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USA Hockey Rule Changes

USA Hockey Rule 411 Regarding Excessive Major Penalties

Important Information Regarding USA Hockey Rule 411

It is the recommendation of the Missouri Hockey Board, due to USA Hockey’s Rule 411, see below, taking effect for the playing season 2014-2015, your organization/team/players and families become familiar with all teams players participate.  Your awareness and open line of communication with your players about penalties they receive with each team may become imperative if that player(s) receives Major penalties per Rule 411.  Should a player(s) become ineligible per Rule 411 on your team or a team other than yours and participates in a game as an ineligible player your team will be subject to forfeiture.

Rule 411 Progressive Suspensions

(Note) USA Hockey is committed to providing a safe and fair environment for all participants. While the vast majority of players participate within the rules and respect the game and their opponents, USA Hockey recognizes the need to hold those players and coaches deemed to be repeat offenders accountable for their actions. Beginning with the 2014-15 playing season, the Progressive Suspensions rule will take affect nationally.               


(a) Any player who receives their third major penalty during the same season for any combination of aggressive infractions listed below shall receive an additional three-game suspension. For any player who receives their fourth major penalty in this category, the player shall receive an additional five-game suspension. Any player who receives their fifth major penalty in this category during the same season shall be suspended until a hearing is conducted by the proper authorities (USA Hockey Affiliate). These designated game suspensions shall be in addition to any other suspensions imposed through the official playing rules. The aggressive

infractions that fit into this category are:

Rule 603 Boarding

Rule 604 Body Checking (Body Contact categories)

Rule 606 Butt-Ending

Rule 607 Charging

Rule 608 Checking From Behind

Rule 609 Cross-Checking

Rule 611 Elbowing

Rule 619 Head-Butting

Rule 620 Head Contact

Rule 621 High Stick

Rule 627 Kicking

Rule 628 Kneeing

Rule 634 Slashing

Rule 635 Spearing

Rule 639 Tripping/Clipping/Leg Checking

Rule 640 Unnecessary Roughness (Roughing)

(Note) A separate progressive suspension rule for Fighting is covered under Rule 615(f) Fighting.


b) Any team that receives three major penalties in the same game shall have its Head Coach suspended for the next game of that team. For any subsequent game where that team receives three or more major penalties in the same game, the Head Coach shall serve a three-game suspension. For a third game with three or more major penalties by the same team during the same season, the Head Coach shall be suspended indefinitely until a hearing has been conducted by the proper authorities (USA Hockey Affiliate).  (Note) The role of the Official is to enforce all playing rules at all times and they are expected to strictly enforce playing rules that fall under the aggressive infraction category.  Players and coaches must be held accountable for dangerous actions and the onus is on them to teach and play the game within the rules. Officials are required to submit a game report immediately following the game for any major penalty falling in the aggressive infraction category, game misconduct or match penalty that is assessed.