ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Our “Sports School” series continues as RIT men’s hockey head coach Wayne Wilson breaks down the offside rule.
“Offsides in the sport of hockey is that the puck has to enter the offensive zone, which is defined by the blue line,” says Wilson. “The puck has to enter the zone before another player does. So, if you’re with another player going down the ice, once the puck crosses the blue line then the other player can.”
“If the person without the puck crosses the blue line first before the puck enters the zone, that would be considered offside,” says Wilson.
If a played is called offside, the play is blown dead and a faceoff occurs, usually in the neutral zone just outside the blue line where the infraction was called.
“If you are skating and your front leg is across the blue line but your back leg is still behind the blue line, or in the neutral zone, that is allowed. So you can drag a foot. It is your feet they’re looking at,” says Wilson.
After the 2004-2005 NHL lockout, a delayed offside rule was introduced to keep the game moving.
“If someone is caught in the zone, what you can do with the puck is wait for them, even though they’re in the zone before the puck. If they can come out, they call it tagging up- get outside the blue line then you can bring the puck back in the zone.”
As long as that player does not touch the puck while offside, play continues as normal.