Halifax Minor Ball Hockey LeagueRules

March 2021

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 any 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/U7 and U9 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 2 minutes long. Every two 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.

U12 and U15 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.


Score Keeper

The Home team is to provide 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 such as leading scorers will be kept.

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 will ensure the offending player understands why the call is being made. The goal will be to teach each player the correct rules.


Minor Penalties 

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 penalty.
  • 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.


Misconduct Penalties

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:

  • Penalties
  • 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!