Offsides is a penalty in ice hockey that is often misunderstood. Offsides is called on a offensive player who enters the attacking zone prior to the puck entering it. This player must be on the team with possession of the puck.
REMEMBER: Offsides is never called on the player with control of puck.
PRO TIP: To avoid being called for offsides, a player should make sure his skates are in contact with the blue line of the attacking zone.
The referee will signal delayed offsides if a player is in or enters the attacking zone prior to the puck entering it. The referee will only stop play for offsides if a player on the same team brings the puck into the attacking zone.
REMEMBER: Offsides won't be called until the puck crosses the blue line in the attacking zone.
Players can notice a referee is signaling delayed offsides and if they have time they can retreat back into the neutral zone to avoid being called for offsides. However, they must do this before the puck enters the attacking zone.
Puck Leaves The Attacking Zone
If the puck is sent into the attacking zone while an offensive player is in the attacking zone, he must leave without playing the puck or coming into contact with a player on the opposing team.
If the puck is deflected during play, offsides can still be called. For example:
- if the puck is deflected off an official in the neutral zone back into the defensive zone
- if an offensive player hits the puck and it's deflected off of a defensive player in neutral zone back into defensive zone
In the following situations a player is NOT considered offside:
- A player is NOT offsides if he is in the zone while an opposing player passes the puck back into the defensive zone
- A player is NOT offsides if a defensive player in defensive zone hits the puck off another defensive player in neutral zone and it goes back into the defensive zone.
IMPORTANT: No players are offsides on a deflection if a defensive player hits the puck out of the defensive zone into the neutral zone and it's deflected back into the attacking zone.
On an offsides call, the face-off will take place in the neutral zone spot nearest the attacking zone of offending team.
On an intentional offsides call, the face-off will take place in the offending team's defensive zone.