Ice Hockey Points of Emphasis - 2017-18

By NFHS on October 11, 2017 ice hockey Print

The NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee continues in its belief that the main threat to the health of high school ice hockey is violent and reckless play. The safety and well-being of the participants is paramount and the primary focus of this committee. The committee has addressed the following areas to minimize dangerous, violent and reckless play.



  • A fair body-check is one in which a player checks an opponent who is in the possessionofthepuck
  • Boarding and checking from behind are viewed as two of the most dangerous plays in the sport. Coachesandplayers must understand thattheresponsibility in this rule remains with the player approaching an opponent along the boards.
  • The following are illegal and need to be eliminated from high school hockey:

o    Hits to the head
o    Fighting
o    Hits on defenseless players (blind side hits)
o    Late hits and unnecessary body contact



The NFHS has been at the forefront of national sportsorganizationsinemphasizingtheimportanceofeducation,recognitionand proper management of concussions.

  • Any player who exhibits signs, symptoms orbehaviorsconsistentwithaconcussionshallbeimmediatelyremovedfromthe game.
  • State association protocol pertaining to concussion management must be reviewed and followed.
  • Please review Rule 2-6-1 and the Suggested Guidelines for Management of Concussions on page87. Additional concussion education can be found in the “Concussion in Sports” online course at



  • All coaches, officials, administrators, parents and participants need to understand their role in education-based athletics and activities.
  • Fair play and respect are an essential part of high school hockey.
  • Create a positive learning environment and respect all participants, fans, officials, coaches and administrators.



  • Faceoffs – Both teams must have an equal opportunity to play the puck. This requires proper positioning of all players and the official conducting the faceoff.  
  • Icing – If the puck is shot from behind the center red line, potential icing applies. It is improper to waive icing simply because the puck is close to the center red line.
  • Offsides – Officials must always be in a proper position to accurately determine offsides. A goal scored on an obvious offsides play will adversely impact the officials’ credibility throughout the game.
  • Calling the game – A smooth flowing game is a great experience for all participants and spectators. However, this does not mean that officials should “let them play.” Offenses must be penalized at all times during the game, regardless of score or period.



  • It is the responsibility of the head coach to ensure that all participants are equipped according to the rules.
  • All players shall wear a HECC certified helmet and face mask, includingJ-clips, earpieces and a valid HECC Certification sticker.A school administrator or designee must annually review all helmets and face masks to confirmcompliance.
  • All players shall wear a mouthguard during play.
  • Tauntingandunsportsmanlikeconductdirectedatopponents or officials will not betolerated.
  • Please be aware of the penalty for racial, ethnic and gender slurs.