NIHL Playing Rules and Regulations
Article 1 - Team & Player Registration & Eligibility
1. A. Unless otherwise required by the Executive Board, at the September NIHL regularly scheduled Board of Directors Meeting, each organization must declare the final number of teams that will be fielded at each level. If an organization fails to field a team after declaring to do so or adds a team (which is permitted to schedule) after the President’s Meeting, that Member Organization shall be fined $250.00 for each team involved. Any clubs making changes the day of Scheduling or after will be assessed a $525.00 fine for each team involved.
B. Each member organization shall provide a detailed club directory as requested and formatted by the NIHL Executive Board. This directory shall include at a minimum the member organization’s home rink(s) information, it’s President, NIHL Representatives, Registrar, Hockey Director (if applicable), website and personnel corresponding email addresses. In addition, the member organizations detailed club directory shall include its NIHL teams, according to metallic division along with Head Coach and Manager information for each team. Failure to comply with this Executive Board request shall subject the member organization to a $500.00 fine. Failure to comply after the fine has been assessed shall subject the organization to an additional fine and referral to the Rules & Ethics Committee for appropriate action.
C. All member organizations shall have a facsimile number and e-mail address to receive any and all NIHL correspondence. The facsimile number and e-mail address shall be included in the documentation provided to NIHL under Article 1B.
D. The privilege of playing in NIHL is limited to teams rostered by Member Organizations, and to teams of non-member organizations granted playing privileges by the Executive Board to play in the Midget and Girls Gold playing divisions. Teams of non-member organizations must apply to the NIHL Executive Board for permission to play in the Midget or Girls Gold playing divisions. The Executive Board shall exercise its discretion whether to accept the application. Teams of non-member organizations must pay a participation fee in an amount determined by the Executive Board, as well as the usual team fee for the playing division. Such participating teams are subject to all of NIHL’s Playing Rules and Regulations and By-Laws, including rostering, player eligibility, scheduling duties and obligations, NIHL Tournament, and disciplinary rules.
E. All-girls teams shall have the following options for entry into NIHL playing divisions:
1. NIHL Girls Gold Division (preferred).
2. NIHL Youth Divisions: Gold or Silver: Age Appropriate.
All-girls teams may not “play down” nor may they enter at the Youth Bronze level as the Girls Gold division is of the same caliber of play. This rule shall be waived at a specific age level only if less than 5 girl’s teams enter at that specific Girls Gold age level. Only the teams that have entered at that level – by the September Board of Directors meeting – will have the rule waived for them.
2. To play for a member NIHL team, a player must be eligible to appear on an official roster for that team in a Tier II State Tournament sanctioned by a governing organization or, if none, a roster approved by the NIHL Registrar. Any player who does not live in the State of Illinois is subject to the same rules and restrictions imposed by AHAI on Illinois residents.
3. A. Each team manager of all member organizations shall submit the following information to NIHL:
2. Each member organization shall submit a completed Bantam Instructional Checking Clinic Declaration form for each of their Bantam teams on or before Seeding Round Scheduling for the current season. This completed form shall contain the printed name of each first year Bantam player followed by their parent’s signature, as well as the signature of the organization’s President and Registrar, declaring that these players have participated in at least two (2) hours of an instructional checking clinic prior to the beginning of the season. Any member organization who has not submitted a completed Bantam Instructional Checking Clinic Declaration (with signatures) for the current season will receive the following fine: $25.00 for each team not received. Goalies must participate in the clinic and sign the Declaration Form. Mandatory checking clinic is not required for all girl teams.
3. Except for Mite teams, each team manager shall enter into the NIHL online scheduling system all required information for each of their team's players, coaches and manager(s) in the area for roster management by October 15. The deadline for managers of Mite teams to enter information into the NIHL online scheduling system will be determined and announced by the Executive Board. This information shall be considered the Completed Roster for the team for purposes of participating in all NIHL games.
4. Any member organization that does not satisfy this requirement will receive the following fine: $25.00 for each team for which the electronic information is not received.
B. Players may be added to a Completed Roster only with the prior approval of AHAI and by submitting the following to the NIHL Registrar:
1. Written confirmation of AHAI approval of the roster addition submitted to the NIHL Registrar via fax or e-mail and an update of the team's roster on the NIHL online scheduling system to include said player. No roster changes will be accepted by NIHL after December 31.
C. Any member organization who has not submitted the necessary forms to the NIHL Registrar for adding players to the Completed Roster will be subject to the following fine: Up to a maximum of $750.00 for each player added and/or loss of games in which the player(s) participated, and mandatory appearance of the organization’s President and Registrar Rules & Ethics Committee.
4. A. In order for a player at all levels to qualify to play in any NIHL Tournament Game (including a qualifying game to make the team eligible for the NIHL Tournament), a player must have participated in a minimum of 60% of the team's NIHL League games (including the seeding round). Tournament and exhibition games are not to be considered when determining the 60% minimum. Protested games (or periods) which are replayed in whole or in part, will not count toward the minimum game requirement if the player in question was not rostered at the time of the original game.
