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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
NHL / IIHF Rules Comparison
Applicable for 2010 Olympic Winter Games

Rule 1 – Rink – 1.7 - Goal Crease / Referee Crease - Truncated 6 ft. radius semi-circle. Rule 119 - Goal Crease – Full 6 ft. radius semi-circle.
Rule 1 – Rink – 1.8 - Goalkeeper’s Restricted Area – Restricted trapezoid shaped area behind the goal limiting the area behind the goal line in which the goalkeeper is permitted to play the puck. No such restricted area.
Rule 3 – Benches - 3.1 - Players’ Benches - Maximum number of team officials is not specified, plus max. 1 non-uniformed player. Rule 140 - Players’ Benches – Maximum of six team officials.
Rule 4 - Signal and Timing Devices – 4.2 – Timing Devices - Time recording for game time and penalty time shows time remaining to be played/served. Rule 152 – Clock - Game time is counted up from 0 to 20 minutes. Penalty time shows time remaining.
Rule 5 – Team – 5.1 – Eligible Players - 18 skaters plus 2 goalkeepers. Rule 200 - Players in Uniform – 20 skaters plus 2 goalkeepers.
Rule 6 – Captain and Alternate Captains – 6.1 – Captain - Minor plus misconduct to any player coming off the bench to protest a call or intervene with the officials, including the Captain. Rule 572 - Captain and Alternate Captain Complaint – If the Captain or an Alternate Captain comes to complain about a penalty, whether he was on the ice or he comes from the players’ bench, he shall be assessed a misconduct penalty.
Rule 7 - Starting Line-up – No change in the starting line-up is permitted by either team once it has been submitted to the Official Scorer. A bench minor penalty is assessed if the starting line-up is challenged by the opposing team at the first stoppage of play. No such rule exists in the IIHF.
Rule 8 – Injured Players – 8.3 - Blood – A player who is bleeding or who has visible blood on his equipment or body shall be Ruled off the ice at the next stoppage of play until the bleeding has been stopped and the cut or abrasion covered (if necessary). It is required that any affected equipment and/or uniform be properly decontaminated or exchanged. Rule 571 – Prevention of Infections by Blood – A player bleeding or covered by the blood of any player shall be considered as an injured player and shall leave the ice for treatment and/or cleaning. If he does not comply with this regulation he shall be assessed a minor penalty.
Rule 9 – Uniforms – 9.5 – Protective Equipment - Helmet specified. Should a player lose his helmet during play, he may continue to participate in the play. Rule 223 – Player’s Helmet – Helmet must be worn both during the game and during the pre-game warm-up. Must be worn so that lower portion of helmet is not more than one finger-width above eyebrows. Chinstrap must be properly fastened so that only enough room for one finger can be inserted between the strap and the chin. After warning, player is penalized for not wearing his helmet correctly.
Rule 9 – Uniforms – 9.5 – Protective Equipment - If goalkeeper loses his mask play stopped immediately if his team is in possession of the puck and when opposing team has possession of the puck, stopped immediately provide there is no immediate and impending scoring opportunity. Rule 234 – Goalkeeper’s Helmet and Face Mask – Should goalkeeper lose helmet and/or face mask, play to be stopped immediately. Should a hard shot hit the goalkeeper’s face mask while play is in progress, play shall be stopped immediately (an immediate and impending scoring opportunity shall be permitted before stopping play).
No such provision in the NHL Rules. Rule 224 – Player’s Face Mask and Visor – Players born after Dec. 31, 1974 shall wear a visor. Tinted visors not permitted.
Rule 10 – Sticks – 10.1 - Players’ Stick – Maximum length from heel to end of shaft must not exceed 63”. Rule 222 – Player’s Stick – Maximum length from heel to end of shaft must not exceed 64” (163 cm).
Rule 10 – Sticks – 10.2 – Goalkeeper’s Stick – No curvature limit. Rule 232 - Goalkeepers’ Sticks – Curvature limit 0.6 inches (1.5 cm).
Rule 10 – Sticks – 10.2 – Goalkeeper’s Stick – Must have a knob of white tape at the top of the shaft of the stick and must not be less than one-half inch thick. Rule 232 – Goalkeepers’ Sticks – no such Rule in the IIHF.
Rule 11 - Goalkeeper’s Equipment – No goalkeeper equipment measured during a game. Measurement is done in the pre-season and randomly throughout the season when necessary. Rule 260 – Measurement of Equipment – A team may request goalkeeper equipment measurement only immediately at the end of a period. Bench minor penalty if the equipment is legal.
