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RMHA Rules are in place as guide lines. They are currently under review by the Board of Directors and will be revised shortly.

                           1) Playing Rules
-- General

a) RMHA stipulated rules and regulations will take precedence over other hockey rules.
b) Each year, the Board of Directors of RMHA shall compile a list of all referees, whether carded or not, who the Board feels is sufficiently competent to officiate games in the various divisions. This list shall be used by the referee in chief to draw up the referee schedule.
If for whatever reason, Referees are prevented from appearing, and two (2) approved referees, approved by the Board for the current hockey season, are not readily available to take their place, the game shall be cancelled and a practice shall be held instead. The cancelled game shall be made up at a future date whenever possible. However, in this situation any Board member in attendance may authorize the game to be played with one (1) Referee.

c) All officials and volunteers of the RMHA must familiarize themselves with all rules and regulations as written in the RMHA Constitution, By-laws, Playing Rules, Miscellaneous Rules and Disciplinary Regulations..

-- Game Structure

d) The Atom Division shall change on a two (2) minute buzzer system with a game format of three 12 minute running time periods. At the end of each 2 minute segment the clock stops and the face-off shall take place at center ice.
e) All regular season games in the PeeWee and Bantam Divisions are to consist of three (3) periods of fifteen minutes running time. Any variation of the third period time will be at the discretion of the convenor. Time keepers will ring the buzzer to end games at the exact Curfew time. In PeeWee and Bantam Divisions, there shall be stop time in the final two (2) minutes of the game. Line changes may be made at any time.

f) All regular season games in the Midget Division are to consist of three (3) periods of fifteen minutes Stop time. Any variation of the third period time will be at the discretion of the convenor. Time keepers will ring the buzzer to end games at the exact Curfew time.

g) There will be a two (2) minute period before the beginning of the first period for warm-ups. This time period is to begin once the Zamboni doors are closed, or, in the event that the ice is not flooded before the game, to begin at the scheduled time, such that the game shall begin with the puck dropping two (2) minutes after the commencement of the scheduled time.

h) No team may start a game with less than six (6) players (Penalty: Forfeit)The score shall be recorded as 1-0 for the non-forfeiting team; that team, shall be awarded two(2) points, and the forfeiting team shall be awarded no (0) points.

-- Player Changes
i) The Atom Division shall change five (5) skaters on every line change, while the PeeWee, Bantam and Midget Divisions shall change forwards for forwards, and defensemen for defensemen. The Goaltenders in each division shall change as to provide as equal ice time as possible. Whenever possible, both goalies should dress for, and play in, each game. Double shifting or causing a single player to have significantly more ice time than another player is prohibited. For the purpose of this rule, double shifting is defined as one (1) player playing the majority of two consecutive lines, causing that player to have significantly more ice time. Any door system is approved by the Board of Directors as long as above rule is followed.

j) Goaltenders may be removed from the game in favour of an extra attacker only in the last two (2) minutes of the game. The goaltender shall be replaced by the next entitled player on the bench. The goalie may re-enter the game at any time. In addition the goalie may also be pulled at the time of a delayed penalty, and must return to the net at the time of the whistle.

-- Penalty
k) In the Atom, PeeWee, and Bantam divisions, there shall be no body contact, rough play, or slap shots in either practices or games. This applies equally to players, coaches, assistant coaches, or trainers. Slap shots will be defined as a shot where the stick has been raised above the knee. The slap shot rule will be called at the discretion of the referee.
In the Midget division there shall be no body contact or rough play, in either practices or games. This applies equally to players, coaches, assistant coaches, or trainers. A full wind up slap shot shall be allowed.
Penalties will be assessed for body contact, rough play, and slap shots where applicable.

