skip navigation
Home Schedule Standings & Stats News Photos Apparel

Rules and Procedures

The Gardens Adult Hockey League Rules and Procedures

(Original - 5/15/02; Revision 9 - 7/26/17)

League Philosophy
Provide a safe, fun, competitive and respectful environment, in a family setting, for adult recreational hockey.

Refund Policy:  

Individual Player Refunds are not done by the rink. Since each player is paying a portion of a team fee assigned to them by their team captain, refunds are an internal matter to be handled within each team.

Team refunds will not be granted regardless of the cause.

Team Over Payment Refund: If a team over pays their league fee , a refund will be issued back to the captain once all teams have paid in full. The captain will then be responsible for distributing the fees back to his players as he sees fit.

Playing Rules and Procedures
The Adult Hockey League is a USA Hockey Program. All games are played using the  2017-2021 Official Rules of Ice Hockey (click on the link to view the entire USA Hockey rule book, except where modified by the league in this document to strengthen a rule.)

 The Gardens Ice House also fully supports and enforces the USA Hockey Zero Tolerance Policy. For the purposes of the Adult Hockey League, players will be penalized an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty (Zero Tolerance) any time they:
(1) openly dispute or argue any official's decision;
(2) use obscene or vulgar language directed at the officials, players on the opposing team, in the penalty box, or loud enough for spectators and off-ice officials to hear it;
(3) visually demonstrate any sign of dissatisfaction with an official's decision.
A game misconduct shall result if the player continues such action.

Age Requirement

All participants in our league MUST be at least 18 years old. NO EXCEPTIONS!

League Modifications

Player Identification - all players who have properly registered with USA Hockey and the league will appear on the team roster in Pointstreak.  Any player who does not appear on the team roster will not be permitted to play.  The League Commissioner will handle any issues regarding player eligibility, and their decision will be not subject to protest.

Player Check-In

For the first 30 days of the season until rosters Freeze, all players are required to check in at the front registration table and present a valid Photo ID.

Failure to present a photo id could result in loss of playing privilege for that days game.

 

Illegal Player - An illegal player is any player who:
1. Participates in a pre-game warm-up or a game while suspended; or
2. Is not properly registered with the League; or
3. Is not on the team roster.

Knowingly Using an Illegal Player - It is the responsibility of all team Captains to be aware of who is and isn't eligible to play for their teams. If the captain is not present at the game, responsibility will fall to a team representative/acting captain Any player who knowingly plays while being an illegal player as defined above will be suspended a minimum of 1 game from all his teams.  In addition, the Captain (team representative/acting captain if the captain is not present)of the team that the player has illegally played for will be suspended a minimum of 2 games from all his teams.  The League will review the circumstances surrounding how and why the player was allowed to play on a case by case basis and assess the appropriate suspensions. There will be an automatic game forfeit if a team is caught using an illegal player.  If an illegal player is suspected the opposing captain must request and ID Check during the game, the league will not go back after the game has been played and completed.

Player Identification Check - A team captain may request the officials perform a player ID check any time before the game and during the game up to the beginning of the third period. When requested, the officials will require the player(s) in question to immediately leave the ice surface. The game will continue as soon as the player leaves the ice. The score keeper will call the Duty Commissioner to the scorer's bench. The Duty Commissioner will require the player(s) in question to produce photo identification and will verify that the player's name(s) appear on the team roster. If the player in question is an illegal player, the team that he is playing for will forfeit the game. (**Once the game is forfeited, The score sheet will still reflect goals, penalties, shots etc, up to the point where the game is forfeited. If there is a tie in the standings when playoff seeding is determined, the final score of 2-0 will be manually applied for tie breaking purposes**) If the player is not an illegal player, the team requesting the ID check will lose their team time out, if the check was requested before the start of the game; or be charged with a bench minor penalty for delay of game, if the ID check is requested during the first or second period of the game. All time used for the ID check is lost time and will not be added to the curfew time of the game.

