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Rule 82 - Line Changes

82.1 Line Change - Following the stoppage of play, the visiting team shall promptly place a line-up on the ice ready for play and no substitution shall be made from that time until play has been resumed. The home team may then make any desired substitution, except in cases following an icing, which does not result in the delay of the game.

“Placing a line-up on the ice” shall mean that both teams shall place the full complement of players (and not exceed) to which they are entitled within the line change time frame.

If there is any undue delay by either team in changing players, the Referee shall order the offending team or teams to take their positions immediately and not permit any further player changes.

When a substitution has been made under the above rule, no additional substitution may be made until play commences.

Once the line change procedure has been completed (82.2), no additional player substitutions shall be permitted until the face-off has been completed legally and play has resumed, except when a penalty or penalties are imposed that affect the on-ice strength of either or both teams. This may include penalties imposed following the completion of the line change and prior to the face-off, or due to a penalty assessed for a face-off violation.

A team that is in violation of Rule 81 – Icing shall not be permitted to make any player substitutions prior to the ensuing face-off. However, a team shall be permitted to make a player substitution to replace a goalkeeper who had been substituted for an extra attacker, to replace an injured player or when a penalty has been assessed which affects the on-ice strength of either team. The determination of players on ice will be made when the puck leaves the offending player’s stick.

Goalkeepers’ substitution during a game will be conducted within the same time frame as a regular line change. No extra time will be allotted to the goalkeeper coming off the bench, except in the case where an injury to a goalkeeper occurs.

82.2 Procedure - Following a stoppage of play, the Referee will enforce the following line change procedure once he has determined that this procedure may begin:

(i)  The Referee shall give the visiting team up to five (5) seconds to make its line change.

(ii)  The Referee shall raise his hand to indicate no further changes by the visiting team and to commence the home team’s line change.

(iii)  The Referee shall give the home team up to eight (8) seconds to make its line change.

(iv)  The Referee shall lower his hand to indicate no further changes by the home team.

(v)  Any attempt by the either team to make a change after the Referee’s signal, attempt to place too many men on the ice for the subsequent line change, or attempt to make additional personnel changes, shall not be permitted and the Referee will send the players who have attempted to change back to their players’ bench. The Referee will then issue a warning to the offending team (through the Coach) indicating that any subsequent violations during the rest of the game (including overtime), shall result in a bench minor penalty for delaying the game. This penalty shall be announced as a “Bench Minor Penalty for Delay of Game – Improper Line Change.”

(vi)  The Linesman conducting the face-off will blow his whistle (once the Referee has lowered his hand for the line changes) to indicate that all players must be in position and on-side for the face-off within five (5) seconds. The face-off will then be conducted in accordance with Rule 76 – Face-offs.

(vii)  Players who are slow (after the five-second warning whistle given by the Linesman) getting to the face-off location or who are in an off-side position for the ensuing face-off will be warned once in the game by the Referee. This warning will also be given to the offending team’s Coach. Any subsequent violation shall result in a bench minor penalty for delay of game being assessed to the offending team.  

(viii)  In the last two (2) minutes of regulation time and any time in the overtime period(s), points (vi) and (vii) above are not applicable. The Linesman shall give the teams a reasonable amount of time to set up for the ensuing face-off after points (1) through (5) above have been enforced.

82.3 Bench Minor Penalty - Any attempt by the visiting team to make a change after the Referee’s signal shall result in the assessment of a bench minor penalty for delay of game.

Players must proceed directly to the location of the face-off to participate in the ensuing face-off. Any attempts to delay the game by stalling or otherwise unnecessary actions by either team shall result in the assessment of a bench minor penalty for delaying the game. This penalty shall be announced as a “Bench Minor Penalty for Delay of Game – Slow Proceeding to Face-off Location (or, Slow Proceeding to Players’ Bench).”

During the play, if a player wishes to retire from the ice and be replaced by a substitute, he must do so at the players’ bench and not through any other exit leading from the rink.  This is not a legal player change and therefore when a violation occurs, a bench minor penalty shall be imposed.

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