If during the course of playdown and/or tournament games, it is determined that a player has not met the applicable eligibility rule and has participated in these games, that player’s organization will be subject to the following fine: $1,000.00 and the loss of any/all games that player participated in.
B. For the purposes of this Rule, rostered shall mean the player is eligible to play in a game according to NIHL, AHAI, and USA Hockey rules. If the player is ineligible to play because of injuries, the player’s missed games because of injury shall not be included for purposes of determining eligibility. It is the responsibility of the team manager to ensure that score sheets are accurately prepared so that it may be determined if a player is injured (marked INJ on score sheet), suspended (marked SUSP on score sheet), or simply absent for non-medical reasons (marked ABS on score sheet) for each game. Further, it is the responsibility of the team manager to collect and retain a legible copy of each and every score sheet for all NIHL seeding round and regular season games played (HOME and AWAY) by that team. Further, it is the responsibility of the team managers of the participating teams to submit to the Chair of the NIHL Rules & Ethics Committee (by fax or by email) within 48 hours after the game is concluded, a copy of the score sheet from any game in which a player or coach received a penalty or penalties requiring a suspension. Finally, it is the responsibility of the team manager to submit to the Chair of the Rules & Ethics Committee (by fax or email) within 48 hours after the game is concluded, a copy of the score sheet in which any player or coach from that team served a suspension.
Any proposed exceptions to these Rules must be reviewed by the Rules & Ethics Committee on a case-by-case basis, working under the rules of AHAI and USA Hockey.
5. A. Once a player and/or parent/guardian has signed the roster, that player is “frozen” to that team.
B. During preseason scrimmages and/or practice games, movement of players between different levels for purposes of balancing teams within the same organization will be considered acceptable procedure.
6. A. Except in situations involving girls players who are dual-rostered to a team in the Girls Gold division and to teams in the youth division pursuant to Rule 6.B.6 of this same Section below, players may not play for more than one (1) NIHL member organization.
B. No player may be rostered for more than one (1) NIHL team. There are only two exceptions to this rule. The first exception is for goalies, and only under the following conditions:
1. In addition to members of the second registered team who are identified as goalkeepers, a player may be rostered on the second team only as a back-up goalie. This must be clearly designated on the roster approved by AHAI or the organization's governing jurisdiction for organizations outside AHAI. Designations for goalkeepers shall be “G” (Goalkeeper) and “BUG” (Back-up Goalkeeper).
2. The Back-up goalie can only play as back-up when the primary goalie is unable to play due to injury, illness, or misfortune.
3. A Back-up goalie may not play in any Tournament games, unless approved by the Tournament Committee or the Rules & Ethics Committee..
4. The back-up goalie must be rostered on a team within the same organization and playing at a skill level below the team on which he or she is rostered as a BUG. When the organization has multiple Tier II teams playing at the same age level in NIHL, the back-up goalie must come from the team at the same age group and next lower skill level. For the NIHL team within an organization at the lowest skill level of any age category, the BUG must come from the organization's NIHL team at the next lower age category and highest skill level. A Mite goalie may be rostered as a BUG on a Squirt team in this situation only.
5. The second exception is for girls. Except for goalies, a girl player may be rostered to a maximum of 2 teams, with a maximum of one team playing in a Girls Gold division. A girl goalie may be rostered to 2 teams pursuant to this paragraph, and may also be rostered as a back-up goalie on a third team subject to all the conditions set forth in the preceding subsections 1 through 4 of this rule.
Example: A Squirt “A” goaltender may be rostered as a Back-Up Goalkeeper for a Squirt “AA” team. A Squirt "B" goaltender may be rostered as a back-up goalkeeper for a Squirt "A" team. At the lowest skill level Squirt team, the Back-up goalkeeper may come from the Mite "AA" team. All Back-Up Goaltenders must come from the same organization. Do not consider NIHL’s metallic divisions when rostering a Back-Up Goaltender; use only AHAI’s “AA” and “A” designations.
7. Players, and/or coaches, shall not participate in any NIHL game while under suspension by USA Hockey, AHAI (or the equivalent governing body of organizations located outside Illinois), NIHL, or any other league in addition to NIHL in which the team may participate. While under suspension, coaches and players are not allowed to be in contact with the bench by use of hand signals, head sets, or any other means of communication.
Article 2 - Season & Schedule
1. Scheduling and playing of NIHL League games shall take precedence over all other games, except State Tournament games. League games shall mean those games which count towards the NIHL standings or are played in the NIHL Tournament. Teams must fully participate in League games and (except for Mite A Development Division) Tournament games.
2. Each year the Board of Directors shall establish the NIHL season which may be divided to accommodate tiering among its members. All games are to be played by or on the final day of the regular season or the end of the seeding round. Final standings, determining eligibility for and placement in the tournament, are to be based on games played by the close of the season and properly reported. If there is sufficient time between the close of the season and the beginning of the tournament and if one (1) game that could effect the participation in the tournament, the Tournament Committee may give approval for the game(s) to be played and included in the standings.
3. A. During the Scheduling meeting, each member organization will be limited to one (1) scheduler per team plus one master scheduler. Any additional attending members may be asked and will be required to leave the scheduling meeting.
