General Rules


  1. The York Mills Hockey Club (YMHC) is a non-contact league. Body contact, body checking and fighting are not permitted. The judgement of the Referee in enforcing these rules is final.

  2. There is no centre ice line except for icing calls.

  3. Icing will be called as soon as the puck crosses the goal line.

  4. The "clear the zone" rule will apply on delayed offsides.

  5. Each division shall be administered in accordance with the Divisional Guidelines. These guidelines may change from year to year at the discretion of the Convenor with the approval of the President.

  6. Players will not be permitted to play unless they are fully protected including all of the approved hockey equipment as follows:

    hockey skates hockey pants
    hockey stick shin guards
    hockey gloves shoulder pads
    elbow pads garter belt
    hockey socks athletic support with cup
    neck protector (BNQ) helmet with CSA approved face mask

    mouth guards (recommended)

    It should be noted that decals on helmets may void the manufacturer's warranty.

  7. YMHC strives to attain balanced teams through the fair and equitable distribution of players based on gender and ability. In order to achieve equality, the Convenor may trade players between teams. The decision of the Convenor is final. This is a sensitive and difficult task, the Convenor expects your understanding and support.

  8. YMHC has a rule that all players are allowed to request one other friend to play on a team with. This rule is in effect for two reasons: a) to avoid cliques and encourage new friendships, and b) more importantly to ensure proper team balance. As part of this rule each friend must also request each other in order to avoid "daisy chain requests" (e.g: Mary requests James who requests Bill who requests Mary), and also to ensure that we are not caught in the middle of having to make tough decisions (e.g.: what do we do if Jim requests Sue, but Sue requests Bill?)

    In the past we have tried allowing more than 1 friend request. Unfortunately we learned very quickly that this simply does not work. The problem is this: when we set up teams at the start of the year and then when we rebalance teams after the 3rd Assessment game, we need the flexibility to move kids of different rankings around to ensure balanced teams. For example, if Team XYZ is soundly beating the other teams during Assessment games and we need to move a "C" player to this team and move a "B+" player off this team, our hands are tied when the only "C" player on another team is "glued together" with 3 or 4 or 5 other players, since moving all of these kids together would not only be highly disruptive, it would also completely throw off the balance because of all the different player ratings. And while it is still challenging sometimes to move kids around with our 1 friend request system when a "C" player is "glued" to another player, it is still workable since we only have to move 2 players instead of a whole group.

    It should be pointed out that the YMHC "1 friend rule" is in fact more generous than other leagues. Forest Hill Hockey for example does not allow friend requests on applications, but rather you are allowed to submit car-pooling only requests to a max of 1 player. North Toronto Hockey similarly does not offer friend requests on the application, but if asked they will try and accommodate a maximum of 1 request as long as it does not affect team balance. Avenue Road Hockey does not allow any friend requests at all. While we are not advocating that we move to these other more restrictive request systems, we do feel that that we have found a great balanced request system at YMHC that allows a child to play with a friend, but also allows us to properly balance teams.

    Note that this rule applies to both girls and boys, since YMHC is a co-ed league and as such we integrate girls and boys on teams. Note however that we are sensitive to a girl being on a team by herself (unless she requests to be with a male player), hence if a division has an odd number of players we may need to put 3 girls on one team. This however would be done with friendships in mind, but with team balance being the ultimate goal.

    Some parents have asked "if this is all about kids having fun, why can't they play with as many friends as they want on their team?" Because fair play through team balance is our end goal. While it might be a child's dream to play on a team with 5 of his closest friends, fair team balance for all must trump groups of friends. It is not fair to the other 11 team members nor the other 59 kids in the division when one team is unbalanced because groups of friends have been allowed to trump team balance. When a team loses (or wins) most of their games and we cannot move kids around to rebalance teams because groups of friends are "glued" together, then we have failed at our goal of fair, balanced play. Hence our need to remain true to our "1 friend rule".

  9. Any player, incuding any select player,  who is absent for 3 consecutive weeks, or regularly, for reasons other than illness or injury, may be suspended.

  10. If a team has fewer than 7 players, it defaults 1-0. If both teams default, the game is scored 0-0, and it is considered a loss for each team.

