This resource was originally published 23 October 2017 on The Referee Developer.
In 2016, Hockey Canada re-worded this rule to make the intent clearer regarding attacking players standing in the goal crease. The idea is that Rule 7.3 (b) is not a “foot in the crease”, á la the 1998-99 NHL season. Under Hockey Canada rules, it is possible for an attacking player to be in the crease while his team scores a legal goal. Our team of instructors assumed that this clarification was no cause for concern. We had been interpreting Rule 7.3 (b) in this way for years. Instead, the updated rule made it clear to our team of coaches that our officials have always been unclear on how this rule is interpreted. Moreover, you need an English degree to glean intent from the 500-word explanation in the Hockey Canada Rulebook. To that end, I have created this graphic to help illustrate the various scenarios covered by Rule 7.3 (b).
A goal is scored and the defending team claims that the goal was illegal under Rule 7.3 (b). In order to make the call, you have to ask yourself: