The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a proposal to allow conferences to use one of two alternative formats to award points in their standings after the mandatory five-on-five, five-minute overtime period in men’s and women’s ice hockey.

After a traditional five-minute, five-on-five overtime, conferences may use either a five-minute, three-on-three overtime period and a shootout or only a shootout to award additional conference points. Conferences are not required to use one of the alternative systems and may end play after the five-minute overtime.

During nonconference regular-season games, these alternative options are not permitted, and a game would end in a tie after the traditional five-minute overtime.

In regular-season tournaments that require advancement, a 20-minute sudden death format can be implemented for overtime, instead of the traditional five-minute overtime period. These tournaments also may use the three-on-three and shootout or the standalone shootout format.

Other rules changes approved include the following:  

  • Allowing the use of video review in situations where ejecting a player is being considered. Because such calls are critical and officials must currently make these determinations after viewing the play in real time, the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Committee believes this change will be a positive.
  • A redefining of slashing. The approved change states: “Any forceful or powerful chop with the stick on an opponent’s body, the opponent’s stick, or on or near the opponent’s hands that, in the judgment of the referee, is not an attempt to play the puck, should be penalized as slashing.”
  • For a substitution to be legal, the player coming off the ice must be within 5 feet of the bench before the substitute may contact the ice.
  • In overtime games, each team will have one timeout to use in overtime, regardless of whether a timeout was used during regulation play.
  • The number of skaters allowed on each team will be increased to 19 (the current rule allows up to 18).
  • A player who catches the puck must immediately place it on the ice for play to continue legally. If a player catches and conceals or throws the puck, a minor penalty shall be assessed.
  • To reduce the number of video review situations, coaches must use a challenge to review goals scored where a potential high stick is involved or plays where the puck touches the netting out of play and leads to a goal.