The Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) – the top-level ice hockey league in Germany – has kicked off their new season with a handful of rule changes. While the league primarily follows the IIHF Rule Book, they have made some minor changes.
The most interesting one – at least for NHL fans – will be the DEL’s decision to allow officials to use video replay to confirm a puck-over-glass penalty. The referees and linesmen will have the opportunity to wave off the call after review if the puck was deflected or was shot out by a defending player.
Rule 18.5 Delay of Game
Beginning in the 2023-24 season in the DEL, the referees have the opportunity to check a penalty imposed for delay of game following a violation of Rule 63.2.III (shooting the puck over the protective glass out of the defensive zone) using video evidence and then confirm the penalty or, if necessary, cancel it.
The NHL will be watching closely to see how this goes.
Here are the rest of the updates for 2023-24:
Rule 19 – Concurrent Penalties
If players from both teams received a minor penalty during a stoppage, they were canceled against each other and the penalties did not count towards the clock. The only exception was when the game was five-on-five at the time. Here it continued with four skaters on both sides. This exception will no longer exist starting with the 2023-24 season. In this case, too, the penalties are no longer included in the clock.
No loss of manpower on the ice for coincidental penalties, keeping teams at 5-on-5 when possible.
Rule 20.6 – Video Evidence for Major Penalties
If a referee reviewed a major penalty via video evidence, he could only confirm the penalty or reduce it. Even if, according to the video, there was no infraction, a minor penalty had to be given. This was not logical and the rule was adjusted accordingly.
From the 2023-24 season onwards, referees will have the opportunity to cancel a major penalty based on video evidence.
This follows the change made in the NHL, which allows a major penalty to be reduced or rescinded following video review.
Rule 21 Match Penalty (Abolition)
The match penalty is no longer imposed in the DEL and is replaced by the major penalty and a game misconduct penalty. All major penalties are then reviewed by the DEL disciplinary committee and, if necessary, sanctioned with further penalties.
In addition to these rule modifications, the DEL is also upgrading their technology used to make calls – specifically, the goal cameras. All DEL arenas will be getting upgrades to higher-resolution in-goal cameras; these installations will be made during the German Cup break in November.
“We decided on the variant that is also used in the NHL,” explained Jörg von Ameln, head of game operations. “During the season, viewers will also be able to follow the decision-making much better on TV. ”
The DEL season kicked off on September 15.