Any contact with the stick above the shoulders with another player results in a minimum of a two (2) minute penalty. Any contact with the stick above the shoulders with the puck, the whistle blows and a face-off is held. Any player waving his stick above the shoulders in an intimidating mannor shall be assessed a 2 minute minor penalty.

m) Penalty time for a minor penalty shall be two (2) minutes straight time, with the exception of the Atom Division. The penalty time for the Atoms shall be two minutes straight time in the box, however, at the first 2 minute buzzer the penalty is up and that player goes to his players bench and the team no longer plays short-handed .

n) A team receiving a major or match penalty shall play short for five (5) minutes with the offending player immediately leaving the game. The offending team will not send another player to the penalty box but instead play short handed. Bench penalties shall be treated in the same manner in that no player shall be placed in the penalty box.

o) Both teams shall play at full strength in the event of co-incidental penalties.

p) At the conclusion of a penalty, the penalized player under the direction of the coach may join the play immediately following the conclusion of his or her time in the penalty box.

q) When a penalty is called, no matter where the play was called on the ice the ensuing face-off shall take place in the end by the net of the offending team.

                           2) Game Conduct

a) No coach, assistant coach, trainer, player or referee shall use abusive actions, gestures or foul language directed toward any official, player, or other volunteer. This shall result in disciplinary per the RMHA Suspension Guidelines.

b) Any coach, assistant coach, trainer, player or referee suspected or found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs shall be removed from the playing surface and shall be required to attend a disciplinary committee hearing before returning to play or practice.

c) Under no circumstance shall a coach, assistant coach, trainer or player confront a referee after a game has been concluded or go into the referee’s room following the game. This shall result in an immediate game suspension and the attendance before a disciplinary committee hearing.

d) Any player receiving any three (3) minor penalties in one (1) game shall automatically be suspended for the remainder of that game and one (1) additional game. The offending player, at the discretion of the divisional convenor, may be asked to attend a disciplinary committee hearing. A double minor penalty shall count as two (2) penalties. In the Atom Division only, the player receiving 3 penalties will be out of the game, and a warning will be issued that a game suspension will occur for the next occurrence.

e) All teams will be monitored by the Divisional Convenor to ensure players are getting equal ice time as possible. Upon the recommendation of the Divisional Convenor, coaches who repeatedly disregard this rule shall be required to attend a disciplinary committee hearing.

f) All players shall meet at centre ice prior to the start of the game to shake hands as a display of good sportsmanship. Players will then skate by the opposition bench to shake hands with the coaching staff. The referees must supervise all players for proper conduct during the shaking of hands prior to the game.

                         3) Equipment / Safety Rules

a) All doors are to be kept closed during practices and during games while action is ongoing.

b) No players, coaches, assistant coaches, trainers, or referees shall be allowed onto the ice surface until the ice machine is off the ice and the doors are closed. This is arena policy and violating this policy will result in the a two (2) minute bench minor to the offending team. This penalty can be called by the referee or by the division convener as relayed to the referee.  CITY Rule= Players are NOT to sit on the boards at the bench while the zamboni is on ths ice. If any player is caught doing this a 2 minute minor penalty shall be assessed to that player by a Referee as advised by a Convenor.

c) Players are NOT allowed on the ice surface until a coach or other team official is present either on the ice or on the bench.

d) All players must be properly equipped with full CSA approved protective equipment for all games and practices.
i) Player helmets and face masks must be kept secure at all times while on the ice and/or on the players bench. Any player removing their helmet on the ice or bench will be assessed a 2 minute minor penalty.
ii) Goalies in the PeeWee, Bantam and Midget divisions must wear an approved hanging throat protector.
iii) Neck guards are to be worn by all players and goalies at practices and games. These guards must be cut proof BNQ approved.
iv) All coaches must ensure, as much as possible, that all players are properly equipped. Any player lacking protective equipment for either a game or practice must not be allowed on the bench or ice surface.

e) Players must not remove any equipment after leaving the dressing room and until returning to the dressing room. This is a safety rule for the player’s protection and applies to both games and practices.

f) No jewellery is to be worn with the exception of Medic Alert bracelets and Necklaces.

