Friday, November 28, 2008

Little-Known Rules: Stoppage of Play

I tuned in to the radio broadcast a few minutes ago and heard Hammer mention the puck trickle into the goal after a whistle. I didn't even hear who's end it happened on. That reminded me of something that happened last Saturday when Wheeling was in town.

Near the end of the second period, Wheeling got the puck into the net and the players started to celebrate a goal but the referee was immediately waiving it off. You may remember the scramble down in front of the net, and the fight ensued between Martin and Lord.

This one helped the Cyclones, but you may be wondering why the goal did not count.

The officials blow the whistle to signal the stoppage of play - but that is not the moment that the puck is deemed to be dead. Play is actually considered dead at the point when the referee decides it is dead. The rules acknowledge the delay in actually blowing the whistle.

This is mostly noticed in the goal/no goal situation. The referees stop play when the puck is trapped by the goaltender or when they lose sight of the puck, in assumption that it is trapped. To protect goalies, they have increasingly stopped play sooner than in times past. But sometimes it is not fully trapped or it squirts out, and then gets put into the net.

But, if the referee had already decided play was dead, and then the puck went it, then it is a No Goal situation. This is why the referees will usually waive off the goals vigorously when it happens.

Odd, but true and it makes sense once it is explained.

Rule 32.22 says, in part:
As there is a human factor involved in blowing the whistle to stop play, the Referee may deem the play to be stopped slightly prior to the whistle actually being blown. The fact that the puck may come loose or cross the goal line prior to the sound of the whistle has no bearing if the Referee has ruled that the play had been stopped prior to this happening.

1 Comments:

Blogger WendyB said...

Thanks for helping to clear up what can be a very confusing matter. It's confusing enough for us fans, let alone the officials and players on the ice. Case in point: The Fort Wayne Komets had so many goals waved off during last spring's playoffs, that it became a bit of a running joke.

3:48 PM  

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