The basic role of the official can be broken down into two simple words --"safe" and "fair". By refereeing a hockey game with these two words in mind, an official should be able to call a game that is acceptable for all of the participants.
There is no good excuse for an official not to penalize any infraction that threatens the safety of another participant and Hockey Canada along with the Saskatchewan Hockey Association Referees Division calls upon all officials to strictly enforce these types of infractions.
The word "fair" does allow some flexibility in determining which infractions will and will not be penalized. Any infraction that takes away a good scoring chance should be penalized. Some infractions however, although obvious infractions by the wording in the rule book, can be overlooked if no advantage is gained. Remember that it is the "spirit" or "intent" of the rule that determines an infraction, not the literal wording. Make sure there is a consequence to the infraction. Players can put their stick on another player along as there is no consequence. If there is a consequence of any manner the appropriate penalty should be called. As officials develop, their officiating skills will improve and their “feel for the game” will improve also.
Infractions after the whistle should also be penalized accordingly, with emphasis placed on penalizing the instigator of such activity. An official should try to make sure the team/player that started the altercation is short handed.