Too Many Men
is pretty simple when it comes to numbers of players. You are allowed to
have a maximum of 6 players on the ice at any one time while play is in
progress. Play in progress means the time from when the puck has been
dropped at a face-off until the next stoppage of play.
The team can have either 5 skaters and 1 goalie, or 6 skaters on
the ice at one time ,but they can never have 2 goalies on the ice at the
same time unless these goalies are changed on the fly.
Yes, goalies can be changed on the fly (during play) as long as
they obey the same rules governing hockey players changing while play is
in progress. In other
words, they must adhere to the ten foot rule described below.
Ten Foot Rule
on the fly is a common part of hockey. Players may be changed at any time
from the players’ bench, provided that the player or players leaving the
ice shall be at the players’ bench within 3.05m (10 feet) and out of
play before any change is made. This
rule is what causes the most controversy with regards to “Too Many
Men” potential situations.
key to remember is that the player that is coming off the ice must be
within 10 feet of the player’s bench before the player that is coming
onto the ice is allowed to either jump over the boards or go through one
of the doors of the bench. Since there are no lines that designate exactly
where 10 feet from the doors and bench are, it is entirely up to the
Referee and his linesmen to make this judgment. Yes, Linesmen can also
call a Too Many Men infraction.
this type of penalty to be called it usually has to be very obvious as it
is not an impact penalty that is going to set the tone of a game.
Referees don’t only look at whether or not the players are within
10 feet of the bench to assess this penalty, but whether or not these
players have become involved in the play while the player that is either
coming off the ice or going on the ice is still on the ice. Therefore
Referees use the following rule to help with their decision:
Intent = Too Many Men Penalty
in the course of making a substitution, either the player entering the
game, or the player leaving the game, intentionally plays the puck with
her stick, skates or hands, or intentionally checks or makes any physical
contact with an opposing player, while the player respectively leaving or
entering the game is actually on the ice, then the infraction of “Too
many men on the ice” shall be called.”
the key to a “Too Many Men on the Ice” penalty being called is the
“INTENT” of the player either coming on the ice, or the player leaving
instance, as Andrew Brunette is leaving the ice he is within 10 feet of
the bench and his replacing player, Marian Gaborik jumps over the boards.
The puck is shot towards Gaborik, strikes his skate and then the puck
continues on down the ice. Since
Brunette is still on the ice the opposing team is upset and yelling that a
“Too Many Men” penalty should be called, but remember what the rule
states. There was no INTENT
by Gaborik to play the puck and therefore no penalty for “Too Many
Men” will be called.
lets use the same example but instead of the puck accidentally striking
Gaborik in the skate, Gaborik intentionally stops the puck with his skate
or stick. Since Brunette is
still on the ice then this would be called a “Too Many Men” penalty
because Gaborik INTENTIONALLY played the puck.
ten-foot rule does not protect Gaborik in this instance since he
intentionally played the puck while Brunette was still on the ice.
Was The Player A Factor In The Game?
may see from time to time a situation where there are 6 skaters plus 1
goalie from one team on the ice and no Too Many Men penalty is assessed.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
perhaps one of the players from the guilty team was able to get off the
ice before the Referee or Linesmen realized that there were too many
players on the ice.
perhaps the score is tied with two minutes left in the game and the extra
player is so far out of the play that he will never become a factor in the
game before this player is able to get off the ice surface.
The main reason for not calling this type of penalty is that you
must remember the game management factor in hockey.
Why should a referee assess a penalty that will have no bearing on
the outcome of a game?
this wandering player should however get closer to the play or become
involved in the play then the referee has no choice but to assess the
penalty. Also, if the extra player has enabled his replacement to get into
the play much sooner, thus preventing the other team from scoring or
giving his team too much of an advantage, then a penalty will likely be
called. It is a judgment call, and most senior referees will usually bend
over backwards to avoid calling penalties.
substitution for a goaltender brings about an interesting situation. For example, if a player
jumps on the ice for an extra attacker before the goaltender is
within the ten foot space, the official will stop play as soon as the
guilty team gains possession and control of the puck. However, there will
be no penalty assessed. Instead, the face-off will take place at the
center ice face-off spot, unless this gives the offending a territorial
advantage. In that case, the face-off will be where the puck was touched.
infraction of the rules does not occur very often, but when it does there
is a puzzled look on most of the people in the arena who are all wondering
why was the whistle blown? Then
once they see a face-off occur at the center ice face-off dot they assume
that there was a mistake made by the officials when in actual fact the
correct call was made.
usually occurs as one team (team that is losing) wants to gain an extra
skater in an attempt to put extra pressure on the opposition to try and
score a goal. Since a player has greater mobility and speed than a goalie,
it is only natural to change up the goalie for a skater. Furthermore, a
goalie is not allowed to play the puck in the opposition’s side of the
ice without being penalized.
As the team is skating up the ice, or once the
team gets the puck deep into the opposition’s end zone, the goalie
usually starts to skate towards the bench to be substituted by a player
from his team. If the player
jumps over the boards too early in an attempt to get into the
opposition’s end faster and thus increase the chances of scoring a goal,
the linesman will blow the whistle if they catch this infraction.
For the most part, the officials will allow a little more than 10
feet leeway, but if the goalie is still at the top of the circle in his
end zone or close to the net then there will most likely be a stoppage of
play as soon as the offending team has possession and control of the puck.
Premature Substitution Face-offs
the offending team is in control of the puck anywhere in the
opposition’s half of the ice when the play is stopped for premature
substitution then the face-off to resume play will be at the center-ice
face-off spot as this penalizes the offending team by bringing the puck
back to center-ice rather than dropping it where the puck currently is,
for instance in the end zone of the non-offending team.
the play was stopped for premature substitution and the offending team had
the puck still in their half of the ice then the next face-off will take
place where the puck was located because if you were to bring the puck
forward to the center-ice face-off then you in essence would be giving an
advantage to the offending team when we are trying to penalize this team
for trying to put a player on the ice before they were legally able to do
Deliberate Illegal Substitution