In 2014, the spin-o-rama shootout (and penalty shot) tactic was changed from 'explicitly allowed' in pre-2014/15 rules:

The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal, shall be permitted as this involves continuous motion. However, should the puck come to a complete stop at any time during the shot attempt, the shot shall be stopped and no goal will be the result.

(Rule 24.2) (Source: the above article)

The rule now reads, in part:

The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal, shall not be permitted. Should a player perform such a move during the penalty shot, the shot shall be stopped by the Referee and no goal will be the result.

(Source: NHL Rulebook)

What caused the NHL to choose to change this rule? And if the reason is considered solely the IIHF's decision to do the same earlier in the year or some other rule-making body's similar acts, what was the ultimate cause for that change? Note that the NHL does still explicitly permit lacrosse-style moves (where the puck is picked up on the stick and then whipped into the goal), while the IIHF banned those as well.

I'm specifically looking for evidence (cited evidence from a reliable NHL source, or at minimum a sportswriter with intimate knowledge of the game) as opposed to theories.

1 Answer 1


I cannot find a quote directly from the NHL, but there are tons of articles online that talk about the rule change. The main reason that is mentioned over and over is:

  • The puck technically has to be moving forward during the penalty shot or shoot out attempt and removing the spin-o-rama will close the grey area for the referees.

As Senior Writer for NHL.com Dan Rosen explains:

The spin-o-rama always bothered me, so yes I think banning it is fair. The rule is to have continuous motion and the puck can't stop. More often than not the spin-o-rama violated those principles and put the officials in a precarious position. I also don't find it particularly exciting. In fact, I think it slows the shootout down. A player skates in with speed, basically comes to a stop, spins around and tries to score that way. I understand some people thought it had entertainment value. I never did. I thought it was odd and it violated the rules, not to mention it was completely unfair to the goalie. It created a greater chance for goalie interference. I'm glad it's gone.

CBS Sports

Yahoo Sports

USA Today

  • Hmmm. That's a good answer, although it doesn't really answer my question ultimately - the grey area of moving/not moving forward is explicitly part of the rule exception - but the quoted section does point to a different grey area (the fact that the player may interfere with the goalie) which might be more relevant. I'd seen most of those links already (and googled about some more) but am just surprised that there isn't more concrete commentary.
    – Joe
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 17:52
  • @Joe I too was surprised there wasn't more explanation from the NHL. Many sports will send out explanations with each rule change that happens in the off-season.
    – diggers3
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 21:21
  • At the end of the day, if the puck is not moving forward, it is in violation of the central rule to shootout attempts. It should not be allowed. Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 13:27

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