  Mercy Rule - At any time during the game, if the difference in the score reaches 7 goals, the referee shall instruct the score keeper to change the game time to running clock. If the difference in the score later drops to 6 goals the game time shall return to stop clock. At any time during the game if the difference in the score reaches 10 goals, the game will be terminated, with the existing score and statistics considered final. The teams will go through the end-of-game handshake and the referees and scorer will depart the rink. The score will be removed from the clock. The time remaining in the ice slot will be placed on the clock and started. The teams may practice or scrimmage for the remainder of the ice slot.

Team Jerseys - All players and goalies on the same team must have similarly colored jerseys. If team jerseys are deemed too similar in color by the referees, the visiting team will wear league -provided vests. The jersey for each player and goalie of the team must have a unique number on the back of the jersey. This number must correspond to the number for that player or goalie on the team roster. Jerseys numbers may not be taped or drawn on, numbers must be sewn or heat pressed on. This requirement is in effect from the opening day of the season. If a player is wearing a different number on their jersey then what is on the Pointstreak roster, the scorekeeper must be notified of the number change before the game starts. Any player who caught playing without a jersey number on the back of their jersey may be removed from the ice.

Names on Jerseys - players are permitted to have their Legally Spelled  Last Name or a  LEAGUE APPROVED Nick Name on the back of their jersey.  Players who have  nick names on the back of their jerseys will  need to submit the name to the league for Approval. If your nick names contains Vulgar, Profanity or Sexual Verbage, your request will be DENIED by the league.  Anyone caught with a non approved nick name on the back of their jersey will be removed from the ice and their captain will receive a 1 game suspension for allowing them to wear the non approved jersey.

 Rule 201 - Composition of Teams:

Each Game only 18 skaters and 2 goalies can be dressed.

The team fee allows up to 25 players to register onto the roster ( Captain + 24 Players) The Captain has control of how much of the team fee each of these first 25 players will pay. Once a player has registered the only way a player will be removed is with a player trade, we will not remove a player to make room for another player.

This does not mean a team can add players at anytime to reach a total of 25 players. ALL players must be registered by the roster freeze date. If rosters freeze and a team has less than the 25 player maximum that’s the roster the team will have to stick with.

After the 25 player limit has been reached, we will allow teams to add additional sub players to their roster, however they will be required to pay a $50 administrative fee, which does not apply towards the team fee. (NON REFUNDABLE)

ALL Players ( including Subs) Must be registered by the roster freeze date.

Players may skate on multiple teams. If a player plays on multiple teams in the same division the player must choose which team he is playing for when the two teams play against each other.

Any Full-time or Part-time Rostered players and subs who plays on a Bronze 2 or Bronze 3 team may play on Bronze 4 without approval from the league. 

Any Full-Season or Half-Season Rostered players and subs who plays on a Bronze 1 or Silver 4 team who wish to play on a Bronze 4 team must submit a request for exception to the league.  It must be a letter in writing as to who the player is and why they should be allowed to play Bronze4  

No players that play on a Bronze 4 team may play on a team that is higher than Silver 4.  

No players who play on a Silver 3 team and above, may play on a  Bronze 1-3 team without prior approval from the league. The captain of the Bronze team must submit a letter in writing as to who the silver player is and why they should be allowed to play Bronze.  

 

Identification of captains: Team captains and alternates will wear a “C” or “A” on their jersey. They are the only players  who may discuss game situations with the officials. If non of the team captains or alternates are present, the team will appoint a bench captain for the game and notify the officials of this before the start of the game .
Goalies may not act as a team captain. Goalies who have acted as captain (organizing the team, making registration payments, etc.) must appoint an on-ice captain during games.

