Unless you’ve been involved in the hockey world for quite some time, you may not be aware that once every four years the USA Hockey playing rules are evaluated and, if deemed necessary, some changes are made to these rules. The current year is a “change year,” which means that some modifications have recently been proposed, and it’s important for you to be aware of them.
One such change is the elimination of the ability to ice the puck when shorthanded. This change, it must be noted, only applies to 14U and under. In the new season, any team that ices the puck while shorthanded will face the whistle and a defensive zone face-off. The team that committed the infraction will be able to change lines or players before the face-off.
The thinking behind this rule change is that it will improve skill development for young players since the new rule promotes puck possession, protection, and play-making
There are also now stricter terms surrounding the game misconduct penalty. Now, a penalty will be given to any team official or athlete who uses offensive or discriminatory language before, during, or after a game while still at the rink.
Coaches are encouraged to make sure their players understand these new rules and how they may affect them. The rules will be in full effect for the 2017-2018 season, so it’s important to promote understanding of them now before the season gets into full swing.