56.1 Interference - A strict standard on acts of interference must be adhered to in all areas of the rink.
Body Position: Body position shall be determined as the player skating in front of or beside his opponent, traveling in the same direction. A player who is behind an opponent, who does not have the puck, may not use his stick, body or free hand in order to restrain his opponent, but must skate in order to gain or reestablish his proper position in order to make a check.
A player is allowed the ice he is standing on (body position) and is not required to move in order to let an opponent proceed. A player may “block” the path of an opponent provided he is in front of his opponent and moving in the same direction. Moving laterally and without establishing body position, then making contact with the non-puck carrier is not permitted and will be penalized as interference. A player is always entitled to use his body position to lengthen an opponent’s path to the puck, provided his stick is not utilized (to make himself “bigger” and therefore considerably lengthening the distance his opponent must travel to get where he is going); his free hand is not used and he does not take advantage of his body position to deliver an otherwise illegal check.
Possession of the Puck: The last player to touch the puck, other than the goalkeeper, shall be considered the player in possession. The player deemed in possession of the puck may be checked legally, provided the check is rendered immediately following his loss of possession.
Restrain: The actions of a player or goalkeeper who does not have body position, but instead uses illegal means (e.g. hook with stick; hold with hands, trip with the stick or in any manner) to impede an opponent who is not in possession of the puck. Illegal means are acts which allow a player or goalkeeper to establish, maintain or restore body position other than by skating.
Pick: A “pick” is the action of a player or goalkeeper who checks an opponent who is not in possession of the puck and is unaware of the impending check/hit. A player who is aware of an impending hit, not deemed to be a legal “battle for the puck,” may not be interfered with by a player delivering a “pick.” A player delivering a “pick” is one who moves into an opponent’s path without initially having body position, thereby taking him out of the play. When this is done, an interference penalty shall be assessed.
Free Hand: When a free hand is used to hold, pull, tug, grab or physically restrain an opponent from moving freely, this must be penalized as holding. The free hand may be used by a player to “fend off” an opponent or his stick, but may not be used to hold an opponent’s stick or body.
Stick: A player who does not have body position on his opponent, who uses his stick (either the blade or the shaft, including the butt-end of the shaft) to impede or prevent his opponent from moving freely on the ice shall be assessed a hooking penalty.
56.2 Minor Penalty - A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck.
A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player or goalkeeper who restrains an opponent who is attempting to “fore-check.”
A minor penalty shall be imposed on an attacking player who deliberately checks a defensive player, including the goalkeeper, who is not in possession of the puck.
A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who shall cause an opponent who is not in possession of the puck to be forced off-side, causing a stoppage in play. If this action causes a delayed off-side (and not necessarily a stoppage in play), then the application of a penalty for interference is subject to the judgment of the Referee.
A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who deliberately knocks a stick out of an opponent’s hand, or who prevents a player who has dropped his stick or any other piece of equipment from regaining possession of it.
A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player who knocks or shoots any abandoned or broken stick or illegal puck or other debris towards an opposing puck carrier in a manner that could cause him to be distracted. (See also Rule 53 – Throwing Equipment.)
A minor penalty shall be imposed on any identifiable player on the players’ bench or penalty bench who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play. In addition, should a player about to come onto the ice, play the puck while one or both skates are still on the players’ or penalty bench, a minor penalty for interference shall be assessed.
The appropriate penalty according to the playing rules shall be assessed when a player on the players’ or penalty bench gets involved with an opponent on the ice during a stoppage in play. The player(s) involved may be subject to additional sanctions as appropriate pursuant to Rule 28 – Supplementary Discipline.
56.3 Bench Minor Penalty - A bench minor penalty shall be imposed when an unidentifiable player on the players’ bench or penalty bench or any Coach or non-playing Club personnel who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or any opponent on the ice during the progress of the play.
56.4 Major Penalty - The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a major penalty, based on the degree of violence, to a player guilty of interfering with an opponent (see 56.5).
56.5 Game Misconduct Penalty – When a major penalty is imposed under this rule for a foul resulting in an injury of an opponent, a game misconduct shall be imposed.
56.6 Penalty Shot - When a player in control of the puck in the neutral or attacking zone and having no other opponent to pass than the goalkeeper is interfered with by a stick or any part thereof or any other object or piece of equipment thrown or shot by any member of the defending team including the Coach or non-playing Club personnel, a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team. When a Coach or non-playing Club personnel is guilty of such an act, he shall be automatically suspended from the game, ordered to the dressing room and the matter will be reported to the Commissioner for possible further disciplinary action.
56.7 Awarded Goal - If, when the goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, any member of his team (including the goalkeeper) not legally on the ice, including the Coach or non-playing Club personnel, interferes by means of his body, stick or any other object or piece of equipment with the movements of the puck or an opposing player in the neutral or attacking zone, the Referee shall immediately award a goal to the non-offending team. When a Coach or non-playing Club personnel is guilty of such an act, he shall be automatically suspended from the game, ordered to the dressing room and the matter will be reported to the Commissioner for possible further disciplinary action.