St. Paul, MN – September 29, 2020 – The Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors has instituted multiple rule changes for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. Minnesota Hockey enacted rules designed to provide more players the opportunity to play with their classmates, reduce and eliminate discriminatory conduct, reduce fighting and provide a positive environment for players, coaches and spectators.
Age Classifications: As announced in July 2019, Minnesota Hockey is implementing a modification to its age classifications, which will move the starting date of each classification from July 1 to June 1 (ex: June 1, 2009 - May 31, 2011), starting this season. Background information on this change is available here and frequently asked questions are available here. In concert with this age classification change, Minnesota Hockey has updated its policy requiring associations to accommodate players with July/August birthdates who request to “play up” to participate with their classmates to also include June birthdates.
Match Penalty for Offensive, Hateful or Discriminatory Conduct: In October 2019, USA Hockey announced it increased the penalty for racial/derogatory slurs of any kind that fall under Playing Rule 601 (e. 3) from a game misconduct to a match penalty. Minnesota Hockey has updated its conduct rule to assess a match penalty for language, gestures or conduct that is offensive, hateful or discriminatory in nature. Officials will also be required to file a game report for any occurrence.
Fighting Penalties: The penalty for fighting will now be a major penalty and a three-game misconduct penalty. For a second violation, the player will be suspended from all participation for the remainder of the season. This rule, which has been utilized by the Junior Gold High School League, Recreation League and select districts, now applies to all Minnesota Hockey classifications.
Artificial Noisemakers Prohibited: The use of artificial noise makers and devices such as laser pointers that could be detrimental to the players or the conduct of the game are considered abusive conduct and are prohibited at all games.
The Minnesota Hockey Handbook, including all youth rules and regulations, can be found here. Each season Minnesota Hockey highlights changes from the previous season in grey within its handbook.