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Hockey/Blue line rule for puck leaving the offensive zone


T.Parla wrote at 2014-01-10 17:04:49
As a person that has been involved in hockey for well over 20 years, I had been taught that the leadingedge of the blueline was the edge you first encounter based on the direction of play.  This is the opposite of what T.Martina is stating here "The leading edge refers to the furthest edge of the line the puck is moving towards."

As a ref I have always used the Neutral zone edge of the blueline to determine offsides.  As soon as the puck crosses completely into the blue, the puck was onsides and players could enter.

T.Martina's answer got me to question who was correct and upon looking around the internet for an answer ( as phone calls to fellow refs came up with a split consensus believe it or not ).  What I found was a question posed to TSN under an ask the ref page.  The quotes below are the relevant portions of former NHL Referee Kerry Fraser's answer.  Supporting my understanding that a puck which is solely on the blue is in fact ONSIDES.

"What you need to know is as a result of the blue line being twelve inches wide there are two edges to consider for the offside rule; inside or leading edge and outside edge as the puck exits into the neutral zone."

"When a team is attacking the zone, the puck must completely cross the inside edge of the blue line prior to the skates of any attacking players."  


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T. Martina


I can answer questions concerning rules, plays, game tips, and the NHL. I cannot answer personal player stats questions for many players. Opinion questions are welcome.


I have played the game for over 18 years at all different levels (house, travel, high school, etc.) Also, I am a highly experienced, knowledgeable, and registered USA Hockey Official, working most levels of hockey.

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