penalties will affect on how the on-ice strength is managed and officials are expected to review the procedures governing these overtimes.

Situation 2

A local tournament has decided to have overtime played with three skaters on each side to declare a winner after a tied game. What happens if one or both teams have penalties that carry over from the end of regulation?

If one team has a player advantage, the overtime will start with 4 players versus 3 (or 5 vs. 3 if two player advantage) and penalized players will return to the ice as their penalty expires to create an equal on-ice strength. If each team is serving a non-coincidental minor or major penalty and are at equal strength at the end of regulation, the over time will start with 3 skaters on each side and the penalized players will return as their time expires. However, at the first stoppage of play upon the expiration of penalties, the on-ice strength will be returned to the appropriate 3 vs. 3 on-ice strength. Rule Reference 638(a).

Situation 3

A local tournament has decided to have overtime played with three skaters on each side to declare a winner after a tied game. What happens if one or both teams are penalized during the overtime?

On-ice strength will not be reduced to fewer than three skaters, so if a penalty is assessed to one team, the ensuing play will start with 4 players vs. 3 players. If a team is entitled to a two player advantage, then play will continue 5 vs. 3 skaters. When a penalty expires, the player(s) will return as appropriate and any correction to the proper on-ice strength (3 vs. 3) will take place and the next stoppage of play. Rule Reference 638(a).

Situation 4

How is on-ice player strength affected if over time is supposed to be played with 4 skaters per side and penalties are assessed?

If one penalty is assessed to one team, the teams will continue 4 vs. 3 on-ice. If a team is entitled to have a two player advantage, then they will play 5 vs. 3. When the penalties expire, the penalized players will return to play as normal and the correct on-ice strength will be adjusted at the next stoppage of play. Rule Reference 638(a).

Situation 5

A local league uses a shoot-out to declare a winner after a tied game, either after regulation or an overtime period. What are the basic rules that govern a shoot-out?

Shoot-outs will generally be predetermined to be either a three-player or five-player shootout. At the conclusion of each team shooting, the team that has scored the greater number of goals will be declared the winner. If tied, then a sudden death shootout will occur where each team designates one shooter until a winner has been identified.

Penalized players at the end of the game just prior to the shootout are not eligible to participate. The governing body should establish eligibility guidelines, such as a different shooter must be used for each shot in the preliminary round and then establish whether players can be re-used or must go through the entire roster before duplicating a shooter during the sudden death portion.

The penalty shot rules/procedures (Rule 406) shall apply to all shootouts and goalkeepers can be changed after each shot. A coin flip is generally used to determine which order the teams will shoot.

Rule Reference 638(a).

Situation 6

During an overtime period of play, a player is assessed a minor and misconduct penalty which requires a teammate to serve the minor penalty portion (along with the penalized player). The overtime period expires before the minor portion of the penalty expires. Is the penalized player’s teammate allowed to participate in the shootout? (Existing shootout rules already disqualifies any penalized player whose penalty(s) has not been completely served during regulation or any overtime period from participating in any shootout).

Yes. Rule References 638(b) and 638(c Note).

In this situation, the additional teammate is in the penalty box not to actually serve the penalties for his teammate, but rather to allow his team to legally return to the proper on-ice strength that they are entitled to after the minor penalty expires. For that reason, the additional teammate should be allowed to participate in the shootout.

Situation 7

During an overtime period of play, a goalkeeper is assessed a minor and misconduct penalty (at the same time) which requires two (2) teammates to go to the penalty box and serve the minor and misconduct penalty portions. The overtime period ends before the minor portion of the penalties expire. Are the players who are serving the minor and misconduct portions of the goalkeepers penalties allowed to participate in the shootout?

In this situation, one of the additional teammates is in the penalty box not to actually serve the penalties for his goalkeeper, but rather to allow his team to legally return to the proper on-ice strength that they are entitled to after the minor penalty expires. For that reason, that additional teammate should be allowed to participate in the shootout. Rule References 638(b) and 638(c Note).

It should be noted that one of the penalized goalkeeper’s teammates who are serving his penalties IS actually serving the penalties as the goalkeeper. This teammate, who needs to be designated before play resumes, WILL NOT be eligible to participate in a shootout.

Situation 8

During an overtime period of play, a coach is assessed a bench minor penalty. A player (who was on the ice at the time of the infraction) is sent to the penalty box to serve the penalty. The overtime period ends before the bench minor penalty is fully served. Is the player who is serving the bench minor penalty eligible to participate in a shootout?

No. Rule References 638(b) and 638(c Note).

When a team sends a player to the penalty box to serve the coach’s bench minor penalty, that player is serving as the coach’s substitute in the penalty box. Because this player is actually substituting for the coach and serving the coach’s penalty, he WILL NOT be eligible to participate in a shootout if the bench minor is not fully served before the overtime period is completed.