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NFHS Release: “Captain’s Choice” of Players Modified in High School Ice Hockey

May 12, 2017
“Captain’s Choice” of Players Modified in High School Ice Hockey
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 11, 2017) — In support of ongoing efforts to minimize risk in high school ice hockey, new rules changes aim to improve how officials call and manage the game.
Five rules changes were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Ice Hockey Rules Committee at its April 24-25 meeting in Indianapolis. All 2017-18 ice hockey rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Rules 2-2-6 and 4-2-8 now state that when rules indicate a “captain’s choice of players” for serving a penalty, the captain must select a player who was on the ice when play was stopped, excluding the goalkeeper. The committee determined that it is difficult for officials to monitor the specific players on the ice during a delayed penalty call, as line changes frequently occur. This change should make it easier for officials to identify a player on the ice rather than recall who was on the ice at the moment the infraction occurred.
“Over the past several years, the Ice Hockey Rules Committee has tackled the dangerous plays in the game – contact to the head, checking from behind and boarding – and two years ago it reformatted the rules book to allow flexibility for officials to call what they see,” said Bob Hayden, chair of the NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee. “Those two initiatives have proven very beneficial to high school hockey.”
A change in Rule 2-2-5 now states that the head coach must meet with the referee(s) prior to the start of the game. By clarifying this procedure, it ensures verification from the head coach that all participants are properly equipped.
Official language was added to Rule 9-1-2 stating that the official who drops the puck during a faceoff shall set the players by blowing the whistle.
“This is a standard in hockey and already in practice in the sport; however, the NFHS rules had no specific language to cover this duty during the faceoff procedure,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services and liaison to the Ice Hockey Rules Committee.
Rule 6-1-9 is a new rule that states, “no player, coach or team personnel shall spit at an opponent, teammate or game official.” To emphasize the severity of the action, the resulting penalty is game disqualification for the offending player.
Finally, Rule 1-3-5 now requires water bottles used by goalkeepers to be secured to the top or back of the goal frame. By making this a requirement, it ensures water bottles will not fall onto the ice and interfere with the flow of the game.
According to the 2015-16 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, there are 35,155 boys participating in ice hockey in 1,607 schools across the country, and 9,514 girls playing the sport in 642 schools.
This press release was written by Bryce Woodall, an intern in the publications/communications department at NFHS. He is a senior at Franklin (Indiana) College studying public relations
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.7 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.
Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations [email protected]
Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
Assistant Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations [email protected]

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