Rules and Policies

GTHLA Rules and Policies


1. Game Rules

1.1. Intentional body contact

1.2. Penalties

1.3. Centre Red Line

1.4. Face Protection

1.5. Game Time

1.6. Referee No-Shows

1.7. Timeouts

2. League Rules & Eligibility

2.1. Team Rosters

2.2. Playoffs

2.3. Defaulted Games

2.4. Captains

2.5. Team Penalty Minutes

2.6. Player Penalty Minutes

2.7. Automatic Suspensions

2.8. Suspended Teams applying for Membership

2.9. Division Parity

1. Game Rules


1.1. Intentional body contact is not permitted. We acknowledge that by the nature of the sport, some body contact may occur, however the officials are advised to penalize any instances of intentional body contact.

1.2. Penalties:

 1.2.1. Penalty Limits: Players that receive up to 4 minutes in penalties (PIMs) per game are subject to the following treatment:

a)     If a player receives more than 4 PIMs, s/he shall be ejected from the game and his/her conduct will be reviewed to assess whether more discipline is warranted.

b)     If a player has been ejected from 2 games s/he will receive a minimum 1-game suspension.

c)      Upon the assessment of a player’s 3rd minor penalty in a game, a penalty shot will be awarded to the opposing team and the 2 minutes do not have to be served by the offending team.

d)     10-minute misconducts are counted as a 10 PIMs with regards to statistics keeping.

1.2.2. Offsetting penalties do not affect the number of players on the ice.  (In other words, when offsetting penalties occur during 5-on-5 play, teams will remain 5-on-5 when play resumes).

1.2.3. If a team is short-handed due to a penalty, it may only substitute players while the puck is in play or the clock is stopped.

1.2.4.  Referees may assess 6 minute misconducts as an alternative to 10 minutes misconducts.

1.2.5.  A 3-game suspension will be automatically given to any player found drinking on the ice or the bench.

1.3. Centre Red Line. We play without the centre red line.

a)     Automatic icing is called from behind the blue line.

b)     Two-line passes are allowed.

1.4. Face Protection. Players must wear at least a half visor/cage for facial protection, although full visors/cages are strongly encouraged.

1.5. Game Time. There are three 14-minute running-time periods.

a)     The last 30 seconds of the 1st & 2ndperiods and the last 2 minutes of the 3rdperiod are stop time. However, if the goal difference is greater than 2 goals, there won’t be stop time.

b)     The clock starts at 10 minutes past the hour.

 1.6. Referee No-Shows. If, per chance, no referees show-up for a game, each team will respectively delegate one player from its own team to referee.

1.7. Timeouts. Each team may take one 30-second timeout per game.


2. League Rules & Eligibility


2.1. Team Rosters:

 2.1.1. At the beginning of the season, each team must submit an active roster consisting of no more than 20 players (including at least 1 goalie). The deadline for submitting final rosters is October 1st. Teams are allowed up to 10 spares per season.

a)     Spares rosters are capped at 10 players. No team is allowed more than 10 spare players on their roster. If a team has more than 10 spare players throughout the season, it will forfeit the game in which the 11th spare player played, 12th player played, etc. Please note rule 2.3.1. f) below for forfeiting games rule.

2.1.2. If a player has been eligible for the playoffs for the same team for 3 consecutive years, they are not subject to the exemption rules.  Otherwise, players need to play in 55% of their team’s games before the playoffs to be eligible. As of September 2012 exhibition games will count towards the 55%.

a)     Subject to 2.1.2(b) up to 5 exempted players must have each played at least 25% of their team’s regular season games to be eligible for the playoffs.

b)     One exempted player only needs to play one regular season game to be eligible for the playoffs (provided that he was on the team’s roster the previous year for the playoffs and at the beginning of the current season. Furthermore, a written reasonable explanation must be given as to why s/he was not able to play more than one regular season game, but is available for the playoffs. The explanation must be approved by the Fair Play Committee (FPC) one week before the start of the playoffs in order for the player to participate in the playoffs).

c)      Substitute/spare players may be added to a roster during the season and may become eligible to play in the playoffs, provided they play at least 55% of the team’s total regular season games, and they aren’t already claimed by another team in the same division. (Before the playoffs commence, the team must make a written request to the league to add a sub/spare to its roster after they have played 55% of the team’s total regular season games). You must have less than 20 players on your active roster in order to move a player from your spares list to your active roster. You may not remove players from your active roster after October 1st to make room for someone on your spares list.

d)     A Player may play for more than one team in the playoffs as long as the teams are in separate divisions

e)           Players on maternity leave who have played with a team in previous seasons are not required to play during the regular season to be eligible for playoffs.

