HOCKEY CANADA PLAYING RULES
The illustrations and text used in this publication are the exclusive copyright of Hockey Canada. Any
reproduction of this publication in whole or in part without the written permission of Hockey Canada
is strictly forbidden. Hockey Canada Playing Rules are up to date as of August 2021 and will take
effect at the beginning of the 2021-2022 hockey season.
INTRODUCTION TO HOCKEY CANADA PLAYING RULES
This publication includes Hockey Canada Playing Rules along with situations (cases) related to the
official rules. Hockey Canada Playing Rules are an important reference for officials, players, coaches,
and hockey executives. They provide guidance and information about how the playing rules are to be
applied in various situations, and clarify misunderstandings related to the application of the rules.
Hockey Canada respects gender diversity. As such, its playing rules are written using neutral nouns
and pronouns to respect all genders.
FOREWORD
Hockey Canada Playing Rules do not constitute a procedures manual. Approved procedures and
techniques for officials can be found in the Hockey Canada Officiating Resources.
MISSION STATEMENT
LEAD, DEVELOP AND PROMOTE
POSITIVE HOCKEY EXPERIENCES
© Copyright 2021 by Hockey Canada
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or photocopying, recording or
otherwise without prior permission of the copyright owner.
A copy of this document has been deposited at the Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC), 2451
Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1H 7X7.
Printed in Canada
First published in Canada 1993 by Hockey Canada, 801 King Edward Avenue Drive, Suite N204,
Ottawa, ON, KIN 6N5
ISBN 978-1-897355-51-0 13th edition (2021)
Item #55503
Ce document est aussi disponible en français

ii HOCKEY CANADA PLAYING RULES 2020-2022 HOCKEYCANADA.CA
HOCKEY CANADA PLAYING RULES
FAIR PLAY INITIATIVE
As a result of Hockey Canada’s focus on fair play and improved communication between officials,
coaches and players, Hockey Canada has implemented the following process:
“In all games, the officials shall approach each bench and meet the coaches. This process should
not take more than 15 seconds and will be completed prior to the game, at the end of the pre-game
warm-up. Officials are also encouraged to shake hands with the captains where possible.”
This process is supported by the Coaching Program, Officiating Program and the Hockey Canada
Board of Directors.
FAIR PLAY ANNOUNCEMENT
It is recommended that this announcement be made prior to every game.
Good (evening/afternoon/morning) (ladies and gentlemen/hockey fans). Welcome to (tonight’s/
today’s/this morning’s) game between _______ and _______.
These are young hockey players who are performing here (tonight/today). They are friendly rivals as
members of opposing teams. They are not enemies.
The coaches for (tonight’s/today’s/this morning’s) game are _______ and _______. They have
accepted the challenge of teaching the skills of this great game.
The officials are _________ and _________. These individuals have been assigned to administer
the rules of the game. Their training, experience and integrity qualify them for their role in this contest.
On behalf of the (team/association) _____________, enjoy our great game of skill.

