Why balance the teams?
Competitive and close games are more fun!
You do not gain a great deal winning a game 12-1. A good, close game often brings out the best in athletes. It is more fun and encourages hard work and respect.
While every effort is made to ensure that the teams selected are of relatively equal strength, the League appreciates that this is a difficult process and all games will always have a team that wins and a team that does not win. The goal is to promote close competition, which is proven to encourage great effort and even better fun. Note that if a team is missing a top scorer or two for a game that can make a big difference. Overall, and if all players are present we will strive to balance the teams and we ask for the support and guidance of all players, parents and coaches in this effort.
What is the team balancing process?
The season will begin with a one-day seeding session where all players are evaluated after running through a series of skills.
Players will also play in mini games where we can evaluate their actual playing level. Teams will be made based on the scores.
Further player changes may be made in the first two weeks of play if it is evident that teams are unbalanced. No changes will be made after the second game of league play.
All decisions by the league seeding committee will be final.
We ask for your help with creating balanced teams
The league appreciates that moving children between teams can be uncomfortable and we will rely on parents, care givers and coaches to help ensure this process highlights the value of creating a competitive league.
By registering for the Halifax Minor Ball Hockey League all players are agreeing 100% to the team balancing process.
We ask that all players and parents read and commit to the HMBHL Code of Conduct
- I will respect my opponents.
- I will play ball hockey because I want to, not just because my parents, my friends, others or coaches want me to.
- I will play by the rules of the League and in the spirit of the game.
- I will control my temper - fighting or "mouthing off" can spoil the activity for everybody.
- I will do my best to be a true team player.
- I will support my teammates, attend all possible games and arrive on time.
- I will remember that winning isn't everything - that having fun, improving skills, making friends are also important.
- I will acknowledge all good plays/performances - those of my team and those of my opponents.
- I will remember that coaches and officials are there to help me. I will accept their decisions and show them respect.
- I will remember that participants play ball hockey for their enjoyment. They are not playing to entertain me.
- I will not have unrealistic expectations.
- I will remember that players are not professionals and cannot be judged by professional standards.
- I will respect the official's decisions and I will encourage the participants to do the same.
- I will never ridicule a player for making a mistake.
- I will give positive comments that motivate and encourage continued effort.
- I will condemn the use of violence in any form.
- I will express my disapproval in an appropriate manner to coaches and league officials.
- I will show respect for my team's opponents, because, without them, there would be no game.
- I will not use bad language, nor will I harass players, coaches, officials, or other spectators.
- I will not force my child to participate and remember that my child plays for his or her own enjoyment, not mine.
- I will remember that the League is a community-based league operated for the benefit of the community.
- I will respect the democratic processes of the League.
- I will encourage my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
- I will teach my child doing one's best is important, so they will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game.
- I will never ridicule or yell at my child for making a mistake or losing a game.
- I will remember that children learn best by example.
- I will applaud good plays/performances by both my child's team and their opponents.
- I will never question the official's judgment or honesty in public.
- I will support all efforts to remove verbal and physical abuse from children's ball hockey games.
Coaches & League Officials
- I will be reasonable in scheduling games, remembering that parents have other interests and obligations.
- I will teach my players to play fairly and respect the rules, officials, and opponents.
- I will ensure that all players get equal instructions, support, and playing time.
- I will not ridicule or yell at players for performing poorly.
- I will remember that players play to have fun and must be encouraged to have confidence in themselves.
- I will make sure that the players' equipment and the League facilities are safe.
- I will remember that participants need a coach they can respect.
- I will obtain proper training and continue to upgrade my coaching skills.
- I will work in cooperation with the league officials for the benefit of the League and the game.
- CSA-approved hockey helmet with cage
- Ball hockey or soccer shin pads
- Hockey gloves
- Team T-shirts will be provided and are to be worn during all games. Additional clothing can be worn under the team T-shirt.
- Protective cup (Jock or Jill)
Elbow pads (We play on an asphalt surface)
- Plan for bad weather and pack a light-weight jacket
What About Hockey Sticks?
