Welcome to this week’s update in association with the EIHA Referee Section, featuring our rules clinic where You Make The Call!

shl_referee_penalty_shotBefore we get to this week’s rules quiz, do you know what the criteria are for a referee to award a penalty shot during the game rather than a minor penalty? There are five separate questions a referee must ask themselves, and if the answer is yes to all five then a penalty shot has to be awarded.

The actual rule is Rule 171 and states: “if an attacking skater is on a breakaway and fouled by an opponent from behind, or by the opposing goaltender, the skater will be awarded a penalty shot.”

The IIHF rulebook further defines a breakaway and it is this definition which gives us the criteria to award a penalty shot.  A breakaway is outlined in Rule 7 – Terminology, as any situation during game action where:

  • An attacking player is in control of the puck or in obvious position to gain control of a loose puck and skate in alone on the goaltender;
  • The attacking player has no opponent between him and the opposing goal net;
  • The puck is completely outside the defending zone blue line of the attacking player;
  • The attacking skater has a reasonable scoring opportunity.

For calling a penalty shot the four breakaway criteria plus the fouled from behind or by the goalie criteria have to be met on the play.  So next time a player from your team is through on goal and is fouled by an opponent – put yourself in the referee’s position and ask if all five criteria are met for the award of a penalty shot.

Weekly Rules Quiz

Question 1:
The puck is in Team A attacking zone. Team B manage to clear the puck but only to neutral zone where it is picked up by a Team A player. The puck is clearly out of the Team A attacking zone and the Team A attackers are skating hard to clear attacking zone. The Team A player in the neutral zone is aware of his team-mates still in the attacking zone and he winds up to shoot the puck at the net. The instant the puck completely crosses the blue line, one of Team A attackers still has both skates in the attacking zone. But, before the puck reaches the goal net, all of Team A have cleared the attacking zone. What’s the call?

Question 2:
Team A have the puck in neutral zone. One of Team A attacker straddles the blue line, between neutral and attacking zone, waiting for a pass. Team A defender shoots the puck on-goal. At the moment the puck completely crosses the blue-line, Team A attacker straddling the blue line has both skates in attacking zone, but puts one skate on the blue line before the puck reaches the goal. There are no other Team A players in attacking zone. What’s the call?

Question 3:
Team A have the puck in neutral zone. The Team A attacker straddles the blue line, between neutral and attacking zone. The Team A defender dumps the puck hard along the boards. At the moment the puck completely crosses the blue-line, the Team A attacker has both skates in attacking zone, but puts one skate on the blue quickly. Linesman raises and then drops his arm to nullify the delayed offside. The puck, in the meantime, hit the boards, deflects off Team B player and goes into the net. State the decision.

Leave your answers on the thread on our Facebook page or you can email whistle@eiha.co.uk with your best suggestions.  We’ll publish the answers with Rulebook and Casebook references next week.