League Rules


League Rules
Metro High School Hockey League Rules  
(All regulations of the SSNS and Hockey Nova Scotia will apply to League Games. Where conflict arises, the SSNS Regulation as outlined in the current SSNS Handbook will apply.)  Supplemental League Regulations by Agreement of all Member Schools and Approved by Metro High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) 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 8, 2016. (MHSHL) - Game results: reporting to the newspaper and updating the website is now the responsibility of the home team
            October 24, 2016. (MHSHL) – clarification of shootout player eligibility.

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)
A certified security person(s) must be at all league games. (1990)

Student Player Eligibility

Playing Age High School (SSNS RULE 2.2.1)

Players must not be 19 years of age prior to September 1st. This means that if they are 19 on September 1st they are ineligible for any school sport.

Course Load Requirement (SSNS RULE 2.1)

To participate in SSNS competition, any student who is registered as a regular student (5 courses per term) shall be eligible to compete. In semestered schools, a regular student is defined as one who is registered in a minimum of 3 courses in each semester at the school.  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. (SSNS)

Team Rosters (SSNS RULE 21.7.1) (HOCKEY CANADA RULE 2.2)

SSNS school hockey teams may dress a maximum of 20 players providing two are goaltenders; if only one goaltender is dressed, the maximum number dressed is 19.

For SSNS Tournament Play, Male teams must begin the SSNS tournament with a minimum of 13 skaters and two goaltenders.

For League Play, Hockey Canada Rule 2.2 applies.

Other Leagues  (SSNS 21.2)

21.2.2  If a player takes part in any Hockey Canada registered Senior A, Junior A, Junior B, Junior C or Major U18 / Minor U18 (aka U16 AAA) Game on January 1st or later, the student shall be ineligible for SSNS 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.

21.2.3  Any player who signed a card with a Hockey Nova Scotia (HNS) registered U18 Major or U18 Minor team (aka U16 AAA) is ineligible for SSNS play until such time as the student is released by HNS.

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). SSNS and HNS have an agreement to notify and honor player suspensions. High School players suspended for FOUR or more games must be reported to the SSNS. 

SSNS sanction forms must be completed for any play with teams that are not members of SSNS. Forms are available from the SSNS website. 



Protests must be presented to the league co-ordinator within 24 hours, in writing, over the signature of the Principal or designated administrator and following SSNS Rule 11 regulations. The co-ordinator, designate, or committee will provide a ruling within 24 hours. further appeals are to follow the SSNS 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)



Start of Season
Games can not be played before a start date set by SSNS.
Center Line
Remove the Center Red Line other than for the use of icing the puck. (1989)
Home team must resolve problems with jersey colors. (1997).  Home-‘white’, away-‘dark’.
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)

No Change Icing
During an icing, the team committing the icing infraction will not be permitted to change players during the stoppage. (2023)

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)
“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 SSNS 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.

MERCY RULE Clock- running time
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)
If the game is not completed on the digitally on the Website, and regular game sheets are used, 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.

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 SSNS Provincials (or Division 2). 
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.



Discipline and Suspensions will be handled by the SSNS Capital Region Convenor for the MHSHL.

Please refer to the SSNS Handbook which is available on the SSNS website for all SSNS specific rules and suspension information.  In all other situations the rules of Hockey Canada through HNS will apply.