- The hockey pad is an asphalt surface.
- Players may use ANY stick option.
- Plastic sticks are recommended. They tend to be cheaper, last longer and slide better on asphalt.
- Sticks must not be broken in any way and must have at least 1.5 inches of height to ensure they can not penetrate a regular face mask.
What About Goalie Gear
- The HMBHL will provide goalie gear for all divisions.
- All goalies must wear their own helmets.
- A goalie can bring there own gear
Referees & league officials make the final call.
The referee & league executive reserve the right to determine if any equipment is unfit for use in the HMBHL.
A safety first and common-sense approach will be taken.
The league will be governed by the HMBHL officials comprised of the league President, The Game Day Coordinator and the referees. They will consult on all issues prior to rendering a decision. The league President or their delegate will have the final decision on all matters regarding the HMBHL.
The HMBHL will follow standard hockey rules.
In effort to teach new players the rules of the game the referee may issue a warning for minor infractions. If a warning is issued, the opposing team will be awarded possession of the ball.
It is solely the referee’s discretion if a warning is issued.
The decision of the ref will be final.
Respect the Referee
Considering the young age of our players we must all act with the utmost respect to our referees. It is essential that all players and coaches treat the referees with respect at all time. There will be a zero tolerance for any unsportsmanlike conduct towards the referee. In fact we will deal with unsportsmanlike conduct very firmly. Coaches are asked to help ensure their players are aware of this.
Goalie Stopping the Ball
The ref will promote continuous play. If the goalie stops the ball they will be encouraged to play on.
If they are under pressure by the other team they can cover the ball to stop play. If the ref yells “play on” the goalie must move the ball. If they do not do so quickly the ref will blow the whistle and give the offensive team passion in the nearest corner.
Ball Leaving the Playing Surface
If the ball is going off the playing surface people are encouraged to stop it so that the play can continue. In this case the ref will yell “Play On” or blow their whistle to stop play. No undue advantage is to be gained by a ball going out of play. If there is an unfair bounce caused when a ball was leaving the playing surface the ref will blow the whistle and restart the play from where the ball was leaving the playing area.
A goal cannot be scored directly from stopped play on the sidelines. The play must be a pass or the ball must deflect off of a player before entering the net.
Length of Game
Learn to Play/Grade 2-3 Division– will begin with a group warm up and then 4 skill stations. Each team spends 5 minutes at each station and then they rotate to the next. This will be followed by a mini game of 2 x 15 minute periods. The refs will assist with the flow of the game and will help teach the kids throughout. The emphasis will be on continuous play, fun and learning the game
The shifts will be 3 minutes long. Every three minutes, the whistle will blow and a new shift will take to the playing surface. Please be ready with the next shift so shift can be made quickly
Coaches can go on the playing surface if they need to do so to help teach a player. Coaches are encourage to limit this direct contact and promote independence by our young players.
Grade 4,5 and 6 Division/Junior High Division – Will play 2 x 25 minute periods of running time.
Shifts will be made on the fly.
The key is to be ready early and start playing on time. If a game starts late due to teams not being prepared their game may be shortened at the refs and league officials discretion.
The Home team is asked to secure a score keeper.
When the ref signals a goal, they change the score board and record who scored on the game sheet
No individual stats will be kept such as leading scorers will be kept.
The ref ensures the League Game Day Coordinator.
Making a penalty call – a penalty call is made as soon as it happens. There is no delayed penalty.
The Penalty shot - The ball is placed at centre, the ref blows whistle, player takes the shot. They must remain in forward motion, no rebounds are permitted. After the shot the ball is quickly placed behind the net. One defender goes behind the net with the ball. The ref blows the whistle to resume play.
Ref to ensure the offending player understands why the call is being made. The goal will be to teach each player the correct rules.
