Ottawa Ball Hockey – Definition of Rules Constitution

The Role of an Official

  • Apply the rules of the game as fairly and as accurately as possible at all times.
  • Uphold the philosophy and the rights of all hockey participants to “Fair Play” and penalize accordingly all violent acts.
  • Raise the standard of play in each game they officiate
  • Do the best job they can in each game, no matter what the category of hockey.

Players work hard and try their best ….. the same holds true for the official.

Rules of Play


All players must be 18 years of age or older. Violation of this rule could result in suspensions and possible legal charges for non-consented minors engaging in an adult sporting activity.


Three penalties in one game will result in an automatic game ejection.


A team MUST be able to field one full line plus a goalie to start a game.


A team can only pick up a maximum of two spares for a game. Tier 2 teams must get permission from the refs and the other team captain if they want to pick up a Tier 1 player.


Attempt to Injure/Unsportsmanlike Play

A match penalty shall be imposed on any player who deliberately attempts to injure an opponent and/or referee and the circumstances shall be reported to the Convener for further action.


Penalties can be assessed to players who violate the code of sportsmanship. This is a discretional penalty, and can include infractions like profanity, taunting, etc.



Any unnecessary contact with a player playing the ball which results in that player being knocked into the boards is “boarding” and will be penalized as such. In other instances where there is no contact with the boards, it should be treated as “charging”. “Rolling” an opponent along the boards where he is endeavoring to pass by an opponent will be penalized as boarding, charging, interference or, if the arms or stick are employed, it will be called holding or hooking.


Under no such circumstances will we allow anyone to push things beyond a sportsman-like level. From this point on, you may NOT take your hand off your own stick and place it on the other player with ANY force or directional manipulation. This will be a penalty. You may NOT drop your shoulder into another opponent or ‘crash’ into them while fighting for the ball. The above rule will be adhered to, for your safety and the integrity and fairness of the game we are trying to give you.


Closing The Hand on The Ball

A player cannot close their hand on the ball when an opposing player is within one stick-length of them. This will be deemed as a delay of game, the whistle will be blown and the face-off will held in the defensive area penalizing the infracting player/team. This infraction is discretional to the referee. Repeated offenses by the same player (in the same game) could result in a Delay of Game penalty.



The stick, used with force on another player’s body, shall be considered as being a cross-check. Players don’t usually have proper body protection in this recreational league, so any stick contact shall result in a cross-checking penalty. Any player who cross-checks, pushes or charges an opponent shall be assessed a minor or major penalty (possibly a game misconduct depending on referee discretion). This penalty applies anywhere on the playing surface.


Delaying the Game

A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player or goalkeeper who delays the game by deliberately shooting or batting the ball with his stick outside the playing area. If deemed accidental, the player (goalies included) shall be warned only once, and upon that same players next similar infraction (during the same game), a minor penalty shall be called. Also, the face-off will be held in the defensive area penalizing the infracting player/team.


A minor penalty shall be imposed on any player (including the goalkeeper) who delays the game by deliberately displacing a goal post from its normal position. If deemed accidental and non-imposing to the flow of the play, play shall continue, and the post shall be reset by the referee when an opportunity presents itself. Upon multiple infractions, the player shall be warned, and upon that same players next similar infraction (during the same game), a minor penalty shall be called.

If the goal post is deliberately displaced by a goalkeeper or player during the course of a ” breakaway”, a penalty shot will be awarded to the non-offending team, which shot shall be taken by the player last in possession of the ball. If the goal post is deliberately displaced by a goalkeeper or defensive player during the course of play around that net, play shall resume, and the goalie or referee is responsible for replacing the net in place. If the opposing team scores, the goal stands as it is the defending teams responsibility to replace the net they displaced. If a scoring chance is erased by the net being off, a penalty shot could be awarded based on the referee’s discretion.


If, during the final minute of a regular season game when the score is within 2 goals or less, a delay of game or stoppage in play is caused by a player intentionally shooting or tipping the ball out of play, or by forcibly holding the ball in a manner that causes a stoppage in play (putting foot on ball or pulling the ball into your body), time will be stopped, and a minor penalty shall be assessed to the offending player. Time will resume upon the drop of the ball.