Rule 304a - Equipment: All players are required to wear full hockey equipment (face mask and mouth guards are strongly recommended, but optional for adults. Players not wearing the required equipment will be assessed a minor penalty and will not be allow to play until the proper equipment is in place.
Required equipment: (all equipment must be approved for ice hockey use)
Helmet
Elbow pads
Mid-section protection - hockey pants or girdle/shell
Gloves
Knee/shin protectors
Ice Skates (obviously)
Strongly recommended, but optional equipment:
Mouth guard
Full or partial face protection
Shoulder/chest protector

Rule 401(B) - Misconduct Penalties (Excessive penalties):

If a player receives four penalties in a game, he/she will be excused from the remainder of the game with no game suspension.
If a player receives five penalties in a game, the player will receive a game misconduct and a one game suspension.
If a team receives 15 penalties in a game, the game will be terminated. If the offending team is losing, the score will be recorded as the final game result. If the offending team is winning or tied, the score sheet will still reflect goals, penalties, shots etc, up to the point where the game is Terminated. If there is a tie in the standings when playoff seeding is determined, the final score of  2-0 Loss for the offending team  will be manually applied for tie breaking purposes.

Progressive Penalty Rule- (New Rule as of  Spring 2016)

If a player receives 20 penalty minutes in their team’s first 7 games, they must sit the 8th game (5 games, sit 6th game for Summer)
If a player receives 40 penalty minutes in their team’s first 14 games, they must sit the 15th game (10 games, sit 11th game for Summer)
If a player receives 60 penalty minutes in their team’s first 18 games, they must sit the 19th game (12 games, sit 13th game for Summer)
If a player reaches or surpasses 60 penalty minutes in their team’s final game, they must sit the first playoff game
If at any point a player reaches 70 penalty minutes, they are suspended for the rest of the season and next season. If that player plays only Winter or only Summer, they will be suspended from the next corresponding season.


For players who play on multiple teams, these terms will be imposed on a "per team" basis.  This means that the accumulated penalty minutes are not combined across any players multiple teams.  Penalty minute totals are accumulated for each individual team for each individual player.  However, per our League Rules, if a Progressive Penalty suspension is earned with 1 team the player is suspended from ALL teams they registered on in the Gardens Adult League until such time as the suspension from the original team has expired.

These suspensions are in addition to any other suspensions earned by USA Hockey and/or League Rules.

Repeat offenders of the Progressive Penalty Rules will be permanently expelled from The Gardens Ice House Adult League with no reinstatement privileges.  The Gardens Ice House league philosophy is to provide a safe, fun, competitive and respectful environment, in a family setting, for adult recreational hockey.  These types of penalty issues will not be tolerated in our League.

Rule 410 - Supplementary Discipline: League Management, at their discretion, will investigate any incident that occurs in connection with any game and will assess additional suspensions for offenses that may occur before, during the game, or after the game, whether or not the offense has been penalized by the referee.

Rule 601F(1) - Physical abuse of officials: Any player who physically abuses or threatens physical abuse of any league official, the referees, or score keeper shall be permanently expelled for the league. Threatening physical abuse includes, but is not limited to: chasing the official, making verbal threats towards the official, bumping the official, touching or grabbing the official, or acting in any way that would make the official fear for his or her safety. Permanent expulsion means the player has a lifetime ban on playing adult hockey, both ice and inline, at The Gardens Ice House.

Rule 601F(3) - Other Misconduct: Any player who verbally threatens another player (as noted above) shall be permanently expelled from the league. This includes threats made before, during or after the game.

Rule 615 - Fighting or fisticuffs: Any player given a fighting penalty will be suspended for three games for the first offense, five games for the second offense, and for the third offense shall be expelled from the league for remainder of the season and will forfeit any fees paid. Fighting, for the purposes of the Adult Hockey League includes, but is not limited to the following:
1. Punching, or attempting to punch another player. Physically hitting or striking the player is not a requirement.
2. Any quarrel, wrestling, or shoving between players that requires stoppage of play or disruption in the game to resolve or break up.
3. The player who initiates the altercation shall be deemed the aggressor and assessed a fighting penalty with the associated suspensions. A minor penalty may be imposed on a player who, having been struck, attempts to protect himself, or retaliates with a blow or attempted blow. The official has the discretion to assess harsher penalties if the player continues the altercation.

Rule 620 - Icing: All divisions use the red line for icing calls, per the USA Hockey rule book.

Rule 634 - Slashing: Officials shall award a double minor penalty to any player who makes stick contact with a goalie while he is in the crease, who has covered or caught the puck, regardless of whether or not the Referee has stopped play.