Rule 15 - Calling of Penalties – 15.4 – Calling a Penalty – Shorthanded Team – Goal Scored - When a team is short-handed by a minor penalty and a delayed minor penalty is signaled by the Referee, and the non-offending team scores, the delayed penalty is assessed and the minor penalty being served terminates. Rule 514 - Calling of Penalties – Under that same scenario, the delayed penalty being signaled terminates and all penalties being served are unchanged.
Rule 19 – Coincidental Penalties – 19.4 – Last Five Minutes and Overtime - In the last 5 minutes of regulation or overtime, a 3 minute differential (or 1 minute differential if double minor is assessed) is served if one player receives a major and the opposing player receives a minor penalty at the same stoppage. Rule 503 - Major Penalty – Penalties are served as normal.
Rule 20 - Major Penalties – 20.3 - Substitution – The substitute (for injury) or additional player (for major plus misconduct) may enter the penalty bench at any stoppage prior to expiration of the major penalty. Rule 503 Major Penalty – The substitute player (for injury) entering the penalty bench in these situations must do so immediately when the penalties are assessed. The injured penalized player shall not be eligible to play until penalty has expired.
Rule 20 - Major Penalties – 20.4 – Automatic Game Misconduct - Game misconduct for third major penalty in a game or any major penalty for butt-ending, checking from behind, clipping, cross-checking, head-butting, hooking, kneeing, slashing and spearing. Rule 503 - Major Penalty – Game misconduct is automatically assessed to any player assessed a major penalty.
Rule 22 - Misconduct Penalties – Any number of 10-minute misconducts may be assessed to a single player. Rule 504 - Misconduct Penalty – Second 10-minute misconduct to the same player becomes a game misconduct.
Rule 22 - Misconduct Penalties – 10 minutes in the records for a game misconduct or match penalty. Rule 500 – Penalties – Definition and Procedures – 20 minutes in the records for a game misconduct or gross misconduct; 25 minutes for a match penalty.
Rule 25 - Penalty Shot – 25.3 – Designated Player - The Referee designates the player to take a penalty shot in most situations. Where the team has a choice, the Captain designates a player who was on the ice at the time of the infraction. Rule 509 - Penalty Shot Procedure – The Captain of the non-offending team may designate any non-penalized player in all cases where a penalty shot has been assessed.
Rule 25 – Penalty Shot – 25.8 – Infractions – When fouled from behind on a breakaway, the player fouled must be in possession and control of the puck or, in the judgment of the referee, clearly would have obtained possession and control of the puck. Rule 508 – Penalty Shot – The player fouled must be in possession and have control of the puck.
Rule 28 – Goalkeeper’s Penalties – penalty is to be served by a player who was on the ice when the offense was committed. Rule 511 – Goalkeeper Penalty Procedure – to be served by a player who was on the ice at the time the play was stopped to assess the penalty.
Rule 28 - Goalkeeper’s Penalties – 28.8 – Restricted Area - Should a goalkeeper play the puck behind the goal line outside the designated area behind the net, he shall be assessed a minor penalty for delay of game. Rule 511 - Goalkeeper Penalty Procedure – No such restricted area in the IIHF.
Rule 32 – Referees – 32.1 – Attire and Equipment – Visors not required for officials hired prior to 2006-2007. Rule 311 – Referee and Linesmen Equipment – Visor required.
Rule 35 - Game Timekeeper – 35.1 – General Duties - The last minute to play in each period is announced over the public address system. Annex 3 – Official Announcements – A3.1 – Compulsory Announcements - The last minute to play in the first and second periods and the last two minutes to play in the third period is announced over the public address system.
Rule 41 – Physical Abuse of Officials – Game misconduct assessed and dealt with by League. Rule 550 – Abuse of Official and Unsportsmanlike Conduct by Players – Match penalty assessed for physical abuse of officials.
Rule 42 – Boarding - Minor or major penalty. Game misconduct is assessed if an injury to the face or head results. Rule 520 – Boarding - Major penalty carries an automatic game misconduct.
Rule 43 – Charging - Minor or major penalty. Game misconduct is assessed if an injury to the face or head results. Rule 522 – Charging - Major penalty carries an automatic game misconduct.
Rule 44 - Checking from Behind – 44.3 – Major Penalty and 44.5 – Game Misconduct - A major plus game misconduct is assessed to any player who cross-checks, pushes, or charges an opponent, who is unable to defend himself, from behind anywhere on the ice surface. Rule 523 - Checking from Behind – The penalty options for checking an opponent from behind are a minor plus misconduct or major plus an automatic game misconduct or match.