  11. The York Mills Hockey Club is not responsible for lost or stolen equipment or personal items.

  12. Players in all age divisions are restricted to a 3 goal maximum (unlimited assists) per game during regular time, both during the regular season and playoffs. In the event that a game goes into sudden death or a shoot out, this restriction is waived.

  13. A player may only play for the one team to which he/she has been assigned by the Division Convener. In other words, a player cannot play in the regular season or the playoffs for any other team in their division or any other division. If a player does so the team that allowed this infraction will automatically lose that game (regardless of the outcome of the game). The only exception to this rule is when a team has less than 5 skaters and a goalie (the minimum number required to play a game), in which case the opposing team is automatically awarded the win, and a fun "scrimmage" game will be played by both teams with player(s) from supplemental players allowed only for the team that is short players, to bring them up to the same player level as the opposing team.

  14. Cell phones and cameras are prohibited from the dressing rooms at all times.

    Rules: Pre-Game
    1. All players should be in their dressing rooms fully dressed 15 minutes before game time. Players arriving after the start of the game, at the discretion of the Coach or Convenor, may miss a number of shifts or may not be allowed to play in that game.

    2. Teams waiting to go on the ice must remain in the dressing room until the preceding game is over and all players have entered their dressing room. Players are not to enter the bench area prior to a game unless accompanied by a coach. 

    3. Players are not to enter the ice surface until the Zamboni has left the ice and the end doors are fully closed. Players are not permitted to sit on the boards, dangle their arms or legs over the baords, or toss items of any nature onto the ice while the Zamboni is on the ice. Players in violation of this directive may be face disciplinary action at the discretion of the YMHC Discipline Committee. 

    4. Parents and Visitors must leave the dressing room 10 minutes before game time and enter the dressing room after the game only after the Coach indicates.

    5. Only coaches and players are permitted on the bench side of the ice at York Mills Arena.

    Rules: On-Ice (House League)

    1. Body contact and body checking is banned at all age levels. Any player intentionally using their body to check an opponent shall be assessed a minimum 3 minute straight time or 2 minute stop time minor penalty. Repeated offences shall be subject to review by the Discipline Committee.

    2. Fighting has been banned at all age levels. A 5 minute major penalty plus a match penalty will be assessed for fighting, spearing, butt-ending or spitting. Repeated offences shall be subject to review by the Discipline Committee and could result in lifetime removal from the Club.

    3. Hitting a player from behind or checking a player into the boards in such a way that the player can not protect themselves will result in a game misconduct.

    4. If an attacking player makes contact with the goaltender after the goaltender freezes the puck, the resulting face-off will take place at either face-off spot outside the defending team's blue line.

    5. All high-sticking penalties are an automatic 5 minute major. If there is a resulting injury the penalty is a game misconduct.

    6. Slashing is a minor or major penalty at the discretion of the referee. If there is an injury the penalty will be a major and a game misconduct.

    7. A goaltender or player may not play with a broken stick. If a stick breaks during play, the player must immediately discard the stick otherwise a penalty will be assessed. The goalie may play with another player's stick.

    8. Contact after the whistle has been blown stopping play will result in a minor or major penalty at the discretion of the Referee.

    9. Players are not permitted to swarm the goalie after the game.

    10. All coaches must wear helmets while on the ice.

    11. Coaches must ensure that all players leave the ice immediately after each game in an orderly manner. Coaches are not to leave the bench area until all players have left the ice surface.

    12. Shaking hands, either at the start or end of the game, is at the convenors discretion.                                                                 

    Equal Ice-Time Guidelines

    1. Equal ice-time applies to all players regardless of ability. Equal ice-time applies equally during regular and play-off schedules.

    2. Every player must be on the ice every 3rd shift and not more than every second shift.

    3. All 5 players should be changed at the same time. If during play, shifting may be done gradually but all 5 players must be changed.

    4. Shifts should be roughly the same duration and should be limited to a maximum of 3 minutes. The normal length of shifts towards the end of a game should not change.

