Hockey Penalties Toughened for 2014-15

December 4, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Seasons are underway for teams participating in 12 winter sports for which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors postseason tournaments, with stronger penalties for excessive contact in ice hockey highlighting rules changes taking effect with the beginning of competition.

Eight sports including ice hockey began play during the final two weeks of November, with the remaining four sports beginning competition over the next 10 days – Lower Peninsula Boys Swimming and Diving on Dec. 6, Boys Basketball on December 8 and Boys and Girls Skiing on Dec. 13. Upper Peninsula Girls and Boys Bowling teams began competition on Nov. 29, and Lower Peninsula teams may begin Dec. 6.

Changes to ice hockey penalties resulting from opponents being forced into the boards continue a focus on improving safety by establishing different levels of severity based on the flagrance and violence of the offending act. 

Any excessive contact – including checking, cross-checking, elbowing, charging or tripping – that causes an opponent to be thrown violently into the boards will receive a 5-minute major penalty; previously this boarding infraction resulted only in a 2-minute minor penalty unless the contact was flagrant. If the flagrant or violent check causes a player to crash headfirst into the boards, a 5-minute major will be assessed as well as either a 10-minute misconduct or game disqualification depending on the severity of the offending check. Players disqualified from ice hockey games are not allowed to play in the next two games as well. 

A 5-minute major penalty also will be assessed to any player who pushes, charges, cross-checks or body-checks an opponent from behind in open ice. Previously, this excessive contact came with a 2-minute minor penalty and 10-minute misconduct. 

A handful of notable rules changes also go into effect for girls and boys basketball:

  • Intentional fouls were redefined to include excessive contact with any opposing player – not just the shooter – while the ball is live or until an airborne shooter returns to the floor. All excessive contact committed by any player will be ruled intentional.

  • Also, additions to the definition of personal foul were added to eliminate excessive contact on ball handlers outside of the lane area. The following additions constitute a foul when committed against the ball handler/dribbler: placing two hands (fronts or backs of hands) on the player, placing an extended arm bar (forearm away from the body) on the player, placing and keeping a hand on the player, and contacting the player more than once with the same hand or alternating hands.

  • The rule for players releasing to the lane on a free throw attempt was changed to its previous version; a player occupying a marked lane space again may enter the lane on the release of the ball by the free throw shooter. Players behind the free throw line extended and 3-point arc behind the free throw line must wait until the free throw attempt touches the ring or backboard or has ended (touches the floor) before entering the lane. This was the rule prior to the 1994-95 season.

  • Players may wear arm sleeves, knee sleeves, lower leg sleeves and tights, but all sleeves and tights must be black, white, beige or the predominant color of the team’s uniform. All team members wearing sleeves or tights must wear the same color. Knee braces do not count as part of this uniform regulation.

  • A significant change for wrestling affects team tournaments stretching multiple days, including the MHSAA Finals, for which weigh-ins are conducted each day. An athlete must weigh in at the same weight both days in order to continue competing after the first day of the tournament. Previously, an athlete could compete at whatever weight he or she weighed in at on the first day and then the new weight, if different, on the second day. Beginning this season, that wrestler may not compete the subsequent days of the team event if he or she weighs in at a different weight after the first day. 

    The 2014-15 Winter campaign culminates with postseason tournaments beginning with the Upper Peninsula Girls and Boys Swimming & Diving Finals on Feb. 21, and wraps up with the Boys Basketball Finals on March 28. Here is a complete list of winter tournament dates: 

    Boys Basketball
    Districts – March 9, 11 & 13
    Regionals – March 16 & 18
    Quarterfinals – March 24
    Semifinals – March 26-27
    Finals – March 28 

    Girls Basketball
    Districts – March 2, 4 & 6
    Regionals – March 10 & 12
    Quarterfinals – March 17
    Semifinals – March 19-20
    Finals – March 21

    Team Regionals – Feb. 27
    Singles Regionals – Feb. 28
    Team Finals – March 6
    Singles Finals – March 7 

    Girls Competitive Cheer
    Districts – Feb. 20-21
    Regionals – Feb. 28
    Finals: March 6-7 

    Girls Gymnastics
    Regionals – March 7
    Team Finals – March 13
    Individual Finals – March 14 

    Ice Hockey
    Pre-Regionals – March 2-6
    Regional Finals – March 7
    Quarterfinals – March 10-11
    Semifinals – March 12-13
    Finals – March 14 