B. All organization’s must have ice schedulers present at all Scheduling meetings. Failure to do so will result in a $500.00 fine to the organization involved.
C. If, on the day of Scheduling, the person designated to schedule a team’s games does not show up, the following fine will be assessed: Up to a maximum of $1,000.00 and mandatory appearance of that organization’s President or designated person before the NIHL?Rules & Ethics Committee.
4. Scores for all NIHL Seeding Round and Regular Season games must be recorded on NIHL’s electronic recording system by the HOME TEAM within 48 hours after the game is concluded, or no later than the time and date set by NIHL for recording of all game scores for that Seeding Round or Regular Season. Failure to adhere to this requirement will result in a $100.00 fine to the member organization involved.
5. Any organization with outstanding fees greater than $100.00 after the President’s Meeting will not be allowed to schedule that team.
6. If any HOME TEAM fails to record the score of any game on NIHL’s electronic system within the deadline set by NIHL for that Seeding Round or Regular Season, the result of that game will be considered a LOSS for the HOME TEAM, subject to review by the Executive Board. The Executive Board will determine Regular Season final standings based on scores recorded on the NIHL electronic system and losses imposed for failures to record game scores, and thereafter the Tournament Committee will meet and arrange the pairings based on the final and approved standings. Any challenges to the Regular Season final standings must be made by the member organization’s President or NIHL Representative directly to the NIHL President within twenty-four (24) hours after final standings are announced on the NIHL website. The Tournament pairings will be announced after review of any challenges.
7. A minimum $300.00 fine will be imposed for any game score that is not recorded by the HOME TEAM manager on the NIHL electronic system by the deadline set by NIHL. The final determination and levying of any fines will be made by the NIHL Rules & Ethics Committee.
8. All NIHL games will be played; FORFEIT GAMES ARE NOT ALLOWED. Any NIHL game that is not played as scheduled is to be rescheduled as soon as possible. Any postponement of game must be done at least 24 hours prior to game time (except in case of inclement weather). If a game is postponed for any reason, it must be rescheduled before the end of the regular season or seeding round, as applicable.
Both teams are responsible for scheduling the game, but the team cancelling or causing the scheduled game not to be played, shall have the greater responsibility to make concessions to the convenience of the non-cancelling team, and must make every effort to play the game at the originally scheduled home team’s rink. The HOME TEAM is responsible for recording the rescheduled game on the NIHL electronic system on or before the date and time for which the game is rescheduled. Teams having difficulty in rescheduling a game should promptly notify their NIHL representative, who shall contact the opposing team’s NIHL representative, to settle the matter between the organizations. At no time will the tiering round or regular season be extended to accommodate re-scheduled games. All games must be played within the dates specified in the NIHL calendar. If the matter cannot be settled between the NIHL representatives, they should contact a member of the Rules & Ethics Committee assigned to that area. The Committee may determine the party which failed to cooperate and fine the member organization. Any potential forfeit is subject to the jurisdiction of the Rules & Ethics Committee.
9. All scheduled NIHL games must be played in a timely manner and all teams must fully participate in such games. THERE ARE NO FORFEITS ALLOWED IN NIHL GAMES! The Rules & Ethics Committee shall have the authority to: (1) review circumstances relating to possible forfeits and the steps taken by the teams to play the game, (2) determine when and where an unfinished and potentially incomplete game is to be played, (3) make recommendations to the Board of Directors on how “points” for a game, subject to a potential forfeit, will be awarded, (4) recommend the incomplete game is judged to be “detrimental to hockey”, (5) assess a fine not less than $250.00 against any member organization’s team that flatly refuses to play another team in league play; and (6) take such steps to protect the integrity of NIHL.
Policy Interpretation: This rule gives the Rules & Ethics Committee (after investigation) the ability to impose sanctions against players, coaches, teams, managers, and organizations which may include:
• monetary penalties,
• deduction of “points” from a team’s standing,
• directions to play a disputed game at a certain time or place,
• suspension or removal of any player, coach, manager, or team,
• any combination of the above
10. As a policy, second team entry by a member organization will be placed in such a way that, it will limit the number of games played against another team of the same member organization participating in the same Level of competition.
11. All teams in a given age division and the same Level of competition, will play the same number of League games.
12. NIHL consists of numerous Member organizations, some located near each other and some located several hours away in travel distance. NIHL Seeding Round, Regular Season and Tournament games (for single-elimination Tournament games hosted by the higher seeded team) may be played on weeknights or on weekends. Games played on weeknights (Monday through Friday) must start between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Games in Midget divisions may start as late as 9:30 p.m. on weeknights. Games played on Saturdays must start between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Games played on Sundays must start between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. However, teams of Member organizations that are subject to the Peoria Rule (Article 3, Rule 17) are not required to play such games on weeknights (Monday through Friday); and Sunday games involving such teams shall start on or before 3:00 p.m. Participating teams may voluntarily agree to start times outside this rule but are not required to do so. This Rule does not apply to Tournament Round Robin, Championship, or Consolation games.