    5. Following a penalty, the player should resume their regular rotation.

    6. Constant use of strong players every second shift and weak players every 3rd shift is not permitted.

    7. Players may not be substituted out of regular rotation.

    8. Abuse of the intent of the equal ice-time guideline will, at the Convenor's discretion, result in a 3 minute straight time bench penalty to be served by the player receiving the extra ice-time.

    The Convenor of each division may establish, subject to approval by the President, additional Guidelines to ensure competitive play within their division.

    To assist coaches in the application of equitable player participation during a game, YMHC recommends that coaches comply with the following player guideline:


    Number of Skaters (excluding goalie) Forwards Defence
    15 9 6
    14 9 5
    13 9 4
    12 8 4
    11 7 4
    10 6 4
    9 6 3
    8 5 3
    7 4 3
    6 or less Default  


    Playoff Guidelines

    Each team will play each other once during the Round Robin. York Mills has adopted a Round Robin format for playoffs for all divisions that leads to a Championship Day, whereby 2 teams from each division will be eligible to play in a Championship game. The eligibility for teams for Championship Day shall be based on the results during a Round Robin 3 game playoff format.  The top 2 teams from this Round Robin event will advance to the Championship Day game.

    For both the Round Robin playoff games and the Championship day games the following guidelines apply:

    1. Each game is to be the same duration and format as used in House League.
    2. Points are awarded on the same basis as house league: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie.
    3. The winner of the Championship Game shall be the overall winner, the loser of the Championship shall be the second place winner (Championship Game Finalist).
    4. The last 5 minutes of regular time for all age divisions will be stop time if the goal differential is or becomes 1 goal or less. If stop time is started and the differential subsequently becomes more than 1 goal, stop time shall continue until the end of the game.

    Tie Breaking Rules

    In the event of ties at the end or regular season or playoffs, the following guidelines apply:

    1. Head to head result
    2. Most wins
    3. Greatest differential between goals for and goals against
    4. Most goals for
    5. Least goals against
    6. Regular season standings
    7. Coin toss

    The above guidelines take into consideration only games played during the Round Robin, except for number 6.

    Championship Game: Sudden Death Overtime

    There will be 2 sudden death formats depending on the division.

    One format will be for those teams that used the 3 minute buzzer during the season and the 2nd for divisions that do not use the 3 minute buzzer system during the regular season.

    For age divisions (atom and below) with automatic buzzers the following guidelines apply:

    • in the event of a tie after regulation play is completed there will be a sudden death consisting of 3 periods, each of 2 minutes in length (same as regular play, but with stop time for the full 2 minutes of each period), 5 skaters each side
    • substitutions can only be made in the event of injury
    • penalties assessed during a shift will not be carried over to the next shift.
    • the 1st team to score shall be declared the winner

    If the game is still tied after the 3 x 2 minute periods there will be a shootout comprising of 3 shooters per team and then if needed, a sudden death shoot out shall occur. Teams will take alternate shots. The team that has the most goals after the initial three shooters or the team that scores 1st after an equal number of shooters after the first three shooters, will be declared the winner. Each coach is to prepare and submit to the referee prior to the start of the shootout a sheet indicating the order of player participation in the event of a sudden death shootout. This list may not be changed once the shootout has started.

    For age divisions (minor peewee and above) without automatic buzzers the following guidelines apply:

    • in the event of a tie after regulation play is completed there will be a sudden death overtime period of 5 minutes in length, 4 skaters vs. 4 skaters (not including goalies).
    • the entire 5 minutes will be stop time.
    • substitutions can be made
    • if the game is still tied after the 5 minute overtime period is completed there will be a three shooter shootout and then if required, a sudden death shootout. Teams will take alternate shots. The team that scores 1st, after the first three shooters or after an equal number of shooters in the sudden death, will be declared the winner. Each coach is to prepare and submit to the referee prior to the start of the shootout a sheet indicating the order of player participation in the event of a sudden death shootout. This list may not be changed once the shootout has started.

    Players participating in the 5 minute sudden death overtime may not be the same players that participate in the alternate shot shoot-out until all remaining players who did not participate in the sudden death period have participated in the shoot out. This is designed to give all players a chance to play in the overtime period. If the game is tied after all players have shot, the shoot out shall repeat and all players are eligible in the order defined on the coach's list. Rules applying to limits of Select players and the three goal limit will carry over into overtime – ie: if a player has three goals in regulation, he or she will not be allowed to score in overtime, but will be allowed to score in the shootout.