g) All injuries must be reported to the Divisional Convenor who in turn must report them to the Board of Directors. If deemed necessary by a Convenor an RMHA Injury Report may have to be filled out by the coach.

h) Any serious injured player shall not be permitted back on the ice or on the bench until he/she has received clearance in writing from his/her physician and the RMHA Board.

i) When in doubt, a coach should not allow an injured player to participate in either a game or practice.

j) The Board of Directors or Recreational Minor Hockey Association of Niagara Falls mandates that during all practices that all coaches and assistant coaches wear helmets while on the ice.

k) There shall be no horseplay allowed in the arena or on the ice surface.

L) All players require a Mouth Guard as standard equipment AND said guard must be kept in the players mouth at all times. A two minute minor minimum as first offence.

                           4) League Regulations

Only players and coaches registered with RMHA may participate in practices and games and only with their own teams. Any deviation must be approved in advance by the Board of Directors. Absolutely no persons other than those stated above are allowed on the ice during RMHA games or practices unless approved in advance by the Board of Directors, NO EXCEPTIONS.

b) All head coaches, assistant coaches and trainers must be at least 18 years of age and must be approved in advance by the Board of Directors.

c) RMHA players shall not be allowed to play on or be registered in any other winter ice-hockey league, with the exception of school teams. Any contravention will result in immediate expulsion from RMHA, with no refund and the RMHA sweater and socks to be returned. The offending player will forfeit any in-house registration privilege for subsequent years and can only re-register at any open registration. Players currently registered in other house league programs may participate in the RMHA Overage division provided they have first completed an RMHA registration form.

d) Separate power play or penalty killing lines are not permitted in either regular season or post season.

e) A witness must be present whenever a coach or assistant coach administers discipline to any player.

f) Fundraising by individual teams shall not be allowed without prior approval of the Board of Directors.

g) Players name on the back of the jerseys is NOT permitted.

h) Sweaters are the property of the Recreational Minor Hockey Association until the end of the season. Jerseys may not be altered with the addition of any logos, lettering or numbering other than those designated with “C” or “A” for captains and alternates. Jersey may be altered with regards to sizing with approval from the Board of Directors.

i) There will be absolutely no transfers of players from one team to another without permission from the Board of Directors.

j) Each coach or assistant coach shall be allowed to protect from reassignment his/her own sons/daughters.

k) Any coach, assistant coach or other volunteer, who at the discretion of the Board of Directors, repeatedly disregards RMHA Rules & Policies, including, but not limited to, our Purpose as set out in Article II of our Constitution, shall upon recommendation of any member of the Board of Directors, be required to attend a Disciplinary Committee meeting. Further repeated disregard for the RMHA Rules & Policies, including but not limited to our Purpose as set out in Article II of our Constitution, shall, upon recommendation of a Board member and approval of a two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors of RMHA, result in the removal of the coach, assistant coach or other volunteer from his/her position for a period of one (1) calendar year.

L) Coaches are responsible for any RMHA equipment assigned to their team. This equipment is only to be used during RMHA games and practices.

m) Coaches and Convenors are responsible to return to the RMHA Equipment Manager all assigned team equipment by the end of the championship game day.

n) RMHA shall not be responsible for any broken, lost, or stolen equipment not belonging to RMHA. Coaches must keep the dressing room door locked during games and practices.

o) Any use of our name or logo must have prior approval of the Board of Directors.

p) Coaches are encouraged to keep open dialogues with parents, and to hold regular meetings with parents during the season as indicated in the RMHA coaching manual.

q) Each coach shall have on hand a Medical History Card or Certificate for each player and on-ice assistant. A copy of each card or certificate must be given to the division Convener.

r) It is recommended that the coaches, assistant coaches and trainers arrive at the arena at least thirty (30) minutes before game or practice time, and remain after the game or practice until all players are clear of the dressing room. It is recommended that referees arrive at the arena at least twenty (20) minutes before game time. In any event, they must be ready to be on the ice at the start of the scheduled time.