2.1.3. Goalies:

 a)     Goalies only need to play 1 game in the league to be eligible to play in the playoffs.

b)     During playoffs, teams may only play a non-roster goalie (who has played at least one league game) if their own roster goalies aren’t available to play.

c)      When recruiting a non-roster goalie to substitute in the playoffs, the team must solicit goalies from their own division, lower division rosters or eligible Free Agent goalies first. If none are available, the team may consider recruits from a higher Division’s roster goalies, but must inform the FPC and obtain FPC approval prior to the playoff game.

 2.2. Playoffs:

2.2.1. The highest seeded team always plays the lowest seeded team in a division.

2.2.2. Any team that plays a non-Toronto team during the playoffs must be prepared to play 1 game of that series outside of Toronto (granted the ice-time is available).

2.2.3. Byes: Teams earning a bye have the option to pass it to a lower seeded team, but must confirm with the league 1 week prior to the playoffs that they will be doing so.

2.2.4. Playoff games that are tied at the end of regulation time go into sudden death overtime.

a)     Sudden death overtime consists of 4-on-4 play for 5 minutes. The first three minutes are running-time and the last 2 minutes are stop-time. During the running time, player substitutions are only allowed while the puck is in play.

2.2.5. Playoff games that are still tied after sudden-death overtime are decided by penalty shots.

a)     The penalty shots will begin with 3 shooters from each team. If it’s still tied, each team will send a single shooter until a winner is determined. All the skaters on the team must take a penalty shot before any player takes a 2nd shot (and so forth, i.e. the whole team has to take a 2nd shot before a player takes a 3rd).

b)     Players still serving penalties at the end of over-time are not eligible to take penalty shots.

2.3. Defaulted Games:

2.3.1.  A team may default (i.e. automatically lose) a game if they cannot achieve certain roster requirements for the game:

a)     Each team must have 6 players on the ice at the beginning of a game. The six players can include a goalie.

b)     At least 6 players from the team’s official roster (i.e. players designated as active; not including spares) must be on the ice/bench, dressed to play, by the end of the first period. The six players can include a goalie. If a team cannot meet these minimum requirements, the game is defaulted.

c)      Teams may not solicit strangers at the last minute before their game to fill out their roster. If a team is unable to field a qualified roster for the game, it forfeits the game. Teams are encouraged to mix-up the players from both teams and have a fun exhibition game.

d)     A team may not solicit subs from the opposing team unless it has forfeited the game.

e)     Spares rosters are capped at 10 players. No team is allowed more than 10 spare players on their roster. If a team has more than 10 spare players throughout the season, it will forfeit the game in which the 11th spare player played, 12th player played, etc. Please note rule 2.3.1. f) below for forfeiting games rule.

f)     Teams who forfeit more than two games in regular season play will not be eligible for playoffs. This includes exhibition games.

2.4. Captains:

2.4.1. Each team will have designated Captains and Alternate Captains. This will establish the official channels of communication between the teams and the officials during a game.

a)     Only a maximum of 4 players (including the goalie) may be a Captain.

b)     If players/teams have a problem with something in the game they’d like to address, they should bring it to the attention of their Captain who then may decide whether it should be addressed with the other team’s Captains and/or Officials.


2.5. Team Penalty Minutes (PIMs):

2.5.1.  Penalty-Free Game Bonus: A bonus 1/2 point will be awarded to a team for every penalty-free game it plays.

a)     This does not include games in which the team is a victim of an opposition team no-show or lateness.

b)     “Too many men” & “Delay of Game” penalties do not count in regards to this rule.

