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2021 Rule Changes


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OY.... Well sounds like they tried to define and codify allowing the physical battle for position..... not really a bad thing. But.... at what point does competitive contact become interference? I know it when I see it but I'm not a kid with a couple dozen games and an ego that needs to come in through the back garage door. I wish all of you that still have a kid playing both luck and patience... I can see it now.... some stripes call it no autopsy no foul and others throw a deuce at the big kid when the little one loses due to the law of tonnage (in a collision the body with the most tonnage will usually win).... makes my hair ache..... 

 

I really hope they have some good example videos.

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1 hour ago, GrumpyOldPucker said:

OY.... Well sounds like they tried to define and codify allowing the physical battle for position..... not really a bad thing. But.... at what point does competitive contact become interference? I know it when I see it but I'm not a kid with a couple dozen games and an ego that needs to come in through the back garage door. I wish all of you that still have a kid playing both luck and patience... I can see it now.... some stripes call it no autopsy no foul and others throw a deuce at the big kid when the little one loses due to the law of tonnage (in a collision the body with the most tonnage will usually win).... makes my hair ache..... 

 

I really hope they have some good example videos.

I concur. Watching my two boys play hockey for almost twenty years, I can’t even keep track how many times I’ve seen a bigger kid called for clean hits, gaining body position etc. if your kid pushes into that 6’2 & above range - forget it! Those kids can’t even rub anyone with out some sort of call. Now add this new rule, those bigger kids will be at a severe disadvantage the way refs currently call the game. I once saw a kid that was around 5’5 jump up to cross check a big kid in the head, the big kid turned around and cross checked the runt in the chest and sent him flying. The big kid got a roughing call, the runt nothing even though he made head contact. It’s how the refs treated Mario during his paying days. Just add a non checking - no contact division for players & parents that don’t want contact. USA Hockey can continue to collect their fees! This stuff is getting absurd! 

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Posted (edited)

Love the removal of the delayed offsides. It will lead to a more puck possession style of game, increased awareness and passing, and cut down on dump and chase scenarios. It's also going to make neutral zone play a lot more exciting. I think it will be good for development. I'm all for ways to emphasize skill development. This checks that box for sure.

The argument "they need to learn it at some point so might as well start young" is ridiculous. Good players can learn delayed offsides in a single practice. The implementation and strategy around delayed offsides will take two practices.

Edited by RJUSHL
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, RJUSHL said:

Love the removal of the delayed offsides. It will lead to a more puck possession style of game, increased awareness and passing, and cut down on dump and chase scenarios. It's also going to make neutral zone play a lot more exciting. I think it will be good for development. I'm all for ways to emphasize skill development. This checks that box for sure.

The argument "they need to learn it at some point so might as well start young" is ridiculous. Good players can learn delayed offsides in a single practice. The implementation and strategy around delayed offsides will take two practices.

I respectfully disagree, but I guess there are two sides to every argument.

My thought is that if there were great advantages to playing the puck "creatively" in the neutral zone without delayed offsides, NHL hockey would look alot different already since they'd have found the most creative possible ways to play the puck. Instead, the NHL guys more or less do the same regroup that squirts would do when they can make a cross ice pass on losing the zone, and dump it around like every proponent of this rule change is saying we'd be better off not doing when the cross ice pass is not there. In short, it's my view that if there were great creative ways to play the puck in response to a delayed offsides that didn't involve dumping it, we'd have seen them already at the highest level of play, because those guys are the best in the world and they find the best ways to do things pretty fast.

There are going to be a bunch of offsides calls which will slow games down and make them longer, and when a player is left hanging without a teammate to pass to just outside the line, they'll either dump the puck and take the offside, end up giving up possession, or take a big hit and then give up possession.

Also, it's not clear to me that "dump and chase" is always a dumb, or uncreative play.

Again, I understand that there are always two sides, but this is my thinking on the subject.

Edited by Lifelongbender
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21 hours ago, Lifelongbender said:

My thought is that if there were great advantages to playing the puck "creatively" in the neutral zone without delayed offsides, NHL hockey would look alot different already since they'd have found the most creative possible ways to play the puck.

You're absolutely right about that. There are some huge tactical advantages to utilizing delayed offsides and also dumping the puck in deep. I'm not saying those two things are one-in-the-same, but they play off each other. NHL teams utilize both because it's smart to do so.