The following infractions will result in a penalty shot: The player who was “offended” will take the shot. If the offended player cannot take the shot or for penalties where no one was directly offended the coach will select who will take the penalty shot. The coaches are to mix it up and ensure all players have a chance to take penalty shots. The score keeper will record who receives a penalty and they will inform the ref if a player has two or three penalties.
- Body contact. This is a non-contact league. Any play for which is ruled that the player is “playing the player” and not the ball.
- High sticking - contacting another player with a high stick (above the shoulders) or causing danger to another player. It is a penalty shot.
- High sticking -contacting the ball over the shoulder -Keep sticks below the shoulder. If a player touches the ball with their stick above the shoulders it is a penalty shot.
- The refs will call this 100%, no leeway! Please keep the sticks down!
- Tripping - Hooking - Elbowing Sometimes we know a trip might be a mistake. It is still a penalty as players are responsible to control their body and stick at all time.
- Contacting the goalie – players are not permitted to enter the crease with either foot.
- Any unnecessary roughness can be considered roughing. It is a penalty shot.
- Catching, holding or carrying the puck. If a player catches the ball or closes their hand on the ball at any time. It is a penalty shot.
- Delay of game - If a player intentionally shoots the ball from the playing surface it is a delay of game.
- Delay of game by the goalie – If the goalie leaves their crease with both feet and intentionally covers the ball. This will result in a penalty shot.
- Unsportsmanlike conduct – any conduct deemed unsportsmanlike by the ref will result in a penalty shot.
3 minor penalties and you are out for the game.
A stick infraction, slashing or cross checking that is deemed dangerous by the ref will result in a penalty shot and the offending player will sit out for 5 minutes. The coach must monitor this. The team will NOT be short-handed. If the play is deemed deliberate and dangerous by the ref they may eject the player from the game. There will be no tolerance for dangerous stick play.
Note that a coach may also sit a player at their discretion if they are playing outside of the rules. Coaches are encouraged to manage their own players in effort to keep the game safe and fun. If a player is getting to aggressive, their coach will be encouraged to find a way to settle the aggressive behavior down.
Intent to injure by way of a stick infraction or excessive checking will result in a penalty shot and a game misconduct.
Fighting and even the talk of fighting will be absolutely forbidden. A penalty shot will be awarded and the offending player will receive a game misconduct. Coaches are asked to strictly enforce this rule and help if a player gets out control.
Any fighting or talk of fighting will result in the player being ejected from the game.
All misconduct incidence must be reported to league officials. Such misconduct may result in further discipline, up to and including suspension from the league. The HMBHL will not tolerate any player or coach who acts inappropriately. Do not expect a warning regarding bad conduct.
The league officials reserve the right to deal with all misconduct as they see fit. We will do all that we feel is necessary to ensure the HMBHL remains a fun and safe place for all kids to play.
Swearing is also not tolerated. This will result in the opposing team being awarded a penalty shot and the offending player being shifted off.
The Flow of the Game
All face offs are at centre.
Face off at CENTRE to:
- Start of the game, start of each period
- After goals
- Coincidental minor penalties (after the two penalty shots)
- When the ref needs to reset the game
Whistle blows for:
- Ball out of play
- Ball frozen
- A goal.
- The ref may also blow the whistle at any time if they feel the need to restart the game.
Play only resumes after the ref blows the whistle.
When the goalie stops the ball. Ball goes in back of net. Defensive player takes the ball directly behind the net. All offensive players must be on the other side of the net. The defensive player takes control of ball and looks forward. The closest offensive player can be directly in front of the net, 5 feet from the top of crease. When the players are set, and this should be done quickly, the Ref blows the whistle and the game resumes.
Ball goes out of bounds - the team that did not shoot it out gets the ball where the ball left the playing surface. After they fetch the ball, the ref will point to where the ball is to be placed. Every one gives the offensive player 5 feet. Once set, the ref blows the whistle and play resumes.
If the ref has any uncertainty, they can opt to restart the play with a face off at centre.
Referees and coaches are encouraged to work together to help ensure each game is fun and that each player has a great experience.
Do you best and have fun!