No specific Rule in the NHL. Rule 540 - Checking to the Head and Neck Area – A player who directs a check or blow, with any part of his body, to the head and neck area of an opposing player or “drives” or “forces” the head of an opposing player into the protective glass or boards, shall be assessed at the discretion of the Referee, a minor and a misconduct penalty; a major and game misconduct penalty; or a match penalty. When injury occurs, a match penalty must be assessed.
Rule 46 – Elbowing - Minor or major penalty. Game misconduct is assessed if an injury to the face or head results. Rule 526 – Elbowing - Major penalty carries an automatic game misconduct.
Rule 47 – Fighting – A major penalty is assessed for fighting. A player deemed to be the instigator of a fight shall be assessed a minor penalty, a major penalty for fighting, and a 10-minute misconduct. Rule 528 – Fisticuffs or Roughing – A match penalty shall be assessed to any player who starts or engages in fisticuffs.
Rule 48 - Head-butting – A double minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who attempts to head-butt an opponent. A major plus a game misconduct (match penalty if injury results) will be assessed to any player who head-butts an opponent. Rule 529 - Head-butting – A match penalty is assessed to any player who deliberately head-butts or attempts to head-butt an opponent.
Rule 49 – Kicking – 49.2 – Goals – A kicked puck that deflects off the stick of any player (excluding the goalkeeper’s stick) shall be Ruled a good goal. Rule 491 – Kicking the Puck – A goal may not be scored by the kick of an attacking player unless deflected off the stick of an attacking player.
Rule 52 – Slew-footing – Match penalty assessed. Rule 539 – Tripping – no specific reference to the term “slew-footing”, but may assess minor, major plus game misconduct or match penalty for tripping.
Rule 56 – Interference – 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. When injury results, a game misconduct shall also be imposed. Rule 534 – Interference – No provision for a major penalty in the IIHF.
Rule 57 - Tripping – Only a minor penalty may be assessed for tripping. Rule 539 - Tripping – A minor, major plus game misconduct or a match penalty may be assessed for tripping.
Rule 60 – High-sticking – Minor, double minor, or match. Rule 530 - High Sticking - Minor, double minor, major plus game misconduct, or match. When causes injury – major plus game misconduct. When injury is accidental – double minor.
Rule 63 - Delaying the Game – 63.6 – Awarded Goal - When the goal has been displaced, either deliberately or accidentally, by a defending player, prior to the puck crossing the goal line between the normal position of the goalposts, the referee may award a goal. The attacking player must have been in the act of shooting, and the puck would have entered the area normally occupied by the net, a goal may be awarded by the referee. Rule 554(b) – Displacing the Goal Frame - When the goal has been deliberately displaced by a defending player, a minor penalty shall be assessed. If this occurs in the last two-minutes of the game or anytime in overtime, a penalty shot shall be awarded. If this occurs when the attacking player is on a breakaway, a penalty shot shall be awarded. If this occurs when the offending team's goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, a goal shall be awarded.
Rule 69 – Interference on the Goalkeeper – Rule does not apply in the NHL. Rule 534 – Interference – If an attacking player deliberately stands in the goal crease, without interfering with the goalkeeper, the referee shall stop the play and the ensuing face-off shall take place at the nearest face-off spot in the neutral zone.
Rule 70 - Leaving the Bench – 70.3 – Leaving the Players’ Bench - The first and second player from either or both teams to leave the players’ bench during an altercation is assessed a game misconduct. All other players may be subject to fines. Rule 564 – Players Leaving the Benches During an Altercation - First to leave the bench during an altercation receives a double minor plus game misconduct. All other players receive a misconduct, up to a maximum of 5 per team.
Rule 74 – Too Many Men on the Ice - Player and goalkeeper substitution – retiring participant must be within 5 feet of the bench and out of play. Rule 411 - Change of Players and Goalkeepers from the Players’ Bench During Play – Player and goalkeeper substitution – retiring participant must be within 10 feet (3m) of the bench and out of play.
Rule 76 – Face-offs – 76.3 – five-second time limit to get the face-off completed is not enforced in the last two minutes of regulation time or any time in the overtime, but players must adhere to the directions given by the linesmen. Rule 412 – Change of Players Procedure During Stoppage of Play – five-second time limit applies throughout the entire game.
Rule 76 - Face-offs – 76.4 – Procedure – Centers - The visiting team center will place his stick on the ice first for all face-offs. Rule 442 – Procedure for Conducting Face-offs – The attacking team center will place his stick on the ice first for all face-offs conducted in the neutral zone or end zone.
Rule 78 – Goals – 78.5 – Disallowed Goals - The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal peg(s) are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off the peg(s), prior to or as the puck enters the goal. Rule 554(b) - Displacing the Goal Frame and Rule 471 – Disallowing a Goal - The net must be flat on the ice and in its normal position in order for a goal to be allowed.