Rule 636B - Start of Game and Periods: If the start of a game is delayed by events that are not the responsibility of the teams participating in the game, e.g., the ice is not resurfaced on time, an earlier game runs over the allotted time slot, etc., then the game curfew time shall be adjusted so that the full one hour and 20 minutes is allowed. Any questions regarding game curfew times shall be referred to the Duty League Commissioner before the game starts.

If the start of a game is delayed by a team failing to appear on the ice promptly, the situation shall be addressed under Rule 633B.
If a team does not have enough players on the ice to begin the game after the designated warm-up period has ended, the referee shall direct the scorekeeper to place 5 minutes on the clock and start the clock. If, after the 5 minutes have expired, a team still does not have enough players on the ice to start the game, the game shall be declared a forfeit in favor of the opposing team. If neither team has enough players to start the game the referee shall refer the issue to the League Commissioner.

Rule 636A- Time of Match: All games shall consist of three 15-minute, stop-clock periods. There will be one minute allowed between periods. The ice will not be resurfaced between periods. All games must be completed in the one hour, 20 minute curfew time. Before the third period starts the officials will confirm that at least 30 minutes remain in the ice slot. If less than 30 minutes remain, the official will direct the scorer to put half of the time remaining on the clock for the third period.

Beginning with the 2006-2007 season, officials shall strictly enforce the USA Hockey Standard of Play and Rules Emphasis on calling of stick infractions.

Rule 638  Tied Games: If the score is tied at the end of three periods, the game will go IMMEDIATELY to a 3 player shootout to determine a winner.  Home team gets choice of shooting first or shooting last.  Each team takes three shots.  The team with the most goals wins.  If the game is still tied after the "round of three", every round thereafter is sudden death (each team gets a shot) until the game is decided.  Once one team has exhausted all players during the shootout, both teams may re-use players.  Any player who is serving a penalty at the end of regulation time is disqualified from participating in the shootout.  Winner of the Shootout gets 2 standings points.  Loser of the Shootout gets 1 standings point for the regulation tie.

Suspensions
The suspended player list will be posted on Pointstreak and the league web site. Suspensions will be posted on the day after the game in which the infraction occurs.

If a hearing is required the League Management will make every effort to insure the hearing is held within 14 days of the offense. Penalties assessed for violation of Rule 601g, Inflicting harm to a game Official in any manner, or attempting to do so, requires a hearing that is the responsibility of our local USA Hockey governing body, The Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association. They are responsible for setting the date for and conducting the hearing.

Suspended players may attend the games as a spectator but may not be in or near the player's bench, penalty boxes or scorekeeper's bench area.


Carry-over suspensions - Game suspensions assessed but not served before the end of a season will be served at the beginning of the next season in which the player participates.

*If a player does not re-register for the team he earned the suspension on, the suspension will carry over to the first team he registers on for the next season.*

Players not eligible for the playoffs that earn a suspension in the regular season games, the playoff games will not count towards the players suspension. Suspension will carry over to the following season that they register for.

If a player gets suspended from ANY of his/her teams, they are suspended from ALL teams they registered on in the Gardens Adult League until such time as the suspension from the original team has expired. *If a player does not re-register for the team he earned the suspension on, the suspension will carry over to the first team he registers on for the next season.*

 

NoN-Rostered Sub Goalie- Will be suspended from playing as sub goalie from all teams until such time the suspension  term for the original team has been served.

Protests and Complaints
Recognizing that a vital objective of league play is development of concepts of sportsmanship, protests are not favored and normally may be expected to be denied except in instance of a gross violation of the rules. Protest which are submitted shall be handled in the following manner.

Winning teams may not file a protest, only losing teams.

Protests must be submitted in writing by the team captain to the League Director within 48 hours on the completion of the game. Emails are acceptable.

Protests submitted by any other team member will not be considered.

The League Director, the League Commissioner, or one of the Duty Commissioners will respond to the protest within 72 hour or receipt (unless more prompt response is needed).

ALL referees judgmental decisions are final and are not subject to protest, appeal or review.