But that's kind of my point. When the option is available, teams at all levels will utilize the leeway given to them. I think it's smart to take that option away from younger players. Instead of putting the puck into an area and then chasing it down, it's smart to force younger players to make tape to tape passes and keep possession at all costs.  That's a much harder skill to learn than just putting the puck into an area.

I'm all for rules that cut down on the number of dump ins. Defenseman win those most of the time anyways. I want to challenge kids to make clean zone entries. And when their entry fails make them regroup and move the puck around and try again.

I don't think there is any doubt that eliminating delayed offsides will reduce the number of dump and chase scenarios. How much? I'm not sure.

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1 hour ago, RJUSHL said:

You're absolutely right about that. There are some huge tactical advantages to utilizing delayed offsides and also dumping the puck in deep. I'm not saying those two things are one-in-the-same, but they play off each other. NHL teams utilize both because it's smart to do so.

But that's kind of my point. When the option is available, teams at all levels will utilize the leeway given to them. I think it's smart to take that option away from younger players. Instead of putting the puck into an area and then chasing it down, it's smart to force younger players to make tape to tape passes and keep possession at all costs.  That's a much harder skill to learn than just putting the puck into an area.

I'm all for rules that cut down on the number of dump ins. Defenseman win those most of the time anyways. I want to challenge kids to make clean zone entries. And when their entry fails make them regroup and move the puck around and try again.

I don't think there is any doubt that eliminating delayed offsides will reduce the number of dump and chase scenarios. How much? I'm not sure.

I can see that you believe in this strongly, and to be honest this is the ONLY defense of this rule change I have read that appears to have any thought behind it at all, including the one used as an explanation by USA Hockey. In fact, this is a generally reasonable position, although I disagree with it.

I'll just say that while you're right that it's smart to force younger players to make the harder plays so that they'll learn to make them, this rule change makes the rule that nobody at any youth level can choose to dump the puck in amateur hockey, while the rule before was that players 12U and younger could not. I'd argue that by the time you're 14U, your passing should be coming along (and definitely by 16U, right?), and giving players more options is important for flow. We agree that NHL teams use both options because it is smart, but in the next paragraph you suggest that playing a puck to an area is an easier skill. That may be true - just whacking a puck into an area is easier than putting it on your teammate's stick while not getting them killed - but the tactical decision on when to do one or the other is neither a simple one, or one without consequences, and is a much harder thing to grasp while under game pressure than the pass is to make.

If the goal is to encourage younger players to regroup and enter cleanly in an effort to promote the puck handling skills, I'd have to ask if there is any age that doesn't count as younger in that argument. At this time we are forcing everyone who isn't in a pro game, a school game or a beer league to do a squirt-level regroup.

I think we both have well-reasoned positions, and it sure looks to me like our difference is largely in whether we want kids to be forced to develop their physical skills (your position, simplified) or their hockey sense. These are things about which reasonable people can debate, but my view is that, especially at levels where body checking is legal, you have to be able to quickly and accurately make those decisions so that you 1) stay alive; 2) promote your team's objectives; and 3) deny the opponent's objectives. Dumping the puck strategically is a very important part of all three of those hockey sense items - which we can all see from the way that NHL players blend their usage of them - and passing to an area itself is a big part of the game that we are discouraging in favor of neutral zone regroups. Passing to an area and battling for the puck is also a tactically useful play from time to time. 

We'll never agree here, because we have different priorities. But I just don't agree that the neutral zone regroup is inherently superior to a strategic dump and touch-up either from a tactical or technical/skill sense. The best players use both, deciding almost instantaneously which is more appropriate for each game situation. Eliminating delayed offsides is, in this sense, going to reduce creativity and spontaneity in the game. For my money American hockey in general, and Western Pennsylvanian hockey very much in particular, is full of kids with great hands and impressive skating and the hockey sense of a baseball player. We need to be developing hockey sense as much as skills. I think this rule change hurts that cause.

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32 minutes ago, Lifelongbender said:

For my money American hockey in general, and Western Pennsylvanian hockey very much in particular, is full of kids with great hands and impressive skating and the hockey sense of a baseball player.

Couldn't agree more.