s) Practices must stress fundamentals and skills development. Twenty (20) minutes of the practice time may be devoted to a controlled scrimmage, with coaches and/or assistant coaches on the ice, if both coaches are willing. This controlled scrimmage may not be held more than twice a month. A minimum of ten (10) minutes of practice time will be spent using the full length of the ice surface, more time can be used if agreed upon by both coaches.

t) Concession shall be given to the Board of Directors to enable the use of players that exceed the stated ages of any division given the following parameters are considered:

    i) A list of interested overage players to be initiated at the registration for the previous year thereby enabling the existing league participants the opportunity to be considered. No registration fees need be collected or registration forms filled out at the advanced registration period.

    ii) The first Saturday in August of any given year will be the cut-off date for determing whether openings are available in any division allowing for the opportunity for overage players to be considered by the Board for the next season.

   iii) In order to be eligible for acceptance as an overage player, consideration must be given to the following;
        a) Interested overage players must be short-listed so that they will not dominate the team or
             division. The division must remain centred for the level of play expected in the designated
             age group. Short listed players will be chosen at random.

        b) To be eligible, interested overage players must be in good standing with the league and may
            only have minimal penalty minutes in the previous season for the division. The intent of this
            guideline is to not burden the Board or Convenor with their participation in the upcoming season.

   iv) Once the overage players are allowed, they are reserved a position for the full year regardless of whether a late registrant fits the divisional age category. They are, however, subject to the regulations of the league as they pertain to all aspects of participation privileges. The league reserves the right for player expulsion for any serious infractions.
There should be consideration for ice time availability and existing waiting lists for other divisions exhausted before midget overage players are considered.

                           5) Disciplinary Regulations

The disciplinary committee shall consist of the President, or the Vice-President in his absence, the appropriate Division Convenor and any other member(s) of the Board of Directors, as assigned by the President, or in his absence, the Vice-President. The committee shall total at least three (3) members. The President, or the Vice-President in his absence, shall chair the disciplinary committee, and shall provide a written report to the Board of Directors at their next scheduled meeting. The Division Convenor shall provide to the player, the parent or guardian, and the coach the length, if any, of any suspensions handed out.

b) The parent or guardian must be informed of the scheduled time and the nature of the upcoming disciplinary meeting before such meeting can be held. A parent or guardian may attend the disciplinary committee meeting of an offending player.

c) Any major or match penalty given automatically shall include a minimum of one (1) game misconduct and shall cause the offending player to sit out the remainder of the current game. Any further suspensions shall be per the RMHA Suspension Guidelines and shall be communicated to the player by the divisional convenor and coach.

d) The coach of a team has the authority to expel a player from the dressing room, ice surface or bench for disciplinary reasons. The coach must inform the Divisional Convenor within 24 hours of such action. The Convenor is obliged to inform the RMHA Board of Directors of this action. The Board of Directors may, in its judgement, amend the length of the expulsion or suspension as handed out by the coach. A coach may not expel or bench any player for lack of practice attendance.

e) Any player in the Atom, PeeWee and Bantam Division receiving ten (10) penalties, or any player in the Midget Division receiving twelve (12) penalties, in the regular season shall cause the offending player to appear before a disciplinary committee hearing. At the end of the regular season the tally of penalties shall be reset to zero (0). Any player (in any division) receiving six (6) penalties in post-season play shall cause the offending player to appear before a disciplinary committee hearing.

f)  A coach, assistant coach or trainer under suspension is considered suspended from the RMHA division in which the suspension was issued and is not permitted to have any contact or involvement with that division of the RMHA until the expiry of the suspension. However, at the discretion of the Board of Directors if the individual is involved with another division within the RMHA he may continue his duties within the other division. A suspended player or coach may still attend team practices during the suspension, but the time spent at practices is not counted as part of the suspension time.

g)  Under no circumstance can any RMHA member coach rent the ice under the RMHA name. If a coach rents the ice he must do so under his own name providing his own insurance meeting the Parks and Recreation criteria. RMHA jersey may not be worn at any individual ice rental. Contravention to this rule will result in immediate expulsion of the offending coach for the remainder of the season. A disciplinary hearing must take place before said coach can return to the RMHA.