If, during the final minute of a regular season game when the score is within 2 goals or less, any player(s) receives a penalty during the last minute of a regular season game, time will be stopped, and resumed upon the drop of the ball. If the penalty is due to aggression and deemed to be dangerous, the player may be suspended for the next game(s).



A player who participates in an altercation shall be assessed a major penalty for fighting and a game misconduct. This is in addition to other penalties to be assessed to the participants of an altercation. Upon review by the officials and the convener, the players involved may be suspended and/or banned from the league.


High Sticking

Due to their being NO league-imposed helmet restrictions, high-sticks, slapshots, “golf” shots and other reckless stick activity are NOT permitted. A slapshot or high-stick is defined as a stick motion that brings the blade of the players stick above their-own waist level during any part of the motion.


Any goal scored as a result of a reckless shot or a high stick by an offensive player shall be disallowed. Sticks must remain below the waist at all times. A goal scored directly by a defending player who strikes the ball with his stick, which is carried above the goal crossbar, shall be allowed.


A face off and/or minor penalty may result depending on the situational severity deemed by the referee. For example, dumping the ball from your end, involving a high stick, will not be a penalty. However, dumping the ball from your end, involving a high stick while another player is within a stick-length from you will be a penalty. Taking a slapshot that brings your stick above your waist (on either the windup or the follow-through) will result in a penalty.

Lifting your stick to bat down the ball (higher than the player’s waist) anywhere on the playing surface is prohibited. When a ball is struck with a high stick and subsequently comes into the possession of a teammate, there shall be a whistle. If the offending team has gained a territorial advantage, the ensuing face-off will be where the high stick occurred. If a territorial disadvantage occurs to the offending team, the ensuing face-off will be where the ball was touched.

Holding / Interference

Removing the hand from the stick and placing it on the opponent’s body shall be considered as in a “danger-zone”. Once the free hand is in this position, any act of consequence shall be penalized.


Consequence shall be interpreted as:

– restraining or impeding progress.
– grabbing the body, stick, or sweater.
– reducing the opponent’s ability to pass or shoot the ball, or to receive a pass.


During a face-off, players are not permitted to use their stick or free-hand to impede or block the progress of opponents who are in pursuit of the puck or trying to obtain defensive position. These acts shall be penalized as interference. Players are entitled to the space they occupy and to position themselves between the puck and their opponent.



The stick placed on the opponent’s body and parallel to the ice surface shall be considered as being in a “danger zone”. Once the stick is in this position, any tug or pull of consequence shall be penalized.


Consequence shall be interpreted as:

– any loss of momentum.

– causing diminished space between the players.

– impeding the opponent’s progress.

– causing the opponent to lose balance to any degree.

– reducing the opponent’s ability to pass or shoot the puck or to receive a pass.


Placing the stick between the opponent’s legs shall be considered as “in a danger zone”.  If movement either lateral or otherwise, is restricted in any fashion, a minor penalty for hooking shall be assessed. Should the action cause the opponent to fall, a minor penalty for tripping shall be assessed.



The use of the stick to slash an opponent’s body, hands or stick shall be considered a slashing penalty and a minor penalty will be assessed.



Rules of Play – Additionals


Crease Violation

Any opposing player in any manner shall not enter the area designated as the goal crease. A goal scored upon while a player of the scoring team is in the crease shall be disallowed. Where the crease lines are undefined, this is to the referee’s discretion. In the event of a crease violation the official shall stop play and a face off will occur. If an offensive player contacts the goalie in any manner, providing that the goalie is still within the crease area (i.e. at least one foot in their crease area), the offensive player could receive a minor penalty. The official may choose to ignore a crease violation in a no advantage situation. Any defensive player may enter the crease area at any time.


If a defensive player strikes the ball with a high stick (waist high) while in the crease, a penalty shot shall be awarded to the offensive team.



If after warning by the Referee, either of the players fails to take his proper position for the face-off promptly, the official shall be entitled to face-off the ball without the player’s presence.


