WHL adopts two new rules on high sticking, faceoffs

Rules change mid-stream

The Western Hockey League has taken the unusual step of implementing new rules after the season has started.

The league's governors approved two rule changes Tuesday, which will go into effect tonight.

The first change will see all double-minor penalties resulting in injury be reviewed by the on-site video goal judge. The video judge will determine whether the incident warrants a four-minute penalty or if the penalty should be rescinded.

The video goal judge can make three determinations based on review:

  1. Confirms that a double-minor penalty for high sticking is to be assessed.
  2. The penalty is overturned because the video goal judge determines the injury was caused by a teammate’s stick or the puck.
  3. The review is inconclusive and the original call on the ice stands.

The review only pertains to double-minors for high sticking when an injury occurs, and the video goal judge is not able to initiate a review when only a two-minute minor is called, or when there is no call.

The second change pertains to the location of a faceoff following a penalty call.

Under the new rule, during a delayed penalty, if the team about to go on a power play ices the puck, the faceoff would be held inside their own end.

Previously, the faceoff would be held outside their blueline in the neutral zone.

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