League Rules

   

League Rules
Metro High School Hockey League Rules  
(All regulations of the NSSAF and Hockey Nova Scotia will apply to League Games. Where conflict arises, the NSSAF Regulation as outlined in the current NSSAF Handbook will apply.)  Supplemental League Regulations by Agreement of all Member Schools and Approved by Metro High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) are included.
List of Amendments:
            February 2015, (MHSHL) – Game Operations: tie breaker in league standings updated.
            Sept 10, 2015. (MHSHL) – Game Operations: Faceoff location following a penalty call.
            Sept 11, 2015. (NSSAF) -  Suspensions: revised NSSAF Rule 11.1, Physical abuse of official.
            May, 2016. (NSSAF) -   NSSAF Handbook: Updates to Regulation 25: Faceoff following a penalty (25.16): Wearing of approved hockey helmets (25.18).
            Sept 8, 2016. (MHSHL) - Game results: reporting to the newspaper and updating the website is now the responsibility of the home team
            October, 2016. (MHSHL) -  Regional playoff format under review for 2016-17
            October 24, 2016. (MHSHL) – clarification of shootout player eligibility.
            November 16, 2017 (NSSAF) – Updates to Regulation 11(Discipline, Suspensions, 11.2) and Regulation 25 (Hockey)(25.14)
            October 29, 2018- These rules updated to agree with 2018 NSSAF Handbook
            October 24, 2019. (NSSAF) – Updates to Regulation 25.10 regarding major penalties.

GENERAL OPERATIONS
Admission
Admission prices: League prices for games shall be:
            Students and Seniors - $2.00 with ID - $3.00 without
            Adults - $5.00  (MHSAA, 2013)
First Aid
Teams must make every effort to ensure appropriately trained first aid personnel are at each game. (1991)
National Anthem
Whenever possible the National Anthem will be played at the beginning of scheduled games. (1995)
Security
A certified security person(s) must be at all league games. (1990)

Player Eligibility
Playing Age
Players must not be 19 years of age prior to September 30. This means that if they are 19 on September 30 they are ineligible for any school sport. (NSSAF) Players must be registered in a minimum of 5 courses per term, 3 in semestered schools. (NSSAF) Any player added to the team during the year must be verified as eligible by the Principal prior to any participation in League play. (1994) Players are eligible to participate in school sport for a period of three years. (NSSAF 1996)

Number of players
NSSAF school hockey teams may dress a maximum of 20 players providing two are goalkeepers; if only one goalkeeper is dressed, the maximum number dressed is 19. Division 1, 2, 3 male teams must begin the NSSAF Provincial tournament with a minimum of 13 skaters and two goalkeepers. (NSSAF 2011)

Other Leagues  (NSSAF Handbook 2018)
25.7.1A  If a player takes part in any Hockey Canada registered Senior A, Junior A, Junior B, Junior C or Major Midget Game on January 1st or later, he shall be ineligible for NSSAF hockey for the remainder of the school year.
- Game being defined as Exhibition, All-Star, League and Play-off; and/or any time a player’s name appears on a game report.
25.7.1B  Any player who signed a card with a Hockey Nova Scotia (HNS) registered major midget team is ineligible for NSSAF play until such time as he/she is released by HNS. - AND - Any player who participates in NSSAF hockey shall be ineligible for any HNS major midget team on or after the second Friday of October.
A player under suspension from another League shall not be added to a team roster without permission of the Metro High School Hockey League. (1994). The NSSAF and the HNS have an agreement to notify and honor player suspensions. High School players suspended for FOUR or more games must be reported to the NSSAF. Players will not be suspended by the League under this rule, only by the NSSAF. (NSSAF 1990)
NSSAF sanction forms must be completed for any play with teams that are not members of the NSSAF. Forms are available from the NSSAF website. 

