League Policies & Rules

Zero Tolerance

In an effort to make ice hockey a more desirable and rewarding experience for all participants, USA Hockey has instructed the Officiating Program to adhere to certain points of emphasis relating to sportsmanship. This campaign is designed to require all players, coaches, and officials, team officials and administrators to maintain a sportsmanlike and educational atmosphere before, during, and after all USA Hockey sanctioned games. Thus, all On-Ice Referees must implement the following points of emphasis.

Players

A minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct [Zero Tolerance] shall be assessed whenever a player:

  • Openly disputes or argues any decision by an official
  • Uses obscene or vulgar language at any time, including any swearing, even if it is not directed at a particular person.
  • Visually demonstrates any sign of dissatisfaction with an official's decision.

Any time that a player persists in any of these actions, the player shall be assessed a misconduct penalty. A game misconduct penalty shall result if the player continues such action.

Coaches and Team Officials

A bench minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct [Zero Tolerance] shall be assessed whenever a coach or team official:

  • Openly disputes or argues any decision by an official
  • Uses obscene or vulgar language in a boisterous manner to anyone at any time.
  • Visually displays any sign of dissatisfaction with an official's decision, including standing in the bench doorway with the intent of inciting the officials, players or spectators.

Any time that a coach or team official persists in any of these actions, a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed.

Officials

Officials are required to conduct themselves in a businesslike, sportsmanlike, impartial and constructive manner at all times. The actions of an official must be above reproach. Actions such as "baiting" or inciting players or coaches are strictly prohibited.

On-Ice Officials are ambassadors of the game and must always conduct themselves with this responsibility in mind. For more information, see Rule 601 - Abuse of Officials and Other Misconduct.