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4 hours ago, Lifelongbender said:

 For my money American hockey in general, and Western Pennsylvanian hockey very much in particular, is full of kids with great hands and impressive skating and the hockey sense of a baseball player. We need to be developing hockey sense as much as skills. I think this rule change hurts that cause.

Unfortunately that's because a majority of coaches have a win now attitude instead of a developing hockey players attitude.  Some of this ties into our "dad coaches" discussions.  This also ties into the kids who excel at mites and squirts (and peewees sometimes) and fall off the map as they get older. 

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Quad A - Dad coaches got nothing to do with this.... Either the coach knows how to teach or they don't.......... I've met way too many non-dad coaches that were great players at high levels but had no clue how to pass it on because they "just did it"... they didn't have to think about it and all to often they just don't understand why a player has trouble with "basic stuff" that they take for granted. Why is it that the superstars hardly ever make great coaches, but the grinders do.... 

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5 hours ago, GrumpyOldPucker said:

Quad A - Dad coaches got nothing to do with this.... Either the coach knows how to teach or they don't.......... I've met way too many non-dad coaches that were great players at high levels but had no clue how to pass it on because they "just did it"... they didn't have to think about it and all to often they just don't understand why a player has trouble with "basic stuff" that they take for granted. Why is it that the superstars hardly ever make great coaches, but the grinders do.... 

I agree that's why I put it in quotes.  Easy way to summarize but in that discussion we were talking about coaches who never played and don't really know the game. Often their strategy turns into telling one or two of the top skaters to go score and they start teaching really bad habits really early.  Being a dad or not is irrelevant, as I guess is playing if you don't have a coaching sense.   

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Quad, I see that we basically agree..... I do get wound up over the folks here constantly putting down a major part of the backbone of youth hockey - "Dad\Parent Coaches".  Pre ADM a lot of them simply stepped up when their kid was a mite or mini-mite simply because they needed a coach to have a team and learned as much as they could on the job. Some got good and other not so much. Over the last 40 odd years I've been a dad coach as well as a paid non-dad coach (long before I was a dad) and I've seen the full range of coaches from parent coaches to paid former NHLers.  Some are great tacticians and game managers that could not teach the skills or the game to save their lives. Some of these were smart enough to fill out the coaching staff with coaches that could teach... others had egos that were too big and the kids suffered because of it. Some were very competent in both teaching and game management. These coaches were usually smart enough to choose assistants that filled roles and complemented each other. I've seen parent coaches that could not stand on skates but knew the game. They could communicate with the kids, teach the game, and sometimes manage the bench too. Others could teach the skills but had the hockey sense of a rock.......

The community likes to put a saddle on the officials and ride them hard, but having lived my life on both sides of the boards I have to say that the USAH Officials education program is far and away better than the coaching program..... USAH coaching program is set up to force funnel coaches to level 4 on a time frame and in my opinion doesn't teach them a damn thing along the way. Oh the seminars have interesting speakers, but I don't recall seeing anything like some of the in depth discussion we had during upper level ref seminars. From the first seminar they should have discussions on how to teach each age group. There should be discussions of various drills that will teach skills and game situations. Discussions on how to set up practice plans to maximize ice use and avoid standing around. Discussions on setting up practice plans to best utilize full and half ice.  By the time a coach gets to level 4 they should have a binder full of drills & notes, hours of discussion on how to utilize them and how to relate the skills to game situations. IMHO this is where we are sorely lacking..... 

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6 hours ago, GrumpyOldPucker said:

Quad, I see that we basically agree..... I do get wound up over the folks here constantly putting down a major part of the backbone of youth hockey - "Dad\Parent Coaches".  Pre ADM a lot of them simply stepped up when their kid was a mite or mini-mite simply because they needed a coach to have a team and learned as much as they could on the job. Some got good and other not so much. Over the last 40 odd years I've been a dad coach as well as a paid non-dad coach (long before I was a dad) and I've seen the full range of coaches from parent coaches to paid former NHLers.  Some are great tacticians and game managers that could not teach the skills or the game to save their lives. Some of these were smart enough to fill out the coaching staff with coaches that could teach... others had egos that were too big and the kids suffered because of it. Some were very competent in both teaching and game management. These coaches were usually smart enough to choose assistants that filled roles and complemented each other. I've seen parent coaches that could not stand on skates but knew the game. They could communicate with the kids, teach the game, and sometimes manage the bench too. Others could teach the skills but had the hockey sense of a rock.......

