Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 87, Rules 85, 86 and 87

The big finale: Well, I did it, with 24 hours to spare. The Olympics officially open in 24 hours. And I have officially learned all 87 rules in the book.

Major peeve alert: Getting tickets and a hotel for a limited weekend stay in Vancouver proved to be a little more challenging than I thought, so I will be viewing the games and moving on to the IIHF rules from the comfort of my couch.

But that's ok, because I will be busy with a few things right here on the home front:

The game: Portland Winterhawks vs. Tri-City Americans.

Why I chose it: We hadn't beaten Tri-City since cavemen discovered fire. More importantly, the one point needed to clinch a playoff berth was on the line.

I told you so: The Tri-City Americans are toast. T-O-A-S-T. Toast. With butter. And extra crunchy peanut butter.

Final score: Portland 5, Tri-City 3.

Is playoff one word or two?: With last night's victory, the Winterhawks have clinched a playoff berth for the first time in four years. I bought my playoff tickets this morning and may I suggest you join us? Like Ryan told me the other night, it's like a whole new season.

Favorite play/lame call by the refs: Mac Carruth proving that indeed there is more than one use for the blocking glove when he started pummeling a Tri-City player who interfered with him, knocked him down and the refs still allowed the goal he scored. To refresh: Rule 69, Interference on the Goalkeeper specifically states that "goals should be disallowed if...2) an attacking player initiates intentional contact with a goalkeeper, inside or outside of his crease."

The rules: Section 10, Game Flow. Rule 85, Puck out of Bounds. Rule 86, Start of Game and Periods. Rule 87, Time-outs.

The definitions:

85.1, Puck Out of Bounds. When a puck goes outside the playing area at either end or either side of the rink, strikes any obstacles above the playing surface other than the boards or glass, causes the glass, lighting, timing device or the supports to break, it shall be faced off at the nearest face-off spot in the zone from where it was shot or deflected out of play, except when the attacking team in the attacking zone is responsible for causing the puck to go out of play, the ensuing face-off shall take place at the nearest face-off spot in the neutral zone outside the offending team's attacking zone. Yes, that's all one sentence. But here's something I didn't know: 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.

86.1, Start of Game and Periods. The game shall be commenced at the time scheduled by a "face-off" in the center of the rink and shall be renewed promptly at the conclusion of each intermission in the same manner.

87.1, Each team shall be permitted to take on thirty-second time-out during the course of any game, regular season or playoffs. All players including goalkeepers on the ice at the time of the time-out will be allowed to go to their respective benches. A commercial time-out is deemed an "official time-out" and not charged to either team.

Things I didn't know but should have since I do after all need an intervention for my hockey addiction:

85.2, Puck Unplayable. When the puck becomes lodged in the netting on the ouside of either goal so as to make it unplayable, or if it is "frozen" between opposing players intentionally or otherwise, the Referee shall stop the play.

86. 3, Choice of Ends. Home clubs shall have the choice of goals to defend at the start of the game except where both players' benches are on the same side of the rink, in which case the home club shall start the game defending the goal nearest to its own bench. The teams shall change ends for each period of regulation time and, in the playoffs, for each period of overtime.

86.5, End of Periods. And I thought the horn was the signal for both: At the end of each period, the home team players must proceed directly to their dressing room while the visiting team players must wait for a signal from the official to proceed only if they have to go on the ice to reach their dressing room. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in a bench minor penalty for delay of game.

Morals of the story:

The game: I love the fact that a "frozen" puck in an ice rink is unplayable. I heard Pierre McGuire say somewhere that hockey was the only sport without an out of bounds, which is true for the men. It figures then, that the puck is the thing that's deemed out of bounds. There are 7 sections in Rule 85, all of which have to do with penalties and face-offs after a puck travels out of bounds. You'd think one is that pucks bouncing off officials would be out of bounds, right? Nope. In fact, pucks bouncing off officials is one of the few times play is not stopped.

Life: I'm notoriously late everywhere I go, so I need my own start of game and periods complete with penalties. Without punishment I'm free to roam around town 10 to 15 minutes late for very important dates and that's not a good thing. Unless of course it's a death by PowerPoint/conference call at 8 am, in which case I purposefully check the clock before leaving so I know for sure I'll miss at least two-thirds of it. And time-outs, well, who doesn't need a few of those now and again? Lastly, I think we could all use a face-off everytime we shoot a puck out of bounds. A face-off is essentially hockey giving you another chance when you whiff it on a shot. Second chances in life, however, are not so easy to come by. And in some cases not deserved. For example, if you cheat, lie or steal, those are not times when a "do-over" is warranted. But what about everyday pucks out of bounds, like just missing the bus and having to call in late to work, spilling coffee on the new white suit first thing in the morning and having to wear the stain like a scarlet letter all day, or accidentally cheering for the opposing team in a hockey rink because you forgot it was second period and they'd switched ends? For these, I propose a face-off in the neutral zone, giving them a 50-50 chance they'll get it right the next time.

That being said, it's time at last for my own personal time out, which sadly will not involve a trip to Vancouver. Instead, I will be back on Sunday with a "Top 10" List of what I've learned from all 87 rules. Then, I'll be back on Tuesday when the puck drops on the first men's Olympic hockey game, with the IIHF Rulebook in hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment