Ball hockey league house rules
Welcome to the City of Ottawa Girls n’ Women and Sport ball hockey program. The league follows the rules set out in the official regulations of the Canadian Ball Hockey Association with a few exceptions.
This league is a recreational league where the focus is on fun and participation. Everyone can play! Please be respectful to the other players, and put the players before the game itself.
Do not leave valuables in your vehicle or in the change rooms in the gymnasiums. The City of Ottawa, the Girls n’ Women and Sport Program, schools and community centres are not responsible for items that are lost, stolen or damaged.
- A team cannot put more than five players on the floor at the same time (one goaltender and four players). However, a minimum of four players is required to be able to play. A team that does not have the mandatory four players after a five-minute delay shall forfeit the game.
- Players must be present and ready to play at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
- Teams may use a maximum of 3 spare/borrowed players to bring their team to 3 players above full strength. 5 players is full strength for ball hockey so teams may bring a maximum of 3 spare players to the game to make the game roster 8. Example: If you have 6 players showing up you can bring 2 spare players etc.
- Borrowed players are not permitted in the playoffs
- Spare players must play at least 3 season games to be permitted in the playoffs
- Please be respectful to referees and other players. The referees’ calls are final. Bear in mind that our referees have the necessary skills and are doing their best.
- The referee will do an equipment and jewelry check prior to game start.
- If a referee or an official does not show up for a game, the game shall go on as scheduled. We ask that both teams play in a friendly and respectful manner. Please submit the scores online.
Team and player equipment requirements
- Members of a team must wear jerseys that are the same colour. We prefer that numbers be worn. If two teams are to play each other have jerseys that are the same colour, the home team (listed first) must wear a jersey of a different colour.
- Goalies must wear a mask covering the entire face, a chest protector and goalie pads. Goaltender equipment (i.e., the mask, helmet, chest protector and goalie pads) are provided. If a goaltender needs a catching glove for the right hand, she must contact our offices so that steps are taken to provide her with one. Goalie equipment brought from home must be the same size as equipment provided by the GWS.
Goalie Equipment Requirements
- Chest protector
- Goalie Leg Pads
- Helmet with mask covering the entire face
- Wooden goalie stick with plastic blade or plastic stick and blade.
- Goalie equipment brought from home must be the same size as equipment provided by GWS.
- Any equipment that is not the same as the equipment GWS provides.
- Equipment that will provide team with an advantage due to equipment size.
The Girls n’ Women and Sport Program provides plastic hockey sticks for the players, including the goaltenders, and the balls. Players may bring their own stick as long as it is a polyethylene Dom Cup or Dom Pro stick.
It is recommended that players wear shin guards. They should also wear protective equipment such as mouth guards, gloves or any other protective equipment.
Players cannot wear anything that could pose a hazard to either themselves or others. All jewelry that poses a risk to others must be removed except for Medic Alert bracelets that must be covered or secured with tape to prevent injury.
Games are subject to a time limit that must be observed. Games consist of two 25-minute periods. Each team can request a one-minute timeout per period. Half time cannot exceed five minutes.
Each team must appoint a captain and assistant captains. Only the captain on the floor can question a referee regarding the interpretation of a rule during the game.
Teams will have a replacement system to encourage participation. Each player shall have the same playing time, unless she is injured. Players on the floor can be replaced by players on the bench at any time.
Mercy rule: For the 2017-2018 ball hockey season, the Girls n’ Women and Sport Program will not have a mercy rule in place. Note that this is a trial measure and if any complaints are forthcoming, the rule will be restored for the 2018-2019 season.
The first player to reach the ball when it is in the corner or along the wall shall pass it off into the playing area. If a player fails to do so within three seconds, the opposing team shall be awarded possession of the ball at the very spot where the infraction took place.
Goaltenders cannot leave their crease. Those who do are penalized three minutes for delay of game.
Players are prohibited from SWINGING their sticks. The other team is automatically awarded possession of the ball. Goaltenders cannot reach outside of their crease with their stick to intercept the ball. The other team would be awarded possession of the ball on the sideline.
The goaltender has three seconds to put the ball in play after making a save and must make lateral pass or a pass behind her net. If the goaltender holds the ball more than three seconds or makes a forward pass, the other team shall be awarded possession in the corner.
A player cannot intercept a ball in the air with their stick. She can knock it back down to the floor with her hand but not forwards toward the players of her own team. If either of these rules is violated, possession of the ball shall be awarded to the opposing team.
A two-minute minor penalty shall be imposed for the following infractions. The penalized team must play shorthanded one player until two minutes have elapsed or until a goal has been scored, whichever comes first. If both teams are penalized simultaneously, the full penalty time shall be served, even if a team scores a goal. Note that penalty times were lowered from three to two minutes, but this will be reversed if players begin to indulge in excessively rough play.
Contact: Pushing, jostling, elbowing, and tripping, etc., whether intentional or accidental.
Slashing: Striking an opponent with one’s stick. Striking the stick of the player with possession is not considered slashing, provided the contact is intended solely to regain possession of the ball. However, striking the stick of an opponent who doesn’t have the ball is considered unsportsmanlike conduct. Slashing includes any stick swung at another player, even in cases where there has been no contact.
Spearing: Striking or attempting to strike an opponent with the tip of the stick blade.
Handling the ball: Closing the hand on the ball and taking a step forward
High sticking: Striking the ball or another player with a high stick.
For the Girls n’ Women and Sport ball hockey league, a stick above the waist is considered a high stick. Since injuries from high sticks are more likely to occur in the confined area of a gymnasium, referees will penalize players carrying their sticks above the waist. When shooting, the wind-up and the follow through must be below the waist.
Holding: Holding the stick of another player with the hand or the stick.
Sliding: A player who slides shall receive a three-minute penalty. If they slide intentionally and seem to have injured another player, they shall be assessed a major penalty.
A seven-minute major penalty shall be assessed for some infractions. The penalized team shall play shorthanded for the entire seven minutes of play, even if a goal is scored against them. Infractions include routine checking, checking from behind and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Tie breaking procedure
- Regular season: Ties are permitted during the regular season.
- Playoffs: The same league rules apply. Games ending in a tie shall be decided by a shootout, with each having three (3) penalty shots. Each team shall select three (3) shooters. If the teams are still tied, a coin flip shall decide the winner.