The community likes to put a saddle on the officials and ride them hard, but having lived my life on both sides of the boards I have to say that the USAH Officials education program is far and away better than the coaching program..... USAH coaching program is set up to force funnel coaches to level 4 on a time frame and in my opinion doesn't teach them a damn thing along the way. Oh the seminars have interesting speakers, but I don't recall seeing anything like some of the in depth discussion we had during upper level ref seminars. From the first seminar they should have discussions on how to teach each age group. There should be discussions of various drills that will teach skills and game situations. Discussions on how to set up practice plans to maximize ice use and avoid standing around. Discussions on setting up practice plans to best utilize full and half ice.  By the time a coach gets to level 4 they should have a binder full of drills & notes, hours of discussion on how to utilize them and how to relate the skills to game situations. IMHO this is where we are sorely lacking..... 

I'm pretty sure we are on the same page. I've been an effective dad coach and the best coach my oldest ever had was a dad.  I was using the term in the parody sense. 

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We’ve gone way too far to the extreme of skills and drills and not enough of teaching the game. Not x’s and o’s but truly teaching the importance of and thoroughly how to’s on faceoffs, backchecking, supporting the play, getting open, decision making etc. 

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9 hours ago, BeaverFalls said:

We’ve gone way too far to the extreme of skills and drills and not enough of teaching the game. Not x’s and o’s but truly teaching the importance of and thoroughly how to’s on faceoffs, backchecking, supporting the play, getting open, decision making etc. 

Yes, Absolutely agree..... Likely a byproduct of an ADM skills in small areas mentality and most folks (mis)understanding of the full development model.) Like I said, "We need to teach the teachers mo-better than we have been."

Edited by GrumpyOldPucker
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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/15/2021 at 11:08 AM, Loach said:

So, no delayed offsides at 18U and 16U even though these kids may also be playing high school and have delayed offsides?

That is correct. I just did my officiating seminar about a week ago, and it was commented on that you may be working a high school game with delayed offsides / icing allowed on penalties, and then you go work an 18U game and you have to call it, its going to be confusing for people who work high school and 16/18U.

I'm not sure if its necessary, but I can clarify the body checking rules a bit. The way it is worded in the rulebook, and what I was told at the seminar, is that the player being checked must have possession and control of the puck, so once they pass or shoot the puck they are NOT able to be checked anymore, 640b: "A minor penalty shall be assessed (except Adult Male
Classifications) to any player who delivers an avoidable body check to an opponent who is no longer in control of the puck. A player who has released a shot or pass is no longer considered to be in control of the puck. They are considered to be vulnerable or defenseless and are not eligible to be body checked.". You can also no longer check someone who is in a battle with someone else for the puck, 640e: "A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who delivers a body check to an opponent who is physically engaged for possession of the puck with one or more other players.", and you have to keep your stick down whenever you check someone, 640d: "A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who delivers
a body check with no effort to gain possession of the puck and the blade of the player’s stick is above the knees.", there is also "with no effort to gain possession of the puck" in that rule, so you still technically can, under specific circumstances.

Slap shots in 10U is allowed now, checking both the 2017-2021 and 2021-2025 rulebooks, the 2017-2021 rulebook has, under rule 621d: "The use of the “slap shot” in the Youth and Girls’ 10 & under age classifications and below is prohibited. When a player who, in the process of making a forehand or backhand shot or pass, raises the blade of the stick above his waist as part of the backswing, play shall be stopped immediately and a face-off is conducted at one of the end zone face-off spots of the offending team." The 2021-2025 rulebook has that part removed, although it has also added that "A match penalty for reckless endangerment may also be assessed for high sticking." as rule 621c. Rule 621c of the 2017-2021 rulebook is now 621d, and there is no 621e.

https://cdn3.sportngin.com/attachments/document/64ec-2477985/2021-25_USAH_Casebook.pdf#_ga=2.86590303.636818795.1628705157-771630046.1627933915 is the link to the 2021-2025 rulebook + casebook (what all officials get) if you want to check my rule references or look up others or something else. I'm not sure if the online rulebook has been updated yet, although I don't think it has. Hitting CTRL+F should pull up a search bar if you want to quickly check for something (I use chrome, not sure if it differs on anything else).