    Regionals – Feb. 9-13
    Finals – Feb. 23 

    Swimming & Diving
    U.P. Girls & Boys Finals – Feb. 21
    L.P. Boys Diving Regionals – March 5
    L.P. Boys Finals – March 13-14 

    Team Districts – Feb. 11-12
    Individual Districts – Feb. 14
    Team Regionals – Feb. 18
    Individual Regionals – Feb. 21
    Team Quarterfinals – Feb. 27
    Team Semifinals & Finals – Feb. 28
    Individual Finals – March 5-7

    2023 Forsythe Award Celebrates Leinaar's 40 Years Dedicated to School Sports

    By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

    March 8, 2023

    Few people in Michigan have had a longer-lasting influence on the rules and policies of educational athletics than Frankfort’s Karen Leinaar, who has served in several roles locally, statewide and nationally over more than 40 years contributing to the school sports community.

    Thank you, Bill Baker.

    The longtime teacher, coach, principal and superintendent during a career that stretched across multiple schools – including Leinaar’s growing up, Delton Kellogg – made an impression on the standout multi-sport athlete before she graduated from high school in 1977. Baker’s philosophy and work led Leinaar to study education at Michigan State University and then brought her back as Delton’s athletic director to begin four decades of making the same impact on children in her hometown and eventually in hometowns all over Michigan and beyond.

    Baker died in 2009, but not before continuing to mentor Leinaar through many good times and tough ones.

    “The man had two daughters that I grew up with, his wife was a teacher, and he demonstrated to all of us – he never missed an event – that we were important to him. That even though we weren’t his kids, we were his kids and athletics was a way to help kids become better people – and for some kids it was the only thing that they had positive in their life,” Leinaar said. “And he made it known just to that individual kid how important their participation was and their involvement, and how that helped them become the person that they were.

    “That to me was such an example of how to help people be good people, that I just took that role on.”

    It’s a role in which she continues to serve. Leinaar began her career as an athletic administrator in 1982, and as the interim athletic director currently at Frankfort High School is serving her fifth district in that position. Since June 2019, she also has served as executive director of the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA), the professional organization for school sports administrators in the state with a membership of nearly 700.

    Leinaar accepts the MHSAA's Women In Sports Leadership Award in 1998. To recognize that longtime and continuing impact, Leinaar has been named the 2023 honoree for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Charles E. Forsythe Award.

    The annual award is in its 46th year and named after former MHSAA Executive Director Charles E. Forsythe, the Association's first full-time and longest-serving chief executive. Forsythe Award recipients are selected each year by the MHSAA Representative Council, based on an individual's outstanding contributions to the interscholastic athletics community.

    Leinaar also served 22 years on the MHSAA’s Representative Council and a four-year term from 2009-13 on the Board of Directors for the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and just last week was named to the 2023 class of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Hall of Fame.

    “It is impossible even to estimate the number of students, coaches, administrators and others who have been affected by the work Karen Leinaar has done to make school sports the best they can be – not only in her communities, but across Michigan and throughout the country,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “There are few who have equaled her dedication and her support and promotion of the ideals of school-based sports. She has always placed an emphasis on being in the room, on the field or at the arena, actively participating in her leadership roles, and our programs are better for it.”

    Leinaar first served as athletic director at Delton Kellogg for nearly 17 years, from March 1982 through October 1998. She spent three years at Gaylord, then 8½ at Benzie Central before taking over at Bear Lake in November 2010 and spending the next decade organizing athletic programs for students in grades 5-12 before retiring in January 2021. She came out of retirement to return to the athletic director’s chair this past fall as interim AD at Frankfort. She has completed nearly four years as MIAAA executive director, moving into that position after previously serving nine years as an assistant to the executive.

    Leinaar began her service on the Representative Council in Fall 1999 and completed her last term as a statewide at-large representative at the Fall 2021 meeting.

    She has been honored several times for her contributions. She received the MHSAA’s Women In Sports Leadership Award in 1998, a Citation from the NFHS in 2000, and she was named MIAAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2001. She received an MHSAA’s Allen W. Bush Award in 2014 – recognition given for work done generally behind the scenes and with little attention.

    “This is the top of the mountain, per se. This one does mean so much,” Leinaar said of the Forsythe Award. “The names that are associated with this over the years, I never thought I’d be put in that group.”