Table of Contents
Referee’s Signals................................................. 1
Glossary.............................................................. 4
SECTION 1 — PLAYING AREA ................................ 7
Rule 1.1 Rink .................................................. 7
Rule 1.2 Rink Dimensions ............................... 7
Rule 1.3 Division of Ice Surface....................... 7
Rule 1.4 Goal Posts and Nets.......................... 8
Rule 1.5 Goal Crease ...................................... 8
Rule 1.6 Centre Ice Spot and Circle................. 8
Rule 1.7 Face-off Spots in Neutral Zone........... 8
Rule 1.8 End Zone Face-off Spots and
Circles............................................... 9
Rule 1.9 Players’ Bench ................................... 9
Rule 1.10 Penalty Bench ................................. 10
Rule 1.11 Referee’s Crease ............................. 10
Rule 1.12 Signal and Timing Devices............... 10
Rule 1.13 Dressing Rooms .............................. 11
Rule 1.14 Rink Lighting ................................... 11
SECTION 2 — TEAMS.......................................... 12
Rule 2.1 Composition of Team ....................... 12
Rule 2.2 Players in Uniform ........................... 12
Rule 2.3 Team Roster .................................... 13
Rule 2.4 Captain of the Team......................... 13
Rule 2.5 Change of Players............................ 15
Rule 2.6 Injured Players................................. 18
SECTION 3 — EQUIPMENT .................................. 22
Measurement Guidelines........................................ 22
Rule 3.1 Adjustment of Equipment ................ 22
Rule 3.2 Broken Sticks .................................. 24
Rule 3.3 Sticks.............................................. 27
Rule 3.4 Skates............................................. 29
Rule 3.5 Goaltender’s Equipment .................. 29
Rule 3.6 Protective Equipment....................... 31
Rule 3.7 Dangerous Equipment ..................... 37
Rule 3.8 Puck................................................ 38
SECTION 4 — TYPES OF PENALTIES..................... 39
Rule 4.1 Penalties ......................................... 39
Rule 4.2 Minor Penalties ............................... 40
Rule 4.3 Bench Minor Penalties..................... 45
Rule 4.4 Major Penalties ............................... 46
Rule 4.5 Misconduct Penalties ...................... 49
Rule 4.6 Game Ejection/Game Misconduct
Penalties ......................................... 49
Rule 4.7 Gross Misconduct Penalties............. 50
Rule 4.8 Match Penalties............................... 50
Rule 4.9 Penalty Shot.................................... 50
Rule 4.10 Awarded Goals................................ 58
Rule 4.11 Goaltender Penalties ....................... 61
Rule 4.12 Delayed Penalties............................ 63
Rule 4.13 Calling of Penalties.......................... 64
Examples of Minor Penalties................................... 69
Examples of Coincident - Major/Match Penalties.... 70
SECTION 5 — OFFICIALS .................................... 72
Rule 5.1 Appointment of Officials .................. 72
Rule 5.2 Referee(s) and Linespersons ........... 72
Rule 5.3 Linespersons................................... 74
Rule 5.4 Goal Judges .................................... 77
Rule 5.5 Penalty Timekeeper.......................... 77
Rule 5.6 Official Scorer.................................. 77
Rule 5.7 Game Timekeeper............................ 79
SECTION 6 — PHYSICAL FOULS .......................... 80
Rule 6.1 Attempt to Injure or Deliberate
Injury .............................................. 80
Rule 6.2 Boarding and Body-checking........... 81
Rule 6.3 Charging.......................................... 82
Rule 6.4 Checking from Behind ..................... 82
Rule 6.5 Head Contact .................................. 84
Clarifications on Head Contact for Junior A and Senior
Hockey ONLY.......................................................... 84
Rule 6.6 Kneeing........................................... 85
Rule 6.7 Fighting and Roughing..................... 85
SECTION 7 — RESTRAINING FOULS..................... 92
Rule 7.1 Holding ........................................... 92
Rule 7.2 Hooking........................................... 92
Rule 7.3 Interference/Protection of the
Goaltender ...................................... 92
Rule 7.4 Tripping ........................................... 96
SECTION 8 — STICK FOULS ................................ 98
Rule 8.1 Butt-Ending..................................... 98
Rule 8.2 Cross-Checking ............................... 98
Rule 8.3 High-Sticking................................... 98
Rule 8.4 Slashing........................................101
Rule 8.5 Spearing .......................................101
Rule 8.6 Three or More Stick Infractions ......102
SECTION 9 — OTHER FOULS ............................. 104
Rule 9.1 Handling the Puck .........................104
Rule 9.2 Diving............................................106
Rule 9.3 Kick Shot.......................................106
Rule 9.4 Leaving the Players’ or Penalty
Bench ...........................................106
Rule 9.5 Throwing Stick or Object ................113
SECTION 10 — GAME FLOW ............................. 117
Rule 10.1 Delay of Game...............................117
Rule 10.2 Face-offs .......................................119
Rule 10.3 Falling on the Puck........................124
Rule 10.4 Goals and Assists..........................126
Rule 10.5 Icing the Puck ...............................128
Rule 10.6 Interference by Spectators.............131
Rule 10.7 Kicking the Puck............................131
Rule 10.8 Off-side.........................................132
Rule 10.9 Passes ..........................................136
Rule 10.10 Puck Must Be Kept in Motion.........137
Rule 10.11 Puck Out of Bounds or
Unplayable ....................................137
Rule 10.12 Puck Out of Sight and Illegal
Puck..............................................138

viii HOCKEY CANADA PLAYING RULES 2020-2022 HOCKEYCANADA.CA
HOCKEY CANADA PLAYING RULES
Rule 10.13 Puck Striking Official......................138
Rule 10.14 Refusing to Start Play ....................139
Rule 10.15 Start of Game and Periods ............140
Rule 10.16 Tied Game.....................................140
Rule 10.17 Time of Game................................141
SECTION 11 — MALTREATMENT (NEW) ............. 142
Rule 11.1 Unsportsmanlike Conduct..............142
Rule 11.2 Disrespectful, Abusive, and
Harassing Behaviour......................144
Rule 11.3 Spitting .........................................145
Rule 11.4 Discrimination ...............................146
Rule 11.5 Physical Harassment of Officials ....146
Minor and Female Hockey Supplement............. 148
Rule 2.2 Players in Uniform .........................148
Rule 2.6 Injured Players...............................148
Rule 6.2 Boarding and Body-Checking.........148
Rule 10.17 Time of Game................................148
Rule Clarifications for Junior A and Senior
Hockey............................................................ 149
Rule 6.5 Head Contact ................................149
Rule 6.7 Fighting/Roughing.........................150
Rule 8.3 High Stick Clarification on Goals....153
Rule 10.5 Icing - Player Change Update.........153
Appendix A: Goaltender’s Stick, Player’s Stick
and Puck (Rule 3.3, 3.8) ................................. 154
Appendix B: Goaltender’s Gloves and Pads
(Rule 3.5) ....................................................... 155
Appendix C: The Rink and Ice Markings............ 156
Appendix D: Time Penalty Options Chart........... 157
Appendix E: Instructions to Off-Ice Officials ..... 158
Appendix F: Duties of Teams or Rink Managers
Relating to Rink Conditions ............................ 158
Appendix G: Goal Crease (Rule 1.5)................. 159
Appendix H: Face-Off Restraining Lines............ 160
Neutral and End Zone Face-Off Spots (Rule 1.7
and 1.8) ..............................................................160
Cross Reference.............................................. 161

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