Protests
Protests must be presented to the co-ordinator within 24 hours, in writing, over the signature of the Principal or designated administrator and following NSSAF regulations. The co-ordinator, designate, or committee will provide a ruling within 24 hours. further appeals are to follow the NSSAF regulations. Players with suspensions under appeal will not participate in any game without the approval of the Metro High School Athletic Association Appeal Committee. (1999)

GAME OPERATIONS
Start of Season
Games can not be played before a start date set by NSSAF.
Center Line
Remove the Center Red Line other than for the use of icing the puck. (1989)
Jerseys
Home team must resolve problems with jersey colors. (1997).  Home-‘white’, away-‘dark’.
Measurements
There will be no measurements of sticks or equipment during games. (1989)
Minor Officials
The home team must provide capable and impartial minor officials who are responsible for the clock and the game record.
Referee Time Out
The Referee will be given the authority to call a 30 second time-out if he feels that a team or the game is getting out of control or deteriorating, to advise the coaches to get their teams under control. (1989)
Game Pucks
The home team will make every effort to provide frozen game pucks for all league games. (1995)
Warm-up Pucks
The home team will supply at least twenty regulation practice pucks for the visiting team’s warm-up. (1995)

Throat protectors
Players are required to wear throat protectors and chin straps during the warm up (2000). Coaches are to speak to the opposing coach whose player/players are not wearing the protective equipment during warm up and also report the observation to the league co-ordinator.  If it occurs a second time a warning letter will be sent by the league co-ordinator and on the third occasion the coach will be suspended for a game.  It is the coaches’ responsibility to make sure that his players are wearing the neck protectors during warm-up. (MHSHL, 2013)

Contact with Goalie
After the whistle, if an opposing player comes in contact with the goalie's body or stick, or sprays snow on same, the face-off is to be moved outside the blue line. (1989)

Faceoff following a penalty call (NEW, Sept. 10, 2015, MHSHL) (new, May 2016, NSSAF, Reg 25.16)
“When a penalty is called the faceoff will take place in the offending team’s end zone.”

SCHEDULE CHANGES (and Cancelled Games Policy)  
If school is cancelled because of weather or if buses are cancelled, games scheduled for that day will be cancelled. To reschedule, the home team will give the visiting team a choice of two possible make-up dates. If the teams cannot reach agreement, the League will schedule a game and forward any costs to the teams involved. (1999) Requested schedule changes require two weeks notice. These must be arranged with the co-ordinator and coaches from both teams. Any unscheduled ice time will be offered to the League prior to being released. (1999) (2012)

GAME LENGTH League Play (new for 2013-14 season)
The game shall consist of 3 periods of play followed by a shootout if the game is tied after regulation. Periods 1 and 2 shall be of 15 minutes duration stop time, ice resurfacing and a 3rd period of 20 minutes duration stop time.  If the game is tied after 50 minutes of play, a shootout will occur. There is not an overtime period.
Game length during Regional playdowns will be 3 periods of 15 minutes as per NSSAF regulations.

GAME POINTS AWARDED  (new for 2010 season)
Regulation time in league play
Three (3) points will be awarded for a win, 0 points for a loss, and one (1) point for a tie if the ice time buzzer sounds before or at the end of regulation time and a shootout can not occur.
Shootout league play (new for 2013 season, see Tie breaking procedure)
Points will be awarded as follows; 2-points for the win, 1 point for the shootout loss or 1 point each for the tie if the ice time clock buzzes before a winner can be declared.

Clock- running
After a spread of five (5) goals between teams at any time in the third period, or with an eight (8) goal spread at any time in the game the clock will go straight time. (1989) If the goal spread becomes four (4) or less, the clock will revert to stop time on one occasion. Subsequent five goal spreads will require running time for the duration of the game. (1993)

Game Reports (Sept, 2016 MHSHL)
It is the responsibility of the Home Coach to report scores to the Media and to promptly update the league website. The home team is responsible for the immediate return of the completed white copy of the game sheet to the league statistician. Failure to return Game sheets in a timely manner as outlined by the League Coordinator may result in disciplinary action (2012, MHSAA).

