The Ontario Hockey League has announced a series of rule changes for the 2015-16 season effective immediately including the Exhibition Schedule.
The four rule changes include video replay on offsides, no-change icing, face-off procedure, and 3-on-3 overtime. The no-change icing rule is adopted from the Canadian Hockey League format making the OHL consistent with the Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The 3-on-3 overtime format is also being implemented across the entire CHL this season. All rules were approved at the annual OHL Board of Governor’s meetings in August.
Details of all four rule changes are as follows:
1. VIDEO REPLAY – OFFSIDE
The following situation will be subject to review by the Video Goal Judge:
When a goal has been scored following an off-side play that was not called.
Video Goal Judge Criteria for Review of Off-Side Goal
· When a goal has been scored, and the video goal judge can conclusively determine that the play entering the attacking zone was off-side, the goal shall be disallowed.
· The video goal judge must confirm that the puck remained in the attacking zone following the off-side until the goal was scored and that there was continuous play throughout (no stoppage).
· There is no limit to the amount of time that can elapse following the off-side before the goal and should the defending team play the puck at any time, it will have no bearing on the play.
· Any penalties assessed will be served, and the elapsed time from the off-side will be placed back on the clock prior to resumption of play.
· If the video goal judge determines that the off-side was inconclusive, the referee’s on-ice decision will stand.
2. NO CHANGE ICING RULE
When the offending team ices the puck from their defensive zone, they are not allowed to change the players “on the ice”. Determination of players “on the ice” will be made when the puck leaves the offending player’s stick.
· When a team ices the puck from its own defending zone, it is not permitted to change a player(s).
· A penalty will be assessed to a team that deliberately attempts to make a change after they ice the puck from their own defending zone.
· After the puck is iced from the defending zone, if a player(s) from the team not permitted to change steps onto the ice or skates onto the ice briefly, a penalty WILL NOT be assessed automatically. If the player(s) return to their bench quickly after stepping or skating onto the ice, no penalty will be assessed. The player(s) can return to the bench on his own, be called off the ice by a coach or teammate, or be instructed by any of the on-ice officials to return to his bench.
· A penalty will be assessed when a player does not attempt to immediately return to the bench after the whistle has been blown for icing from the defending zone. Should the referee feel that a coach is not giving his best effort to keep players from going on the ice after an icing from the defending zone, he may assess a bench minor penalty for delay of game to the offending team.
3. FACE - OFF PROCEDURE
When the face-off takes place at any of the nine face-off spots, the players taking part shall take their position so that they will stand squarely facing their opponent’s end of the rink, and clear of the ice markings (where applicable). The sticks of both players facing-off shall have the blade on the ice, within the designated white area. At the eight face-off spots (excluding center ice face-off spot), the defending player shall place his stick within the designated white area first followed immediately by the attacking player. When the face-off is conducted at the center ice face-off spot, the visiting players shall place his stick on the ice first.
4. OVERTIME 3 ON 3
· The overtime period shall be played with each team at a numerical strength of three (3) skaters and one (1) goalkeeper.
· When regulation time ends and the teams are 5 on 3, teams will start overtime 5 on 3. Once player strength reaches 5 on 4 or 5 on 5, at the next stoppage of play, player strength is adjusted to 4 on 3 or 3 on 3, as appropriate.
· When regulation ends and teams are 4 on 4 teams will start overtime 3 on 3.
· If at the end of regulation time teams are 3 on 3, overtime starts 3 on 3. Once player strength reaches 4 on 4 or 5 on 5, at the next stoppage player strength is adjusted to 3 on 3 or 4 on 3 as appropriate.
· At no time will a team have less than three players on the ice. This may require a fourth and/or fifth skater to be added in the event penalties are assessed.
· If the score remains tied at the conclusion of the overtime period, the standard shootout procedure will take place to determine a winner.
The 42-game OHL Exhibition Schedule opens tonight, Friday September 4, and continues through Sunday September 20. Opening Week of the 2015-16 OHL Regular Season officially begins on Thursday September 24 with four games on the schedule.
For full schedule details including live scoring of all Exhibition Games please visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com