Club Oxford Hockey  

"My initial reaction was that the officiating has been good, but upon further review, that call has been overturned."

Q.  Anything different for 2023/24?

A.  Players involved in fight will be fined $50 payable to the league when they return from suspension. Misconducts will incur a $20 fine payable to the league. Teams may use spares immediately for any suspended player.

Q.  Any rule changes this year?

A.  No overtime due to our new time restrictions. Ties will remain.

Blue-line icing will be in effect to reduce delays.

Player changes to be done quickly and efficiently.

Players dropping their gloves for purposes of confrontation will be ejected from the game.

Q.  The puck crossed the goal line with the net off it's moorings.  What is the correct call?

A.  Not always an easy one.  NHL Rule 63.6 states that "in the event that the goal post is displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, by a defending player,  prior to the puck crossing the goal line between the normal position of the goalposts, the referee may award a goal." Although we are not the NHL, we have a problem with the nets in our rink being easily displaced.
In order to award a goal in Club Oxford in this situation, the net must have been displaced by the actions of a defending player and it must be determined that the puck has entered between the normal position of the goal posts.  Goaltenders are encouraged to pull their nets back into position (if play allows) and not to expect a quick whistle for nets that are only marginally displaced.

Q. Do I have to serve my full 2 minutes on a coincidental penalty?

A. Yes. In a situation where a player from team 'A' gets a minor and a player from team 'B' gets a double minor during the same stoppage : play 5 on 4 with immediate substitution for the player from team 'A'. Two minutes goes on the clock against Team 'B' and they need to place another player in the box for this 'time' penalty. Although the coincidentals 'offset' each other, both players who originally received these penalties must serve the full time regardless of who scores while they are in the box. The only player who can come out early is the player from team 'B' who was designated to serve the 'time' penalty on the scoreboard. The original penalized players must serve their entire time and do not get released until the first stoppage of play after their penalty times expire.

Q. What are the Club O Rules regarding puck shot out of play?

A. Not as strict as the NHL but .... a Bench Minor shall be assessed to a team which, in the opinion of the Referee, is deliberately delaying the game in any manner. (so any player may be assessed a penalty for shooting puck over the glass from his defensive zone if the referee feels it is deliberate)

A Minor Penalty shall be assessed to any goaltender who shoots or bats the puck directly over the glass.

Where there is no glass (ex. player's bench) or if the puck touches the glass or deflects off a player or an official, no penalty shall be assessed.

This penalty will also be assessed to any player or goaltender who shoots the puck out of the playing surface during a stoppage of play.

Q.  The puck went all the way down the ice from a faceoff on the other side of center. Why wasn't icing called?

A.  Rule 65 (c) states " Play shall continue and the "Icing the puck" infraction shall not be called if it is caused directly from either player taking the faceoff."

Q.  The puck was shot all the way down the ice without being touched. Why wasn't icing called?

A.  This is a judgement call by the officials.  If the puck hopped over your stick, went between your feet, slid down the ice while you were headed to the bench for a line change, or if you didn't make enough of an effort to get to the puck then the icing will be 'waved off'.  You are not expectd to be a 'shortstop' - even if the puck was close to you but was shot hard it should be called for icing.  Make an honest effort.

Q.  I was guilty of hooking a guy but he "played it up"
Why did we both go to the box?

A.  The ref applied Rule 9.3 "A minor penalty for Unsportsmanlike Conduct shall be imposed on a player who attempts to draw a penalty by his actions (diving). This penalty may be assessed with or without a foul to the opposing team at the discretion of the referee."

Q.  What can we expect in terms of penalty calls this season?

A.  Keep your sticks off the upper body. The only exception is to allow you to push an attacker out of your goalkeepers line of sight. The stick may be placed on the opponents back but not rammed into it or you will be tagged for cross-checking.

Q.  The refs seem to be overprotective of the goalies. I don't understand why I got a penalty for running into him - that should be part of the game.

A.  It is part of the game - in the movie "Slapshot" but NOT in Club O. Players are advised to stay out of the crease but it is not illegal for them to be in there as long as they do not interfere with the goalie or are standing in the crease as the puck crosses the goal line. Players will be allowed one foot in the crease as long as they are not interfering with the goaltenders ability to make a save. Contact initiated by the attacker will result in a penalty for interference.
An attacker who "whacks" at the goalie after the puck has been covered or digs or "shovels" with force for the puck may be penalized regardless of whether the whistle has sounded or not.  A light tap on the leg pads (for some reason players like to do this) will be ignored. Players "driving to the net" and running into the goaltender will be given a minor for interference and may be given a major for charging if the hit is serious.
Attacking players must try to avoid a collision. 