**Live Barn will not be used as a tool to dispute calls made during games. **

A situation may occur which is not appropriate for protest, but with respect to which a team wishes to complain. In such a case, the same basic procedures as for a protest shall be followed. The result of a complaint will have no effect on a game's result, but may serve to clarify league, club, team or individual membership actions and policy.

Registration, Fees and Team Rosters
All teams are required to pay a non refundable deposit when they register their team.  Teams must register and pay typically one month before opening day of the season. Registration will close on the date the deposit is due.

The remainder of the registration fee is due approximately 30 days from the start of the season. The exact due dates will be posted on the web site.

Rosters are populated when the individual players who are expected to be on the team, goes online and registers him/her self onto the teams roster.   A player is not considered on a teams roster unless they actually go online and register them selves onto that teams roster EACH SEASON. It does not matter if they played on the team in previous season or if the captain is counting on them as part of the roster, THEY ARE NOT ON THE ROSTER UNTIL THEY REGISTER WITH THE LEAGUE FOR THE CURRENT SEASON.

Registration is done primarily online with payments made by  Visa or Master Card  * there will be paper registration forms available at The Gardens Ice House Front Desk for those people who may not have a credit card and wish to pay by Cash or Check

Failure to make payment will result in games forfeited.

USA Hockey registration/membership is required for all participants. All players on each teams roster, including those players considered substitutes, must be registered with USA Hockey within one month after the opening date of the season. If they are not registered with USA Hockey they will be removed from the team's roster. The League Commissioner will inform the team captain in writing before any players are removed from the roster.

USA Hockey membership provides player insurance. Everyone participating in a league game or practice must be a USA Hockey member or the coverage for all players is invalidated. All players who participate in the league must register individually on-line with USA Hockey. Participants must present their confirmation code to the League Commissioner before joining any league activities - games or practices.
There is a 25-players limit on number of players on a team roster ( captain + 24). USA Hockey limits the number of players on the bench to 18 skaters and 2 goalies per game.  ( Inline Hockey Allows 15 skaters and 2 goalies to be Rostered/Benched)
All rosters will be "frozen" 30 days after the opening day of the season, NOT from each teams first game. No team may add players to the roster any time the rosters are "frozen" except in the following instances:
(1.)  Any team who loses a player due to season-ending injury or moving out of the area may add a player on a one-for-one basis. $50.00 Player add on fee required. ( Fee is NON REFUNDABLE)
No players may be added during the final two months of the regular season regardless of reason. New players must be registered with USA Hockey before playing. All rostered players must have played a MINIMUM of 1/3 of the regular season games ( 7 in the Fall/winter season and 5 in the spring/summer season) to be eligible to play in the playoffs, There will be NO EXCEPTIONS Regardless of the reason..
Score sheet printed rosters - no one may make pen-and-ink changes except the League Commissioner or a Duty Commissioner

 Sub Goalies: A goalie on a teams roster may substitute for any team at or above his/her level, regardless of " Tier". Rostered goalies in Bronze may sub for any level, Silver may sub for any Silver teams ( Silver 1, Silver 2, etc) or any Gold teams, and Gold may sub for only Gold teams. There is no minimum games requirement for a goalie to play in the playoffs, however only goalies who are on the roster of another team that is at or below that level will be allowed to sub. The use of any goalie who is " playing down" will result in a forfeit by the offending team for use of an illegal player. If the game is forfeited the Score sheet  will still reflect goals, penalties, shots etc, up to the point where the game is Forfeited .  If there is a tie in the standings when playoff seeding is determined, the final score of 2-0  will be manually applied for tie breaking purposes

  • All Non-Rostered Sub Goalies Must have a valid USA Hockey Number on file with the league before they can play.

    Schedules, Standings, Statistics and Playoffs
    Games days and starting times for all divisions:
    Sunday: 11:30AM - 10:50 PM
    Monday through Friday: 7:10PM - 10:50 PM
    Saturday: 1:00PM through 10:50 PM

When an odd number of teams make up a division, occasionally one team may need to play an additional game so that every team plays to specified number of season games. When this occurs the first game following either the winter mid-season break or the summer Independence Day holiday will not count in the standings for the team that is playing the additional game.