    Leinaar remains a continuous source of support at a multitude of MHSAA championship events, and during her time on Council was one of the most frequent representatives handing out trophies and medals to champions and runners-up at Finals events. She began while athletic director at Delton Kellogg hosting the MHSAA Volleyball Finals in Class B and Class C and continues to assist with those championships now played at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

    She also hosted Competitive Cheer Finals at Delton Kellogg in 1996 and 1997, Ski Finals while at Gaylord, and many more championship events across the Lower Peninsula. She continues to assist at the MHSAA’s Lower Peninsula Cross Country and Track & Field Finals.

    After attending Delton Kellogg High School, Leinaar earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education, health and recreation, with a minor in driver education, from MSU in 1982. She completed a master’s in athletic administration from Western Michigan University in 1994.

    Leinaar has been a member for 40 years of both the MIAAA and NIAAA, and has served as chairperson of the MIAAA Annual Conference and awards chairperson for both the state and national bodies. She’s also served as chairperson of the MIAAA’s Exemplary Athletic Program.

    Past recipients of the Charles E. Forsythe Award 

    1978 - Brick Fowler, Port Huron; Paul Smarks, Warren 
    1979 - Earl Messner, Reed City; Howard Beatty, Saginaw 
    1980 - Max Carey, Freesoil 
    1981 - Steven Sluka, Grand Haven; Samuel Madden, Detroit
    1982 - Ernest Buckholz, Mt. Clemens; T. Arthur Treloar, Petoskey
    1983 - Leroy Dues, Detroit; Richard Maher, Sturgis 
    1984 - William Hart, Marquette; Donald Stamats, Caro
    1985 - John Cotton, Farmington; Robert James, Warren 
    1986 - William Robinson, Detroit; Irving Soderland, Norway 
    1987 - Jack Streidl, Plainwell; Wayne Hellenga, Decatur 
    1988 - Jack Johnson, Dearborn; Alan Williams, North Adams
    1989 - Walter Bazylewicz, Berkley; Dennis Kiley, Jackson 
    1990 - Webster Morrison, Pickford; Herbert Quade, Benton Harbor 
    1991 - Clifford Buckmaster, Petoskey; Donald Domke, Northville 
    1992 - William Maskill, Kalamazoo; Thomas G. McShannock, Muskegon 
    1993 - Roy A. Allen Jr., Detroit; John Duncan, Cedarville 
    1994 - Kermit Ambrose, Royal Oak 
    1995 - Bob Perry, Lowell 
    1996 - Charles H. Jones, Royal Oak 
    1997 - Michael A. Foster, Richland; Robert G. Grimes, Battle Creek 
    1998 - Lofton C. Greene, River Rouge; Joseph J. Todey, Essexville 
    1999 - Bernie Larson, Battle Creek 
    2000 - Blake Hagman, Kalamazoo; Jerry Cvengros, Escanaba 
    2001 - Norm Johnson, Bangor; George Lovich, Canton 
    2002 - John Fundukian, Novi 
    2003 - Ken Semelsberger, Port Huron
    2004 - Marco Marcet, Frankenmuth
    2005 - Jim Feldkamp, Troy
    2006 - Dan McShannock, Midland; Dail Prucka, Monroe
    2007 - Keith Eldred, Williamston; Tom Hickman, Spring Lake
    2008 - Jamie Gent, Haslett; William Newkirk, Sanford Meridian
    2009 - Paul Ellinger, Cheboygan
    2010 - Rudy Godefroidt, Hemlock; Mike Boyd, Waterford
    2011 - Eric C. Federico, Trenton
    2012 - Bill Mick, Midland
    2013 - Jim Gilmore, Tecumseh; Dave Hutton, Grandville
    2014 - Dan Flynn, Escanaba

    2015 - Hugh Matson, Saginaw
    2016 - Gary Hice, Petoskey; Gina Mazzolini, Lansing
    2017 - Chuck Nurek, Rochester Hills
    2018 - Gary Ellis, Allegan
    2019 - Jim Derocher, Negaunee; Fredrick J. Smith, Stevensville
    2020 - Michael Garvey, Lawton
    2021 - Leroy Hackley Jr., Byron Center; Patti Tibaldi, Traverse City
    2022 - Bruce Horsch, Houghton

    PHOTOS (Top) Karen Leinaar, left, awards the 2022 Division 4 volleyball finalist trophy to Indian River Inland Lakes coach Nicole Moore. (Middle) Leinaar accepts the MHSAA's Women In Sports Leadership Award in 1998.