I sat in on a portion of the Section 1 coaches meeting this afternoon so I have a few rules updates to share, compliments of Larry Scapperotti of the Westchester Ice Hockey Officials Association. Remember, he didn’t write the rules. Be nice if you disagree. Hopefully, nothing gets lost in translation. I usually don’t have any refs upset with me before December.
- All neck guards have to be BNQ certified. Apparently, no U.S. agency certifies neck guards so the NFHS is relying on the Bureau de normalisation du Québec.
- Referees must wear eye visors.
- Play is to be stopped immediately when a goalie loses a piece of equipment. Now if the referee believes the equipment was shed intentionally to draw a whistle, the goalie can be assessed a minor.
- If an offensive player bats a puck directly on goal with his hand, there’s a faceoff on the other end of the ice
- Players will not be allowed to flop or embellish in hopes of influencing a call. You could have instances where a penalty is called and opposing players end up in the box if somebody gets overly dramatic.
- An unnecessary roughness minor will be dispensed each time a player deemed to be vulnerable is checked.
The last rule on this list is going to result in a fair amount of discussion, and I can’t imagine having to make that call. I’m sure the intention here is to reduce the odds of head and neck injuries. We’re dealing with high school hockey so there are countless passes made and shots taken by players who do not have their heads up. I sense controversy here. A player who isn’t looking is vulnerable. So is the kid who’s going hard to the net with the puck who is checked and loses his balance. Do you have to let him get two skates back on the ice before checking him again? Good luck with that one.