2.5.2.  A team may not participate in the playoffs if it exceeds an average of 5 PIMs per game during the course of the season.

a)     This includes any penalties earned by substitute players and/or players who are no longer with the team at season’s end).

b)     “Misconduct” penalties are counted as 2-minute penalties towards this rule.

c)      “Too many men” and “Delay of Game” penalties do not count toward total penalty minute limits, with regards to this rule.

d)     If a team accumulates a higher than 7 PIMs per game average, the team is automatically suspended from the league indefinitely.

e)     Teams exceeding an average of 4.5 PIMs per game over the course of a season will be reviewed by the Fair Play Committee.

2.5.3.  Teams that exceed a 5 PIMs per game will be put on probation for the following 2 seasons.

a)     If a team exceeds a 4 PIM per game average while on probation the team will be suspended for one (the next) season and cannot return to the league unless it goes through the league requirements outlined in the section 2.7. Suspended Teams applying for Membership.

2.5.4.  3 after 3 rule. During the playoffs, if a team exceeds 6 PIMs in a game, all additional minor penalties will be 3 minutes.

a) Co-incidental penalties are excluded from this rule

2.5.5.  Teams who exceed the 5 PIMs per game only after playoffs will be up for review by the Fair Play Committe.

2.6. Player Penalty Minutes (PIMs):

2.6.1.  A player may not participate in the playoffs if he/she exceeds an average of 1 PIM per game at the end of regular season play. This rule applies to players who have played 5 or more games for the team they received the penalties for.

a)     “Misconduct” penalties are counted as 10-minute penalties towards this rule.

b)      “Too many men” and “Delay of Game” penalties do not count toward total penalty minute limits, with regards to this rule.

2.7. Automatic Suspensions:

 2.7.1.  Any player ejected from a game will be reviewed to decide whether a warning, suspension or expulsion is necessary. The following are all minimum disciplinary actions; the league reserves the right to expel anyone for any intolerable act or increase suspensions when warranted.

a)     A player that receives a 2nd “game ejection” during the course of a season, serves a minimum 1-game suspension.

b)     Any player that receives a 3rd “game ejection” must serve a minimum 2-game suspension.

c)      If a player receives a misconduct penalty in the last 10 minutes of a game s/he is automatically suspended for his/her next game.

d)     Suspended players cannot substitute for other teams until their suspension is served (with the team(s) s/he is registered).

e)     There is not an automatic suspension for players who get ejected from a game for too many minor penalties.

2.8. Suspended Teams applying for Membership:

 2.8.1. The league reserves the right to disallow any team back in the league if the FPC determines that such team is a detriment to the league. If a team that has been suspended wishes to re-apply for membership into the league, it must do the following:

a)     Write an outline of why the team was suspended and what actions it has taken to eliminate the possibility of a similar re-occurrence.

b)     Explain specific commitments the team will make to add and enhance our community.

c)      Convince the league (with approval from the Fair Play and Membership Committees) that the team’s commitments are genuine and that its re-instatement will truly benefit the league and community.

d)     Organize an artistic social event for the benefit of the league members and friends.

2.9. Division Parity:

2.9.1. Division regulation for comprehensive teams is based on a consistent team roster from one season to the next.

a)     There must be a minimum of four teams in each division.

b)     If a team’s roster has changed significantly between seasons the team must inform the league how the roster changes will affect the team’s general skill level so the league can re-assess the appropriate division seeding for the team.

c)      Any team with a winning record over .750 at season’s end will move to the higher skill level division and teams with a winning record below .300 will move to a division with a lower skill level.

d)     If there aren’t enough comprehensive teams to create a lowerskilled division, any team that would have been relegated to a lower division must remain in the current lowest division.

e)     If there aren’t enough comprehensive teams to create a higher skilled division all the teams in the high division must reach a consensus how the divisions should be relegated.

f)      If there aren’t enough comprehensive teams to maintain an intermediate division (any division between the highest and lowest divisions), all the remaining teams with winning records of .600 or higher will be relegated up and all the remaining teams with winning records below .600 will be relegated down.

g)    The formula for calculating a team’s winning percentage is: (# of wins + (# of ties ÷ 2)) ÷ # of games played = winning percentage. Regulation, exhibition and playoff games are used in this calculation.