Adventures in Bureaucracy: The NCAA's New Rule Changes

College hockey's central bureaucracy, the Rules Committee announced the results of their biennial rules meeting today. They don't say who co-chaired the committee that reviewed the recommendation to revise the color of the book that regulations are in, but they kept it gray.

The biggest news came with regards to the issue of faceshields. Full faceshields are still here for now, but the committee "plans to establish a collaborative process with the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports to collect data and fully explore the possibility of allowing men’s players to wear three-quarter visors". Protip: If you're worried about head trauma, don't use language and syntax that makes someone want to beat his head against the wall until his nose bleeds.

The other rules to note:

-Conferences have the option of going to 4-on-4 overtime if they want. I don't really have strong feelings either way, as long as playoff hockey, such as it is at the NCAA-level, remains untouched, which it will.

-No hand passes in the defensive zone. That's a fairly logical one. If you can't use your hands to gain advantage in the other two zones, why not add the third as well? Teams can't change if they commit a hand pass in their own zone, which makes sense considering you can't change for other violations like icing and shooting the puck out of play.

-Net dislodgement and kicking the puck into the net. They switched to the NHL rule on these. No explanation was given why these weren't the rules in the first place.

-Two officials and two linesmen are now mandatory. Not really a change since the western leagues already adopted this. Goal judges are now optional, given we have video review now.

-Officials can now review disqualifications after the game with use of video review. The idea that a game disqualification couldn't be reviewed because penalties assessed on the ice couldn't be lessened was stupid.

-MSU head coach Tom Anastos is the new committee chair.

All these changes are good but relatively minor. Meanwhile, starting next week on June 15th, NCAA basketball coaches can begin calling and texting prospects that have completed their sophomore year of high school on an unlimited basis. A rule change like that seems like it could be especially valuable to college hockey given that's right around the age a lot of prospects sign with the CHL. But you know, making sure we have exactly four coaches, five athletic directors, three conference commissioners, a priest, and a german shepherd overseeing College Hockey Inc. could help too, right?

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