The NCAA has decided to table one of the biggest offseason rule change proposals. There will be no four-on-four overtime this coming season in college hockey, though it’s not off the table for future seasons.
The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee voted to table the decision before the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) was able to put the proposal to the vote, which was scheduled to take place Wednesday. The proposal was to implement a five-minute four-on-four sudden-death overtime for all regular season games. All postseason tournament games would continue to have 20-minute five-on-five sudden-death overtime periods.
“As part of the rules process, the committee has been gathering input from our membership on all of our proposals, including this issue,” said Tom Anastos, committee chair and men’s coach at Michigan State. “While there remains support for some change to our current system, the committee believes that the best course of action at this time is to pause for at least another season to allow for more dialogue, examination and consideration to occur.”
The announcement included a provision to allow any interested conference to implement “an experimental rule” that would trigger a five-minute three-on-three sudden-death overtime at the conclusion of a regular overtime period. After the three-on-three overtime, they can move to a sudden-death shootout to determine a winner.
During PROP’s call on Wednesday, a few new rules were voted on. One of which will see the start of a new coach’s challenge. The rule requires a coach’s challenge to trigger a video replay for goal reviews related to offsides or too many men on the ice.
The challenge will not be required during the last two minutes of a game. On-ice officials will be able to review offsides at their own discretion during the last two minutes of a game and during overtime periods. No coach’s challenge will be required during postseason tournament play.
PROP also approved a rule requiring all players and officials to wear a helmet anytime they are on the ice, with the exception of the national anthem.