Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Distinct Kicking Motion

The one perpetual debate that hockey fans have is the rules regarding scoring goals off a players body. When the media demands more excitement by calling for more goals per game, perhaps looking at rule changing that would free up more restrictive style of play.
The goal shall not be allowed if the puck has been intentionally kicked with his skate or foot, using a distinct kicking motion, and subsequently enters the net.

A goal shall be allowed unless a distinct kicking motion is evident.

The goal shall not be allowed if the puck has been thrown or otherwise deliberately directed into the goal by any means other than a stick. (See also Rule 70 -- Kicking the Puck.) Rule 57.
When interpretation of the rules enters into the equation, the better chance of bias and controversy appear to have influenced the decision - and with that the momentum of any game.

Ideally, the fairest way to officiate the game would be to remove referees chances of looking at things subjectively. Interpretation of the rule should be scrutinized to a "black or white" perspective. Would a renegade GM or coach eventually challenge the wording of a referee and take a loss decided by a controversial goal to court?

The opinion has to be formed when watching the highlight is what exactly is a "distinct kicking motion". When a player snow plows his skates, his leg has to extend out which looks like a kick. If the puck would fly by at that exact moment in time, a chance that a goal could be waved out is likely. Should the rule be again interpreted as a more clear intent to kick rather than concentrating on the fundamental skating techniques?

When most player contracts build on incentive clauses, a goal taken away or awarded could mean a lot of cash to a player or organization. I have heard anecdotal evidence that some teams do pay out contract bonuses even when the achievements were missed. More attention gets payed to Art Ross and Richard trophies these days. I would hate to see a goal difference changed on a disputed goal.

This blog of course is inspired by tonight's Penguins vs Devils game when a Crosby goal was disallowed because his sliding leg had moved outward. If the scoring race stays tightly between the top 3 players, who knows if he would need that goal when the regular season ends.
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