The IIHF have published the new IIHF official rule book for the period 2018 to 2022 and it brings with it some substantive changes to the playing rules.

The IHUK Referee Section has prepared the attached briefing which goes through all of the changes to the IIHF rules from the previous 2014-2018 book.

Ice Hockey UK referee-in-chief, Joy Johnston, said: “It is important to note that the EIHA, SIHA and EIHL are finalising their in-house rules and rules of competitions for their various leagues, which may not adopt all of the rule changes made here by the IIHF. As soon as these are finalised they will be released.

“For now, this briefing note focuses purely on the IIHF rule book and the changes which the IIHF have made.”

“Some of the major changes include the addition of a new penalty for ‘late hits’ which will definitely require a shared understanding between the coaches, referees and players – particularly in regard to the difference between a ‘late hit’ and ‘finishing your check’.

“Another major rule change is the deletion of ‘injury criteria’ for calling a penalty. This has been replaced by the wording ‘recklessly endanger’.

“This, of course, meaning that a player can be injured and the penalty assessed no longer needs to be a major/match penalty. This leaves the referee to penalise the action rather than the consequence of the action.

“There are a number of other minor changes such as the inclusion of a 5+Game option for slew-footing in addition to a match penalty and the deletion of the phrase kicking motion as it relates to scoring goals, which means any direction of the puck into the net by the skate would result in a no goal decision.

“The briefing note provides background to all of the changes made and it will be for the EIHA, SIHA and EIHL to decide whether all of the changes are adopted in full or in part in relation to their in-house rules and rules of competition.”

IHUK Referee Section – Guidance on new rules IIHF Rules 2018-22