    All players are restricted to 3 goals in each game. All teams are restricted to 2 select players (excluding the goalie if her or she is select) on the ice and all times. If 3 selects players are on the ice, and a goal is scored, the goal shall be disallowed. Games sheets must have select notations beside the select players names. A select goalie does not count as one of the 2 selects, but if the goalie is pulled and he or she is select, the 2 select rule continues to be in effect.


    Duties and Responsibilities: Player's Code

    All players are expected to:

    • play the game for fun and not to please your Parent or Coach

    • play by the rules

    • never to argue with the Referee. Direct all concerns to your Coach.

    • conduct themselves with respect and dignity at all times. Players are not permitted to mouth off, slam sticks or throw equipment.

    • respect the playing facilities provided

    • respect their Coach

    • work hard and try their best for their own benefit and the benefit of their team

    • encourage your fellow teammates

    • control their temper. Foul language, fighting or temper tantrums will not be tolerated.

    • inform your Coach if you are unable to attend games or practices

    • do not usea cell phone or camera in the change room at any time

    Duties and Responsibilities: Parent's Code

    All parents are expected to:

    • encourage their child to play by the rules

    • recognize the value and importance of all volunteers. They provide their time and resources to provide hockey for your child.

    • support all efforts to remove all forms of harassment from the game

    • applaud the efforts and good plays from both teams

    • ensure that your child is properly outfitted

    • teach that hard work and honest effort is as important as victory so that game results are accepted without undue disappointment

    • encourage your child towards skill development and good sportsmanship

    • do not yell at officials. Direct any concerns to the Division Convenor.

    • must advise coaches of any medical conditions applicable to your child at the start of the season

    • ensure that you have responsible supervision for your child in the event you can not attend

    • have your child fully dressed, with skates tied, in the dressing room 15 minutes before game time

    • leave the dressing room 10 minutes before game time

    • stay away from the bench area unless your child is injured or requires medical attention

    • any parent asked to leave the ice rink or bench area by a Referee or Coach must do so immediately

    • do not use a cell phone or camera in the dressing room at any time

    • Duties and Responsibilities: Coach's Code

      All Coaches are expected to:

      • provide encouragement and positive re-enforcement to all players

      • ensure that all players receive equal ice time each game during both regular season and playoffs

      • be courteous and respectful towards Referees, fellow Coaches and parents

      • wear your YMHC jacket for all games and practices

      • ensure alternative coaching arrangements are in place in the event you can not attend games or practices

      • educate players to ensure they play by the rules and demonstrate good sportsmanship at all times

      • maintain team discipline; fights, temper tantrums, foul language are not to be tolerated

      • notify the Convenor of all disciplinary and officiating issues, if any, immediately after each game

      • distribute all League and Division communications to players/parents promptly

      • honour all Select suspensions applicable to House League play

      • conduct supervised pre-game warm-up including organizing drills

      Coach Selection and Qualification

      House League and Select Coaches and Assistant Coaches shall be appointed at the discretion of the House League and Select Convenors respectively.  Their decision is final.  Coaches at all divisions, both House League and Select must obtain prior to the start of the season their GTHL Abuse & Harassment certification and Understanding Discrimination based on Gender Identity and Gender Expression.  Select Coaches must obtain their GTHL Level 1 certification.

      Duties and Responsibilities: Convenor's Code

      The Convenor has the responsibility to:

      • co-ordinate and administer all aspects related to their Division

      • administer their Division in acordance with established YMHC guidelines. Alterations / amedments to established YMHC guidelines may not be implemented unless prior approval is obtained from the YMHC Executive. 

