A midseason memo tries to clear up some NCAA hockey rules questions (photo: Shelley M. Szwast).

College hockey officials recently got a reminder to call penalties on defenders who don’t immediately release an opponent on a dump-and-chase situation.

In a December conference call for national and conference supervisors of officials, it was mentioned that the standard of enforcement for that kind of interference may be slipping.

A four-page memo from Michigan State coach Tom Anastos, the chair of the NCAA ice hockey rules committee, and Steve Piotrowski, the secretary-rules editor went out earlier this month to clarify the rule on dump-and-chase contact.

The emphasis seems to be on penalizing the delayed contact with a player after he or she sends the puck deep into the zone.

The memo read, in part:

The committee’s consensus is that defenders should be allowed to engage/bump/contact an attacking player “immediately” after the puck is released on a dump in, but players are expected to release the attacker and pursue the puck or retreat following this initial contact. The same standard would be applied regardless of whether or not the attacking player was knocked down. However, it ultimately was decided that the “immediacy” of the contact continues to be a determination made by the officials on a case-by-case basis.

Therefore, as a reminder, immediate contact may be made against the attacking player who dumps the puck past a defender. The defender is obligated to release immediately so as not to be guilty of interference. The standard is no longer two seconds or two strides after releasing the puck. It should be noted that allowing offensive players more freedom here must not be taken as license to create collisions at higher speed.

We’ll see whether that results in more interference penalties in the final two-plus months of the season.

The midseason memo also addressed:

• When a whistle should blow and where a faceoff should take place when a puck is deliberately batted with the hand or a high stick into a goaltender.

• Helmet safety.

• Assessing a penalty when the offending player can’t be identified.

• And procedures for teams leaving the ice after a period.

Check out the full explanations for those here.

  • Mafiasoccer5

    Castleton getting in…How? Granted they have a good record, but who have they played? Nobody is the answer. There only legitimate win all year was against Norwich and the rest were against subpar teams. Utica, Geneseo, or Hobart should be in. The NCAAs should be a tournament of the “best teams.”

    • Vcat

      Chris did a nice job assessing the possibilities. As far as your comment on Castleton, you obviously haven’t seen them play. I think the NESCAC and ECAC East combine for some pretty elite Division III hockey. Not sure where your affiliation is or if it’s just that you don’t like Castleton, or never played the game but if it’s the SUNYAC you’re sticking up for you’re out of touc. Outside of their top three teams, the rest would get smoked against NESCAC/ECAC EASTcompetition week in week out…even in a weak year. By the way among the weak teams you mentioned you may want to add Brockport and Morrisville…they lost to Castleton too. Castleton’s 22-4-1 speaks for itself. It’s a travesty of politics that they didn’t get into the tournament. Wisc-E at 16-7 be real.

      • Vcat

        I apologize to Wisc-EC. That should be Wisc-Superior at 16-12-1.

  • pejz

    why do they have so few teams in compared to how many there are in d3? the ratio 1out of 7 seems wrong

  • Daveo211

    @pejz: the answer I’m afriad is money. The NCAA seems to not understand that they are supposed to be a championship organization, not most bang for the buck. It’s the same reason Saint Norbert played a Wednesday game last year, even though they were the highest seeded western team, and earned auto-bid. Looks like they might have to play Wednesday again this year. It sucks, I hope they send Adrian to Elmira, Or do the really right thing, send Hamline to Adrian. Are you listening NCAA???

    • Daveo211

      To add:, They are the number one ranked team in the nation, why should they have to play in what equates to a wildcard game?

      • Randy

        So why did Norwich – ranked number two get that honor? And then go on the road vs Plattsburgh another team ranked below them?

  • Trey

    Abandon integrity? Didn’t that committee do that a long time ago?

  • greg

    st. norbert better not be playing wednesday! i’d have to call in sick to pool league.