BERNE - The IIHF Congress adopted a new rule book for 2010-2014 on Saturday. The member nations also approved new transfer regulations which would prevent players breaking contracts.
The following major rule changes were adopted by the IIHF Congress on Saturday. The new rulebook will be in place as of the 2010-2011 season (after July 1, 2010). Several of the new rules have been part of the NHL’s rulebook for several seasons.
++ No line change allowed after a team ices the puck. The rule has been in place in the NHL for some years and also in the Swedish Elitserien for one year.
++ After a penalty has been called, the ensuing faceoff will be in the defending zone of the penalized team.
++ Face-offs can only be executed on the nine face-off spots. No “imaginary” lines anymore.
NOTE: The Congress approved the proposal that the three rules mentioned above will be in effect already as of July 1, 2009, which means that they will be in place for the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament in Vancouver.
++ If a penalty shot is awarded, the fouled player must execute the shot. Under the current rulebook, the coach can pick any player to take the shot.
++ When there is a delayed penalty called against a team already playing shorthanded – and a goal is scored during the delayed penalty – the first penalty is terminated, but the delayed penalty is assessed. Under the current rulebook, the delayed penalty would be terminated, while the player in the penalty box would remain.
++ A match-penalty (with an ensuing one-game suspension) can be assessed to a team official on the bench.
++ If a player loses his helmet during game action, the player must go to the bench. Under the current rulebook, the player was allowed to re-adjust the helmet on ice and continue playing. This one is for players’ safety as many players in the described situation do not fasten the helmet properly.
In light of last season’s transfer disputes – highlighted by the case of Alexander Radulov who left Nashville (NHL) for Salavat (KHL) despite being under a valid and binding contract – the IIHF has rewritten its International Transfer Regulations in order to prevent such cases and to be able to enforce sanctions against players, associations and clubs who violate the transfer regulations.
Under the old transfer regulations, players could break contracts and resume playing immediately for a new club in another league, without facing serious sanctions. This was also the case with clubs who induced the player to break a valid and binding contract.
The new rules also carry a catalogue of sanctions towards players, associations and clubs who allow players to play within their system without an approved International Transfer Card (ITC).
(Last season two players with valid NHL contracts jumped to the KHL and continued playing without an approved ITC, although those particular transfers required one).
For a breach of a valid and binding contract there will be an automatic four month suspension on playing in official national and international games during playing periods.
The IIHF General Secretary may decide upon further disciplinary measures. The total period of suspension shall however never exceed six months playing period.
Those sanctions are in-line with European Union labor regulations for professional athletes and are also used by the world governing body of soccer, FIFA.
For playing without an approved ITC, the following sanctions could be applied by the IIHF Disciplinary Committee:
Member National Association: Fine of minimum CHF 5’000 and up to CHF 150’000 (maximum) per game the player played without ITC since the IIHF’s intervention.
Club: Ban on international transfers (during international transfer period) of minimum three months and up to 24 months (maximum).
Player: Suspension form IIHF competitions for a minimum of one year and up to three years (maximum).
By IIHF.com staff