      • recruit required Coaches and Assistants necessary to ensure the proper functioning of all Divisional teams

      • establish all team rosters ensuring teams are balanced in terms of ability and number of players; make necessary adjustments to attain team balance not later than the end of the 6th game

      • make sure that all teams players and parents are aware of the location on the YMHC website and teamSNAP of all team practices and games 

      • keep a sepearte and independant record of all games results and standings on a wekly basis as a back up to the duties and responsibilities of those in charge of maintaining regular season and play-off standings and related statistics

      • distribute all League and Division communications in a timely manner

      • co-ordinate and attend all aspects related to Picture Day and Championship Day

      • immediately deal with all issues related to player, parent and coach conduct. The Convenor shall immediately inform the Discipline Committee of all related matters.

      • distribute all sweaters, goalie equipment and team pictures in a timely manner

      • collect YMHC goalie equipment at end of the season and bring to York Mills Arena on Championship Day.  Insure that league goalie equipment is never left unattended and that goalie equipment is not dropped off at arenas to faciliate parent pick up

      • direct all inquiries regarding registration to the YMHC Registrar at The Convenor can not confirm acceptance of any application without the knowledge and approval of the Registrar.

      • ensure Select players regularily participate in all house league games in accordance with the guidelines established by YMHC and the GTHL. report any concerns to the YMHC Head Convenor and YMHC Select Convenor. 

      • notify the YMHC Registrar of any change in player status

      Duties and Responsibilities: Referees

      1. All York Mills Hockey Club Referees are under the training and development of our Referee-in-Chief. Most have played at York Mills Hockey Club and many are still playing. The Referees deserve our confidence and support.

      2. The decisions of the Referees are final. Any challenges or complaints are to be brought to the attention of the Convenor at the conclusion of the game.

      3. The Referees are instructed to keep the game in play and to allow no more than a reasonable amount of time for each team to line up before dropping the puck.

      4. Referees are responsible for calling timeouts for injuries and there will be no other stop time except as provided by these rules.

      Duties and Responsibilities : Timekeeper

      1. Attend each game they are assigned at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start time.

      2. Bring a league approved timesheet and a pen to each game(s).

      3. Insure you find a replacement in the event you can not attend a scheduled game.

      4. Be familiar with the league and divisional guidelines to insure that each game is conducted properly.

      5. Insure that they email the game results to their designated YMHC contact immediately after every game.  Timekeepers are not to request payment for games played unless they have emailed the game results as previously outlined.

      Penalties: Minor Penalties

      For divisions with no buzzer - 3 minutes straight time; for divisons with a buzzer - 2 minutes stop time. The affected player will return to the ice should their team be scored on while the team is short handed because of the penalty.

    • For divisions where there is a buzzer the player serves that portion of their penalty time for the balance of their shift and serves the remaining time on their next shift

    • For divisions where there is no buzzer the penalty time is 2 minutes straight time. 

    • Penalties: Major Penalties

      Any player assessed a major penalty for any infraction will serve the entire 5 minutes in the penalty box regardless of the number of goals scored by the opposition and will be subject to a review by the Discipline Committee.

      Any player assessed a second major penalty for any infraction during the course of the same game shall be assessed an automatic game misconduct, a 1 game suspension and a review by the Discipline Committee.

      Any player with a history of repeat major penalties over the course of the season will have their conduct reviewed by the Discipline Committee, in a timely manner.

      Should players from both teams receive major penalties at the same time, the coincidental penalty rule shall take effect.

      Penalties: Misconduct Penalties

      Any player assessed a misconduct penalty will serve the entire 10 minutes in the penalty box. This penalty is assessed to any player who continues to argue with an official.

      Penalties: Game Misconduct Penalties

      Any player assessed a game misconduct penalty is required to leave the game and remain away from the ice surface and team benches for the duration of the game. This penalty is assessed to any player guilty of obscene or profane language to a Referee, Coach or Convenor. The player is also subject to a further 1 game suspension and review by the Discipline Committee.

      Penalties: Gross Misconduct

      The player is required to leave the game and remain away from the ice surface and team benches for the duration of the game. This penalty is assessed for obscene or profane gestures to anybody or for making a travesty of the game. The player is also subject to a 2 game suspension and review by the Discipline Committee.

