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Week 3 - Flying Sticks Allowed?

Rule / Situation of the week

Published: October 27, 2014

Welcome to our Rule/Situation(s) of Week!

Welcome back! In this week’s column, we will go over some uncommon “high-sticks” situations that are allowed in the game of hockey! There’s two different types of “high-sticks” situations in our game, first there’s the action of contacting an opponent with a stick above the height of his shoulders and secondly there’s the action of “high-sticking” the puck.

 

HIGH-STICKING AN OPPONENT

High-sticks usually occur when players are close in proximity and are either reaching or chasing for the puck or finishing a check. Things happen fast and players can be deceptive with head snaps, this is why the referees will visually focused from the waist up when looking at the play.

Any player that contact an opponent above the height of his shoulders will be assessed a penalty. Players must be in control and responsible of their stick. However, a player is permitted accidental contact with an opponent if the act is committed as a normal windup or follow through of a shooting motion. The same is also true, when a centerman makes accidental contact on the opposing center who is bent over during the course of a face-off. A wild swing at a bouncing puck would not be considered a normal windup or follow through and any contact to an opponent above the height of the shoulders shall be penalized accordingly. 

 

SITUATION #1

A player winds up and takes a shot and during the follow-through the stick contacts his opponent in the face injuring him. What penalty is assessed on this play?

ANSWER:

No penalty is assessed provided this was considered a normal wind-up or follow though of a shooting motion. (Rule 60.1)

 

SITUATION #2

A player attempts to take a shot but fans on the shot and misses the puck, but his follow-through hits an opponent in the face causing an injury. What is the call?

ANSWER:

No penalty. This was a normal wind-up or follow through of a shooting motion. (Rule 60.1)

 

SITUATION #3

Off the face-off in Team A’s end zone, A#20 attempts to draw the puck back and in the process hits Team B’s centerman (B#10) in the face with the butt-end of his stick. B#10 immediately drops to the ice in a pool of blood and the play is stopped. What is the Referee’s decision?

ANSWER:

If it is determined that the contact was accidental due to both players being bent over during the face-off, no penalty shall be assessed on this play. The next face-off shall be conduced in the neutral zone outside of Team A’s zone as the whistle was blown for an injured player from Team B. (Rule 60.1 and Rule 8.1)

 

SITUATION #4

A player winds up and takes a wild swing at a bouncing puck and during the follow-through the stick contacts his opponent in the face. What penalty is assessed on this play?

ANSWER:

A minor penalty shall be assessed on this play. If the player struck by the stick is injured on the play, a double-minor penalty for “high-sticking” shall be assessed. (Rule 60.2 and Rule 60.3)

 

HIGH-STICKING THE PUCK

When judging if a puck has been contacted illegally with a high-stick, the officials shall separate the plays in two categories, as there’s different guidelines for both of them. The first category is what we could define as “high-sticking” the puck to a teammate or themselves. A player shall be allowed to contact the puck with his stick in order to make a pass to him self or to a teammate as long as the contact happens below the height of his shoulders.

The second category of “high-sticking” the puck is when judging if the puck as been illegally played on the scoring of a goal. In fact, while players can contact the puck up to their shoulders when playing the puck anywhere on the ice, the same height reference is not used when a puck is propelled into the net. An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height OF THE CROSSBAR of the goal shall NOT be allowed. The determining factor here is where the puck makes contact with the stick. This is also true when an attacking player cause the puck to enter the opponent’s goal by contacting the puck above the height of the crossbar, either directly OR deflected off ANY player or official. The only exemption is when the puck on its way to the net after been contacted above the crossbar but below the shoulders height, is either re-played or deflected by the stick of this player or by any teammate’s stick before entering the net.

If the puck makes contact with the stick at or below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed. A goal scored by a DEFENDING player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar into his OWN goal shall be allowed.

 

SITUATION #5

An attacking player contacts the puck with his stick above the level of the crossbar but below the normal height of his shoulders. The puck deflects off a defending player and enters the net. Does the goal count?

ANSWER:

No, as the attacking player contacted the puck with his stick above the level of the crossbar, the goal cannot count. (Rule 80.3)

 

SITUATION #6

An attacking player contacts the puck with his stick above the level of the crossbar but below the normal height of his shoulders. The puck deflects off a teammate and enters the goal. Does the goal count?

ANSWER:

No, as the attacking player contacted the puck with his stick above the level of the crossbar, the goal cannot count. (Rule 80.3)

 

SITUATION #7

An attacking player contacts the puck with his stick above the level of the crossbar but below the normal height of his shoulders. The puck ends up on the stick teammate, who shoots the puck and scores. Does the goal count?

ANSWER:

Yes, the goal was scored as a result of the teammate’s shot, not the batting of the puck out of the air by the teammate. Since the stick was below the height of the player’s shoulders when he contacted the puck, it was not an illegal high-stick.

 

SITUATION #8

An attacking player is carrying his stick so that the blade of his stick is clearly above the crossbar. The puck is shot from the point and makes contact with this player’s stick on the shaft, near his waist and goes directly into the opponent’s goal. Should this goal be washed out for being contacted with a high-stick?

ANSWER:

No. This is a good goal. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with the stick below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed. Rule 80.3, paragraph 1. See also Rule 38.4(vi) and Rule 60.5.

 

SITUATION #9

A player in his defending zone high-sticks the puck above the normal height of his shoulders. The puck deflects off his team’s goalkeeper and enters the goal. Does the goal count for the opposing team?

ANSWER:

Yes, the goal counts. The deflection off the goalkeeper does not constitute control of the puck by the offending team.

 

See you next Monday!

 

Every Monday during the regular season schedule, we will explain in this column some bizarre or uncommon game situations/rules. Hockey is a particular game when it comes to the rulebook. Hockey officials need to know their rules but more important they have to know the interpretation and application of them! We will see in the next several months, in this series of articles, that a rule hassometimes two different applications depending on the situation that occurred on the ice. This is not theofficialsdeciding on the outcome of the gameshere, by deciding to apply or not the rule, but is rather the interpretation and the application of that rule along with itsintent that dictatesthe final decision made by the officials on the ice! This is not a column to promote or defend our officials but rather an educational tool for all hockey fans and hockey officials to acquire a better understanding of the game of hockey! So let’s start to see if you know your NHL rules! We will help you better understand some decisions made by NHL officials some nights and hopefully making you better “couch” referee!



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