The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Rules Committee is tabling a five-minute, four-on-four overtime format rules change proposal that would have been required for all NCAA regular-season games.

The committee made the decision to table the proposal before the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel discussed whether to approve the rule change during its conference call on Wednesday. The proposal would not have affected postseason tournament games, including conference and NCAA championships, which would continue to use a five-on-five, sudden-death overtime format played in 20-minute periods.

“As part of the rules process, the committee has been gathering input from our membership on all of our proposals, including this issue,” said Tom Anastos, the committee chair and men’s ice hockey coach at Michigan State University. “While there remains support for some change to our current system, the committee believes that the best course of action at this time is to pause for at least another season to allow for more dialogue, examination and consideration to occur.”

The move to put the proposal on ice was not unexpected. Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna said last month that a poll taken at the annual American Hockey Coaches Association convention in Florida at the end of April indicated that the majority of Division I coaches were against the four-on-four overtime.

University of Maine head coach Red Gendron said in June that he was opposed to the implementation of the four-on-four overtime proposal.

“I want to know what the purpose is,” Gendron said at the time. “If you’re going to change the game, you have to have compelling evidence that it’s going to make the game better.”

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel did approve a provision in which if a game is tied after the overtime period, an experimental rule can be implemented to allow teams to skate three-on-three for five minutes and then use a sudden-death shootout to determine a winner. Any conference interested in using the experimental rule may do so.

Coach’s challenge now required

During its call on Wednesday, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a rule that will require a coach’s challenge for video replay to be used to review goals relating to offsides and too many men on the ice, except for the last two minutes of the game and any overtime periods.

Officials will be able to review offsides during the last two minutes of the game and all overtime periods. In postseason tournaments, all aspects of the video replay criteria will be used, including offsides, without the need for a coach’s challenge.

The panel also approved a rule that requires all officials and players to wear helmets anytime they are on the ice with the exception of during the playing of the national anthem.