I'm not sure if any of this is confusingly worded, so please feel free to ask something if you want clarification.

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1 hour ago, GrumpyOldPucker said:

So they are finally making the changes in how to call checking that they should have made back in 2005.....  I applaud the body checking changes.

As always, enforcement will be the most challenging part.  

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16 hours ago, Not Gam said:

You can also no longer check someone who is in a battle with someone else for the puck, 640e: "A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who delivers a body check to an opponent who is physically engaged for possession of the puck with one or more other players.", and you have to keep your stick down whenever you check someone, 640d: "A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who delivers a body check with no effort to gain possession of the puck and the blade of the player’s stick is above the knees.", there is also "with no effort to gain possession of the puck" in that rule, so you still technically can, under specific circumstances.

A couple years ago some officials were enforcing this, at least in the preseason. They were penalizing the third man into a battle. It will be interesting to see if this gets widespread enforcement this season.

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12 hours ago, Lifelongbender said:

A couple years ago some officials were enforcing this, at least in the preseason. They were penalizing the third man into a battle. It will be interesting to see if this gets widespread enforcement this season.

It is less of penalizing the third man into a battle, and more of penalizing checks by said third man, however, regardless, I believe that it will get widespread enforcement, and most of the time, when going in to help the battle, it ends up becoming a check, so that is probably what the officials are calling, although I don't know having not been there.

Edit for clarification: It is probably what they were calling, although I can't be sure, so don't quote me on this.

Edited by Not Gam
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15 hours ago, Lifelongbender said:

A couple years ago some officials were enforcing this, at least in the preseason. They were penalizing the third man into a battle. It will be interesting to see if this gets widespread enforcement this season.

It was put in to clarify what they tried to eliminate in the last go around.

Two guys battling in the corner, third guys comes in and checks the opponent off the puck - Penalty.

Two guys battling in the corner, third guys comes makes a play on the puck (can use body positioning)  - No Penalty.

 

They also clarified the body contact while two players are chasing the puck.  Just because there is contact prior to getting to the puck does not mean there is a penalty, even if one player ends up on the ice.  As long as it's a battle for position, no penalty.

Nothing here is really new since the previous rulebook, at least in terms of how they want it called.

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8 hours ago, carroll81 said:

It was put in to clarify what they tried to eliminate in the last go around.

Two guys battling in the corner, third guys comes in and checks the opponent off the puck - Penalty.

Two guys battling in the corner, third guys comes makes a play on the puck (can use body positioning)  - No Penalty.

 

They also clarified the body contact while two players are chasing the puck.  Just because there is contact prior to getting to the puck does not mean there is a penalty, even if one player ends up on the ice.  As long as it's a battle for position, no penalty.

Nothing here is really new since the previous rulebook, at least in terms of how they want it called.

Yes, @carroll81 and @Not Gam, that's exactly how they were calling it back a few years ago. I wasn't very precise with my language.

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4 hours ago, Lifelongbender said:

Yes, @carroll81 and @Not Gam, that's exactly how they were calling it back a few years ago. I wasn't very precise with my language.

It was explained to me as an update to language only. Body contact and checking were being used interchangeably. So now body contact is competitive contact. Competitive contact should happen at all levels, checking at 14u up.

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1 minute ago, Saucey said:

It was explained to me as an update to language only. Body contact and checking were being used interchangeably. So now body contact is competitive contact. Competitive contact should happen at all levels, checking at 14u up.

You know, this all sounds dangerously like USA Hockey moving in the right direction for once. I'm not sure how to process this.

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57 minutes ago, Lifelongbender said:

You know, this all sounds dangerously like USA Hockey moving in the right direction for once. I'm not sure how to process this.

Also explained that they have to because they don't want legislatures or doctors taking all contact out like you are seeing in youth tackle football.

Now you need the refs to call it consistently...did not happen much at all last year. Lots and lots of checks away from the puck, late hits (some very late) and checks with zero attempt to make a play for the puck. Last season felt like the wild west, I am guessing because of COVID and all organizations being told not to complain about reffing. Year before that I saw the refs making an effort to call those things.

Edited by Saucey
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