Media Contact
Media Spokesperson  
The league co-ordinator shall be the spokesperson for the Metro High School Hockey League.

Regional Play-downs   
The play-off format can vary from year to year and is dependent on the number of teams competing to represent the Region in Division 1 NSSAF Provincials (or Division 2). Nominally 12 teams compete. The top 4 teams following league play will receive a bye in Round One. Teams finishing 5 through 12 will play a best of three Elimination Round.  The loser is eliminated. The pairings will be: 5-12, 6 – 11, 7 – 10, and 8 - 9.  All Round One games are to be completed within 1 week as soon as possible after the regular season schedule is completed. The winners from Round One will then play teams 1 through 4 in Round 2.  You do not move up a position even if you defeat a team higher than you were in the league standings.  These remaining 8 teams will also play a best of 3 games during Round 2 and the losers are eliminated.
The final 4 winning teams will compete in a Championship Tournament.  Following round robin play, the teams finishing in 3rd and 4thpositions will play a consolation game with the winner advancing to Provincials as the 3rd seed from the Capital Region. Teams finishing in 1st and 2nd place will play a Championship game with the winner being declared the Regional Champion and advancing to Provincials as the top seed and the loser also advancing as the 2nd seed from the Capital Region.
NOTE: All playoff games must have a declared winner. In the event of a tie after regulation time, see the tie breaking procedure for Regional playoff games.

Tie breaking procedure  
To break a tie in League standings (Updated February 2015, MHSHL):  At the end of league play:  To determine the highest placement if two or more teams are tied in points, the tie will be broken using the following system in the order given. 

  1. Most points earned in games amongst tied teams.
  2. Team with the most regulation wins in league play.
  3. Team with the most Shootout wins in league play
  4. Record (highest positive difference in goals for minus goals against) in games between tied teams.
  5. Record (highest ratio of goals for divided by goals against) in games between tied teams.
  6. Record (highest positive difference in goals for minus goals against) in league play.
  7. Record (highest ratio of goals for divided by goals against) in league play.
  8. Fewest Goals Against in games between tied teams.
  9. Fewest Goals Against in league play.
  10. Most Goals For in games between tied teams.
  11. Most Goals For in league play.
  12. Fewest penalty minutes.

NOTE: Shootout goals do not count For or Against.

If 2 or more teams are still tied, repeat the above tie breaking procedure until the next highest position is determined and then likewise for each subsequent placement if a tie still occurs.

To break a tie game in league play (new for 2013-14 season, clarified eligibility Oct 2016, MHSHL)
If a game is tied at the end of regulation play we will go directly to a shootout.  Each team is to identify 3 shooters.  Teams will alternate shooters, one shot per player (home team calls which team shoots first).  If a tie still exists, each team will choose a shooter and it will be sudden death. (different shooters and the shoot out procedure repeated (1997).  Only when all ELIGIBLE skaters from the team with the fewest skaters on the game sheet have participated will a team be allowed to "repeat" a shooter.  Goaltenders cannot shoot. You can rotate goalies for each shooter. 

Players serving a 10 minute misconduct, or banished from the game for 5 minor penalties, or removed from the game due to injury or ejected from the game for major infractions are not eligible for the shootout. 
NOTE: If the ice time buzzer sounds before the official regulation game clock and a shootout can not occur, the game will be recorded as a tie.

If the ice time buzzer sounds during the shootout, the team scoring the most goals, after an equal number of shooters from both teams have participated, will be awarded the win. If neither team has a goal advantage after an equal number of shooters, the game will be recorded as a tie.  (A tie game will result in a shootout. If for some reason the shootout cannot be completed the score remains a tie.  In order for the shootout to be completed an equal number of players must participate in the shootout. E.g. Team A – 3 Team B – 3. Once we go beyond the initial 3 it is then Sudden Death.  If one team has taken more shots than the other and they can’t complete the shootout due to time then the score reverts back to the previous shooters that make the shot numbers equal.)