Q.  I don't understand why I got a 10 minute misconduct for swearing. Last time I only got a minor for unsportsmanlike.

A.  The rulebook states that a misconduct penalty (10 min.) shall be assessed on any player who uses obscene, profane or abusive language or gestures to any person. (think about that !) Referees in Club Oxford are instructed to apply the 2 min. unsportsmanlike for excessive arguing over a call, disrespect towards an opponent or any sort of disorderly conduct. I understand that in a men's league we will hear some profanity. However, referees should not have to tolerate personal attacks. "That's a bullshit call, ref " will earn you another 2 minutes for arguing/disrespect, "You are an asshole, ref " or "You are fucking brutal" will get you 10 for the personal attack. Also keep in mind that every ref has his own personality and level of tolerance. If you already have a penalty and an unsportsmanlike added to it it's probably a good time to shut-up. The 10 will likely get you a suspension and a fine. Referees do not have to give the unsportsmanlike penalty first - they can go directly to the misconduct.

Q.  What should I do if my helmet comes off during  play?

A.  You have 2 choices - replace the helmet properly and fasten the chin strap or proceed directly to the players bench. If you participate in the play without a helmet you will receive a minor penalty.

Q.   Who goes in the box in the case of coincidental penalties involving a goalie?

A.  The skater from one team obviously goes in and the other team must select a player from the ice to serve for the goaltender.  Reasoning - imagine a crafty goalie mixing it up on a few occasions with the other team's best players.  The ref calls coincidental minors so while no manpower advantage is gained the one team loses the services of perhaps their best players while the goaltenders team has their lineup intact.  So, to make it fair, someone who was on the ice at the time must serve the coincidental for the goalie.

Q.  A player has 2 minor penalties and commits a 3rd infraction which results in a penalty shot.  Does he receive a game ejection for this?

A.  No, he does not  (as long as the 3rd infraction being called is a minor).  The penalty shot replaces the lost scoring opportunity and takes the place of the minor penalty.  No penalty is recorded on the gamesheet so the player is still in the game.

Q.  Why is a penalty shot not always awarded for handling the puck in the crease?

A.  This is always a controversial call.  First of all, be aware that the crease is 3-dimensional.  It extends vertically to the top of the net.  This means that a player closing his hand on the puck above the level of the crossbar and then skating away with it or throwing it into the corner of the rink may be penalized for puck-handling (2-min) but it does not warrant a penalty shot because it was above the crease (above the bar) when he grabbed it.  If it was below the bar the ref would be correct in calling a penalty shot.  But don't be too hasty - it is legal for the player to bat the puck away and it is legal for him to close his hand on the puck as long as he brings it directly down to the ice without gaining an unfair advantage.

Q.  What is the correct call when an player is hauled down on a breakaway when the net is empty because the defending team has pulled their goalie?

A.  If the goalie is on the bench he stays there and an automatic goal is awarded.

Q.  What are the rules governing a shootout?

A.  These first two rules are unique to Club Oxford : first of all, a player who has been ejected or is still serving a penalty at the end of regulation time is not eligible to take part in the shootout; secondly, no player may take a second turn in a shootout until all of his eligible teammates have had a turn. The rest of these rules follow the Hockey Canada guidelines for a penalty shot. After touching the puck the shooter must keep the puck in motion towards the goal line (it's OK at this point if he loses control of the puck as long as it keeps moving forward). However, if the goaltender has poke-checked the player causing him to lose control of the puck, the shooter may not play the puck again (if the puck continues into the net with its own momentum the goal shall be allowed). No goal may be scored on a rebound of any description (so a shot off the goalies pads that rebounds off the shooters stick or body and into the net will not be allowed). Once the puck crosses the end line the shot is done (so a rebound off the glass hitting the goalie in the back of the neck and trickling in is not legal). A shot coming off of the post or crossbar or both posts that hits the goalie and then goes in is legal as long as the shooter did not play the puck a second time. If the shooter carries the puck past the end line and curls back in front of the net the shot is not legal. The rulebook calls for the puck to continue forward but I don't expect refs to be waving off a goal just because a guy made some unique dipsy-doodle with the puck - only in extreme cases should this be called - obviously you can't circle the net or curl below the end line but the spirit is to allow for a reasonable chance at scoring a goal. No player other than the goalie is permitted to tend goal (unless he is injured).  If the goaltender throws his stick (or any other object) in an attempt to stop the puck or DELIBERATELY dislodges the net the referee shall award a goal. Players not involved in the shot being taken should not do anything unsportsmanlike (meaning stupid) to distract the shooters or the goaltenders or it may result in the shot being retaken and a possible misconduct for the action. If you still have questions send me an email.

Q.  What's up with the hooking calls?  Other leagues don't call it so strictly.

A.  A lot of the frustration which leads to rough play and retaliation starts with good skaters being held up by the sticks of opposing players. Club Oxford has decided to take a firm stance on this to open up the skating part of the game and keep tempers under control. If you are tired go for a line change, don't try to "water ski" down the ice. Any hooking action on an opponent's body to hinder his progress will be penalized.

Q. What is the deal with too many men on the ice?  I see players jump on early all the time.  Sometimes there's a penalty call and sometimes there isn't.  What's the rule on this?

A.   Players coming off the ice are to be within 10 feet of the bench.  The refs are not carrying a measuring tape BUT the critical  thing is that neither the player leaving the ice nor the player jumping on participate in the play while there are too many skaters on the ice.  Rule #19 states "If in the course of making a substitution, either the player entering the game or the player leaving the game intentionally plays the puck with his stick, skates or hands or intentionally checks or makes any physical contact with an opposing player while the other player respectively leaving or entering the game is actually on the ice, then the infraction of 'too many men on the ice' shall be called."  So there you have it - you can jump early but don't play the puck until your team-mate has his skates off the ice.  There is no stoppage of play and no penalty if either player is accidentally struck with the puck.

Q.  How many players is a team allowed to have on the ice at any given time?

A.  The correct answer is 12 (yes, twelve). As long as everyone (including the goaltender coming off for an extra attacker) was within 10 feet of the bench and none of the players that just jumped the boards played the puck. (I would not want to be reffing when this scenario happened).

Q. What is the correct call when a player "high sticks" the puck?

A.  The old rule was an immediate whistle. Life for the ref was easier then. The modern rule is to see who controls the puck next. If it goes to the non-offending team, play continues. If the offending player or one of his teammates gains control, play is stopped and the faceoff location is at the point where the puck was contacted, or where the puck was located when play was stopped if that penalizes the offending team more. Also keep in mind that you may be assessed a penalty if you contact a player above the waist on the follow through. Note that I underlined control because, for example, if the puck is high-sticked by a red team player, bounces off a blue team player, then goes to another red player who scores a goal there will be a lot of yelling at the ref when he disallows the goal but the fact is the blue team did not have possession and control of the puck.  Control is defined as propelling the puck with stick, skate or glove. 

Q.  When the puck lands on the back of the mesh why don't the refs blow their whistle right away?

A. The idea is to keep the game moving as much as possible.  The general "rule" is to allow three seconds for someone to knock it off the mesh.  If a whistle is required the faceoff goes outside the zone if the attacking team shot it there and no one manages to get it off in three seconds, or if an attacking player "holds" it on the mesh.  Faceoff is inside if a defending player causes the stoppage.

Q. I noticed a team pulling their goalie the other night when a delayed penalty was being called against the other team. The ref blew his whistle before the team being penalized touched the puck. What was he thinking?

A. The goaltender must be within 10 feet of his player's bench before the substitute may enter the game. There is no time penalty for this premature substitution. The ref whistled the play dead because the extra attacker came onto the ice too soon. The newest rulebook calls for a delayed whistle (until offending team has possession).                               

Q.  The puck was shot the length of the ice in an even-strength situation. Why wasn't icing called?

A. This is a judgement call (meaning some refs will call it differently) which takes 4 things into consideration

                           1. Velocity of puck

                           2. Height of puck

                           3. Position of players

                            4. Skating ability

      A hockey player is not expected to be a shortstop. If a puck goes by a player two feet off the ice at 90 mph it doesn't matter if it was close to him or not. He shouldn't be expected to have to play it. However, there are circumstances where a player is not making an honest effort to play the puck in hopes of getting an icing call. Referees should be waving off the icing in situations where the player is NOT making a REASONABLE attempt. Referees should also take into consideration how fast a player can skate. If a "speedster" is obviously "dogging it" in chasing the puck he shouldn't get the icing call. If a player is going to the bench for a line change and the puck goes by his previous location, icing will NOT be called. If a player (usually a defenceman) moves up to play a little "legal" interference on an opponent and ignores the puck - then he has made no attempt to play the puck and should NOT expect an icing call.

    A lot of things for the referee to consider in a brief moment. The objectives are to be fair and to keep the game flowing where possible.

P.S. The old rule about the puck going through the crease area was changed several years ago. It is not a factor.

Q.  What is the rule about a player, other than the goaltender, closing a hand on the puck?

A.  First, the situation where a player grabs a puck that has been flipped in the air. At one time it was an automatic penalty. Then this rule was changed to just a stoppage in play with no penalty. The modern ruling is to let play continue as long as no advantage has been gained. You are allowed to grab the puck out of the air (closed hand) as long as you bring it directly down to the ice. You may not take strides with it in your hand or try to manoeuver around an opponent while you are holding it. The rulebook calls for a penalty for handling the puck if it is carried in this way but the referees in Club Oxford feel this is a little harsh and generally will just whistle the play dead.  The second situation deals with a puck that is on the ice.  A penalty will be applied if the puck is picked up from the ice and  thrown ( you may "bat" the puck with an open hand). Picking up or throwing or covering the puck while it is in the goal crease will result in a penalty shot.

Q.  A player crossed over the blueline ahead of the puck and the ref did not indicate an offside. What gives?

A.  A player who has possession and control of the puck with both feet in the neutral zone may pivot and precede the puck over the blueline.  The player may back in over the line ahead of the puck as long as he has good control of the puck on his stick and had possession of the puck in the neutral zone.  This allows a skilled player to turn at the blueline to avoid a checker. 

Q.  Why no point for an overtime loss in playoffs? After all, it is a point series.
A.  Imagine the scenario of a team leading a series 5 points to 3.  The next game goes to OT and the underdogs win the game but would lose the series 6 points to 5.

Q.  I got a penalty in an overtime.  What's up with that?

A.  It becomes a mess once you let a penalty go just because it's overtime - a hook here, a trip there, now a high stick - just where do you draw the line ?  It may not be called exactly like a "first-period penalty" but it should be very close.