Ball Hockey Rules

Game Play

  • 4 v. 4- Each team must have a minimum of four players on the roster with a maximum of seven.  4 v. 4 includes goalies.
  • Games may be played with 3 on a team, but only 2 will result in forfeit.
  • Games end when time expires, one team wins via Mercy Rule (10 goal lead in 2nd half), or when a team reaches 15 goals.
  • Organizers will make every effort to place teams in divisions with players of the same age, gender (?) and, if applicable, skill level.
  • Once the registration deadline closes, teams may not make roster substitutions (players must have ID’s).
  • All players must sign the score sheet prior to each game (waiver).
  • The ball will change possession after every goal is scored.
  • Changing on the fly is allowed only in the defensive zone.
  • No goalie changes, except in case of injury.  If goalie is injured, he/she may not return to game in an “out” position.
  • When a goalie covers the ball, the defending team gets possession behind the net with 3 yards of space and 5 seconds to start play.
  • If the ball leaves play off of the offensive team, the defending team gets possession behind their net with 3 yards of space and 5 seconds to start play.
  • If the ball leaves play off of the defensive team, the team on offense gets possession at the place closest to where the ball left play, with 3 yards of space and 5 seconds to start play.
  • After a goal is scored, the team that was scored on gets possession immediately.
    • The team that scored must clear and cannot cross the center line until the ball or an offensive player cross the line, OR 10 seconds have passed.
    • If the goal is scored in the last 5 minutes, the team that scored must still clear the zone, but may encroach immediately (to avoid stalling).


  • 3 minute warm-up before each game.
  • 10 minute forfeit allowance.
  • 30 minute games consisting of two 15 minute halves with a 1 minute halftime.
  • Running time except for last minute of 2nd half.
  • Each team gets one 30-second timeout per game.


  • Any infraction will result in a penalty shot.
  • Stalling results in a penalty shot.
  • If a single player gets 2 penalties in a game (not including: making contact with the ball with a high stick, too many men, or taking a slap shot) will result in that player being ejected from that game.
  • Any player can take penalty shots.
  • After the penalty shot, the play is dead and possession goes to the defending team.
  • There is no stalling (referee discretion).
  • Infractions include hooking, tripping, slashing, cross checking, high sticking, or inappropriate stick work of any kind.
  • More serious offenses, which will result in a player being immediately disqualified from the tournament, include spearing and/or butt ending, and fighting.


  • Ties are broken by a 3 player shootout.
  • If still tied after 3 shooters, the shootout moves to sudden death format, with the same 3 shooters shooting in the same order.


  • Goalies bring their own (pads may be no wider than 13”.  Pad measurements can be requested by team captain of opposing team and carry same consequences as asking for stick measurements in the NHL.
  • Sticks and running shoes are not provided and are mandatory.  Any chipped, sharp or dangerous stick may not be used.
  • Eye protection is required for all participants 13 years and under.
  • Gloves, helmets, eye protection, jocks, mouth guards, and shin guards are strongly encouraged for all participants, but not mandatory.

Rain Plan

  • Games will proceed rain or shine, except under conditions of severe weather systems.
  • Under threat of severe weather, games will be shortened to 20 minutes with no halftime, or until a team reaches 10 goals.


  • If blood is flowing, a player must leave the game until the flow has stopped and there is no chance of blood contacting another player.