of the most misunderstood rules deals with the hand pass, even though it
is very simple to understand if one takes the time to logically think
about some situations that may happen during a game.
instance, the puck can be passed by a player to a teammate as long as the
player receiving the pass does so in the defending zone. You must also
remember that it is the location of the puck and not the skates when the
pass is received that determines whether or not the play is called for a
is an example: Tie Domi is up near the red line and the puck is floating
in the air towards him. Instead
of using his stick to hit the puck that is above his head, he uses his
hand and passes it back towards Darcy Tucker who has both of his skates
inside his own blue line. The determining factor as to whether or not the
pass from Tie Domi is whistled down depends on where Tucker receives the
instance, if Tucker receives the puck on his stick and his stick is
located inside his own end zone (where his skates are currently located)
then the play will continue because the receiver of the hand pass received
the puck in his own defending zone. However,
if Tucker receives the pass on his stick that is located in the neutral
zone then the play would be whistled down and the face-off would take
place where Tucker received the pass because it penalizes the team more
than it would if the face-off was taken where Tie Domi was located (closer
to the other team’s net).
this point in mind. It doesn’t matter where a person is when he directs
the puck with his hand. What matters is where the puck is touched by the
receiver. A puck directed by hand to a teammate from the neutral zone to
the defending zone is legal. A puck directed by hand to a teammate from
the defending zone to the neutral zone is not legal.
Possession & Control (Hand Passes)
issue that confuses the majority of the parents, coaches and players is
the difference between possession and control of the puck.
Possession refers to the puck hitting a player or touching a
player’s stick. Possession belongs to the last team that the puck has
player has control of the puck if he is touching the puck with his stick
or skates and is carrying or propelling the puck in some manner. As soon
as the puck leaves the stick, the player no longer has control of the
puck, but he is still considered to be in possession of the puck because
he was the last one to touch it. The
puck can be shot all the way down the ice and the last person is still
considered to be in possession of the puck.
is an example: Paul Kariya is
located in front of the Montreal Canadiens’ net and Jose Theodore is in
net for the Habs. The puck is
shot in the air at about chest level and Paul Kariya sees that the puck is
going to miss the net so he hits the puck out of mid-air towards the net
with his hand. The puck hits Theodore in the chest but Theodore was never
able to gain control of the puck. In other words, he was not capable of
shooting or catching the puck. It
just hit him and then bounced off to Jeff Friesen (a teammate of Kariya).
Friesen was able to shoot the puck into the net.
Does the goal count?
answer is no. The goal would not count because this is still considered a
hand pass. The hand pass is
called because first of all the receiver of the pass received the puck on
his stick in the attacking zone, not his defending zone.
Secondly, the opposing team (Habs) never gained control of the
puck. They had possession of the puck since they were the last ones to
touch it, but they never had control.
Therefore, the face-off would take place in the neutral zone just
outside of the Habs defending zone as this penalizes the Mighty Ducks more
than having the face-off inside the Habs defending zone.
example would be if Paul Kariya batted the puck towards the net and the
puck deflected off of either a teammate, a Montreal player, or the
goaltender (Theodore) and the puck went into the net.
This would not be considered a goal because there was no clear
‘distinct shooting action’ putting the puck into the net.
Even if Kariya’s teammate was to intentionally deflect the puck
with his stick into the net after Kariya passed the puck with his hand,
the goal would be disallowd because there must be a ‘distinct shooting
action’ by the teammate in order for the goal to count.
Even though there is no control just possession from Kariya’s
teammate, the goal would not count because the hand pass is still in
effect and the puck is therefore illegally in play at that time.
Most Referees will call a hand pass as soon as a teammate of the
person passing the puck with his hand touches the puck.
Referees usually don’t wait to see if the player will gain
control of the puck and they just call the play dead in order to avoid
problems. Everyone seems to be happy with this policy.
Defending Zone to the Neutral (or Attacking)
example of a hand pass that occurs quite frequently is when a player in
his own defending zone passes the puck with his hand to a teammate in the
neutral (or attacking) zone.
the following: Al MacInnis, a defenceman for St. Louis, has been tripped
and is now laying on the ice near the hash marks in his own defending zone
with the puck beside him on the ice.
Then with his hand, MacInnis bats the puck forward into the neutral
zone where Doug Weight, a teammate, picks up the puck on his stick.
This would be called for a hand pass because the receiver of the
hand pass received the puck on his stick in the neutral zone.
The face-off would take place at the spot where Al MacInnis batted
the puck forward (in this instance it would take place at the end zone
face-off dot in the St. Louis end).
Deflections are not passes!
often you will see a defending player try to shoot the puck out of his
zone or pass the puck in the air to a teammate by the red line.
When this occurs the defencemen of the attacking team may try to
catch or stop the puck with his hands.
If, after the puck hits his hands it deflects to a teammate, the
pass is legal and will not be called a hand pass. Remember, a deflection
is not a pass in this instance.
The puck is in Vancouver’s end zone and Ed Jovanovski is being
pressured by an Edmonton forward, Ryan Smyth.
Jovanovski feels the pressure since he has been out on the ice for
over a minute and is getting tired. Jovanovski
shoots the puck high and off the glass.
A defenceman for Edmonton jumps up in the air and the puck nicks
his glove and continues on down the ice just over the centre red line when
another Edmonton player picks up the puck, which is still in the neutral
zone. Would you call this a
hand pass because it hit the glove of the Edmonton defenceman?
answer is a straight NO! The
Edmonton defenceman made no clear hand passing motion. The puck simply
deflected off of his glove and went to a teammate.
Since the player made no distinct hand pass motion, the play would
be allowed to continue.
Can You Pass to Yourself?
situation that confuses some fans is when a player bats the puck out of
the air to himself. This is
not a hand pass because players are allowed to pass the puck to themselves
with the glove.
Corson is cutting across the ice when the puck comes to him at eye
level. Corson catches or hits
the puck out of the air with his hand and bats or throws the puck a couple
of meters ahead of him. If a
teammate picks up the puck then the play would be called and a face-off
would take place at either the spot where Corson batted the puck or where
the teammate received the puck (which ever position penalizes Corson’s
team more – puts the puck closer to their net).
Corson himself picks up the puck and continues to skate down the
ice. This is legal because
Corson passed the puck to himself and not a teammate.
Another way to relate to this would be to look at a player kicking
the puck with his skate forward to his stick.
This is entirely within the rules and the play would be allowed to