Two new proposed rule changes for JAHA
Over the last two board meetings, the board has voted in favor of two new rule changes. Per our bylaws, this message will serve as the start of a mandatory 10 day comment period. After the 10 day comment period, the board will review all comments, vote on any rule modifications, or vote to scrap the rule. If the board votes on any modifications, it will start another 10 day comment period. If no modifications are proposed, and the rule is not scrapped, it will go into effect after that. The two proposed changes, and explanations, are outlined below.
Proposed JAHA Rule Change – Amendment to B.2 – Abuse of Officials
The JAHA Board has voted in favor of amending the text to rule B.2 – Abuse of Officials. The additional text being proposed is the following addition:
“Players who are assessed a game misconduct penalty for abuse of officials under USA Hockey Rule 601 (d) will now be suspended for their next 2 JAHA games served after the mandatory 1 game suspension required by USA Hockey.”
JAHA and JHO have been experiencing an official shortage and abuse of officials has been a stated reason by many players as to why they are not interested in officiating. This is a fairly edge case issue as harassment rarely rises to a point where this penalty gets called. However, the one-game suspension required by USA hockey is rarely enough of a deterrent for players in scenarios where abuse rises to these levels. In the past, players have either continued on knowing they were missing the next game anyways. Or, for players who may play multiple tiers, missing a single game is a relatively minor impact and doesn’t serve as enough of a deterrent in these scenarios, as players in this situation may often have another game on the same day or in the very near future.
As such, we have voted to add an additional JAHA-specific 2 game suspension in addition to the 1 game suspension required by USA hockey.
Proposed JAHA Rule Change – Modification of B.4 – Fighting
The JAHA Board has voted in favor of modifying the text in rule B.4 – Fighting. The modified text is outlined below.
.“Fighting is not allowed in JAHA and will not be tolerated. What constitutes a fight is at the sole discretion of the on-ice official making the call. However for this rule to apply, the player in question must have, at some point during the altercation, attempted to throw a punch (to be in line with USA Hockey’s definition of fighting). The first offense for fighting is a mandatory 2 game suspension and the second offense is a mandatory 5 game suspension. Neither of these suspensions may be appealed. Further offenses shall be dealt with by the JAHA Board and may result in at least a 5 game suspension up to a permanent ban from the league. All players suspended under this rule and those involved in a fight, whether a fighting penalty was assessed against the player or not, may be subject to further disciplinary action as deemed necessary by the JAHA Board”
This rule modification is to cover an edge case scenario in USA Hockey’s rules where players who would otherwise be assessed a major Roughing penalty, are instead given a fighting major. This can happen in plays that occur after the play has ended that are not directly fighting, but rise to the level of major penalty. Given these situations can often have extenuating circumstances, we feel they should be handled by a board disciplinary committee on a case by case basis. This makes our rule consistent in defining fighting in the same way that USA hockey does, using the “attempting to throw a punch” threshold, where JAHA has a very clear blanket policy of no fighting.
If you have any feedback on these rule changes, please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org
-Andrew Dimond, JAHA President.