Article 3 - NIHL Playing Rules & Regulations
1. The managers and coaches in charge of a team for a NIHL game (including tournament games) shall be regarded as responsible for their team’s player, goalkeeper and coach eligibility, and for the conduct of their team officials, players and parents during that game and while at the place where the game is being played.
2. Each manager, head coach and assistant coaches are obligated when requested, to do whatever possible to assist game officials and others involved in controlling the spectators at that game who are traveling along with the team, or when playing at their home rink. Suspension for the coach or manager or the entire team, or an assigned loss of the game could result from lack of such action in attempting to control any person or group in the arena.
3. Each team may dress a maximum of 18 skaters plus two (2) goalkeepers.
4. All players must wear numbered uniforms in the proper team colors. Team socks must be mirror image. Players shall affix NIHL “Elite” patches and NIHL “Sponsorship” patches to both home and away jerseys as directed. Players shall wear the same number on both home and away uniforms for all NIHL league and tournament games. It is the responsibility of each NIHL team to bring both Home and Away jerseys to all league and tournament games.
Violations to any provisions of this rule may result in a $1,000 fine being assessed to the violating team.
5. All players must wear protective equipment recommended by USA Hockey during games and warm-ups. In addition, all players including goalies must wear a cloth-type neck laceration protector during all NIHL games and warm-ups.
6. All timing clocks and score sheets must be made available to the visiting team.
7. THE TRADITIONAL HANDSHAKE BETWEEN TEAMS WILL TAKE PLACE AFTER THE GAME ENDS.
8. Only players in uniform and Team Officials (up to a maximum of four (4)) shall be permitted to occupy the bench. A Team Official is any person on the player’s bench who is not on the game score sheet as an eligible player or goalkeeper. All such persons must be registered in the current season as a coach with USA Hockey, and must have attained the appropriate certification level as required by AHAI. A player or goalkeeper on the roster who is unable to play, other than through suspension, may be on the player’s bench without being considered a Team Official, if he/she is wearing the team jersey and all required head and face protective equipment.
All players or coaches who have been suspended cannot participate in any games during their suspension. Definition of participation includes “communications with the bench”, or “ sitting on the bench.” Any infraction of this rule shall result in the mandatory appearance before the NIHL Rule & Ethics Committee.
9. Playing Times/Penalty Times.
A. Playing times for all games (seeding round, regular season and tournament) will be stop-time periods, except as set forth below. The Gold-Silver and Bronze teams will retain the same period lengths and penalty times for the seeding round, regular season and tournament games.The Elite teams will adjust their period length and penalty times (Mites and Squirts) after the seeding round games.
The host team will schedule at least sixty minutes of rink time for any game with eleven or twelve minute periods; at least seventy minutes of rink time for any game with thirteen minute periods; at least eighty minutes of rink time for any game with fourteen minute periods; and at least ninety minutes of rink time for any game with fifteen minute periods.
|Girls Gold Pee Wee||12 minutes||2:00||5:00||10:00|
|Pee Wees||12 minutes||2:00||5:00||10:00|
|Girls Gold Midgets||13 minutes||2:00||5:00||10:00|
|Pee Wees||13 minutes||2:00||5:00||10:00|
B. The playing time and all NIHL rules pertaining to playing time for the game must be explained to the referee and the timekeeper by the home team before the start of the game.
C. If the stop-time periods as specified cannot be played because of a team being late, it shall be rescheduled by agreement between the coaches.
In addition, the minimum time for the warm-up preceding the game shall be no less than five (5) minutes. Further, in the event of an injury, third period time must be agreed upon by both coaches. Notwithstanding the provisions of this rule, should the competing coaches agree to play the game not in compliance with these playing times, penalty times and clock operation, once the game is started, the results of that game will be absolute and final.
D. For NIHL League Games (seeding round, regular season and Tournament) each team shall be entitled to call one (1) minute time out. This is in addition to any “Officials Time-Out.” Teams shall not receive any extra timeout during overtime periods in Tournament Qualifying Games or in Single Elimination Tournament games.
E. Slaughter Rule/”Running Clock”
1. At the point that a five (5) goal deficit exists in the third period, the clock should remain running with the following exceptions:
a. Penalties- the clock should be turned off to list the penalty minutes and turned on at face-off.
b. Injury and Official Time-Outs- the clock should be turned off until the ensuing face-off.
2. At the point in the third period when a five (5) goal deficit first arises, the clock should be turned off to record the goal and not restarted until the ensuing face-off.
3. The clock should remain running if a goal is scored by either team, and the five (5) goal differential still exists. However, if the losing team scores a goal to narrow the deficit to four (4) goals, then the clock is turned off to record the goal, and not restarted until the ensuing face-off occurs, at which point normal stop time will again be kept.
