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Ice Hockey Rules Committees Propose Overtime Format Changes

Empty Net Matt Christians/SBN College Hockey

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committees met for there biennial rules committee meeting this past week, and came up with a set of recommendations that will passed along the NCAA’s Nightmare Ladder of Bureaucracy to the Playing Rules Oversight Panel for final approval.

For a third consecutive rules cycle, the main focus of the rules committee was the format of overtime. Here’s what the spinning wheel has landed on this time:

Committee members, who met virtually for four days this week, recommended that all teams tied at the end of regulation would play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death overtime period to decide a winner. If neither team scores, a three-person shootout could be used in conference games or in-season tournaments for advancement purposes.

In regular-season nonconference games that go into overtime, teams would be allowed to play a five-minute, 3-on-3 sudden-death period. If neither team scores, the result of the game would be a tie.

The move to just a single 3-on-3 overtime before a potential shootout in league play only should help clarify some of the confusion fans had surrounding overtime, especially as it pertained to stats counting in the 3-on-3 overtime.

The rest of the recommendations were extremely minor, mostly pertaining to face-offs. The big suggestion for increasing scoring—a major issue in the sport right now—is to let teams decided which face-off circle they take a face-off at after an icing or delayed penalty. The committee also tackled pace of play concerns by suggesting centermen no longer be thrown out of the face-off circle after a face-off violation, but simply be given a warning with another violation on that same face-off resulting in a penalty—a change that could potentially shorten game lengths by seconds.

Finally, the committee suggested to formally remove a national rule requiring a post-game handshake and instead let conferences and individual teams decide what they want to do.