The 2014 IIHF Annual Congress approved the contents of the 2014-2018 IIHF Rule Book and also made changes to the IIHF Statutes & Bylaws and regulations.
The IIHF Rule Book is revised every four years. Several rule changes determined as minor and housekeeping were voted en bloc including the definition of an ice surface as surface made of frozen water, that players taller than two metres can request exceptions for a longer shaft of the stick, to allow and include one-piece catching gloves, a new rule for slew-footing to distinguish from the tripping rule and the new dimensions of the dasher boards and protective glass.
In addition, Congress addressed 19 major rule changes proposed by five IIHF committees and several member national associations. In total the IIHF received 86 proposals on 57 rules. The major rule proposals were discussed within the IIHF, at committee level, several outside experts and at a special Rules Workshop held on Friday with the delegates of the 64 member national associations in attendance before the final vote was held on Saturday. Major proposals that were accepted for the IIHF Rule Book 2014-2018 include:
Following proposals for major rule changes were rejected:
- Moving the blue lines to 22.86 metres (old: 21.33) from the end of the rink to increase each offensive zone by one and half a metres and standardize the length of the offensive zone at all IIHF Championships.
- The dimension of the rink is adjusted to 26-30 on 60 metres (old: 29-30 on 60-61 metres) with other dimensions in IIHF competition needing IIHF approval.
- Hybrid icing will be introduced beginning in the upcoming season in all IIHF Championships and qualifications.
- Spin-o-rama or lacrosse type of moves in penalty shots where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal will be prohibited.
- The membership has agreed that goalkeeper equipment should be reduced and that the “cheater piece” on the goalkeepers’ catch glove is the first piece to be removed as a recommendation. This will be tabled for discussions with manufacturers. As such, it will not yet be included as a rule in the IIHF Rule Book 2014-2018. The purpose is to give the IIHF and manufacturers the opportunity to discuss this initiative along with other measures to reduce the size of goalkeeper equipment.
Statutes & Bylaws, regulations:
- To penalize any deliberate grabbing, twisting or holding of an opponent’s head with a major penalty.
- To move the goal line closer to the end of the rink (from 4 to 3.3 metres).
- To reinstate the red-line offside.
- To double the penalty for goalkeeper interference to 2+2 minutes
- That goalkeepers cannot freeze the puck if the shot originates from outside the blue line.
As of next season teams in IIHF competitions will change ends for the overtime period with the approved amendments of the IIHF Sport Regulations.
There have also been changes to the IIHF Statutes & Bylaws that are done every four years including:
- The judicial bodies have been redefined with an independent IIHF Disciplinary Board dealing with violations and a new independent IIHF Appeal Board (instead of the IIHF Council) to deal with appeals in cases that exceed a four-game suspension or a fine of CHF 20,000. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) remains the court of last instance.
- The eligibility rules for players with multiple citizenships have been adjusted. A player wanting to represent a country and hasn’t played for another country before, needs to have played two consecutive hockey seasons and 16 consecutive months (480 days, old: 730 days) in the national competitions of the country he wants to represent after his 10th (old: 12th) birthday. Female players need to have participated on a consistent basis for at least one hockey season and have been member of the new national association for at least 12 consecutive months during that period.
- For players who want to change their national team eligibility to another country than they have represented before, the old duration of having played for four consecutive years (1460 days) in the national competitions of their new country remains.
- The IIHF Code of Conduct has been introduced with the adoption of the new IIHF Statutes & Bylaws where the IIHF is at the forefront among international sport federations in implementing rules and procedures for players, team officials, on and off ice officials and IIHF representatives concerning sensitive topics including manipulation of competitions. Gambling or betting on any event these persons are directly or indirectly involved are prohibited. Any sanctions imposed on such incidents occurring in domestic competition can be widened to an international sanction.
The IIHF Rule Book 2014-2018 and the new IIHF Statutes & Bylaws will be produced during summer for the upcoming hockey season.