      Penalties: Match Penalties

      The player is required to leave the game and remain away from the ice surface and team benches for the duration of the game. This penalty is assessed for kicking, spearing, butt-ending, hair pulling, spitting at an opponent, molesting or threatening an official. The player is also subject to a 3 game suspension and review by the Discipline Committee. The player's team will play short-handed for the next five minutes and a teammate will serve the full five minutes regardless of any goals scored.

      Penalties: Too Many Penalties

      Any combination of 3 minor, 2 major or misconduct penalties assessed to one player during the same game will be cause for that player being sent to the dressing room for the remainder of that game.

      Penalties: Referees

      Referees have the final decision in all disputes. Any challenges or complaints about the Referee's decisions are to be brought to the attention of the Convenor immediately after the game is completed. The Convenor has no authority to overrule a Referee's decision.

      Penalties: Coaches

      Any Coach receiving a misconduct penalty is required to leave the game immediately and remain away from the ice surface and team benches for the duration of the game.


      1. The Discipline Committee shall consist of :

        - the President or his designate as Chairman
        - the Referee in Chief, or his designate
        - the head of the Discipline Committee

      2. All persons affiliated with a hockey team of the YMHC, whether as a player, coach, executive, convenor, parent or otherwise are subject to the discipline process.

      3. In all cases where a player, coach, executive, convenor or parent is ejected from a game, is suspended, or is guilty of conduct unbecoming a person affiliated with YMHC, the Referee, Referee-in-Chief or Convenor shall forthwith refer the matter to a member of the Discipline Committee who shall thereupon report the matter to the President or Vice-President. The President, or in his absence, the Vice-President, shall thereupon promptly convene a hearing before the Discipline Committee to review the matter.

      4. The President or his designate shall notify the person concerned in advance by letter or telephone of the date, time, place and subject matter of the hearing.

      5. The procedure to be followed at hearings shall be determined by the Discipline Committee and a quorum for all hearings shall be consist of at least 2 members of the Discipline Committee. The hearing shall be conducted informally. The person concerned may attend with representation. The Committee may proceed in the person's absence. The Committee shall receive all reasonably reliable information. The Chairman may, at their discretion, adjourn the hearing for the purpose of obtaining additional information.

      6. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Committee shall forthwith deliver its decision. The Committee may impose additional penalties or relieve against penalties already imposed in accordance with the rules, regulations and guidelines of the GTHL and YMHC in force from time to time.

      7. All suspensions may be adjusted or appealed to the Discipline Committee. If the Discipline Committee imposes a suspension of 7 games or more, the person concerned may appeal to the Executive at the next regular meeting or one scheduled for that purpose. The decision of the Discipline Committee is stayed pending that appeal. The Directors who participated in the hearing before the Discipline Committee shall not participate in the appeal. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Directors eligible to participate in the appeal.

      8. In an appropriate circumstance, the President or Vice-president may, without a hearing, impose an immediate suspension of up to 7 days pending a hearing of the Discipline Committee.

      9. The results of the hearing and appeal, if any, shall be recorded by the Secretary in a book for that purpose. If the person concerned is suspended for one year or more, the Secretary shall inform the Registrar, and the Registration List accordingly.

      Suspensions: House League and Select

      Any YMHC player who plays in both the House League and Select Division and who receives a penalty in the House League which results in a suspension from play for one or more games will in addition, immediately draw an identical suspension in the Select Division, and visa versa. All House League suspensions will consist of a given number of games, as opposed to a period of time. For example, if a player is suspended for two House League games, that player is also suspended from the next two Select games. In the event of a second penalty in a House League or Select game resulting in a suspension during a season, the player's conduct will be reviewed by the Discipline Committee to determine whether the suspension should be extended for part of, or all of the balance of the season, including the playoffs.


      The Directors and Coaches of YMHC are committed to the provision of a safe environment in which to enjoy playing hockey. This includes protecting participants from all forms of abuse and neglect, whether emotional, physical, or sexual. We expect every Director, Coach, Convenor, Referee, Parent and Volunteer to take all reasonable steps to safeguard the welfare of its participants and protect them from all forms of maltreatment.

      If there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a participant may be suffering or may have suffered from emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, you will immediately report the suspicion and the information on which it is based to either the Convenor, or any member of the Discipline Committee, who will investigate and take necessary action.