Thursday, January 31, 2013

6.16.10 Entry to the penalty box that causes another person to vacate their position to reasonably avoid being forcibly contacted. This includes people correctly positioned in their team bench area and is not limited to people in the penalty box.

Today's rule is a Misconduct major penalty. It is a new rule in this version of the rules. Previously, there was no penalty for dangerous entry to the penalty. Unfortunately, this did happen often enough that it was added to the rules. Dangerous entry to the penalty box puts the other skaters in the box at risk of safety, as well as the penalty box officials. In fact, the penalty box officials are likely at greater risk, because they aren't wearing protective equipment. Luckily, this rule was added to help prevent dangerous entry to the penalty box. This rule explains that if a skater in the penalty box, including one already seated in their designated spot, is forced to vacate their position - in other words, move out of the way - to reasonably avoid being hit by a skater entering the box, the entering skater will receive a penalty. Now, it is important to note that this rule includes the qualifier "reasonably". If a skater gets frightened by a skater entering at a fast speed, and jumps out of their chair, but there wasn't risk of them being contacted, the entering skater may not receive a penalty. This may end up coming down to a judgment call by the penalty box officials, and of course they should consider that safety is the number one priority.

This penalty may, of course, be called by a referee that witnesses a dangerous entry. However, if the penalty box officials are the only witness, they should flag down a referee promptly so that the penalty may be issued. The enforcement of this penalty is similar to that of a skater who has left the penalty box early.