skip navigation

Tournament Rules & Requirements

Team Name Policy

Because USA Hockey’s website and social media platforms are visible to hockey fans of all ages (e.g. children of participants that go to the website to see if their mom or dad won that day), Pond Hockey team names must not be offensive to any particular group or individual. While we encourage and enjoy creativity, we will not post team names online that may be sexually suggestive, discriminatory, or harassing in any way. USA Hockey will review all team names and, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to reject any team name or modify any team name deemed offensive by either abbreviating or shortening the name. Thank you for your cooperation in being respectful to all hockey players and fans.

Team Dropout Policy

Teams who wish to withdraw from the tournament must do so before the Tuesday, December 1st deadline in order to receive a 75% refund. Teams that withdraw after December 1st, will forfeit their $700 entry fee.

You MUST contact the adult hockey department to process your cancellation. AdultHockey@usahockey.org

Weather Cancellation Policy

The Labatt Blue USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships is an outdoor event. By entering, you acknowledge that you will be playing on a natural, outdoor ice surface, and ice conditions are at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Should the event be cancelled due to inclement weather or unsafe ice conditions as determined by the tournament director(s), teams will receive a refund of 25% and a guaranteed entry into the 2022 USA Hockey/Labatt Blue Pond Hockey National Championships in the same division that they are currently registered (no exceptions).

Covid-19 Cancellation Policy

Should the event be cancelled due to COVID-19, all teams will receive a 75% refund to the credit card on file from initial registration.


Rules

2021 COVID-19 Changes (subject to change at any time)

  • To comply with state and local distancing requirements the event will begin 1 day earlier. Thursday, February 4 – Sunday, February 7.
  • Absolutely no spitting at the venue. Spitting will result in a goal for the opposing team. 
  • All high-risk 50+ divisions are not being offered this year. 
  • Absolutely no spectators. 
  • Team check-in and scoring will be done electronically. There will be no hanging signs. 
  • Teams will change attack directions at the end of the half but will keep the same bench areas.
  • Digging pucks out of the snowbank is prohibited. The first person to the area the puck went out will win possession. 
  • No sharing of any equipment.
  • There will be no changing tents.
  • Merchandise will be sold online only before, during, and after the tournament.
  • Food & beer will not be sold on site. 
  • Benches and shovels will be sanitized prior to the tournament start and at the end of each day.

Tournament Rules

  • USA Hockey will not permit drone devices at the Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships.
  • All players are required to follow USA Hockey Adult Level equipment recommendations; all players are required to wear a helmet designed for hockey (HECC approved or otherwise). Helmets must include a chin-strap that shall be properly worn at all times.
  • All players must be 21 years of age by the start date of the tournament.  Teams must also follow the additional age requirements for their respective division.  Photo ID’s are required at check-in and will be checked throughout the event.  Players unable to produce a photo ID, at any point, cannot participate until the ID is provided to a tournament director. 
  • Players may only play on one team. NO EXCEPTIONS!!
  • All teams must arrive at the tournament site with light and dark game sweaters. Teams must wear color contrasting sweaters during games, and if a change must be made the visiting team shall be required to make the switch.
  • Minimum number of players on a team is four (4); maximum is seven (7).  Teams must have four (4) players at the start of each game.
  • All Teams must have at least 4 players ready to play at their scheduled game start time.  If not the game clock will start and the offending team will be penalized one goal for each minute they are late.  Should the offending team produce 4 players at any time during the first half the game will start at that point with the offending team down the appropriate deficit (i.e. five minutes late, game will begin at the 10 minute mark with the offending team down 5-0).  If the offending team is not able to produce at least four players by the end of the first half, the game shall be declared a forfeit and the NON-OFFENDING team will be awarded a 15-0 victory.  
  • Prior to every game, each team will shovel/scrape one half of the rink.
  • The Home Team shall have first choice of which half of the ice to defend.
  • There will be a center ice face-off to start each half. Each half shall be fifteen (15) minutes in length. A five (5) minute warm-up is allowed before the game, and half-time will be five (5) minutes in length. All periods are “Running Time”.
  • Teams shall switch ends during the second half of the game.
  • Each team is allowed one time-out per game. All time-outs are one minute in length.
  • All goals must be scored from the attacking side of the center red line.
  • After a goal, the team that scored will be required to wait on their defending side of the red line. The team that is scored upon must advance the puck up the ice immediately. Defending teams can engage the puck carrier once the puck crosses the center red line.
  • There will be no offside or icing.
  • Penalties will be enforced.  Any minor penalty called such as tripping or slashing will result in a goal for the non-offending team plus change of puck possession. 
  • Any serious (major penalty) infractions will result in ejection from the game with no replacement.
  • Fighting is strictly prohibited.  Any player that fights will be ejected from the tournament with no replacement.
  • No body-checking is allowed during games. Any intentional, overt, or reckless body contact will result in a minor or major penalty.
  • There will be no slap-shots. If the stick rises above the knee in attempt of a shot or pass it will result in a change of puck possession.
  • There will be no lifting the puck above the knees; pucks that are intentionally raised above the knees will result in a change of puck possession.
  • Stick contact with the puck above the waist will result in a change of puck possession.
  • No use of goaltending equipment, with the exception of skates, shall be permitted..
  • A player may not lay his/her stick, drop to their knees or lay on the ice to protect the goal.  Players must remain on their skates in front of the goal.  No more than one player can occupy the space in front of the net.  Any act of “goaltending” shall result in an awarded goal for the non-offending team.
  • Players should make every attempt to play a puck that lands on the snow bank. If the puck is “unplayable” the referee shall determine possession based on who directed the puck out of the playing area. Once possession is awarded, defending players should stand two-stick lengths away to begin play.

TIED GAMES

  • Round Robin Competition: If a game is tied at the end of regulation, a three minute, 4 on 4 run-time period will be held.  The team that scores the most goals during that time will be declared the winner. All goals scored will count towards the goal differential.  If still tied an additional sudden victory period will be played until one team scores to be declared the winner. 
  • Playoff Competition: If regulation ends in a tie, there shall be a one minute rest period followed by a five (5) minute overtime period. Teams shall play 4 on 4. Playoff Overtime is non-sudden victory. The team which scores the most goals at the end of the overtime period shall be declared the winner. If the game is still tied after the first overtime period, this same procedure (1min rest; 5min OT) shall be followed until a winner is decided.
  • Teams shall return to their original ends of the ice for the first overtime period, and switch ends during each successive overtime period. 

ILLEGAL PLAYERS & TEAMS:

  • If the tournament director(s) determine that an illegal player has participated in the tournament, the player(s) shall be immediately removed from the tournament and the team using the ineligible player(s) will receive a 0-1 forfeit loss in each of the games the illegal player(s) participated in.
  • Illegal players are any participants that,
    1. Violate the minimum age requirement for their skill division
    2. Participate in a division below their skill level
    3. Participate on two team rosters
    4. Are under 21 years-of-age.
  • Silver Division & Below: If it is determined by the tournament director(s) at any point during the preliminary round games that a team’s skill level as a whole is far above their competition, that team will be permitted to play the three game guarantee, but will receive a 15-0 forfeit loss for those games and will not be permitted to advance. 

THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR(S) RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS REGARDING TOURNAMENT RULES, FORMAT, ETC. FOR THE OVERALL GOOD OF THE EVENT. IN ALL CASES THIS DECISION SHALL BE FINAL.

Adult Hockey News