4. If a play is stopped and a penalty expires, the penalized player should not return to the ice until play resumes.
5. Invoking the slaughter rule is MANDATORY and is not subject to negotiation between opposing coaches, or referees.
NIHL does not permit running time EXCEPT under the slaughter rule. There are NO OTHER EXCEPTIONS! Should a HOME team run out of assigned ice time and be required to vacate the ice surface with time left on the clock, the scorekeeper will note the time remaining on the score sheet. The remaining time left in the game will be played with the responsibility on the offending HOME team to ensure the conclusion of the game in the following manner:
a. The first time the two teams meet at the offending home teams’ rink, the incomplete game will be finished prior to the start of the new game.
b. In the event the only remaining game between the two teams is at the affected visiting teams’ rink, the affected visiting team will make every effort to conclude the unfinished game prior to the start of their scheduled game, and any additional cost to have the original game completed will be borne by the original home team.
c. If no games remain between the two teams, it shall be the responsibility of the original home team to conclude the game prior to the season’s end or the seeding round end.
10. The home team is responsible for furnishing a scorekeeper, a timekeeper and referees, or referee and linesman. Except for Mites and Midgets, referees and linesman must be a minimum of fourteen (14) years of age and at least two (2) age classifications older than the players in any game they officiate. For Midget age games, the minimum age for officials must be eighteen (18) years of age. For Mites, a referee may be as young as twelve (12) years of age and less than fourteen (14) years of age, as long as the second referee used in the game is a Level 2 and (15) fifteen years of age or older. NIHL league games cannot be played with only (1) one referee.
11. In all NIHL games, the officials must be qualified as follows:
• Using two (2) referees, at least one must be Level 2 and the other must be at Level 1 or higher.
• Using a three man system, the Referee must be at least Level 2 and the linesman may be at Level 1 or higher.
In addition, there will be no parent or child or sibling relationship with regards to a referee and a player; no parent or sibling may referee a game in which their child or sibling is a participant. Please note: No games at any USA Hockey level can be officiated by (1) one official.
12. Not less than fifteen (15) minutes before the game the manager or coach of the home team must verify that the officials are qualified and tell the visiting coach or manager of the fact. In the event properly qualified officials are not present for the game, the home organization must explain the circumstances to the coach of the visiting team. Any question about the qualification of the officials must be raised before the start of the game, and if these questions cannot be satisfactorily answered and the officials not deemed qualified to officiate the scheduled League game, the game shall be played as a practice game, or the visiting team may leave the rink and require the game to be rescheduled. Once a game has been started with the understanding that it is an official NIHL game, the officials have been automatically accepted by both teams. The use of the ice as a “practice” game is optional. When games are not played because the home team does not have required, qualified officials, the home team shall have the responsibility to make concessions to the convenience of the visiting team in rescheduling.
13. Game Misconduct Penalty - A player or coach who receives a game misconduct penalty in a League game must serve that penalty by being suspended from the next already scheduled NIHL game, If that team's next scheduled sanctioned USA HOCKEY game is not a NIHL game, the player or coach must still serve a suspension in the next already scheduled NIHL game (in addition to the next scheduled sanctioned USA HOCKEY game). The only exception to this rule is when the next scheduled USA HOCKEY game is an AHAI state tournament game. In that circumstance, the suspension may be served in the AHAI state tournament game and the player or coach does not have to serve a suspension in a NIHL tournament game that is scheduled to be played after the AHAI state tournament game. A Game Misconduct Penalty may not be served in a practice game. Any Game Misconduct may come under the review of the Rules and Ethics Committee. Documentation must be provided to Rules and Ethics if the suspended game is not a NIHL game. For clarification of this rule, contact the Rules and Ethics Committee.
14. A player who is assessed a penalty in a NIHL league or NIHL tournament game for “Fighting” or “Fisticuffs” will be suspended for the next three (3) already scheduled sanctioned USA Hockey games, excluding practice games, and not including the game in which the penalty was assessed. The three game suspension must be served in NIHL games or non-NIHL tournament games or any combination of such games, but not in practice games.
15. The official NIHL score sheets are for NIHL league, playdown, or tournament game use only. Do not use for any practice, house or non-NIHL games. Each team’s manager is responsible for making sure that all copies of the NIHL official score sheet are filled out completely using the proper name of the team as given by NIHL, Level, Tier within metallic level (if applicable), and is signed by both coaches and all referees. Each score sheet must contain all rostered players in numerical order. The following designations must be entered on all copies of the score sheet next to the player’s name when that player is not skating: Absent – ABS, Injured – INJ, Suspension – SUSP. In addition, all suspended players must be listed on the score sheet under suspensions.
16. Teams will be assessed a loss and subject to fines if they play a league or tournament game with an ineligible player. If a team plays an ineligible player during a tournament game, that team is eliminated from further tournament competition.
17. “Peoria” rule. This rule requires the remaining NIHL clubs shall not be required to travel to Bloomington or Pekin or Peoria or South Bend or Rockford or Midwest Blackbirds or Champaign or Kenosha for their (B/PK/P/R/SB/MB/CH/KEN) “HOME” games. This rule does not apply in the Midget Major Elite, Midget Minor Elite, Bantam, Girls Gold playing divisions, nor in Tournament games including first round Bronze/Silver elimination games.
Should a “HOME” game for Bloomington, Pekin, Peoria, South Bend, Rockford, Midwest Blackbirds, Champaign or Kenosha be played at another club’s home rink, then that club shall be responsible to pay for the ice, and pay for and schedule the officials. Bloomington, Pekin, Peoria, South Bend, Rockford and Midwest Maniax may, if they so choose, provide the minor (off-ice) officials.
