1. This is pond hockey, the way nature intended it to be, which is meant to be fun, safe and played in a fair and courteous manner.
2. Games are played 4 on 4, but teams may consist of up to 6 players. Team captains are responsible for ensuring that there are only four players on the ice at any given time.
3. No goalies and/or goalie sticks or equipment is permitted.
4. All players must wear helmets and hockey skates. Other protective equipment is optional but highly recommended.
5. All teams should be prepared to play each game with matching light and dark colored jerseys, to ensure that teams can be differentiate themselves from one another.
6. Games will be composed of two 15-minute halves with a two-minute halftimes.
7. A horn will announce starts and stoppages of official play.
8. At each rink, there will be an off-ice scorekeeper to monitor the play of the game (scoring, time, puck resets, etc.). Please note, scorekeepers are not referees, so players and captains should self-referee themselves, and their team’s conduct of play as outlined here within.
9. At the onset of the game, the team that arrives first determines what goal they will defend first. Teams will then switch goals for the second half.
10. The beginning of each half will start at center ice with a friendly 3-tap pond hockey faceoff.
11. Scorekeepers are advised, at their discretion, or upon request, to call out game scores after each goal, and to announce a “no goal” situation when it appears close. If you do not hear a goal being announced, or an announcement of a “no goal” when you think there should be an announcement, please pause the game momentarily and confer with your scorekeeper before play resumes.
12. Although not present at each and every game, tournament officials will also monitor games and/or be called over to help officiate a game, as needed.
13. Scorekeepers or tournament officials will call penalties for rule infractions, if players are not self-referring appropriately.
14. Penalties called by scorekeepers or officials are final. A minor penalty will result in possession of the puck awarded to the opposing team. Scorekeepers or officials also have the discretion to award a goal to the opposing team, and/or ask someone to sit out momentarily when a minor penalty is flagrant, and/or a team is consistently playing in a reckless or inappropriate manner.
15. Any major penalty, which includes any action that could possibly injure another, will result in that player being ejected from the tournament. The team that received the ejection will play the remainder of the tournament short-handed (3 vs. 4). Tournament officials will determine major penalties.
16. Any type of abuse of scorekeepers, officials or other players will be considered a major penalty. This includes yelling, swearing, arguing, etc.
17. No checking is allowed. Such action will result in a minor penalty unless deemed serious enough to be a major penalty.
18. No Slap shots are allowed.
19. All games are running-time and substitutions can be made at any time during play (on-the-fly), or while a puck is being retrieved. There is no official stoppage of play after a goal is scored, or after a penalty is awarded; however, scorekeepers or officials may choose to stop play if the conduct of play by either team is deemed unsafe or unacceptable.
20. Goals must be scored from the attacking side of center ice. Over half ice shots are not permitted. If a goal is scored from a shot originating from beyond half ice, without first making contact with another player, the goal does not count.
21. Setting picks while on offensive is not allowed. Deference should be given to a defender in front of their own goal where their progress is being impeded by a pick or interference by an offensive player.
22. Teams must give their opponent ½ ice after a goal is scored, or an infraction takes place.
23. Players cannot fall or lay on the ice in an effort to protect the goal area.
24. Goaltending is not allowed. A player may not patrol, “camp-out” or remain stationary in the crease area and act as a goaltender. A defender may deflect the puck in the crease, but the defender must do so while continuing to move through the crease area. The crease area is defined as an imaginary box extending out four feet from the outside corners of the goal.
25. If a puck goes out of play, curtesy rules should be granted, with the last team to touch the puck losing possession. During the resuming restart, the defender must give his or her opponent two-stick lengths of space.
26. If a puck is playable off the boards or snow banks, the puck is to be considered in play, otherwise courtesy rules apply.
27. When a puck goes out of play, every reasonable effort should be made to retrieve the puck and be put back in play promptly. In the case where a puck is not easily retrievable, your scorekeeper will provide a new one with play to be resumed as close as possible to where the puck went out of play.
28. Attempting to make puck contact with a stick above the waist is not permitted.
29. Saucer passes (i.e. pucks that are lifted low, below the knees) are acceptable.
30. There is no off-sides or icing.
31. In the event of a tie, no overtime will be played during the regular season (Saturday games). In tournament play (Sunday games) however, overtime will be played in a sudden death format until a winner is determined.
32. At the conclusion of each game, team captains are required to sign the official score sheet.
33. Team rosters must be determined prior to the first game on Saturday morning. No other substitutions throughout the tournament are allowed, unless explicitly approved by a tournament official. If your team starts the tournament with less than six players, you may add players later, IF THEY ARE NOT REGISTERED ON ANY OTHER TEAM, and as long as your team does not exceed six players at any time, again unless approved by a tournament official.
34. Players cannot play on more than one team.
35. All players must sign and submit a tournament release form, before play is set to commence on the first day of the tournament (Saturday morning).
36. If a team wins a Golden Sap Bucket two years in a row, and/or consistently ranks at the top of a division, they may be asked to move up a division in subsequent years.