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The Rules of Ball Hockey and Ice Hockey are similar on many levels however both have their differences to better serve their respected sports by helping provide a safer and fairer playing field for all those invovled. Got a question on rule clarification  or comments on rule enforcements? The NLBHA in conjunction with a senior CBHA/NLBHA official will answer the questions you have, please feel free to ask a question, we will reply asap. Click on the Questions to view the answers.

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If a Defenceman or Goalie shoots the Ball over the Glass in the D-Zone, is it a Penalty?

whatsthecall small  For the purposes of the delay of game rule for shooting the ball out of bounds, different rules apply to goaltenders as opposed to other players. Rule 55(a) of the CBHA rule book states that a minor penalty shall be assessed to any goaltender that shoots the ball directly out of bounds. For forwards/defencemen, rule 75(b) states that a minor penalty shall be assessed to a player that deliberately shoots the ball out of bounds. As the two rules indicate, a goaltender that accidently shoots the ball out of bounds will be penalized whereas the referee has to determine that it was intentional in order to penalize a forward or defencemen.

A couple of other factors are relevant. For the purposes of this rule, “directly” means that the ball is not deflected (either by a player/stick or strike the glass or boards) before going out of bounds. It is also important to note that the penalty can be assessed anywhere on the floor and is not restricted to the defending zone. In addition, the penalty is not assessed if the ball is shot into the bench or other area where there is no glass.

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Can a referee call a hooking penalty when it is stick on stick, is this an actual penalty?

whatsthecall small Under Rule 64 (a) in the Official CBHA ruebook it states that "a minor penalty or, at the discretion of the Referee, a Major penalty and a Game Misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who impedes or seeks to impede the progress of an opponent by hooking or buttend hooking with his stick".  Basically if you hold the player up in any way whatsoever, using your stick without any attempt to hit the ball, hooking can be called. By grabbing his stick, even for a second, if that causes him to veer offstride, or lose the ball, it's hooking. In most cases if the opposing player doesn't have possession of the ball, interference could be called.

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Is high sticking the ball a penalty and is it a delayed penalty?

whatsthecall small High Sticking the Ball is a minor penalty and there is an immediate stoppage in play. Under Rule 62 (d) in the Official CBHA rulebook it states that "contacting the ball above the normal height of the shoulder with the stick is prohibited. When it occurs, play shall be stopped immediately and a Minor penalty shall be assessed to the offending player. If defending team high sticks the ball in to their own net; immediate stoppage in the play and the goal is not allowed." 

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When would roughing be deemed fighting?

whatsthecall small  Unfortunately the rule book does not contain an actual definition of what constitutes a fight. So the referee must look at all the circumstances involved to determine if a fight has occurred. Those circumstances can include: the number of punches thrown, whether the players dropped their gloves, whether the players separated when the officials intervened to break it up or attempted to continue the altercation, and finally the perceived intent of the players involved in the altercation. While these are generally the most common factors looked at, this is not a complete list and other factors may occur which are relevant to determining whether a particular altercation is a fight or more appropriately roughing. The circumstances of each altercation will be different and one factor may be more relevant than the others at a particular time.

There are a couple of common misconceptions when it comes to fighting. Altercations occur where only one player is assessed a fighting penalty and the second player is assessed a roughing minor or no penalty at all. There can be "one player fights" – it is not necessary to assess 2 players fighting penalties to classify an altercation as a fight. It is also important to note that whether a player drops his gloves is not determinative. Players can be assessed fighting penalties even if they do not drop their gloves. Similarly, the number of punches thrown is not determinative. There are situations where a player can be assessed a fighting major without throwing a punch. For example: Two players are pushing and shoving. Very quickly they square off to fight. One player throws one punch and knocks the second player down before that second player can throw any punches. In this case both players will receive major penalties and game misconducts for fighting. The most important factor in this situation is the players' intent. Both squared off as willing participants in the fight so both are to be assessed fighting penalties.

So the short answer to the question is: it depends. Each altercation has to be looked at and assessed individually to determine when roughing turns into a fight.

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If I connect an opposing player with a high-stick via a follow through, is it deemed a high-sticking penalty?

whatsthecall small  Generally, yes. If you contact an opponent above the normal height of the shoulders on the follow through of a shot you will be assessed a high sticking penalty (rule 62(B)). You are responsible for your stick at all times so even accidental contact above the normal height of your opponent’s shoulders is penalized. There is however an exception. The key to the high sticking rule is the phrase “normal height of the shoulders”. So depending on how your opponent is positioned, it may not be a penalty. If your opponent is standing at his normal height or bent over slightly in a normal ball hockey position, then the penalty would be assessed. However if he crouches down low to try to poke check the ball or falls to the floor or down on his knees to block a shot then the penalty is likely not going to be assessed.

This is one of those rules where a slight difference in circumstances (i.e. the position of the opponent at the time of contact) will be the determining factor between penalty and no penalty. This has the potential to legitimately create different results on two very similar looking plays. The referee has to make a split second decision as to whether the contact occurred above the normal height of the player’s shoulders. At one end of the floor it could result in a penalty; at the other end no penalty. While the two plays look very similar, the proper application of the rule leads to different results and undoubtedly one team upset by what they perceive as “inconsistency” in the calls.

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