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Ice Hockey Rules Committee Recommends Only Minor Changes

This being a rule change year for ice hockey, potentially major changes had been anticipated, including steps to reduce or eliminate regular season ties and allowing three-quarters visors instead of full face shields. None of these major changes came to pass, with the focus of this round of changes being on smaller changes to speed the game up, avoid delays and embellishment, and provide a bigger boost to the attacking team in faceoffs.

The overtime proposals got little support while visors in men’s ice hockey will remain at the full face shield while more data is gathered. How players are suspended if they receive a game misconduct was also debated, but the rules were not changed.

Instead, the changes proposed were more subtle, with faceoffs receiving a lot of attention. Hand passes will be prohibited on faceoffs. Some faceoffs will move closer to the offending team’s goal. And for attacking zone faceoffs, the defending player will have to put his stick down first as opposed to the attacker. Video replay was also expanded to include more offsides situations, to see if a goal was scored before a penalty, and to include games which are not being broadcast on television.

The rules changes will go before the Playing Rules Oversight Panel for final approval. PROP next meets via conference call on July 16.

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