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Greg Johnson, NCAA | June 8, 2020

Ice hockey rules committee proposes overtime format change

Minnesota Duluth won the 2019 Frozen Four. The Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee proposed changes to the current overtime format in the sport beginning with the 2020-21 season.

The Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee proposed changes to the current overtime format in the sport, starting with the 2020-21 academic year.

Committee members, who met virtually for four days this week, recommended that all teams tied at the end of regulation would play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-victory overtime period to decide a winner. If neither team scores, a three-person shootout could be used in conference games or in-season tournaments for advancement purposes.

In regular-season nonconference games that go into overtime, teams would be required to play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death period. If neither team scores, the result of the game would be a tie.

All rules proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel. That panel is scheduled to discuss the ice hockey proposals July 22.

Finding a way to align NCAA ice hockey overtime rules with those of other hockey leagues has been a thoroughly debated topic in recent years. Once again, committee members had comprehensive discussions before deciding on their recommendation.

Committee members think this proposal aligns NCAA ice hockey with all the other high-level leagues around the world. They feel the 3-on-3 overtime format is widely recognizable and exciting for all participants.

“Our committee’s job is to do what we believe is best for the game,” said Hilary Witt, women’s ice hockey coach at New Hampshire and interim rules committee chair. “As the game continues to evolve at all levels, we feel it is important for college hockey to evolve with it.”

Faceoffs

The committee recommended that teams be allowed to choose from which faceoff circle the puck would be dropped at the start of a power play or after icing violations.

“This allows teams to potentially create more offensive opportunities,” said NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Secretary-Rules Editor Steve Piotrowski. “If we can implement rules to create more scoring opportunities, that’s a good thing.”

Committee members also proposed allowing officials to issue a warning on faceoff violations instead of ejecting the center. If a second violation by the same team occurs during the same faceoff, a two-minute, bench-minor penalty for delay of game will be called.

The committee thinks this will speed up pace of play in the game.

Handshakes

While it remains committed to sportsmanship, the committee voted to remove the rule that required team members to shake hands after a game.

Committee members think it is best for conferences or schools to decide postgame sportsmanship protocols rather than for a national rule to establish the only postgame sportsmanship protocol.

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