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U.S. Pond Hockey Championships Tournament Structure

Tournament Structure Overview

  1. Games are 4-on-4 games with max eight person teams (no goalies).
  2. Rinks measure approx. 140 x 75 feet with 18” boards.
  3. Goals are six feet in width 12" openings on each side.
  4. In true pond fashion, the ice will be shoveled by the two opposing teams prior to game start. 
  5. Games consist of two 15-minute halves with a two-minute break.
  6. Each Open, AARP Minnesota 40+ Open, Women's Open, Cedar, Rink Rat, AARP Minnesota 40+ Rink Rat and Women's Rink Rat teams will be guaranteed four games. The Golden Shovel and Silver Scoop Championships will be a single elimination tournaments played on Sunday. 
  7. Bender Division will play on Saturday and Sunday. Each team is guaranteed four games. Official scores will not be recorded and there is no championship bracket. 

Game Tie-Breaking Procedures

In the event of a tie, during both qualifying and championship games, play will move to sudden death format. After the horn sounds, play will stop. A stick tap face-off will take place at center ice and play will continue for up to 3 minutes of overtime or until a goal is scored. If no goal is scored, the game will move to a sudden death shootout. Players will take turns taking penalty shots from 20 feet from the goal. During any round where one team makes a shot, and the other team misses, the game is over and the team who made the shot wins. If both teams miss, or if both teams make the shot, in any round, rounds continue until the game is over. A player may not take another penalty shot until all other players on their team have taken a shot. 

Pool Play Scoring System Rules

3 Points for a Win
0 Points for a Loss

Ties in standings will be broken by highest total number of goals for followed by goal differential.

Golden Shovel Championship Qualifying

Open Division

(in 2020) 40 teams - 8 pools - 24 teams will advance: The top team in each pool plus 16 wild cards (calculated by most points, ties in point total are broken by highest total number of goals scored followed by goal differential) will advance to Championship Sunday.

40+ Division Open

(in 2020)  6 teams - 1 pool - All teams will advance: The top team in each pool plus five wild cards (calculated by most points, ties in point total are broken by highest total number of goals scored followed by goal differential) will advance to Championship Sunday.  

Women's Division

(in 2020) 5 teams - 1 pool - All teams will advance: The top team in the pool plus four wild cards (calculated by most points, ties in point total are broken by highest total number of goals scored followed by goal differential) will advance to Championship Sunday. 

Sled Division

(in 2020) 2 teams - 1 pool - 2 teams will advance. Sled is back at USPHC. For the Golden Shovel round, two teams will play two games. The Golden Shovel will be awarded to the team who scores the most total goals. 

Silver Scoop Championship Qualifying

Cedar Division

(in 2020) 100 teams - 20 pools - 32 teams will advance: The top team in each pool plus 12 wild cards (calculated by most points, ties in point total are broken by highest total number of goals scored followed by goal differential) will advance to Championship Sunday.

Rink Rat Division

(in 2020) 120 teams - 24 pools - 32 teams will advance: The top team in each pool plus 8 wild cards (calculated by most points, ties in point total are broken by highest total number of goals scored followed by goal differential) will advance to Championship Sunday. 

40+ Division Rink Rat

(in 2020)  6 teams - 1 pool - All teams will advance: The top team in each pool plus five wild cards (calculated by most points, ties in point total are broken by highest total number of goals scored followed by goal differential) will advance to Championship Sunday.  

**We reserve the right to change the number of teams/pools/wild cards in each division. The game guarantees will not change.**