USA Hockey has established suspension range recommendations for match penalties. These suspension ranges shall serve as a means to create consistency in the application of suspensions involving players or team officials assessed match penalties. The following procedure shall be followed by the proper authorities as determined by the Affiliate in each instance when a match penalty is assessed.
(Note) Any match penalty assessed under Rule 601(e.1) (Physical Assault of Official) is excluded from this policy. Original jurisdiction in any hearing resulting from a match penalty assessed under Rule 601(e.1) (Physical Assault of Official) shall reside with the Affiliate and is governed by USA Hockey’s “Resolutions of Disputes, Arbitration and Suspensions” section of the current USA Hockey Annual Guide.
When a match penalty has been assessed, the official(s) will submit the required incident report to the proper authorities as determined by the Affiliate. The proper authorities as determined by the Affiliate will designate an individual who shall review the report and make a preliminary determination of one of the following:
1) The incident report is accurate and the proper application of the rule(s) has been implemented. The action warrants the suspension as outlined in the policy. The offending party is then notified of this finding and offered the opportunity to accept the suspension or reject the decision and request a hearing. If a hearing is requested, the hearing shall be offered in accordance Playing Rule 405(c) and with Bylaw 10D (Suspension Hearings/Domestic Competition Playing Rules). (Note) If the offending party requests a hearing under this section, the hearing body may, as a result of that hearing, reduce the suspension, maintain the suspension or increase the suspension imposed.
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2) The incident report was determined to be inaccurate (misapplication of the rule(s) or wrong player identified), in which case the matter shall be turned over to the proper authorities as determined by the Affiliate for further review.
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3) The incident report is accurate and the proper application of the rule(s) has been implemented. However, the action and/or history warrants further disciplinary review. The proper authorities as determined by the Affiliate shall notify the offending party that a hearing shall be conducted in accordance with Playing Rule 405(c) and Bylaw 10D (Suspension Hearings/Domestic Competition Playing Rules).
In all instances where a player or team official has been suspended for a period of time as a result of a match penalty, the player or team official shall be prohibited from participating in all USA Hockey activities for the length of the suspension. The required game(s) suspensions shall include the next regularly scheduled games that appear on the schedule of their team at the time of the incident. A player or team official who is rostered on multiple USA Hockey registered teams must serve the suspension in full before they are permitted to participate on any other USA Hockey registered team, unless otherwise specified by the proper authorities as determined by the Affiliate.
For the purpose of this policy, there shall be three levels of standardized suspension. They are:
Level 1 – Match penalties assessed under the below rules have a recommended range of a 6-10 game suspension.
Rule 305(b) Dangerous Equipment
Rule 601(e) Abuse of Officials and Other Misconduct (This includes all match penalties assessed under this rule except 601(e.1) Physical Assault of an Official)
Rule 602(a) Attempt to Injure or Recklessly Endanger an Opponent
Level 2 – Match penalties assessed under the below rules have a recommended range of a 4-8 game suspension.
Rule 603(c) Boarding
Rule 606(b) Butt-Ending
Rule 607(e) Charging
Rule 608(c) Checking from Behind
Rule 619(b) Head Butting
Rule 620(c) Head Contact
Rule 634(d) Slashing (Swinging Stick During Altercation)
Rule 635(b) Spearing
Level 3 – Match penalties assessed under the below rules have a recommended range of a 3-5 game suspension. Rule 601(e.3) Abuse of Officials and Other Misconduct Hateful/Discriminatory Language
Rule 604(e) Body Checking- Competitive Contact Category
Rule 609(c) Cross-Checking
Rule 611(c) Elbowing
Rule 615(c) Fighting (Helmet Removal)
Rule 621(c) High Sticks
Rule 622(c) Holding an Opponent
Rule 623(c) Hooking
Rule 627(b) Kicking Opponent or Puck
Rule 628(c) Kneeing
Rule 633(a or b) Refusing to Start Play
Rule 634(c) Slashing
Rule 639(c) Tripping/Clipping/Leg Checking/Slew Footing
Rule 640(e) Unnecessary Roughness (Roughing)