Friday, April 30, 2004


A statement from the league:

Steve Cherwonak
Central Hockey League

Dear Fans,

Please accept the following as a response to your e-mail. We currently have the task of responding to a controversial issue after such an outstanding game and series. Due to the number of letters to which we needed to respond, we ask that you please understand that this common e-mail is being sent to all inquiries.

As has been the case on all disputed goal situations where the Referee is not 100% certain whether or not the puck crossed the goal line, the Referee is required to follow a procedure to determine whether or not a goal shall be awarded. There were some questions about the Bossier-Shreveport overtime scoring opportunity. When the Referee lost sight of the puck he is to whistle the play dead. As written under Rule 35(a): As there is a human factor involved in blowing the whistle to stop play, the Referee may deem the play stopped slightly prior to the whistle actually being blown. The fact that the puck may come loose or cross the goal line prior to the sound of the whistle has no bearing if the Referee has ruled that the play had been stopped prior to this happening.

Later in the overtime, a shot was taken that quickly came back through the goaltender’s pads. As the goal light illuminated and items littered the ice, the Referee stopped play to address the situation. He discussed with his Linesmen and then the Goal Judge as to whether or not the puck crossed the goal line. If any one of these four individuals is 100% positive that it did cross the line, a goal is awarded, which was the case in this situation. It has been reported that a League official immediately following the game indicated that this was no goal, but we can assure you that a comment of this nature was never made by any League personnel. We have obtained videotape of several angles of this play upon our arrival in the office late Thursday, none of which conclusively show the puck in the net, nor conclusively show the puck hit the post or stay out of the net in any other manner. They only show the puck coming through the goaltender’s pads from behind him. We are satisfied that the situation was handled appropriately on the ice, using the same protocol and tools available that were in place for every CHL game this season. The result of this game was considered final after all discussions were complete and the goal was awarded. We will again this off-season look at ways to improve on many aspects of our game. The CHL does not use the Video Goal Judge system as seen in the NHL and Olympic hockey, we must rely upon human judgment and expertise of the assigned game Officials.

We realize that 50% of the people involved in the game are disappointed with the outcome, and the others will have the opposite reaction. We understand the frustration of the Mudbugs’ players, organization and fans that this type of close play is the deciding goal of a championship series. The speed and intensity of hockey is what draws us to this game, and those factors result in split-second plays and great emotion. Any League in any sport wishes for a goal that everyone is able to clearly witness, whether it be the first pre-season goal of the year, or the final goal of the season.

Thank you very much for your time in reading this, and we appreciate your support of each of your teams and the CHL.


Central Hockey League

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