The “VISITING” team, which decided NOT to travel, will pay all costs.
If a game cannot be played at another club's home rink and must be rescheduled due to the fact that no on-ice officials are present for the game or due to the fact that ice is not available for the game, the "VISITING" team, which decided not to travel, will be assessed a fine not less than $250.
Article 4 - Tournament
1. NIHL will host a season ending Tournament at each age and competition level to determine Championship Teams. The Tournament Format may be determined by the Tournament Committee. The Tournament Format may vary from season to season, as the Format will be dependent on the number of NIHL teams, the number of Tiers (if any), the age and competition levels of the NIHL teams. Tournament Committee recommendations shall be approved by the Executive Board.
2. A. Any team which successfully petitions to “play down” shall not participate in any NIHL tournament games or awards for that season. (By-Laws, Article 3 - Paragraph 4).
B. In a division which has three (3) levels of play, and in the case of a team being the only team from the member organization participating in that division, should that team be moved to the lowest level, either voluntarily or by action of NIHL once the season has begun, the team shall be ineligible to participate in the NIHL tournament for the level the team was playing at the end of the season.
Member organizations may petition the Rules & Ethics Committee for a waiver of this rule on a case by case basis.
3. Teams eligible for the tournament are determined from the final standings and points earned; two (2) points per game won, and one (1) point per tie game.
4. When teams are tied in point totals, the following system will be used to determine which of the tied teams will be selected and/or which team will rank higher in assigning the numbers for appropriate playoffs.
Note: When three (3) or more teams are tied, any one step in this system will be used to "separate" one or more teams from the tie. In the event that one step separates one team (or teams) from the other, still tied teams (either "ahead" of the remaining tied teams, or "behind"), the system is to be repeated, beginning from the first step, to separate the remaining tied teams. (For example, three teams, blue, red, and yellow, are tied for third place. As they all played each other once, defeating one team and losing to the other, step b is used next. The blue and red teams both have a goal differential of these head to head games of +1 while the yellow team has a goal differential of these head to head games of -2. As a result, the yellow team is assigned 5th place, while the blue and red teams are now considered tied for 3rd. To break this (now) two way tie, the system is used from the start, beginning with step a of the two tied teams.)
Note: If two or more ties exist at a level, this system will be used to break the "higher seed" tie first, followed by the calculation to break the "lower seed" tie. This is to accommodate step d if needed. (For example, if two teams, green and red are tied for first place, and two teams, blue and yellow are tied fro third place, this system will be used to determine which team (green or red) will be in first and which will be in second, followed by the use of the system to break the tie for third place and fourth place between the blue and yellow teams. The determined first place team will then be used in step d to break the tie for third place.
A. The average number of points acquired in the game(s) between the tied teams. (This step is to be used only if all tied teams have played each other at least once.)
B. The average goal differential from the game(s) between the tied teams (again, this step is to be used only if all tied teams have played each other at least once.) Their position will be in order of the greater surplus.
C. Goal differential of the entire regular season.
D. The average number of points acquired in the game(s) between the tied teams and the highest seeded common opponent which all tied teams have played at least once, that is NOT tied with the teams that are tied. (In the event that more than one tie exists in the standings, and the "highest seeded, common opponent" is involved in a tie as well, the two tied teams which will represent that "highest seeded, common opponent" will both be treated as if they were solely one team, and the two teams' combined results will be used to break the tie at that level. For example, two teams, green and red, are tied for first place, and two teams, blue and yellow, are tied for third place. To break the tie between the green and red teams, step d is used, and the green team's results against both the yellow and blue teams will be compared to the red team's results against both the yellow and blue teams).
E. Continue point "D" with the next highest seeded, common opponent which all tied teams have played at least once, until all teams have been analyzed.
F. The average goal differential in the game(s) between the tied teams and the highest seeded, common opponent which all tied teams have played at least once, that is NOT tied with the teams that are tied.
G. Continue point "F" with the next highest seeded, common opponent which all tied teams have played at least once, until all teams have been analyzed.
H. Count the number of losses showing on the records of the tied teams (in regular season play only). Their position shall be in the order of the fewest losses.
I. Count the number of wins showing on the records of the tied teams (in regular season play only). Their position shall be in the order of the most wins.
J. Coin flip (performed by the executive board)..
The NIHL Executive Board, in conjunction with the NIHL Rules and Ethics Committee, reserves the right to alter the final standings under extenuating circumstances, to better and more accurately reflect a fair interpretation of the competition of the NIHL tournament.
5. Tournament Format:
Gold and Elite Levels: The tournament at the Gold and Elite levels will consist of a round robin type of format. The top 6 or 8 teams (as determined by the tournament committee, based on the total number of teams at each level, and to be announced at the start of the regular season) as determined by the standings of the regular season, will advance to the round robin. These teams will be divided into two brackets, with each team playing the other teams in their brackets to determine which teams, finishing first in their brackets, will play in the championship games, and which teams, finishing second in their brackets, will play in the consolation game.