Falling on the Ball

A minor penalty shall be imposed on a player other than the goalkeeper who deliberately falls on or gathers the ball into his body.


NOTE: Any player who drops to his knees to block a shot should not be penalized if the ball is shot under him or becomes lodged in his clothing or equipment but any use of the hands to make the ball unplayable should be penalized promptly.


A minor penalty shall be imposed on a goalkeeper who, when he is in his own goal crease, deliberately falls on or gathers the ball into his body or who holds or places the ball against any part of the goal in such a manner as to cause a stoppage of play unless he is actually being checked by an opponent. Simply put … play the ball if you can.


Goaltenders may only freeze the ball while their body is completely or partially within the designated goal crease area. If the goaltender freezes the ball while they are completely outside of the crease area, a delay of game minor penalty may be assessed. This is to the discretion of the referee and may only be a warning to the player.


No defending player, except the goalkeeper, will be permitted to fall on the ball, hold the ball or gather the ball into the body or hands when the ball is within the goal crease. For infringement of this rule, play shall immediately be stopped and a penalty shot shall be ordered against the offending team, but no other penalty shall be given.



League Rules


Game Time: Each game will consist of 2 – 20 minute straight time periods with a 1-minute half-time intermission. There will be a warm up time period prior to the start of each game.


This time must also be for team captains to register each of their spare (non-roster) team members on the game sheet and provide this sheet to the referee/timekeeper along with a $5 spare fee per spare player. Jersey numbers for each player must appear on the provided game sheet or statistics for the non-numbered players will not be logged. Players with non-numbered jerseys must prove they are on the team roster, or sign a waiver form. Any spare player, regardless if they are assuming the jersey or number of a current team player, must also sign a waiver. Failure to do this will result in the ejection of the player, and a review by the league convener that could mean a default of the game, and a suspension of the team’s captain.


Required Number of Players: Each team must have a minimum of 6 players (5 out and 1 goalie) to start the game. If a team fails to field 6 players within the designated warm up period, then that team will receive a loss by default. Any team winning by default will win by a score of 1 – 0. In the event of a double default both teams will receive a loss. Each team may have up to a maximum of 6 players on the playing surface, including a goalie or 1 extra attacker, unless penalized.


Players can only play on one team, in the same tier, as a roster member. Players can spare for other teams in the league as well as be a roster player for one team, however that player can only play for one team within their tier in the playoffs. This rule is active starting May 2011.


Players can only play on a maximum of two teams per night. Any team caught using a player in his/her 3rd game will lose by default. Spare fees for all players, except goalies, is $5.00. There is no maximum amount of games a goalie can play in a night. Players must be registered in 5 regular season games in order to qualify for the playoffs.


Teams must field at least four (4) roster players, and can only pick up three (3) players from another team (goalies are not included in this rule), or their team loses the game as a forfeit.


Equipment: Nets and balls will be provided and be made available on site. Individuals must use their own sticks, and sticks can be plastic or wood, provided the blade is bare. Anyone swinging, throwing or intentionally banging their stick on the floor, up against the wall, goal or any other object, in an unsportsmanlike fashion, will be subject to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and may be asked to leave the playing area. No black-soled shoes are allowed at the Ottawa U Hockey Centre in order to avoid marking the floors.


Goaltenders must wear a head/face mask at all times. Goaltenders are encouraged to fully protect themselves at all times and can wear any of the following: ice hockey forward shin pads, street hockey goal pads, ice hockey goal pads; blockers; baseball mitt and/or trapper; hockey pants with appropriate padding; athletic cup; shoulder/arm/chest pads; throat protector. Note: other players are encouraged to wear protective equipment (i.e. helmet, soccer/hockey shin pads, protective cup, mouth guard and/or gloves etc) but this is NOT mandatory.


Jerseys Each team must provide their own matching, numbered jerseys. The league shall do it’s best to make available a spare set of numbered team jerseys for games where teams have conflicting colored jerseys. These must be returned immediately after the game or the team will be charged a fine for the jerseys and not allowed to play another game until that fine is paid. Teams without matching jerseys lose home ice advantage and stats will be kept as best as possible.

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