Three Rules You Thought You Knew - v3e5

Newsletter Archive

While hockey is on pause in Massachusetts, take the time to complete all your requirements if you haven't already done so.


While this is not a hockey video, there are some great tips here in how to speak with and manage coaches. Take a few minutes out of your day and view this video on YouTube -


601 - Abuse of Officials and Other Misconduct

What is the purpose of the Referee’s Crease?

To provide an area where On-Ice and Off-Ice Officials can converse with each other without player interference. Rule References 601(c.5) and 104(d).

According to Rule 601(c.5), a player could be assessed a misconduct penalty for entering the Referee’s Crease during such a discussion. Under normal circumstances, a player would be asked to leave the crease before being assessed the misconduct penalty.


308 - Electronic Devices

Team A is using a light on the players bench for the purpose of informing players on the ice that it is time for a line change. Is this permissible?

No. Rule Reference 308(a).

While this is not considered as an electronic device, it is still prohibited by this rule. Additionally, it creates a potential distraction to the opposing team.


304 - Protective Equipment

A player goes onto the ice, ready for play, with the proper helmet and facemask. The facemask chin cup straps are properly fastened, but the helmet strap has been removed. Is the player allowed to participate without a helmet chin strap?

No. Rule Reference 304(c).

The helmet chin strap is a required part of the helmet and must be properly worn at all times. The facemask chin cup and straps are also required components of the facemask. [Note: The chin strap should be tight enough to ONLY fit two fingers between the strap and the lower chin.]

If you have a question on HECC Certification of a helmet, use the following guidelines:
While the HECC standards are critical to player safety, the spirit and intent of the rule has not changed in regards to enforcement by officials. A player’s participation in a game should not depend on whether the HECC Sticker is in place or missing from his/her helmet. The guidelines the USA Hockey Officiating Program encourages its officials to follow are outlined in the Officials Rules and Casebook in addition to the following key points:

• Are all the components of the helmet in place (ear pieces, face-mask J-clips, etc.)?

• Is the helmet free of excessive wear and in good condition?

• Does the helmet look similar to models worn by other players?

• Is the helmet worn properly (fit, chin-strap buckled, etc.)?

If the official can answer these questions with a "yes" then the helmet is likely safe and legal for play and the game does not need a long delay to complete this check. If in doubt, the presence of the current HECC sticker, with valid expiration date, along with the good condition of the helmet, will be the final indicator as to the eligibility for use in USA Hockey sanctioned games. Provided the official(s) have performed this due diligence, it is important to acknowledge that USA Hockey firmly places the responsibility on the individual player to wear the proper protective equipment in the manner in which it was intended.

Your turn

Have a question that you'd like to see answered here? Knowledge that you'd like to share? Just hit reply, we'd love to hear from you.


Have you as an official been placed in a situation that you feel was not resolved to your satisfaction? We can help you. We are here to support you. Abuse by a player or coach is never acceptable, we have your back. Click reply, and we'll do what we can to help.


If you would like to promote your business to other officials,
click reply to this email with the details.

You are receiving this email because you are a registered
USA Hockey Official in Massachusetts


Sent via