Bronze and Silver Levels: The tournament at the Bronze level and Silver levels will consist of a single game elimination format. A total of 16 teams (or less, as determined by the tournament committee, based on the total number of teams at each level, and to be announced at the start of the regular season) will be selected based on the final standings of the regular season and seeded from #1-#16. These teams will be selected by a formula dependent upon the number of tiers at the level by the tournament director so as to produce a competitive field from the tier(s). The number of teams selected from each tier will be announced at the start or the regular season. The tournament teams will play the first round of single elimination games at the home rink of the higher seed. The winners of these games will then proceed to a host site to participate in the second round games, and if winning, advance to the third round. The winners of the third round games will participate in the championship games, while the losers of the third round games will participate in the consolation games.
6. Rules for Qualifying Games, Single Elimination, Championship and Consolation Tournament Games
A. All NIHL Rules and Regulations apply to qualifying and single elimination tournament games, except as may be recommended by the Tournament Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. Minor officials will be furnished by the member organization hosting the game or games.
B. All games are to be played until a winner is determined. In the event of a tie score at the end of regulation play, the overtime format will be as follows: The teams will take a two-minute break, and proceed to play a 5 on 5 sudden death, overtime period of the same duration as the standard age appropriate game periods.
If a tie still exists after any overtime period, the teams will take a two-minute break and continue to play overtime periods until a winner is determined. If there is not sufficient ice time to complete the game, the scorekeeper will note the time of the game on the score sheet, and the game will be rescheduled from the point at which ice time ran out. If there are any rescheduling problems, the decision of the NIHL Tournament Chairman and the NIHL President shall be final. Teams are not required to change ends during overtime periods.
7. Rules for Round Robin Tournament:
A All NIHL Rules and Regulations apply to round robin games, except as may be recommended by the Tournament Committee and approved by the Board of Directors. On-ice officials will be furnished by the Tournament Committee rather than by the home team or host member organization. Minor officials will be furnished by the member organization hosting.
B. If there exists a tie in team standings at the conclusion of round robin play, the following tie-breaking system shall be used:
Note: If three (3) or more teams are tied, one step in this system may be used to determine the order of all teams involved in the deadlock. However, in the event that one step in this system "separated" one or more teams from the deadlock (either "ahead" of the remaining tied teams or "behind"), but leaves at least two teams remaining in a tie, that removed team (or teams) will no longer be considered to be part of the deadlock, while the system is to be repeated, beginning from the first step, to separate the remaining tied teams. (For example, three teams, blue, red, and yellow, are tied for first place. In the round robin play, each of the teams defeated one team and lost to the other, thus step b is used next. The blue and red teams both have a goal differential of these head to head games of +1, which the yellow team has a goal differential of these head to head games of -2. As a result, the yellow team is awarded 3rd place, while the blue and red teams are now considered tied for 1st. To break this (now) two way tie, the system is used from the start, beginning with step a between the two tied teams.)
1. The points acquired in the games between the tied teams (head to head games).
2. The goal differential from the games between the tied teams.Their position will be in order of the greater surplus.
3. The number of points acquired in the games between the highest seeded (entering the tournament), common opponent which was NOT tied with the teams in question..
4. Continue point "3" with the next highest seeded, common opponent.
5. The goal differential from the games between the tied teams and the highest seeded common opponent which was NOT tied with the teams in question.
6. Continue point "5" with the next highest seeded, common opponent.
7. Count the number of wins (from the tournament). Their position shall be in order of most wins.
8. Count the number of losses (from the tournament). Their position shall be in order of the least losses.
9. Teams allowing the fewest goals scored against in tournament play.
10. The higher seed, as determined by the final regular season standings, shall advance.
8. Playing periods for all tournament games are the same as regular season periods outlined in Article 3.
9. No fees or admission will be charged at NIHL tournament games. Admission or fees may be charged only at the NIHL Championship Games, subject to the control of the Tournament Committee.
10. Team managers and coaches need to consult with their organization’s NIHL Director regarding the tournament rules and regulations prior to the start of the tournament.
11. All non-probationary organizational members of NIHL shall have an equal opportunity to host one or more levels or segments of the Tournament, including those organizations subject to the Peoria Rule, without regard to their geographic location.
Article 5 - MITE A DEVELOPMENTAL DIVISION
NIHL desires to promote Mite A Developmental teams. These teams are Mite A teams that primarily draw their players from House League teams who play on both a House League team and a Mite A Developmental team at the same time. The NIHL Mite A Developmental Division serves as an introduction to Travel hockey for mite-age players currently in House league. The following requirements apply:
Players who are categorized as Mini-Mites (those under seven years of age) under AHAI Rules are not eligible to participate in NIHL Mite A Developmental teams.
NIHL may form separate Minor and Major divisions for Mite A Developmental teams depending on the number of teams seeking to participate. Mite A Developmental Minor teams will be composed only of seven-year-olds as categorized by AHAI.
NIHL may host a single elimination Tournament for the Mite A Developmental Division. Participation in the Tournament in this Division is voluntary.
