OHL to begin reviewing major and match penalties in 2019-20

OHL commissioner David Branch. (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

The Ontario Hockey League is following in the NHL’s footsteps by introducing video review for major and match penalties this season.

The OHL will also be introducing reviews for offsides, and a coach’s challenge for goaltender interference. According to a press release, the OHL will be adding tablets and overhead blue-line cameras to every arena for officials to conduct these reviews.

Under the new rule, any major or match penalty must be reviewed by the officials to confirm the call and that the correct player is being penalized. Officials can also reduce a penalty after a review, to a double-minor, two-minute minor or to no penalty at all as they see fit. Referees cannot review penalties they didn’t first call on the ice, or increase the severity of the punishment after review.

The NHL is introducing a similar review for the 2019-20 season. The new NHL rule will require officials to check to make sure an infraction warrants a major or match penalty. Officials can reduce a call to a two-minute major, but they cannot take a penalty away completely. NHL officials will also be allowed, if they choose, to review high-sticking penalties to determine which player committed the infraction.

The OHL’s new goaltender interference coach’s challenge is similar to the NHL’s version. If a coach initiates a goaltender interference challenge and the call is upheld, they will lose their timeout. If the call is overturned, the coach will keep the timeout.

Offside reviews in the OHL, unlike the NHL, will not be a coach’s challenge but officials can check video to determine if a play was offside before a goal was scored.

The 2019-20 OHL season begins on Sept. 19 with the Sudbury Wolves visiting the Niagara IceDogs before a full schedule of games on Sept. 20.


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