Rules Committee Proposes Changes
CHN Staff Report
The NCAA Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Rules Committee made several small suggestions this week for rule changes, which will be sent to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel for voting on July 16.
The committee wrapped its three-day meeting on Wednesday in Indianapolis.
“I would say that generally, we dissected our game and ultimately believe our current rules are serving us well,” said Tom Anastos, chair of the committee and head coach at Michigan State. “We continue to work to find ways to improve our game long term, but I would say we’re pleased with where we are right now.”
A hot topic in the past, the committee discussed the switch to three-quarter shields in place of the full facemask, but determined that more data needed to be collected before they could make a presentation.
“We are trying to be sure we help to collect data from any source that can be compared to NCAA data,” Anastos said. “The process has been challenging, but we will continue to work with leagues that use the shield so we can make an informed proposal if appropriate. We just don’t have enough information at this point.”
Getting away from full shields has been a cause for many NCAA coaches since shields were first mandated in 1980. Two years ago, the Committee finally decided to take action, organizing a data collection study in conjunction with the USHL. After two years, the Committee said it still needs more time.
Overtime was also discussed, but there wasn't enough support to change the format to 4-on-4 or lengthen overtime periods.
"Reducing the number of players in overtime (4-on-4) and lengthening the amount of time used for overtime did not gain significant traction," Anastos said.
Of the changes that were proposed, the most significant include the addition of the "look-up line," which debuted as an experiment at Frozen Fenway this past season.
The line is a warning-track style line intended to positively impact safety by alerting players whose heads are down when they are near the boards. The use of this line will not be mandatory, but is permissible.
Also, if the puck leaves play while the attacking team is attempting the score, the faceoff would remain in the attacking zone.
Other changes include:
- Faceoff Hand Pass: The players taking a faceoff are not allowed to use their hand to play the puck. A violation of this rule will result in a minor penalty, similar to the NHL rule.
- Faceoff Procedure: The defending team’s faceoff player shall be required to put the stick down first. Previously, the attacking team was required to do so. Center ice faceoffs will continue to require the visiting team to put the stick down first.
- Longer Goal Pegs: 10-inch goal pegs that are anchored into the ice or floor must be in place at all NCAA levels by the 2016-17 season.
- Faceoff Location: High stick/hand pass: In these cases, the ensuing faceoff will be one zone closer to offending team’s goal.
- Awarding Shootout/Penalty Shot Goals: During a shootout or penalty shot, if the goal becomes dislodged by the goalkeeper, the referee shall either award a goal (if intentional or if the goal was obvious and imminent) or allow the team to shoot again.
- Penalty Shot Substitution: If a player that is awarded a penalty shot is injured and unable to take the shot, one of the players on the ice at the time of the infraction shall be chosen to shoot.
Several rule changes were also proposed for video replay, including:
- It is reviewable to determine if a goal was scored before a penalty occurred.
- If an offsides or too many men on the ice penalty is missed and a goal is scored, it is reviewable until the puck leaves the offensive zone. This replaces the previous wording that only allowed the review to occur if the missed play directly led to a goal.
- It was clarified that video review may be used without the restriction of games that are being broadcast on television.