                     RMHA SUSPENSION GUIDLINES
(Plus Balance of current game)

Misconducts & Game Misconducts

Disputing Call of Official
0 games
Abusive and or Profane Language
0 games
0 games
Failure to go to the Player’s Bench or Neutral Area
0 games
Failure to go directly to Penalty Bench
0 games
Head Checking (Minor + Misconduct)
0 games
Disputing Call of Official
1 game
Disputing Call of Official: Verbal Abuse of a Game Official
3 games
Second Misconduct – Same Game
1 game
Second Major – Same Game
1 game
Interference from the Bench
2 games
1 games
2nd Fight same stoppage of play
3 games
Player(s) 3rd, 4th, 5th Man into Fight
3 games
Leaving the players’ bench or penalty box
2 games
Coach identified as having the 1st Player leave the players’ bench or penalty bench
3 games
1 game
1 game
Checking from Behind (Minor + Game)
1 game
Checking From Behind (Major + Game)
3 games
High Sticking (Major + Game)
2 games
Cross Checking (Major + Game)
2 games
Slashing (Major + Game)
2 games
Game Ejections
0 games
Boarding/Body Checking (Major + Game)
2 games
Elbowing/Kneeing (Major + Game)
2 games
Charging (Major + Game)
2 games
Trash Talking
2 games
Head Checking (Major + Game)
3 games
Tripping (Major + Game)
2 games
Interference (Major + Game)
66 a/b/c
2 games
Holding (Major + Game)
63 a/b
2 games
Hooking (Major + Game)
64 a/b
2 games
Roughing (Major + Game / injury involved)
2 games


Travesty of the Game
3 games
Obscene Gestures
3 games
Removing Helmet
3 games
Discriminatory Slur
3 games
Trash Talking
3 games
*GM 33 – Coached penalty will not be noted on game sheet. Penalty to coach is automatic as a result of
player receiving GM33, coach not to be ejected as a result of this penalty being assessed
M=Misconduct GM = Game Misconduct GRM = Gross Misconduct
These are minimum suspensions. Additional suspensions will be imposed wherever conditions
and circumstances
Any cumulative misconducts and suspensions in a single game,
greater than five(5)
games shall be reviewed for length (greater or less) by the disciplinary committee.
(Approved September 15,1998)
(Amended March 23, 1999) (2c, 4e, 4f, 4o, 5a,5b)
(Amended August 31,1999) (1j,4p)
(Amended October 26, 1999) (3j 5c)
(Amended March 28, 2000) (4k)
(Amended July 25, 2000) (1k, 3d)
(Amended August 15, 2000) (1m, 5c)
(Amended October 24, 2000) (1i, 4j, 4h)
(Amended January 23, 2001) (4c, 4p, 5e)
(Amended October 30, 2001) (4c)
(Amended April 30, 2002) (4c)
(Amended June 25, 2002) (1g)
(Amended September 24, 2002) (1k, 3k, 3d)
(Amended November 26, 2002) (1l, 5e)
(Amended September 3, 2003) (5c,2a,) (removed fmr. 4), Added Suspension Guidelines
(Amended October 29, 2003) (1k)(3l)
(Reformatted July 27, 2004) combined playing rules, miscellaneous rules, and disciplinary regulations
(Amended September 27, 2005) (1e, 1n, 4t)
(Amended September 18, 2007) (1p, 5e, 5f)
(Amended September 9, 2010) (1l, 2d, 2f, 3b, 3j, 4a, 4h, 4p, 4q, 4s, 5d, 5e, 5f, 5g, Suspension Guidlines)