Rule 78 – Goals – 78.5 – Disallowed Goals – Goal is disallowed when the referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle. Rule 471 – Disallowing a Goal – Goal is allowed if puck enters the net before the whistle is blown.
Rule 80 – High-sticking the Puck – 80.4 – Numerical Advantage – When a team on the power-play high-sticks the puck, the ensuing face-off will be conducted at one of the two face-off spots in their defending zone. Rule 472 – High Sticking the Puck – this does not apply in the IIHF.
Rule 82 – Line Changes – 82.2 – Procedure – During a stoppage of play, the visiting team shall be permitted 5 seconds to change players, and the home team shall be allowed eight seconds to change players. Rule 412 - Change of Players Procedure During Stoppage of Play – For every face-off the Referee allows each team 5 seconds, visiting team first.
Rule 81 - Icing – Icing is completed when the puck crosses the goal line and is first touched by a defending player other than the goalkeeper. Rule 460 – Icing the Puck – AUTOMATIC ICING – Icing is completed when the puck has crossed the goal line.
Rule 81 - Icing – 81.3 – Goalkeeper - Icing is nullified if the goalkeeper leaves his crease and feigns playing the puck. Rule 460 – Icing the Puck – Icing is nullified once the goalkeeper leaves his crease or when the goalkeeper is outside his crease during an icing situation and moves in the direction of the puck.
Rule 81 - Icing – 81.5 – No Icing - Linesmen have the discretion to waive off apparent icing infractions on attempted passes if those passes are deemed receivable. Rule 460 – Icing the Puck – No such Rule in the IIHF.
Rule 83 – Off-side – 83.2 – Deflections / Rebounds – When a defending player propels the puck out of his defending zone and the puck clearly rebounds off a defending player in the neutral zone back into the defending zone, all attacking players are eligible to play the puck. No off-side. Rule 450 – Offsides – This play is offside.
Rule 83 - Off-side – 83.3 – Delayed Off-side - When puck is shot on goal in a delayed off-side situation, play is permitted to continue. Should the puck enter the net, the goal would be disallowed. Rule 451 – Delayed Offside Procedure - If the puck is shot on goal causing the goalkeeper to play the puck, the play shall be stopped for the off-side infraction.
Rule 84 – Overtime - In regular-season games, a five-minute overtime played four skaters against four and then a shootout is used to decide tied games. In a shootout, each team takes three shots. If still tied, teams take additional alternating shots until a winner is determined. No player can take a second shot in the shootout until all skaters on his team have shot.

In Stanley Cup playoffs, 20-minute sudden-death overtime periods are played until a goal is scored. Playoff overtime is played five skaters against five.
IIHF Sport Regulations – In preliminary round, a five-minute sudden victory overtime perioed will be played with four skaters against four skaters following a three-minute intermission. Teams do not change ends. If still tied, game winning shots procedure will apply. In playoff, qualification, quarter-final, semi-final and bronze medal games, the sudden-victory overtime period will be ten-minutes in length. Again, if still tied, game winning shots procedure will apply. In the gold medal game, following a 15-minute intermission and ice resurfacing, teams will change ends and play a 20-minute sudden-victory period. If still tied, game winning shots procedure will apply.

Game winning shots procedures to note:
- three shooters from each team
- shooters do not need to be named beforehand
- penalized players at the end of overtime are not eligible to shoot
- coin toss conducted, winner decides whether his team will shoot first or second
- after the first three shots and the score remains tied, any (or the same player) may shoot
Rule 85 – Puck Out of Bounds – When the puck deflects off the goal post or crossbar, when caused by either team, either shot directly or deflected off any player or official, the face-off shall always be conducted in that end zone at the nearest face-off spot. Rule 480 – Puck Out of Bounds – This Rule is not applicable in the IIHF.
Rule 86 - Start of Game and Periods – 86.6 – Pre-Game Warm-Up - Pre-game warm-up shall not exceed 16 minutes in duration. Annex 2 – Game Countdown and Warm-up Procedures – Pre-game warm-up shall be 20 minutes in duration.
Rule 87 - Time-outs – Each team is allowed one 30 second time-out per game. Only one team is allowed to use their time-out during a single stoppage of play. There are three 120 second commercial time-outs per period during NHL games. When a penalty shot has been awarded, no time-outs shall be granted once instructions have been given to the player taking the shot and the goalkeeper defending the shot. No time-out shall be granted during the shootout. Rule 422 - Time-Out – One 30 second time-out per team per game. Each team may use their time-out during the same stoppage of play. No commercial time-outs in IIHF competition.