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Official Rules

Official U.S. Pond Hockey Championships Tournament Rules

1. The winner of a captain's coin toss will determine which goal to defend. Teams will switch goals after first half.

2. All players must wear helmets and hockey skates. Protective equipment is optional but highly recommended.

3. No goalie equipment or goalie sticks permitted.

4. All teams must have light and dark jerseys or uniforms. Home teams wear dark.

5. There will be one off-ice pond official to monitor the play (scoring, time, puck reset, and arbiter of infractions).

6. Referees will have the discretion to also award a "penalty shot" to the opposing team when a minor penalty is flagrant and/or a team is consistently playing in a reckless manner.

  • Penalty shot will be taken from center ice and must be attempted within 30 seconds of the penalty being called. Anyone on the opposing team can take the shot. The team that is awarded the penalty shot will also be given possession of the puck following the penalty shot attempt (regardless of the outcome of the shot).

7. Any major penalty, which includes any action that could possibly injure another player, will result in that player being ejected from the tournament. The team that received the ejection will play the remainder of the tournament short-handed (3 vs. 4). Off-ice pond official will determine major penalties.

8. Abuse of officials will be considered a major penalty. This includes yelling, swearing, or arguing about calls.

9. No checking is allowed. Such action will result in a minor penalty unless deemed serious enough to be a major (see off-ice pond official).

10. No slapshots allowed. Such action will result in a minor penalty.

11. Players cannot fall or lay on the ice in an effort to protect the goal area. Such action will result in a minor penalty.

12. Goaltending is not allowed. A player may not patrol, "camp out" or remain stationary in the crease area and act as a goaltender. A defender may deflect the puck in the crease area, but the defender must do so while continuing to move through the crease area. The crease area is defined as an imaginary box extending out four feet from the outside corners of the goal.

13. Contacting the puck with a stick above the waist will result in a loss of possession.

14. Saucer passes (i.e. pucks that are lifted low, below the knee) are acceptable.

15. If a puck goes out of bounds, the last team to touch it loses possession. During restart, the defender must give his opponent 2-stick lengths of space.

16. There are no off-sides or icing calls.

17. Goals can be scored from any area of the rink.

18. Referees will call out the score after each goal. This includes goals scored by players or awarded from minor penalties.

19. Teams must give their opponents 1/2 ice after a goal is scored or an infraction takes place.

20. Games will be composed of two 15-minute halves with a 2-minute halftime.

21. In the event of a tie during both qualifying and championship games, the play will move to sudden death format.

22. All games are running-time and substitutions can be made during play ("on-the-fly") or while a puck is being retrieved. There is no stoppage of play after a goal is scored, or after a penalty is awarded. It is up to each team to ensure that there are only four players on the ice.

23. Players can only play on one team.

24. Substitutions must be made by 8:30 a.m. on the first day of tournament play at Player Check-in in the warming house tent. No other substitutions throughout the tournament are allowed. The four to eight players that are on your roster at 8:30 a.m. on the first day of tournament play must be the same players that play on your team throughout the tournament.

25. Setting picks in offensive zone is not allowed. Deference will be given to a defender in front of their own net where their progress is impeded by the pick or interference of an offensive player.

26. All players must visibly display their credentials during the game. Players without credentials are not allowed to play.

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