Monday, October 1, 2012

6.13.26 Too many skaters and/or team support staff in the designated team area. The penalty is issued to the Pivot at the time the Penalty is determined. If there is no Pivot in that jam, the penalty is issued to the Captain in all circumstances.

Today's rule is an Illegal Procedure major penalty. This is, at times, a penalty that is easy to issue, and at others a difficult one. Rule 2.1.4 allows up to two non-rostered support staff to be in the team bench area during a game. This is interesting because there's no clear definition of what the "team bench area" is. There isn't a rule that requires the team bench area to be remarked by a tape line, rope, or any such marker. Thus, it is not so obvious to know when a team has more than two support staff on the bench. If a game is played in a hockey arena, and the teams use the rink benches as their team benches, then it is more obvious where the team bench area is. If the venue is open and there is spectator seating behind the benches, then it becomes more difficult to tell where the bench area is. One of the qualifiers that can be used to determine if a team has more than two support staff if it isn't clear, is if more than two people are integrating with the skaters on the bench. If, for example, there is a third person behind the bench handing helmet covers to skaters, then they would be considered a third support staff. If, however, the third person is just talking to the skaters, they wouldn't be considered an extra support staff member. After all, there is no rule preventing communication to and from the bench with audience members.

This penalty is issued to the active pivot at the time it is issued. If the penalty is issued between jams then it would go to the pivot from the previous jam. After all, prior to a jam starting there is technically no pivot, since any number of people can be standing on the track wearing a pivot helmet cover up until the jam start whistle without incurring a penalty. If there was no pivot in the previous jam, then the major goes to the captain.