The IIHF has some rule changes coming this fall.

Every four years, the International Ice Hockey Federation’s 64-member national associations come together to review rule change proposals.  Many were on the table — the IIHF received 86 proposals for changes to the rulebook.  Some passed, others were rejected.  Here’s a look at what will be changing:

New Rules for 2014-15

  • Blue lines will be moved from 70′ (21.33m) to 75′ (22.86m) from the ends of the rink.  In addition to increasing the size of the offensive zone, this will standardize it for all IIHF Championships.  The new distance also matches the NHL’s current alignment with the blue lines 75′ from the end boards.
  • Rink dimensions have been adjusted to 85′-98′ (26-30m) on 197′ (60m). Previous dimensions were 95-98′ (29-30m) with a length of 197-200′ (60-61m).  Any alternative dimensions require IIHF approval prior to competitions. The IIHF has basically rewritten their guidelines to allow NHL-sized rinks (85′ x 200′) as opposed to requiring the traditionally-larger international ice surfaces.
  • Hybrid icing will be implemented starting in 2014-15 for all IIHF Championships and qualifications.
  • Spin-o-rama-type moves in penalty shots where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal will be prohibited.  THe IIHF specified ‘penalty shots’ in this change.  It’s not clear if that also applies to shootouts, which the IIHF terms ‘game winning shots’.  Interesting to see this one and how – if at all – the NHL responds.  The NHL general managers pushed to ban the spin-o-rama last season, but the players didn’t support the potential change.
  • Vaughn T2000 Catching Glove. The 'cheater' is the 'panel' next to the thumb that provides additional blocking area

    Vaughn T2000 Catching Glove. The cheater is the panel next to the thumb (at bottom) that provides additional blocking area. (

    The IIHF will also review reductions in size for goaltender equipment. Currently, the IIHF only limits the width of the leg pads (11″/28cm) and dimensions of goaltender gloves. The first item up for review is the ‘cheater’ on goaltenders’ catching gloves.

    Here’s a little history on that particular equipment modification from Michael Farber in SI: “[Goaltender] Mike Palmateer once showed up with extra material that ran from the outside of the thumb to the wrist of his glove, padding that instantly was dubbed a ‘cheater.’ The cheater—the name stuck—became standard equipment within weeks.”

    Nothing formal is in place yet as the IIHF, members, and manufacturers enter into discussions.

Rejected Rules

Of course, not every proposal that’s up for discussion is passed.  Some of the major ones that didn’t make the cut were:

  • Automatic major penalty for any deliberate grabbing, twisting, or holding of an opponent’s head.
  • Moving the goal line closer to the end boards, from 13′ to 11′ (4 to 3.3m). This would have put the goal line with current NHL standards.
  • Reinstating the red-line offside, or two-line pass violation.
  • Increasing the minimum penalty for goaltender interference to a double-minor.
  • Penalizing goaltenders who freeze the puck for shots taken from outside the offensive zone.


We’ll post the updated IIHF Rule Book once it’s published.

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