Olympic hockey vs. the NHL
International Ice Hockey Federation rules govern Olympic competition. Recent NHL rule changes have brought the NHL closer to international rules, particularly the elimination of a ban on two-line passes. The result has been a more open offensive style of play in the NHL. Additionally, the tournaments in Vancouver will be played on the NHL-sized ice surface, rather than the larger international surface that is usually used in Olympic competition. But several major differences still exist between NHL and international rules:
|Face-offs||Attacking center must place stick down first; puck goes down 15 seconds after stoppage||Visiting center must place stick down first; 15-second time drop does not apply|
|Fighting||Match penalty (game misconduct plus automatic suspension from next game) or 10-minute misconduct||Major penalty|
|Goaltender freezing puck||Incurs a minor penalty for falling on puck behind hash marks or goal line||May freeze puck anywhere in defensive zone, provided he is being checked|
|Goaltender handling puck||Can handle puck anywhere behind the goal line||Cannot handle puck outside the designated trapezoid area behind the net|
|Time-outs||Both teams permitted a time-out during stoppage, but second team must notify referee before opponent's expires; also one per game||Only one team is permitted a time-out during a stoppage; team is permitted one 30-second time-out per game to be used in regulation or overtime|
|Icing||Called automatically when the puck crosses the goal line||After puck crosses goal line,
defending team must touch puck first
|Penalty shots||Any player may take the penalty shot||Fouled player must take penalty shot; if he cannot, another player on the ice at the time of the foul must take it|
|Puck over glass by player in defensive zone||No penalty||Delay of game minor penalty|
|Protection of goalkeeper||If attacking player stands in the goal crease, play is stopped and face-off held in neutral zone||Play not stopped if attacking player is in goal crease|
|Major penalty||Five-minute penalty plus game misconduct||Five-minute penalty|
Rule variations for women
Women's and men's international ice hockey operate under the same rules as stipulated by the IIHF - with one fundamental exception: the level of permissible body contact. Since the 1992 World Championship, IIHF rules have prohibited "body checking" in the women's game.
Physical contact, however, is permitted under the heading "body contact." The distinction between "body checking" and "body contact" is often a subjective one. The IIHF distinguishes
between the two types of physical contact as follows:
|Body contact||Body checking|
|Intent to play puck first||
Intent to physically play the body first
Minor intent to play the body by players going in same direction
Obvious intent to play the body by players going in opposite directions
Puck is the major focus
Focus is on player and not puck
Contact results from playing puck
Obvious body check into boards
-What is allowed:
What is not allowed:
A player of an attacking team is offsides if he/she precedes the puck into the offensive zone. For a violation of this rule, play is stopped and a neutral zone face-off conducted.
A player who skates backward into the zone with complete control over the puck is not offside. If a defending player carries or passes the puck into the defending zone while an offensive player is in an offside position, no offside is called. There is no two-line offside pass rule in international hockey. If an attacking player precedes the puck into the attacking zone, but a defending player is able to play the puck, the linesman raises his arm to signal a delayed offside - except if the puck has been shot on goal. The lineman drops his arm to nullify the offside violation and allows play to continue:
- if the defending team either passes or carries the puck into the neutral zone.
- if all the attacking players immediately clear the offensive zone by making contact with the blue line.
For the purpose of this rule, the center red line divides the ice rink into two halves. The point of last contact with the puck by the team in possession is used to determine whether or not icing has occurred.
Should a player of a team equal of superior numerical strength shoot, bat or deflect the puck from his own half of the ice beyond the opposing team's goal line, play is stopped and icing is called. A face-off will then take place inside the defensive zone of the offending team.
No icing is called:
- if the puck enters the goal for a score.
- if the puck passes through the goal crease.
- if the offending team is short handed at the instant the puck is shot.
- if the puck touches any part of an opposing player, including the goalkeeper, before crossing the line.
- if the puck is iced directly from a player participating in a face-off.
- if, in the opinion of a lineman, any player from the other team, except the goalkeeper, is able to play the puck before it crosses the goal line.
A face-off is when a linesman or referee drops the puck into play between two opposing players. Face-offs occur at the beginning of each period and after any stoppage of play.
Playing the puck
Players are permitted to stop or bat the puck in the air with an open hand or push it along the ice by hand, unless in the opinion of the referee, the player has deliberately directed the puck to a teammate.
That same hand pass is legal, however, if the passer and teammate are in their defensive zone. A goal is disallowed if the puck is batted by an attacking player into the goal, even if the batted puck first deflects off an opposing player's body or stick, the goaltender or an official. Kicking of the puck is permitted in all zones, but a goal may not be scored by the kick of an attacking player, even if first deflected by any player, goalkeeper or official. No goal may be scored when the stick of an attacking player above the height of the cross bar contacts the puck.
A goal is scored:
- when the puck has been put between the goal posts below the cross bar, and entirely across the goal line by the stick of a player of the attacking side.
- when the puck is put into the goal in any way by a player of the defending side, and the player of the attacking side who last played the puck is credited with the goal but no assist is awarded.
- when the puck deflects directly off the skate of an attacking or defending player into the net.
- when the puck is deflected into the goal from the shot of an attacking player by striking any part of the person of a player of the same side. The player who deflected the puck is credited with the goal.
A goal is not allowed:
- if the puck has been kicked, thrown or otherwise deliberately directed into the goal by any means other than a stick.
- if the net is off its moorings and/or the base of the net is not completely flat on the ice at the time the puck enters the net or crosses the goal line.
The following situations are subject to review by the video goal judge:
1. puck crossing the goal line
2. puck in the net prior to the goal frame being dislodged
3. puck in the net prior to, or after the expiration of time at the end of a period
4. puck directed into the net by a hand or kicked into the net
5. puck deflected into the net off a game official
6. puck struck with a high stick, above height of cross bar, by an attacking player prior to
entering the net
7. to establish the correct time on the official clock provided the game time is visible on the Video Goal Judge's monitors
- Only at the request of the referee or the video goal judge can a play be reviewed.