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Playing Rules 2022-2023

It is the responsibility of the teams and the players to understand the Playing Rules as they apply to penalties, conduct, and suspensions. All players must complete a registration form and sign the RHOTHL waiver form prior to stepping on the ice to play a game.

General Rules Only registered players will be allowed to play in the RHOTHL.

Equipment All equipment worn by players and goalies must be CSA approved. Non-CSA approved helmets will not be allowed on the ice at any time. While on the ice, all players must wear a helmet with at least a half visor properly fastened including a chin strap. A player not wearing a helmet or visor correctly will not be allowed on the ice. Full cages are encouraged and must be properly fastened to the helmet and chin strap secured. Mouth guards are also highly recommended by the RHOTHL.

Game Times All games are played at Elvis Stojko Arena, unless otherwise stated on Monday and Thursday evenings. There will be 3 x 10 minute stop time periods. The clock will run down when a team is winning by 5 or more goals in the last 5 minutes of the third period. The clock will run straight time until the end of regulation time unless the score differential becomes less than 5 then the clock will return to stop time.

Default Teams must dress a minimum playing roster of 7 players which includes 6 skaters and one goalie. Less players than this is an automatic default and the opposing team is awarded 2 points with a final score of 1-0 and the game is not played.

Forfeit A team with 5 skaters or less and one goalie can either default or be allowed to pick up 2 registered RHOTHL players, no more of equal calibre provided it is mutual between captains. The non-forfeiting team receives 1 point automatically, and the forfeiting team has a chance to get 1 point if they win the game in regulation. Non-forfeiting team receives 2 points if game ends up tied. There is no shootout. A team short benched is not allowed to pick up players.

Shootout After regulation time and the game is tied; a shootout will take place. 1 point awarded to each team for the tie. Shooters will shoot separately. Shootout winning team will receive 1 additional point. No shootouts in playoffs.

If a goalie is hit in the mask with the puck, the play will be whistled down immediately. If the puck hits the goalie’s helmet and deflects into the net, it will be ruled a goal.

One (1) – thirty (30) second time-out will be allowed per team per regulation game.

No red line, no touch icing.

Penalty Types

Head shots. also referred to as any derivative of head contact on the game sheet. Any player that delivers a direct hit to the head via stick, elbow, punch or check will receive a 5 minute major and a 10 minute game misconduct. Such violation will result in an automatic 3 game suspension and a league review. Even if the contact started at the shoulder and escalated to the head.

6 minute game ejection. If a player receives 3 minor penalties or an accumulation of at least 6 minutes in a game, they will be ejected for the balance of that game. It will be the referees decision whether or not there is a suspension.

No stopping in the crease will be strongly enforced. Play will be stopped and be moved outside the zone. If a player/team is in the crease for a 2nd time he/they will receive a 2 minute minor penalty. If, in the eyes of the officials, a defensive player pushes an offensive player into the goalie, he will be assessed a 2 minute minor. If a player charges the net and makes contact with the goalie, a 2 minute minor will be assessed.

Abuse of officials. This will not be tolerated on or off the ice. This includes the hallways, lobby, smoking area, parking lot etc. No one shall enter the referee change room without their consent. A minimum of a 3 game suspension will be enforced if there are infractions of these rules.

Game Misconduct Penalty. Unsportsmanlike conduct/misconduct, does not incur automatic suspension, unless it occurs in the last 10 minutes of the game, in which case the penalized player shall be suspended for a minimum of the next regular game. A total of 10 minutes shall be charged in the records against the penalized player for a Game Misconduct penalty.

Major Penalty. A player assessed a major penalty shall be ruled off the ice for the remainder of the game. He receives a major penalty plus a Game Misconduct. (5min and 10min). The penalized team shall place a substitute player in the penalty box who was on the ice during the infraction to serve the five minute major. Substitutions shall be permitted.

The only exception to this rule is when a major penalty has been assessed for an accidental high stick, in which case the game misconduct shall not apply.

Gross Misconduct Penalty. Any player incurring a gross misconduct penalty shall be ejected from the game, given a 1 game suspension and/or face more discipline if warranted. He will also receive a 5 minute major and a 10 minute game misconduct.

A team may forfeit their next game(s) if they play a player who has received a penalty resulting in a suspension.

Also, any player or team official who engages in verbal taunts, insults or intimidation based on discriminatory grounds (race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, language) shall be assessed a gross misconduct penalty. A minimum 3 game suspension will be assessed. If the offence happens again the player will incur an immediate expulsion from the league.

Match Penalty. Any player incurring a match penalty shall leave the ice immediately. A 5 minute major and a 10 minute game misconduct and will not be permitted to take part in any further games until his case has been dealt with by the league executives.

A match penalty shall also be assessed to any player who deliberately attempts to injure or injures an opponent with a high stick. A 3 game suspension will be assessed, and a review by the league executives.

