Shootouts: What Can You Get Away With?

Do you know what is legal in a shootout? Because they rarely occur, it’s hard to remember all the rules, so we’ve highlighted a few of the less obvious ones. The following are direct quotes from Rule 84.4 and Rule 25 from the NHL’s official book:

  • The home team shall have the choice of shooting first or second
  • Three (3) players from each team shall participate in the shootout and they shall proceed in such order as the Coach selects
  • After each team has taken three shots, if the score remains tied, the shootout will proceed to a “sudden death” format. No player may shoot twice until everyone who is eligible has shot
  • The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete
  • No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal)
  • Any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete
  • The lacrosse-like move whereby the puck is picked up on the blade of the stick and “whipped” into the net shall be permitted provided the puck is not raised above the height of the shoulders at any time and when released, is not carried higher than the crossbar
  • The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal, shall be permitted as this involves continuous motion.

Your league may do things differently so be sure to consult the official for clarification. Here are some amazing examples of shootout goals that adhere to regulation:

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