WCHA adopts shootout for 2008-09 season
Friday, August 29, 2008
MADISON, Wisc. - The Bemidji State women’s ice hockey team tied the then-defending national champion University of Wisconsin Badgers 0-0 Nov. 24, 2007. Now with a new rule set by the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, they would have a chance to win the game in a shootout.

The WCHA has become the first NCAA Division I women’s conference to officially re-introduce the shootout to college hockey, after the option was installed recently by the rules committee, Associate Commissioner Sara R. Martin announced today (August 28). The Central Collegiate Hockey Association also recently announced plans to use the shootout in it’s men’s games. The Hockey East Association previously had installed a shootout in the mid-1990s, and is among the conferences considering re-instituting it, but has not yet.

A National Hockey League-style three-player shootout will be used to determine a winner for all WCHA regular season games still tied after regulation and the standard five-minute (5:00) overtime.

The NCAA Rules and Ice Hockey Committees have allowed conferences the ability to implement this tie-breaking protocol so that every regular-season league game will have a winner while preserving the integrity of the national rankings. Regular season games decided by a shootout will still be considered ties for NCAA purposes so there will be no effect on NCAA records for the purposes of the Pairwise and determining the national tournament field. Bonus points awarded will impact conference standings only.

“As a group, our head coaches were unanimous in adopting this exciting tie-breaking procedure to determine a winner for our regular season games,” said Martin. “Over our first nine seasons as a Division 1 league, the Western Collegiate Hockey Association has continued to bring an impressive brand of women’s hockey to the ice and collectively we think the adoption of the shootout will add an extra element of drama to our games for student-athletes, coaches, fans and media.”

The WCHA has also approved the following point system for regular-season play; two (2) points for a win in regulation or overtime, one (1) point for each team if the game is still tied at the conclusion of the five-minute (5:00) overtime period, and one (1) additional point being awarded to the team who wins the shootout. Overtime will continue to be played similar to regulation time with five skaters and one goaltender for each team (penalties excepted).

The WCHA has no plans at this time to use the shootout in the men’s league.

Changes to NCAA Rule Book
(approved July 2, 2008)

Rule 6-56-b. Shootout. “A shootout may be conducted at the end of the five-minute overtime period for advancement purposes, in conference games or by mutual consent of both teams.”
Rationale: The committee received several requests from conferences to experiment with a shootout in regular-season contests as a means to enhance the excitement of the game. The committee proposes this allowance in the hope that conferences will use a shootout and provide feedback for future consideration.

Appendix B, Shootout Protocol. This protocol is only to be used in accordance with rule 6-56-b.
1. It is recommended that the ice surface be dry scraped in the middle of the ice through both creases.
2. At the end of the five-minute overtime period, the head official will instruct the timekeeper to put two minutes on the clock and immediately start the clock.
3. The other two officials will request a list of three shooters from each coach.
4. The head official will meet at center ice with the captains to explain the protocol during the two-minute period.
5. The goalkeepers remain in the same ends as the overtime period.
6. The home team has the option of shooting first or defending first. If Team A’s first two players score, while none of Team B’s players score, the shootout is over and Team A wins the shootout.
7. If the shootout remains tied at the end of three rounds, each coach will select a different shooter, this time in a sudden death situation. The first three shooters are ineligible until all other bench players have attempted a shot, if necessary. Each team has an equal number of chances to shoot before a winner is declared.

• Players serving penalty time shall not be eligible for the shootout.
• If a shooter is injured in the shootout, the player may be replaced in subsequent rounds by a player off the bench.
• If a goalkeeper is injured in the shootout, the goalkeeper may be immediately replaced by a goalkeeper off the bench. The injured goalkeeper may not re-enter the shootout.
• All players not actively participating in the shootout must remain on their bench.
• Goalkeepers may be substituted, but no warm-up time will be allowed.