Men’s and women’s ice hockey officials will be authorized to judge whether incidental contact impacted the goalkeeper’s ability to defend the goal beginning with the upcoming 2015-16 season.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the modification to the rule regarding contact with the goalkeeper on Thursday.

Next season, when an offensive player makes incidental contact with a goalkeeper and the puck enters the net, the referee will use his or her judgment to determine if the contact prevented the goalkeeper from stopping the puck.

Last season in those scenarios, goals were disallowed when an offensive player initiated the contact.

The Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Committee believed too many goals were being taken off the scoreboard and wanted to make the rule less rigid and give the on-ice officials more leeway to count the goal.

The Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee will prepare additional officiating guidance and education to help the hockey community understand the intent of the new rule.