Ice Hockey Points of Emphasis - 2016-17

By NFHS on August 15, 2016 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 possession of the puck, by using his upper body from the front or diagonally from the front or straight from the side, and does not take more than two strides (steps) in executing the check.

Boarding and checking from behind are viewed as two of the most dangerous plays in the sport. The correct and appropriate call must be made when these situations occur. The rules committee reminds coaches and players that the responsibility in this rule remains with the player approaching an opponent along the boards.

Hits to the head and fighting are never to be considered a part of the high school game. Hits from high hands, elbows, forearms, high sticks and shoving the head into the glass add no value to the game and only increase the risk of injury to players.

Hits on defenseless players (blind side hits) are illegal and are very dangerous plays in the sport. Late hits and unnecessary body contact are acts that need to be eliminated from high school hockey to create a safer environment for all participants.



For the past several years, the NFHS has been at the forefront of national sports organizations in emphasizing the importance of education, recognition and proper management of concussions. Any player who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion shall be immediately removed from the 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 page 87.

Additional concussion education can be found in the “Concussion in Sports” online course at



It is imperative that coaches, officials, administrators, parents and participants all understand their role in education-based athletics and activities. Fair play and respect are an essential part of the game of hockey. In order for a positive environment to be created, it is critical that all participants and spectators have respect for all players, coaches, officials, administrators, spectators and the sport of hockey. Taunting and unsportsmanlike conduct directed at opponents or officials will not be tolerated.

Please be aware of the increased penalty for racial, ethnic and gender slurs.



 It is the responsibility of the head coach to ensure that all participants are equipped according to the rules. Additionally, each player is personally responsible to be properly equipped for participation in this sport. For proper equipment fitting, please refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

All players shall wear a HECC certified helmet and face mask, including J-clips and ear pieces. Helmets and face masks shall not be worn if modified or damaged from their original manufactured state. The HECC certification sticker will identify the expiration date of the helmet. A school administrator or designee must annually review all helmets and face masks to confirm compliance.



By rule, once the official has set the players for the faceoff, all players shall remain stationary until the puck is dropped.