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Learning from Eachother...

The referee watches a checking from behind (CFB) and their hand goes up immediately for a penalty. The referee, in their mind, feels the correct penalty is 2 + Game Misconduct (GM) for CFB based on intensity. The player fouled appears to be injured and the referee concludes that the CFB caused the injury. The referee assesses the guilty player 2 + GM for CFB. Was the referee correct?

What we Learned

The short answer to this is: "No, the referee was not correct. When there is an injury due to a minor penalty for CFB, then a 5 + GM must be assessed (Rule 7.5b)."

However, there are other considerations to fully understand such a situation in general:

  1. First, "minor + injury = major and GM" applies to most penalties. In cases where a minor penalty causes an injury, you are REQUIRED to call a 5 + GM. Take a look at (b) of other penalties and you will consistently find these words: "A major penalty and Game Misconduct penalty will be assessed to any player or team official that injures an opposing player...that would otherwise call for a Minor penalty."

  2. Second, what constitutes an injury? This is a hard decision to make in the moment of the game. We are not health care professionals so we cannot assess the player. Also consider:

    • If a player leaves the game, we do not know if that player will come back.

    • However, what if the injured player goes to the dressing room then their parent takes them to the hospital? As the official, we will never know what happened to that player.

    • If a coach comes on the ice to help the player, that may or may not mean there is an injury.

    • A player who is winded may look very injured but then return to the game later.

    • A player may jump up right after a penalty, but later realizes they are injured when their adrenaline decreases.

    • If an ambulance is called, we can interpret the player as injured.

      • Therefore, the only time we can be certain of an injury is if an ambulance is called.

  3. Third, do the best you can to interpret whether a player was injured by a minor penalty or not. Look at what information you have in that moment and make a decision.
  4. Fourth, what if you are wrong in assessing a 5 + GM for an injury? If you decide to assess a 5 + GM and the player is not injured (i.e. they later come back into the game) then include that information in your game report.

    • "A 5 +GM was assessed to B6 when B6's minor penalty for tripping resulted in the appearance of an injury to A9. A9 returned to the game at the beginning of the third period."

Do you have a situation or error you witnessed to add to Learning from Eachother? Email a description to to have the error featured in this section

Learning From Eachother
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