This Unified Rule Book was recently approved by the 2021 IIHF Annual Congress and was created during the last few months by a specially appointed Rule Book Writing Group comprised of experts from IIHF and European professional leagues and in consultancy with the National Hockey League (NHL), the Rule Book was developed using the combined Official Playing Rules of the IIHF, the National Hockey League (NHL), KHL, and various European leagues.
It aims at harmonizing the rules across the world and for different levels and categories of play and ensure consistency.
Download the newest edition of the IIHF Rule Book in the Rules & Regulations section.
Beside the new layout and new rule numbers that will be the same around the world, the new Rule Book also includes several major rule changes:
- A restricted area for goalkeepers behind the net to create more offensive play (i.e. trapezoid familiar to NHL and KHL)
- Video review and coach’s challenge for more situations where technology allows
- Some physical fouls will include a major penalty without an automatic game misconduct as a penalty selection
- When entering the attacking zone, the blue line is considered three-dimensional and an attacking player’s skate in the air above the blue line will be considered onside (i.e. NHL offside rule that is also employed in Sweden and in the KHL)
This quick start guide below is aimed at game officials as well as players and coaches interested in the new rule book to get more background information.