NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE
HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS
Direct, Indirect Contact to the Head Penalties in High School Ice Hockey Continue Focus on Risk Minimization
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dan Schuster
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 19, 2016) — In continuing efforts to minimize the risk of injury and spread concussion awareness in high school ice hockey, specific definitions for direct contact and indirect contact to the head, along with specific penalties for each, have been added to provide clarity.
These revisions and seven other rules changes were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Ice Hockey Rules Committee at its April 25-26 meeting in Indianapolis. All 2016-17 ice hockey rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
In its ongoing attempt to minimize the risk of injury in the sport, the Ice Hockey Rules Committee added two new articles to Rule 7-6 to clarify between direct contact and indirect contact to the head. Previously, the rule stated: “No player shall make contact from any direction with an opposing player’s head or neck area in any manner, including, but not limited to, with the shoulder, stick, elbow, etc.”
Now, Rule 7-6-2 defines direct contact to the head as when the initial force of the contact occurs to the head or neck area, resulting in a flagrant foul. Direct contact carries a major or game disqualification penalty. According to Rule 7-6-3, indirect contact to the head occurs when the initial force of the contact begins below the neck and progresses upward to the head or neck area. Indirect contact carries a minor penalty, unless the contact is flagrant, in which case, a major or game disqualification is assessed.
“The change is consistent with the committee’s goal to spread awareness of head injury and concussions,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services and liaison to the Ice Hockey Rules Committee. “This change appropriately penalizes players for hits to the head. This will certainly provide clarity for officials, but it will also be a positive for high school hockey and help create a safe playing environment for participants.”
Language regarding penalty shots in Rule 4-7-3 was revised to include language to address the designation of a replacement player due to injury. The revised rule states if the fouled player is injured, the shot may be taken by any player of the non-offending side who is on the ice when play is stopped.
In addition, a new article was added to Rule 4-6 regarding major penalties and suspensions. The current wording only refers to players, when the intent of the disqualification penalty is to have the same consequence apply for all participants. The new addition states: “All provisions of Rule 4-6, including the major penalty and suspension, shall apply for a game disqualification assessed to a coach or other team personnel.”
In order to create consistency regarding the penalty structure within Rule 2-3, the committee added a penalty to both Article 1 and Article 2 to create a consequence for noncompliance regarding players in uniform.
Addressing warm-ups, previously players were allowed to skate the entire ice surface until a team assumed its own end. The rules committee removed that language from Rule 9-10-3 and replaced it with “each team shall proceed to its end of the ice and continue activity to its own end of the rink for the duration of the warm-up.” This change was made to avoid unnecessary interaction between teams during the warm-up.
Language regarding participant conduct in Rule 6-1-6 was added to reinforce the zero tolerance policy for insensitive language. The rules committee added that no gender slurs shall be used by players, coaches or other team personnel.
Previously, Article 5 of Rule 9-1 described the location of where players and sticks should be during a faceoff. Now it states: “Excluding goalkeepers, players shall take a stationary position on all faceoffs before the puck is dropped,” which will help clarify the process of a faceoff and eliminate motion prior to faceoffs.
“Motion prior to the faceoff can certainly serve as an advantage for a team. This rule change will eliminate the advantage and level the playing field for faceoffs,” Schuster said.
The final rules change addresses when a puck is grasped by hand and play is stopped. The rules committee moved 9-1-8j to 9-1-11j to make this infraction consistent with similar infractions, such as high-sticking and hand passes. The resulting faceoff will now take place in the defending zone of the offending team, not the nearest faceoff spot.
A complete listing of the ice hockey rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Ice Hockey.”
According to the 2014-15 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, there are 35,875 boys participating in ice hockey in 1,603 schools across the country, and 9,418 girls playing the sport in 615 schools.
This press release was written by Maddie Koss, a 2016 summer intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department. She is a senior sports media major at Butler University.
2-3-1,2: ART. 1 . . . A maximum of 20 players, including goalkeepers, may dress for and play in a game, unless modified by state association adoption. It is recommended that a minimum of two goalkeepers be among the 20 players dressed.
PENALTY: MINOR. (captain’s choice of players), and extra player(s) in uniform must be removed from the player’s bench.
ART. 2 . . . A list of names and numbers of all eligible players and goalkeepers must be handed to the referee or official scorer before the game. After the game begins no changes may be made for a player who has already been listed. Additions may be made due to inadvertent clerical error.
PENALTY: MINOR. (captain’s choice of players)
Rationale: Adding a penalty to this rule creates a consequence for non-compliance. This addition creates consistency regarding the penalty structure within this section of the rules.
4-6-4 NEW: ART. 4 . . . All provisions of Rule 4-6, including the major penalty and suspension, shall apply for a game disqualification penalty assessed to a coach or other team personnel.
Rationale: Current wording only refers to players, when the intent of the game disqualification penalty is to have the same consequences apply for all participants.
