2012-13 AHL Rulebook

Yesterday the new 2012-2013 AHL Official Rules Book was released by the AHL. If you are an AHL fan, or an NHL fan new to AHL hockey, hop over to the AHL website and download this 341 page masterpiece. You will see a number of changes this season and two of the most obvious are Rule 79 implementing Video Goal Review and Rule 82 testing a No Touch Icing game flow change. In addition to these, the AHL has also added two NHL rule changes:

A player who “places his hand over the puck while it is on the ice in order to conceal it from or prevent an opponent from playing the puck” will be assessed a minor penalty.

[…] players who use their hands to bat the puck in an attempt to win a faceoff will also be assessed a two-minute infraction.


The new Video goal Review Rule 79 has been something that teams and fans have wanted for a long, long time. While the AHL version is more basic than the NHL system, it should help alleviate some of the potential problems that many of us have witnessed over the years.

Rule 79 – Video Review

79.1 Video Review – It shall be the Referee’s sole discretion as to whether the use of the video review system shall be utilized for any apparent goal or non-goal that takes place during the course of the game. Any potential goal requiring video review must be reviewed prior to or during the next stoppage of play. No goal may be awarded (or disallowed) as a result of video review once the puck has been dropped and play has resumed.

When a team scores an apparent goal that is not immediately awarded by the on-officials and play continues, the play shall be reviewed at the next stoppage of play only at the sole discretion of the on-ice officials. If the goal is confirmed by video review, the clock (including penalty time clocks, if applicable) shall be re-set to the time the goal was scored. If the goal is not confirmed by video review, no adjustment is required to the game clock time.

Only one goal can be awarded at any stoppage of play. If the apparent goal was scored by Team A, and is subsequently confirmed as a goal through use of video replay, any goal scored by Team B during the period of time between the apparent goal by Team A and the stoppage of play (Team B’s goal), the Team B goal would not be awarded. However, if the apparent goal by Team A is deemed to have entered the goal, albeit illegally, the goal shall be disallowed and since the play should have been stopped for this disallowed goal, no goal can be awarded to Team B on the same play. The clock (including penalty time clocks, if applicable), must be re-set to the time of the disallowed Team A goal and play resumed.

Any penalties signaled during the period of time between the apparent goal and the next stoppage of play shall be assessed in the normal manner, except when a minor penalty is to be assessed to the team scored upon, and is therefore nullified by the scoring of the goal.

Refer to Rules 16.2 and 18.2. If an infraction happens after the first stoppage of play following an apparent goal (infraction after the whistle) by either team, it is assessed and served in the normal manner regardless as to the decision rendered by the video review.

79.2  Procedure – If the Referee determines the use of the video review system is necessary, the referee shall inform the off-ice official at ice level and the Public Address Announcer shall announce that “The play is now under review”.  Once the play has been reviewed and deemed a goal, the goal will be announced in the normal manner. If the review reveals that the goal must be disallowed, the Public Address Announcer shall announce the reason for the disallowed goal as reported by the Referee.

When the Referee indicates there is to be a video review, all players (with the exception of the goalkeepers) will go to their respective players’ bench immediately. During the period of video review, no replay of the situation may be shown on the arena video screen or any other public video monitor.

79.3  Situations Subject to Video Review  – The following are the only situations subject to video review by the Referee:

(i)            Puck crossing the goal line.

(ii)           Puck crossing the goal line prior to the goal frame being dislodged.

(iii)          Puck crossing the goal line prior to, or after expiration of time, at the end of the period.

(iv)         Puck directed or batted into the net by a hand or foot or deliberately batted with any part of the attacking player’s body. With the use of a foot/skate, was a distinct kicking motion evident? If so, the apparent goal must be disallowed. A distinct kicking motion is one which, with a pendulum motion, the player propels the puck with his skate into the net. If the Referee determines that it was put into the net by an attacking player using a distinct kicking motion, it must be ruled no goal. This would also be true even if the puck, after being kicked, deflects off any other player of either team and then into the net. This is still no goal. See also 49.2.

(v)          To determine whether the puck entered the net by going through the net meshing.

(vi)         To determine whether the puck entered the net from underneath the net frame.

(vii)        Any situation in which the puck may have entered the net undetected by the Referee.

79.4  Logistics and Equipment – The video review monitor and controls shall be located at the scorer’s table positioned between the penalty boxes. The Referee shall have full control of the video review system at all times with the assistance of the off-ice officials.

79.5  Final Decision – If the Referee determines the use of video review is necessary, the Referee shall not consult with the goal judge. In determining whether to award an apparent goal, the video review must conclusively show the entire puck entered the net legally with regard to the situations subject to review as outlined above. After the play has been reviewed with the use of the video review system, the Referee shall make the final decision.

79.6  Reports – Following any game in which the video review system was utilized, the Referee must report to the League all video reviews conducted during the game.


Rule 82 – No Touch Icing

The other very interesting addition to this season will be the testing of a hybrid No Touch Icing Rule 82. This addition is at the request of the NHL and it will be in effect until November 19th when a determination by the AHL Board of Governors will be made whether to put the rule into continual use. Critics have maintained that no touch icing will slow down the game, but there have been serious injuries caused by the incredibly fast race for the puck into the end boards. We saw this very clearly and horrifically when Taylor Fedun broke his femur while going after a puck on an icing call in the Edmonton Oilers’ preseason game. If this hybrid version of No Touch Icing can alleviate injuries, yet still maintain the speed of the game, it would be well worth implementing.

The portion in RED is the updated rule change.

82.1 Icing – For the purpose of this rule, the center red line will divide the ice into halves. Should any player of a team, equal or superior in numerical strength power-play) to the opposing team, shoot, bat or deflect the puck from his own half of the ice beyond the goal line of the opposing team, play shall be stopped. For the purpose of deflected pucks, this only applies when the puck was originally propelled down the ice by the offending team.

For the purpose of this rule, the point of last contact with the puck by the team in possession shall be used to determine whether icing has occurred or not. As such, the team in possession must “gain the line” in order for the icing to be nullified. “Gaining the line” shall mean that the puck, while on the player’s stick (not the player’s skate) must make contact with the center red line in order to nullify a potential icing.

For the purpose of interpretation of the rule, there are two judgments required for “icing the puck”. The Linesman must first determine that the puck will cross the goal line. Once the Linesman determines that the puck will cross the goal line, icing is completed upon the determination as to which player (attacking or defending) would first touch the puck.t Should the puck be shot down the ice in such a manner that it rings around the boards and continues up the side boards, the same procedure shall be in effect in that the Linesman shall determine within a similar distance as to who will have touched the puck first.

The puck striking or deflecting off an official does not automatically nullify a potential icing.

Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player.

We will keep you posted on how these new rules changes are being handled and if they are working! My next post will explore some of the more fun AHL rules!