To break a tie in Regional Playoff games: Sudden victory period, No change of ends. Time structure: 5 minutes stop time - 3 skaters and a goalie NOTE: When penalty time is assessed the non-penalized team will place an additional player on the ice for the period of the penalty (4-3). In the case of a second penalty the non-penalized team will add an additional player ( 5-3).  If no winner is determined, a shoot-out will take place. Each team is to identify 3 shooters. A coin toss will determine which team will shoot first. Teams will alternate shooters, one shot per player. If a tie still exists, each team will choose a shooter and it will be sudden death. (different shooters and the shoot out procedure repeated. (1997).  Only when all skaters from the team with the fewest skaters on the game sheet have participated will a team be allowed to "repeat" a shooter.

Suspensions (NSSAF Handbook, Regulations 11 and 25. NEW REG. 25.10.3 OCTOBER 2019)
ALL SUSPENSIONS ISSUED MUST BE SERVED DURING ALREADY SCHEDULED MEANINGFUL GAMES. ANY SUSPENSION RECEIVED DURING THE LAST 10 MINUTES OF A GAME CARRIES ONE (1) ADDITIONAL GAME.

2 MINUTE CFB  (NSSAF, 2009)
            First Offence = Suspension from the game being played plus two (2) games.
            Second Offence = Suspension from the game being played plus three (3) games.
            Third Offence = Indefinite suspension pending investigation.
                      (Additional game if in the last ten minutes of play for 1st and 2nd offence)
 
5 MINUTE CFB   (NSSAF, 25.14(vi) 2017, NSSAF 11.2.3 Attempt to injure)
            First Offence = Suspension from the game being played plus minimum of five (5) games.
            Second Offence =minimum ten (10) games suspension.
            Third offence = Removal from school sport
                      (Additional game if in the last ten minutes of play for 1st and 2nd offence)
5 MINUTE CHECKING TO THE HEAD  ( NSSAF 25.14(iii) , 11.2.3 Attempt to injure, 2017)
            First Offence =     Suspension from the game being played plus minimum of five (5) games.
            Second Offence = minimum ten (10) games suspension.
            Third Offence = Removal from school sport
                      (Additional game if in the last ten minutes of play for 1st and 2nd offence)

25.10    Infractions sent to Executive Director (Regulation 25.10 UPDATED OCTOBER 2019)

25.10.1 Gross Misconduct - suspended immediately from further participation. This suspension shall be an indefinite suspension pending outcome of an investigation of the incident.

25.10.2 Match Penalty = Attempt to injure. See regulation 11.2.3

25.10.3  Multiple Major Penalties (NEW OCTOBER 2019)

Any student incurring a game or gross misconduct penalty under a grouping of any of the following rules (6.2A, 6.2B, 6.3A/B, 6.4A, 6.5B, 6.6B, 8.2 A/B, 8.3 A/B, 8.4A/B, 4.5C, 4.7A/B [for offenses not covered under NSSAF regulation 11.2.3], 9.2A, & NSSAF regulation 11.2.5) would be penalized as follows:

1st offense in a season- 2 games

2nd offense- 4 games

3rd offense- minimum 8 games

4th offense- indefinite suspension, pending investigation by the executive director

NSSAF Regulation 25.14 REVISED NOV 16, 2017 (different from HNS)
 
i) Gross Misconduct-   suspended from further participation. This suspension shall be an indefinite                                           suspension pending outcome of an investigation of the incident.
ii) Match-   Intent to injure
      1st Offense Rest of game +Four (4) games
      2nd Offense-Indefinite pending investigation (Min 5 games).
iii) Boarding - Major Penalty 1st Offense– 2 games (plus HNS rule 4.6),
2nd Offense – 4 games,
3rd Offense – indefinite when major penalty is accessed