4-7-3: ART. 3 . . . The penalty shot shall be taken by the player fouled. If no player has been fouled, or if the fouled player is injured, the shot may be taken by any player of the non-offending side who is on the ice not serving a penalty when play is stopped to awardthe penalty shot (captain’s choice of players).
Rationale: This would be consistent with other “captain’s choice” rules. This change would also make the NFHS rule consistent with most other rules codes.
Current NFHS rules do not address designating a replacement player due to injury.
6-1-6: ART. 6 . . . No player, coach or other team personnel shall use any racial, ethnic or gender slur directed at officials or others during the warm-up, during the progress of the game, or during an intermission or after the game.
Rationale: Use of this language is highly inflammatory and can often escalate to major in-game problems. It frequently becomes an issue requiring involvement of school administrators and state associations. It also attracts media attention that reflects poorly on our sport, particularly if they feel that it has not been properly addressed.
7-6-2,3: ART. 2 . . . Direct contact to the head or neck area is a flagrant foul under this rule. Direct contact occurs when the initial force of the contact occurs to the head or neck area.
PENALTY: MAJOR or GAME DISQUALIFICATION.
ART. 3 … Indirect contact to the head or neck area shall be penalized under this rule. Indirect contact occurs when the initial force of the contact begins below the neck and progresses upward to the head or neck area.
PENALTY: MINOR. If flagrant, MAJOR or GAME DISQUALIFICATION.
Rationale: Concussion awareness and risk minimization of participants is vital to the NFHS and its member state associations. This change provides additional verbiage and clarity that will penalize direct contact in an appropriate manner.
9-1-5: ART. 5 . . . ADD: Excluding goalkeepers, players shall take a stationary position on all faceoffs before the puck is dropped.
Rationale: The change will eliminate motion prior to faceoffs, not giving a possible advantage. Currently, Article 5 describes the location of where bodies and sticks should be during a faceoff and this change will help clarify the faceoff process.
9-1-11j: MOVE: 9-1-8j to 9-1-11j. “when the puck is grasped by hand (not hand pass) and play is stopped.”
The previous result is a faceoff at the nearest faceoff spot. Now, the faceoff shall take place at the defending zone of the offending team.
Rationale: This violation involves use of the hand and is similar to hand pass or batting the puck violations which result in the defending zone faceoff of the offending team. This change would make this rule consistent with other similar infractions, such as high-sticking and hand passes.
9-10-13: ART. 3 . . . During the pregame warm-up, each team shall proceed to its end of the ice and confine activity to its own end of the rink for the duration of the warm-up be allowed to skate on the entire surface until such a time as one team assumes its own end.
Rationale:This change will assist in avoiding unnecessary interaction between teams during the warm-up. Most teams already head directly to their own end of the rink and this rule would provide clarity.
Publisher’s Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.
SITUATION 1: How many players must a team have in order to begin and continue playing a game? RULING: Six players must be eligible to begin the game (2-1-1). If for any reason a team is unable to place four players on the ice, the game must be terminated (4-9). NOTE: If a team has fewer players on the ice than the opponent, not related to penalties, it shall not be considered short-handed for the purpose of icing the puck. (2-1-1)
SITUATION 2: A team skates 23 players during the warm-up. After the opening faceoff, 21 players are identified in uniform on the player’s bench. RULING: Minor penalty (captain’s choice of players) and one player must be removed from the player’s bench (unless modified by state association). (2-3-1)
SITUATION 3: Are goalkeepers permitted to be changed during play? RULING: Generally yes, as long as there is no more than one goalkeeper on the ice. Rule 2-5-2 covers replacing a goalkeeper with a player during play. If the goalkeeper was replaced by a player during play or at a stoppage of play, any goalkeeper may replace a player on the ice during play. Rule 2-5-11 covers changing goalkeepers during play. If a goalkeeper is replaced by a player at a stoppage of play, that goalkeeper is eligible to return to the ice once play resumes. (2-5-1)
SITUATION 4: Goalkeeper A is replaced on the ice with Goalkeeper B at a stoppage of play. What rules apply with respect to goalkeeper participation when play resumes? RULING: Goalkeeper A may not return to the ice prior to the next stoppage of play. Goalkeeper B may be replaced during the ensuing play with a player or with another goalkeeper other than Goalkeeper A. (2-5-11)
SITUATION 5: At 5:00, Player A1 receives two minor penalties. At 5:30, Player A2 receives a minor penalty. At 6:00, Team B scores. Which Team A penalty terminates? RULING: The first minor penalty to A1 terminates (the minor penalty with the least time remaining). Team A remains two players short. (4-2-2)
SITUATION 6: A Team A player checks a Team B player directly in the head area. RULING:This is direct contact, which is a flagrant foul, and a major or game disqualification penalty shall be assessed. (7-6-2)
SITUATION 7: A Team A player body-checks a Team B player in the chest area and the force of the check drives the contact to Team B’s head area. RULING: This is indirect contact to the head. A minor, major or game disqualification penalty shall be assessed. (7-6-3)
SITUATION 8: All players, excluding the goalkeeper, are within the vicinity of the faceoff circle. Player A1 begins to move after the official blows the whistle to initiate the faceoff process. RULING: Faceoff violation. (9-1-5)
SITUATION 9: Two players from Team A are positioned well outside of the faceoff circle. Player A begins to move after the official blows the whistle to initiate the faceoff process. RULING: Faceoff violation. (9-1-5)
To help ensure all coaches understand the new “unlimited” non-school contact rules, listed below is a checklist and a detailed explanation with examples on how to proceed to ensure that you are not violating or circumventing any of the rules.