Article 6 - Suspension & Expulsion
1. Rules & Regulations shall be governed by the NIHL ByLaws and by these Rules & Regulations of NIHL. For any matters or issues not specifically covered by the Rules & Regulations of NIHL , then the Rules & Regulations of USA Hockey and AHAI shall apply.
2. In order to preserve so far as possible the purity of amateur hockey in NIHL, any recourse to the courts, or legal action by a member organization or individual against NIHL or any member organization before all rights of the NIHL By-Laws,and Rules & Regulations of this League shall have been exhausted, shall be deemed ungentlemanly conduct entailing the immediate suspension of any member organization or individual and further rendering the same liable to expulsion and/or other sanction by the Board of Directors.
3. Any violation of the By-Laws, or Rules & Regulations of NIHL or any conduct detrimental to hockey, either on or off the ice by any member organization or individual could render such member organization or individual liable to probation, suspension or expulsion by the Board of Directors, upon recommendation of the Rules & Ethics Committee.
4. Abusive or threatening words or actions, on or off the ice, before, during or after a game, towards any officer, or game official, (including referees) shall be considered conduct detrimental to hockey and shall be grounds for the immediate suspension of any individual guilty of such action.
5. IHOA's NIHL liaison may forward a written bill of particulars to the President of NIHL, against any player, coach or manager given a game or match misconduct penalty or otherwise removed from the game due to extreme verbal or physical abuse, recommending further action, such as probation, suspension or expulsion, as a result of such abusive action.
6. All complaints of violations of the NIHL ByLaws or of the Rules & Regulations of NIHL, and all notices of disputes (including suspected roster violations) shall be in writing, on a member organization’s (or participating organizations's) letterhead, signed by the President or the NIHL Representative of the member organization (or participating organization) and directed to the President of NIHL.
A. Any protests related to games must be submitted in writing by the President or NIHL Representative of the protesting organization, and must be received by the NIHL President within seventy-two (72) hours from the day of the game, and must be accompanied by a $100.00 check from the protesting organization.
B. The $100.00 payment is refundable only if the protest is upheld and is forfeited to NIHL if the protest is denied. Protests that are based on a “Judgement” call or mistake by a referee will be automatically denied.
C. All protests will be reviewed by the Rules & Ethics Committee and all practical efforts to hear all sides of the issue(s) including a hearing, if needed, will be undertaken before
a written response is forwarded to all involved parties.
Article 7 - Rules & Ethics Committee
The Rules & Ethics Committee shall have original jurisdiction over the administration and enforcement of the NIHL By-Laws, and the Rules & Regulations of NIHL. The Rules & Ethics Committee shall have the authority to suspend, place on probation, or impose other disciplinary sanctions (including disqualification of participating organizations) against any person, team or organization which it determines to have violated the By-Laws and/or Rules & Regulations of NIHL or for conduct deemed detrimental to the purpose and intent of the By-Laws and Rules & Regulations or detrimental to youth hockey. In addition, it shall have the power to recommend for suspension (by vote of the Board of Directors of NIHL) any member organization which it feels merit such sanction. A majority of the members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of holding a hearing and a vote of the majority of the members of the Committee present at such hearing shall be required for disciplinary action. Decisions of the Rules & Ethics Committee shall be final, unless a Notice of Appeal is filed as provided in these By-Laws, Rules & Regulations.
Any person, team, or organization affected by a decision of the Rules & Ethics Committee may appeal, with the appropriate fee, to the President of NIHL within seventy-two (72) hours after the date that the decision has been rendered and notification given, which appeal shall be acted upon by the Executive Board whose decision shall be final. Any reference in the Rules & Regulations that refer to any Committee having jurisdiction over the subject matter of this Rule (except NIHL Tournament) shall be changed to read Rules & Ethics Committee.
The Rules & Ethics Committee shall follow all procedural guidelines for hearings which govern the procedures of the AHAI Rules & Ethics Committee.
Policy Interpretation: This rule gives the Rules & Ethics Committee (after investigation) the ability to impose sanctions against players, coaches, teams, managers, and organizations which may include:
• monetary penalties
• deduction of “points” from a team’s standing,
• directions to play a disputed game at a certain time or place,
• suspension or removal of any player, coach, manager, or team,
• suspension or prohibition of parents and/or guardians of players from attending NIHL games
• any combination of the above
Article 8 - Appeals
Appeals of any NIHL committee decision may be made to the Executive Board by the following procedure:
1. Appeals for consideration by the NIHL Executive Board must be submitted, in writing, to the President of NIHL by the affected person, team, or organization through the member or participating organization's President or NIHL Representative.
2. Appeals must be accompanied by a $150.00 filing fee which shall be returned if the appeal is upheld.
3. Appeals must be received by the President of NIHL within seventy-two (72) hours of the Committee decision and notification.
4. Individuals, team representatives and organization representatives must appear before the NIHL Executive Board at the time and place specified by the NIHL Executive Board and present the appeal. failure to appear is sufficient reason for denial of the appeal.
5. Decisions of the NIHL Executive Board will be given to the individual, and/or organization, within seventy-two (72) hours after the hearing.
6. All decisions of the NIHL Executive Board are final.