skip navigation

What constitutes a legal game? What is an illegal game? (11/12/2022)

USA Hockey 2022-23 Annual Guide; Rules & Regulations


A. Definition of a Game: An ice hockey game is a contest played against another team which is registered with USA Hockey or a member organization of the IIHF. USA Hockey playing rules or approved modification thereof shall apply.  

(1) The age appropriate standard playing surface at 8 & Under is cross- Ice or half-ice.
. . . . .

MAHA Annual Guide 2022-2023
Rules and Regulations


2. Definition of a game:
The following conditions shall constitute a valid game:
a. When two registered teams occupy the same ice surface for the purpose of competitive play.
b. A game shall consist of at least three (3) periods of 10 minutes stopped time or 15 minutes running time, except where the game is interrupted, (by some unforeseen event) after two (2) periods have been completed. The game must be officiated by registered referees and with a completed and signed score sheet.
c. Once the teams commence play, this session counts toward the maximum game count for both teams regardless of the minutes played. (Completion of a game stopped due to a curfew only counts as one game in total.)

3. The following conditions shall constitute an invalid game:
a. When two registered teams occupy the same ice surface and compete without registered referees, with or without the clock and scoreboard, with or without coaches on the ice and without a completed/signed score sheet. Coaches and players for both teams are subject to suspension under rules II., B., 1 and 2. This session does count toward the maximum game count for each team.

4. This rule is not intended to prohibit controlled practice sessions between teams in a single Association/Club only under the following circumstances: 1) an Association assigned split ice practice; 2) coaches are on the ice and using this as a teaching situation; 3) this takes place during the final portion of the practice session, not to exceed 15 minutes. This session does not count toward the maximum game count for the teams involved.