NOTE: Coaches still have five(5) days of unrestricted school coaching contact. The head coach can communicate directly with your team on what those dates are. You can utilize school funds and utilize school transportation for these five(5) days of unrestricted coaching contact.
Checklist for UNLIMITED NONSCHOOL COACHING CONTACT
1. Find a non-school organization to work with to set up your unlimited summer contact schedule. This is important as point 2 will detail all the work required of the non-school organization to ensure you as the coach are not circumventing the “unlimited non-school coaching contact” rule requirement.
a. Most people will use their booster club. It does NOT have to be your booster club. If you have differences with the people on your booster club, find another non-school organization to work with. It is highly encouraged, and most likely will be required by your local school district, that the non-school organization that you work with must have liability insurance to book your facilities.
b. If you own a non-school entity that has liability insurance and files tax returns, you can act as an agent of your own a non-school entity and do everything outlined in letter a. But we highly recommend you use your non-school entity email, documents, phone line, etc. to communicate the following items.
Example: An individual owns a business that has liability insurance and is the current head coach. They can act as the agent of their business to complete the items in point 2. We encourage you to avoid using a personal business if possible to eliminate unnecessary questions from your community or school district.
2. Once you have located your non-school organization, we strongly recommend the coach find an individual(s) (not required) in the organization that will do the following tasks:
a. Reserve facilities for your program events.
b. Set your summer schedule and communicate to your program members and community.
c. Set summer team tryout dates.
i. Communicate that being a part of this team has no bearing on students making a school team or on team status next season.
ii. All players in your community and non-community are allowed to try out.
d. Name you as the coach of the summer team.
i. Once you are named as the summer team coach, you can then run the tryouts and select your team.
1. We strongly encourage that you have a tryout procedure in place. An example is enclosed.
e. Submit entries for all summer events with payment.
i. If you have been using high school activity accounts and are not comfortable handling money, please work with your school district and the organization you are going to work with to figure how to transfer the money to the non-school entity to pay for those events.
ii. Have all money collected from families be made payable to the non-school organization you will be working with.
f. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO USE SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION TO GET TO ANY OF THE NON-SCHOOL EVENTS.
3. Items to make sure you do when organizing workout sessions.
a. The organization you are working with must do the following:
i. Post the dates
ii. Again, reserve the facility
iii. DO NOT LABEL THEM AS OPEN GYMS
iv. Identify you or members of your staff as the instructors
b. Coaches can now coach their players on AAU/club teams but cannot start coaching them until the school year ends.
c. ABSOLUTELY NO COACHING DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR OUT OF SEASON.
QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES
Can a booster group or individual purchase ice to run “practices” for a high school team all summer long?
A two-part response to this question:
First, yes, any non-school organization can purchase ice time. NO school monies or resources can be used and schools cannot sponsor the events/activities. A booster club is considered to be a non-school organization. **Note—Schools can use school funds for use of facilities during the five-day unrestricted summertime period beginning with the first day of summer and ending July 31.
Secondly, regarding practice during this rented ice time. The period when this can occur must be between the first and last day of summer vacation. The sessions must be open to any and all interested students in the community and other communities and be voluntary.
Can the coach of that high school team coach the kids outside of the 5 contact days?
If the high school coach is employed by the non-school organization, that coach is allowed to coach/instruct students participating in that rented ice session. These sessions cannot be mandated for participation by a coach, nor can a coach determine who may or may not participate in the non-school activity.
Can the practices be exclusively for members of the high school team or high school co-op team?
No, sessions must be open to any and all interested students in the community and other communities, be voluntary, and may not be mandated for participation by a coach, nor can a coach determine who may or may not participate in the non-school activity.
Can a coach compete with and against players from a team he/she will be playing against during a non-school summertime hockey league?
Coaches can continue to compete against players they will be coaching in the next WIAA high school hockey season. However, they are not allowed to play “with” a player they will be coaching during the next season, nor provide instruction to a player as a competitor.
Coaches are only able to provide instruction to players they will be coaching in the next WIAA high school season by being a coach hired to coach by a non-school organization. Coaches are not able to provide instruction as a competitor playing on a different team during the summertime period.
Tom Shafranski, CAA
WIAA Assistant Director
April 24, 2015
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