The ECHL released their 2019-20 rule book recently, and while they had announced some of these changes before the league added one to their rulebook without previously mentioning it to the fans. The ECHL has adopted the AHL’s ten-fight rule, which suspends a player one game after his tenth fight, with the suspensions continuing for each subsequent fight.
You can download the rulebook right here. Below is a list of some of the major changes from last season
9.6. Helmets – A player who intentionally removes an opponent’s helmet during play shall be assessed a minor penalty for roughing (See Rule 51).
15.5. Face-off Locations – Rule now specifies there are three exceptions to the rule.
23.7. Fines and Suspensions – In regular League games, any player who incurs a total of ten (10) fighting major penalties shall be suspended automatically for the next League game of his team. For each subsequent fighting major penalty the player shall be suspended automatically for the next League game of his team. In regular League games, any player who incurs a total of fourteen (14) fighting major penalties shall then be suspended automatically for the next two (2) League games of his team. For each subsequent fighting major penalty the player shall be suspended automatically for the next two (2) League games of his team. In any instance where the opposing player was assessed an instigator penalty, the fighting major penalty assessed shall not count towards the player’s total for the purpose of this rule.
25.2. Infractions – When Goalkeeper is On the Ice – 25.2. Infractions – When Goalkeeper is On the Ice – A goal will be awarded when an attacking player with an imminent scoring opportunity, is prevented from scoring as a result of a defending player or goalkeeper displacing the goal post, either deliberately or accidentally. [“with an imminent scoring opportunity” is new, meaning a player doesn’t have to shoot the puck to be awarded a goal under this rule]
32.4. Reporting to Referee – The Linesman shall give to the Referee his interpretation of any incident that may have taken place during the game. The Linesman may stop play and report what he witnessed to the Referee when: (vi) When any identifiable player on the player’s or penalty bench, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with the movements of the puck or an opponent. [This was happening anyway, so now it’s official.]
34.3. Overtime – In the regular season it’s now seven minutes.
35.1. General Duties of penalty timekeeper – In the event of a malfunction of the penalty time clock, the game clock shall be utilized to determine the expiration time of each penalty. Otherwise, the penalty time clocks shall be the official timing device for all penalties that require a team to play with less than five skaters. Players shall only be released from the penalty box when indicated by the penalty time clock or as otherwise cover in the playing rules. [As 32.4, this was happening already and was just made official]
46.15. Match Penalty – A match penalty shall be assessed to a player who punches an unsuspecting or unwilling opponent (i.e. “sucker punch”) and causes an injury.
46.23. Fines and Suspensions – Sucker Punch –In addition to the other penalties that may be assessed, a player who is deemed to have thrown a forceful or violent punch or punches on an unsuspecting, defenseless, or unwilling opponent may be subject to supplementary discipline at the discretion of Hockey Operations.
51.1. Roughing – “slamming” added to rule, as well as “or if a player intentionally removes an opponent’s helmet during play pursuant to Rule 9.6.”
60.3. Double-minor Penalty (High sticking) – When a player carries or holds any part of his stick above the shoulders and makes contact with his opponent’s neck, face or head so that injury results, in the manner of drawing blood or otherwise, the Referee or Linesman shall assess a double-minor penalty.
63.6. Awarded Goal – “the attacking player must have an imminent scoring opportunity” “If the goal post is deliberately displaced by a goalkeeper during the course of a “breakaway,” a goal will be awarded to the non-offending team.” added to rule.
63.7. No Line Change – In the event that the goal post is displaced accidentally by a defending player causing a stoppage in play, the ensuing face-off shall be conducted at one of the end zone face-off spots in the defending zone. The offending team shall not be permitted to make any player substitutions prior to the face-off. However, a team shall be permitted to make a player substitution to replace a goalkeeper who had been substituted for an extra attacker, to replace an injured player, or when a penalty has been assessed which affects the on-ice strength of either team. In the event that the puck is shot into the end zone by the attacking team from their own side of the center red line, and the opposing goalkeeper freezes the puck resulting in a stoppage of play, the ensuing face-off shall be conducted at one of the end zone face-off spots in the goalkeeper’s defending zone. The defending team shall not be permitted to make any player substitutions prior to the face-off. However, a team shall be permitted to make a player substitution to replace an injured player, or when a penalty has been assessed which affects the on-ice strength of either team. In addition, for both situations outlined in this section, for the ensuing face-off in the defending zone, the attacking team will have the choice of which end zone dot the face-off will take place.
63.9. Puck Shot Into The Spectator Area – Any player or goalkeeper who shoots or flips the puck outside the playing surface after a whistle into a spectator area not protected by netting will be assessed a minor penalty for delay of game and a game misconduct.
76.2 Face-off Locations (Power play) – The team awarded the power-play will have the choice of which end zone dot the face-off will take place at to start the power-play.
81.2 Face-Off Location (Icing) – Following an icing, the attacking team will have the choice of which end zone dot the face-off will take place.
85.1 Puck Out of Bounds – If the puck comes to rest on top of the boards surrounding the playing area, it shall be considered to be in play and may be played legally by hand or stick.
85.5 Face-Off Location (Puck Out of Bounds) – Should any player cause the puck to go out of play or become unplayable in any zone, the face-off shall take place at the face-off spot in the zone from which the puck was shot. If deflected out of play, at the nearest face-off spot in the zone where it deflected out of play. For a puck that is unplayable due to being lodged in the netting or as a result of it being frozen between opposing players, the resulting face-off shall be at either of the adjacent face-off spots or at the nearest face-off spot in the zone from which the puck was shot, unless otherwise covered in these rules. If, the attacking team shoots the puck into the zone and a delayed off-side is indicated, or if the attacking team commits a game flow infraction such as contacting the puck with a high stick or batting the puck with a glove (causing a stoppage of play), the ensuing face-off shall be in the neutral zone outside the offending team’s attacking zone.
Rule 88 – Video Review [I’m not going to paste the lengthy section here, essentially it’s the rules and methods the referee will use in reviewing if a goal has been scored. Video review is at the discretion of the referee, there are no Coach’s challenges in the ECHL.