Video replay rules in ice hockey may soon be amended regarding reviews of goals scored after infractions involving offsides or too many players on the ice.
The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee hopes its proposed adjustment will limit some lengthy reviews while maintaining the ability to correct egregious errors.
The committee, at a meeting last week in Indianapolis, recommended two changes to the replay rules, which were implemented last season. First, the committee added a clarification that the ability to review these plays ends if the defensive team gains possession and control of the puck. Second, the committee extended the ability for on-ice officials to review, without a coach’s challenge, to the last 10 minutes of the game and any overtime periods in regular-season games. Previously, this time limit was the last two minutes of the game or any overtime period.
“We sought to put limits on the manner in which potential offsides can be reviewed while still allowing officials and coaches to get it right,” said Joe Bertagna, rules committee chair and commissioner of the Hockey East Association.
Additionally, the committee clarified that in the postseason, on-ice officials can initiate a review of this type at any point in the game.
All rules changes must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss men’s and women’s ice hockey proposals via conference call July 20. The committee may make these adjustments in an off-year for changes because the rules were implemented last season and required clarification.
The committee confirmed that current overtime options in the rules book will remain in effect for the 2017-18 season. Several conferences have used overtime procedures (after the required 5-on-5 overtime) that impact conference standings, but not teams’ records for NCAA selection purposes.
In the summer of 2016, the rules committee proposed a uniform 4-on-4, five-minute overtime format for all regular-season games. During the comment period, however, it was clear that many in the ice hockey community wanted more discussion regarding the format for regular-season overtime games.
“Not only was the rules committee aware of the vocal opposition to the 4-on-4 format from some segments of the coaching community, but it also recognized the many systems that are being used and tried out,” Bertagna said. “This will be a major topic of discussion next year as we respond to the body’s stated desire to have one overtime system in the book.”
The committee spent a considerable amount of time discussing its offsides rules and if redefining the blue line might be a positive development for future seasons. For example, the blue line could be defined as part of the offensive zone, which would make zone entry sooner (if the puck touches the neutral zone side of the blue line, it is considered in the zone). Concepts will be discussed and surveyed during the next rules cycle.
The committee plans to emphasize sportsmanship and respect for the game in the 2017-18 season. Bertagna said the committee is trying to be proactive with this message.
“We are talking about respect for opponents, respect for officials and respect for the game,” he said. “We live in times where the lack of civility has the potential to reach our game, and we need to prevent that from happening in our sport.”