Following Jackson’s goal on the major to Rivera during the delayed penalty call on Brickley on Saturday, I expected to see a 5×3 for the Huskies and was quite surprised when the penalty just disappeared. So I went to the NCAA site and took a look at the rulebook to see if I could figure out what happened and I stumbled into the grey area that Chris Perrault and Tony Czech found themselves in.

A delayed minor penalty with a goal scored should result in the penalty being called as outlined in 15.2. 15.3 only covers what happens in the event that the penalty being served is a minor. But it makes sense, the minor being served ends as the goal is scored and the new one begins, but majors don’t end on a goal.


So let’s look at the rule for majors and see what we see there. The bottom paragraph is what applies and it’s specific. “When TWO players from the same team…” There was only one player in the box with a major. There wasn’t a third player involved, the paragraph that grants relief to the team shouldn’t have applied, but 15.3 only covers minors and bench minors causing short handed situations. A single major causing it isn’t covered by the rules at all, it’s missing.

Now, I used “grants relief” for a reason. The rulebook is divided into a couple of parts, the above from the first part, but there is a supplemental Part II – “Official Ice Hockey Rules
Interpretations” – and it contains an a reference to a delayed call on a major, but again it specifically points to the example, like in rule 20, of two majors being served. However, there’s another couple sentences there, but I don’t see any basis for the them in Rule 20. Why call out in Rule 20 specifically that there are two players serving majors? The last sentence even refers to a singular major penalty, but Rule 20 never does.

The Rules Committee needs to change up Rule 20 reflect the intent to provide relief to a team with a single major or add the language in to allow the delayed penalty to be assessed. Right now it’s not clear and that not something you want the rule book to be.

Cover photo credit Will Sterret.