Fighting Rule. A match penalty shall be assessed to any player who is identified by the referee as the instigator or aggressor in a fight. This includes any punching.  This also means an immediate ejection from that game, a 5 minute major penalty, a 10 minute misconduct and an automatic 3 game suspension. The opposing player may also be assessed a match penalty if he fights back or continues the altercation or a minor penalty for roughing, or no penalty at all, depending on the circumstances.

If two players throw the first punch simultaneously, then both players will receive match penalties.

Boarding and Body Contact. A minor or major penalty may be assessed by the referee, based upon the intent and the violence of the impact with the opposing player. A minor penalty will be assessed to any player who intentionally bodies, pushes, shoves, impedes, or body’s off the puck, stands in front of an opponent for the purpose of making contact, and/or does not avert body contact with an opponent.
A double minor penalty will be assessed, if in the opinion of the referee that a player had intention of boarding or body contact.

When injury results from intentional body contact a major penalty shall be assessed.

High Sticking. If a player makes a reflex motion by waving his stick at the puck above his shoulders he will be assessed a minor penalty. Even if there is no contact with the puck. There must be care and control of your stick at all times.

A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who checks an opponent with their stick above the chest height of their opponent. A double minor or major will be assessed if a player is cut, or blood is drawn.

A player who intentionally contacts an opponent with a high stick will be assessed a major penalty and or a game misconduct.

Slap Shot. Any player who uses a slap shot during the game shall be assessed a minor penalty. If an injury to an opponent results, a major penalty shall be assessed. A slap shot will be called when any part of the stick is drawn back above the knee cap.

A player who uses the action of a Fake Slap Shot for the purpose of intimidating an opposing player and/or opposing goalkeeper shall be assessed a minor penalty. This includes the defence trying to clear their zone.

Snap shots are allowed. A snap shot is to bring the stick back behind the puck a maximum of fifteen inches either on or off the ice and to shoot the puck in wrist shot motion.

Interference/ Protection of the Goaltender. A minor penalty for interference with the goaltender shall be imposed on a player who, by means of his stick or his body, interferes with or impedes the movement of the goaltender, by physical contact.

A minor penalty shall be imposed on any attacking player, who makes deliberate contact with a goaltender, whether in or out of the goal crease. At the discretion of the Referee, a double Minor penalty or a Major penalty may be imposed.

General League Policies

Failure to comply with any of these rules may lead to further action taken against the team and or person(s), including a Delay of Game penalty.

When a player has accumulated 40 minutes in penalties he will receive a 3 game suspension. It will be the League executive decision if more games are to be added.

The referees are instructed to apply the rules firmly. All referees on ice decisions will be strongly enforced under the 24 hour cool down process.

There will be no new players added to the league after December 31 unless there becomes a “special circumstance “. The executive committee will make this decision in the event it becomes necessary.

Gentlemen, please remember we all have to work the next day, and we all pay to play.

Playoff Rules and Format

Final Standings tie breakers: Points, Head to Head, Wins, Plus/Minus, Penalty Minutes.

This year, the playoffs will consist of 3 rounds of 2 game series, followed by A and B championship games. There will be 2 brackets (1st/8th, 4th/5th and 2nd/7th, 3rd/6th).

Each round consists of a 2 Game Series.

Win is 2 pts. Loss is 0 pts. Tie is 1pt each team.

At end of game 2 in each round if both teams have same number of points, tie breaker will be a 5minute running time 3 on 3 sudden death, then if necessary, a shootout.

ROUND 1 – Based on Season Rankings (Losing Teams in ROUND 1 switch brackets).

ROUND 2 – Higher ranked team in the bracket plays the lowest ranked team in the bracket.

ROUND 3 – Winners in each bracket from ROUND 2 play each other. Losers in each bracket from ROUND 2 play each other.

Championship ROUND – Winners (of winners) from ROUND 3 Bracket A plays Winners (of winners) from ROUND 3 Bracket B for the A championship. Winners (of losers) from ROUND 3 Bracket A plays Winners (of losers) from ROUND 3 Bracket B for the B championship.

All regular season rules and policies stand in the playoffs with the exception of:

Penalty minute totals will not carry over to playoffs. However, if a player is under suspension from the regular season his suspension will carry into the beginning of the playoffs.

A player will receive a 1 game suspension (or more, depending on the severity) when he accumulates 16 minutes in penalties. It will be the League executive decision along with the official’s decision if more games are to be added.

A and B championship games will be 3 – 15 minute periods stop-time, with a flood in between the 2nd and 3rd. No pucks are allowed in the 2nd to 3rd warm up.

A game starts at 8pm.

B game starts at 9:30pm.

If the score remains tied after regulation time, Overtime will be 5 on 5, 15 minute periods, sudden death win. 1 time out allowed in the overtime.

Goalies must come from the spare goalie list.

Regular season forfeit rule does not exist in playoffs.