The game schedule gets posted on Pointstreak.

Schedule Changes
Schedule changes will be made by the league only to accommodate games that cannot be played due to rink equipment failure and the closing of the rink due to inclement weather (hurricanes, blizzards, etc.).
Teams that have conflicts with published schedule times have two choices.
1. Show up and make the best of the game
2. Not show up and forfeit
Any team that fails to appear for three consecutive games will be removed from the schedule without any refund.

*Teams must submit special events such as, weddings, tournaments, religious holidays, or any event that will cause them to be unable to play before the season schedule is completed.  If we have this information up front we can work the schedule around them. The League will not cancel games and reschedule them for you.

Postponement of games due to inclement weather or equipment failure
Any games postponed due to inclement weather or equipment failure will be immediately posted on the web site. Every effort will be made to contact the teams’ captains by the quickest means available (phone, email, etc.) It is important that each team captain set up some way of rapidly communicating with the rest of the team. It is also critical that the captain and alternate captains of each team keep their contact information updated with the League Office. These games will be rescheduled at the end of the season just before the start of the playoffs. If necessary, the start of the playoff schedule will be delayed to accommodate the make-up games.

Standings
Pointstreak will be the official site for standings. When an odd number of teams make up a division, occasionally one team may need to play an additional game so that every team plays to specified number of season games. When this occurs the first game following either the winter mid-season break or the summer Independence Day holiday will not count in the standings for the team that is playing the additional game.

Tie breakers for teams with the same number of place points
1. Most overall wins;
2. Points awarded in head-to-head competition;

3. Goal differential in head-to-head competition;

4. Total goal differential;

5. Fewest penalty minutes;

6. Coin Toss

Statistics
Game scores, player and goalie statistics will be kept on Pointstreak. All Captains and players are responsible for checking in with the scorekeepers. Captains will have 48 hours after a game is completed to contact us with any discrepancies on their roster or statistics and only their roster or team statistics. After that 48 hours no corrections or changes can or will be made.  All season Long after EVERY GAME, Captains must review the paper score sheet and sign it verifying that the attendance for that game is correct.  Once the roster is signed, no changes will be made to the attendance unless what was verified was posted in correctly in Pointstreak.

Playoff Procedures/Schedules
All teams make the playoffs. All rostered players must have played a MINIMUM of 1/3 of the regular season games ( 7 for fall/winter and 5 for spring/summer season) to be eligible to play in the playoffs. As of September 2014 There will be NO Exemptions for Playoffs Regardless of reason weather it be Medical, Work, Etc…There is no minimum games requirement for a goalie to play in the playoffs, however only goalies who are on the roster of another team in the current season and that is at or below that level will be allowed to Sub. Single elimination playoffs will be used to determine division champions If the division has an odd number of teams in it, the first playoff game will be a qualifier between the last place team and the next-to-last place team. All other playoff games will be first place vs. last place, second place vs. next to last place, etc. Semi-finals will be the highest place survivor vs. the lowest place survivor, and the 2nd place vs. third place survivor. The playoff schedules will be posted on the league schedule page at the shortly after the beginning of the season.

Players not eligible for the playoffs that earn a suspension in the regular season games, the playoff games will not count towards the players suspension. Suspension will carry over to the following season that they register for.

Overtimes/tie breakers

There will be no tie games.  If the game finishes with at least 10 minutes remaining in the ice slot, a 5-minute overtime period may be played if both team captains agree to it. The first team to score during the overtime wins. The winning team earns 2 place points, the loser none.  If the Captains decide not to play overtime, the game will immediately go to a shootout to determine the winner, as per the modified League rule 638 above.  If overtime is played, but the game remains a tie, modified League rule 638 will then go into effect.

During all playoffs and championships round the following procedures will be followed: 5-minute "sudden death" overtime period; 5-player shoot out; team shoot out. Any player whose penalty has not ended when the overtime period is over is not eligible to be one of the players selected to participate in any of the shootout procedure(s).