NOTE:  Any Game Misconduct, Gross Misconduct or Match penalty sustained in the last 10 minutes of play will automatically carry an extra one-game suspension. (NSSAF 2012)
NSSAF Regulation 11.2.3, “Attempt to injure”.   Attempt to injure penalties accumulate over high school eligibility.
Fighting  (NSSAF (2017) Regulation 11.2.3, attempt to injure, different from HNS)
First fight: Suspension from that game +minimum five(5) additional games.
 (+one additional game if in the last 10 minutes of play).
Second fight: Suspension from that game + minimum of ten(10) additional games.
 (+ one additional game if in the last 10 minutes of play).
Third fight: Removal from school sport.    
Instigator/aggressor (NSSAF revised 2017, 11.2.3)

- The instigator of the fight will receive an additional three(3) games suspension;
- The aggressor in the fight will receive an additional three(3) games suspension.
-  A player that is assessed a penalty for fighting in a situation where their opponent in the fight received an instigator penalty (in addition to a fighting major) may appeal the length of their suspension to the Executive Director.

Five Minor Penalties (NSSAF Regulation 25.8 and 11.2.7, revised 2017)
A player receiving five minor penalties in a game must be banished from the game. Any player receiving a game ejection must serve a minimum of one game.  The time of the fifth penalty shall be served by the penalized team.

Game Misconduct (NSSAF Regulation 25.14iv)
Ejection from the game being played + one additional game.
Assessed in the last 10 minutes of play: Suspension from that game + two additional games. (NSSAF 2009)
(*NOTE: Any game suspension for staff carries an automatic minimum additional 2 game suspension. (see NSSAF Rule 11.2.8, for additional suspension of duties)

Match Penalty (NSSAF Regulation 25.10 and 11.2.3, revised 2017 )
Any Match Penalty involving contact is considered an attempt to injure.
Match:    First Offence =Suspension from the game being played plus minimum of five (5) games.
                Second Offence = minimum ten (10) games suspension.
                Third Offence = Removal from school sport
                      (Additional game if in the last ten minutes of play for 1st and 2nd offence)

NOTE:  Any Game Misconduct, Gross Misconduct or Match penalty sustained in the last 10 minutes of play will automatically carry an extra one-game suspension. (NSSAF 2012)

Objectionable Behaviour or Language (racial, cultural) (NSSAF Rule 11.2.6  REVISED NOV 16, 2017.)
   First offense - ejection from the game + indefinite suspension pending the outcome of an investigation in consultation with  RCH Board Representative of the NSSAF.

Physical Abuse of an Official (NSSAF Rule 11.2.1)  REVISED NOV 16, 2017.
- Incidental touch, hold, or push of an official. Minimum 5 games,
-Deliberate attempt to strike, trip, or contact an official in an aggressive manner. - Minimum remainder of sport season. Maximum one-year suspension from all interscholastic sport.
11.2.11 Student athletes reported for Physical Abuse of an official shall be suspended immediately from further participation. This suspension shall be an indefinite suspension pending outcome of an investigation of the incident. The investigation shall be conducted by the Executive Director. Member schools shall have the right to protest or appeal the decision to the Board of Governors. This protest or appeal must be initiated by the principal of the member school directly impacted.  The guidelines below will be used in determining the suspension.

Verbal Abuse of an Official (NSSAF Rule 11.2.2 NEW REVISED NOV 16, 2017. )
            First offense –minimum five(5) games suspension.
            Second offense – minimum remainder of sport season.

Profanity (NSSAF Regulation 11.2.5) 
If a student-athlete or coach is assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty for profanity, the team will be assessed a two-minute minor penalty to be served by a member of the offending team who was on the ice at the time of the infraction. The offending student-athlete or coach will be removed from the game.
            First offense - ejection from game + next game.
            Second offense - ejection from game plus next two games.
            Exception - If the profanity occurs in the last ten minutes of the game, add one more game to the above offences.
NOTE: Hockey Nova Scotia will issue a 2 minute minor penalty for Unsportsmanlike conduct + a game misconduct. (HNS, Oct. 2013)