NCAA Rulebook 2022-24
The Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference (MCHC) shall abide by the guidelines set forth by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) with the exceptions dictated in the following:
- Team Rules
- Appendix A - Guidelines for Inclement Weather Cancellations
A. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
- A student-athlete shall not be eligible for participation if the individual received pay for participation in the sport.
- Student-athletes who have played professionally, including but not limited to Major Junior A hockey (OHL, WHL, QMJHL), shall not be eligible for competition in the MCHC.
a. "Played Professionally" is defined as meeting any of the following criteria: The student-athlete signed a contract with a professional team, including Major Jr A and equivalent;
b. The student-athlete received money for playing hockey;
c. The student-athlete was on a roster in a regular season game for a professional team (i.e., any team where players are eligible to be paid), even if no pay or reimbursement for expenses was received by the student-athlete.
- All MCHC student-athletes shall abide by the ACHA Men's D3 eligibility code.
- Outside Competition Rule - A Player shall not participate in any organized outside competition as a member of another National Tournament-Bound Ice Hockey Organization. Organizations are recognized as any of the following: NCAA, NJCAA, ACHA, USA Hockey or any of their subordinate organizations.
B. ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
- MCHC student-athletes shall be enrolled in a degree-seeking program of study leading to a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree as determined by the regulations of the university or college.
- Special student-athlete cases must have certification of full-time status from the Dean and/or the school registrar.
- Student-athletes must enroll in a minimum of 9 credit hours (or the equivalent of quarter hours) for undergraduates, or 6 credit hours (or the equivalent of quarter hours) for graduates during each semester of competition. A player who drops below the minimum credit hours during a semester becomes immediately ineligible to continue competition. The Director of Eligibility must be notified immediately upon any change in status. It is the responsibility of the member institution to keep that player out of MCHC competition until the player regains satisfactory status. If a player competes in any games while ineligible, the player forfeits the present year of eligibility as well as the next year. All games in which the ineligible player participated in shall be declared a forfeit.
- Student-athletes must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 by the beginning of a student-athlete's second year of eligibility.
- Student-athletes must enroll in and successfully complete a minimum of nine (9) credits each semester for associate and baccalaureate degree students or six (6) credits each semester for masters, doctoral or professional degree students, to be eligible for play in the following semester. An equivalent standard shall be applied to institutions utilizing a quarter system.
- MCHC student-athletes must successfully complete the minimum requirement of credit hours (or equivalent quarter hours) and maintain the cumulative GPA as stated above to be eligible for participation in the following semester.
- A senior in the last semester or quarter prior to graduation is not required to meet the required semester or quarter hour minimums.
C. PLAYER DOCUMENTATION
- MCHC student-athletes shall be required to sign player eligibility form (see "Coaches Only" Section) at the beginning of each semester. This form must be completed by the school's registrar and submitted to the ACHA. We ask that you send a copy or PDF as well to the MCHC if possible. Fall Semester - The form must be sent via e-mail to the ACHA Director of Eligibility by the first game of the term or no later than October 31. Spring Semester - The form must be sent via e-mailed to the ACHA Director of Eligibility by the first game of their term or no later than January 31. Failure to submit this documentation on a timely basis may result in fines and possible forfeitures. See the section on payments and fines for specific fines.
- No MCHC player may be added to a team roster after January 31st.
- Players may be added to the team's roster only with the permission of the Director of Eligibility. Added players may fill out the above ACHA form. No new players are eligible to compete in an MCHC contest until all of the proper documentation is completed and approved.
A. GAME PROCEDURES
- MINIMUM PLAYERS NEEDED: For a game to start, each team needs a minimum of 5 players and 1 goaltender. No skater will be allowed to participate with figure skates or goaltender skates. In the event that a team does not have a sufficient number of players, that team will forfeit the game.
- MAXIMUM PLAYERS SUITED: Each Team may dress Players not exceeding the following: 1) Maximum of 19 skaters and 2 goalies OR 18 skaters and 3 goalies.
- GRACE TIME FOR LATE TEAMS WITH EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES: A thirty minute grace period will be given to a team to be on the ice when they are late to a game. The team is expected to contact the opposing team, explaining the extenuating circumstance.
- TEAM UNIFORMS/EQUIPMENT: All teams' players must have identical jerseys, hose, pants and helmets. Goaltenders may have a different colored helmet/mask but must have an identical jersey. A player out of uniform cannot play. There will be no exceptions. Mouth guards are MANDATORY equipment for ALL players and goalkeepers. (a) No mouthpiece - an officials warning, (b) if continued 10-minute misconduct. Additionally, you cannot alter any equipment from the manufacturer's specifications, so if a helmet was made with J clips & ear flaps, you can't remove them. This is a requirement by the NCAA as well as for insurance purposes. All helmets without these specifications will be considered an "illegal" helmet and will not be able to participate in an MCHC game. HECC helmet stickers must be affixed and not expired.
- OFFICIAL SCORER AND TIMEKEEPER: The home team must provide a minimum of one timekeeper and one scorekeeper. The maximum number of persons allowed in the scorer's box will be three (3) staff members from the home team.
HOME TEAM'S RESPONSIBILITY:
a) It is the home team's responsibility to provide a score sheet, penalty sheet, a printed copy of these MCHC League Rules, and 10 pucks to the official scorer's table prior to the pre-game warm-up period. Game pucks should be frozen (iced) prior to the game.
b) All home teams will provide their opponents with a minimum of 20 practice pucks for pre-game warm-ups.
c) At the conclusion of the game, it is the responsibility of the home team to ensure that the middle copy (yellow) of the score sheet and penalty sheet are given to the visiting team.
d) The white copy of the score sheet remains with the home team, the last copy (pink) can now be discarded. The league no longer requires the home team to send any copies of the score sheet to the Conference Office. The 4 white score sheets (score sheet, penalty sheets and both team rosters) must be sent to the League President via email (PDF), so that the league statistics can be updated on a timely basis. The email must be received by Monday afternoon for all weekend games. The email address is [email protected]. Failure to email the score sheets will result in fines. See the section entitled payment and fines.
e) The home team must submit the game score to the MCHC by use of the MCHC's web page submission form within twenty-four (24) hours of the game. Failure to submit scores will result in fines. See the section entitled payment and fines.
f) All home teams must have a trainer present for their home games. No trainer = $100 fine.
- AWAY TEAM'S RESPONSIBILITY: For the purpose of getting the most accurate information in rating our officials and as a good check and balance, we ask that the away team submit the score as well and please rate the officials. This can be done with 48 hours of the game. This is not a league requirement, and is completely optional.
- GAME PLAYER ROSTER FORMS: Each team is to complete a game player roster form and provide the official scorekeeper with the form by the beginning of the warm-up period. The visiting team is required to hand in their roster prior to the home team. Each team will be provided with a copy of their opponent's roster prior to the start of the game.
a. A team reserves the right to challenge another team's roster to verify player eligibility. The team challenging the roster shall advise the officials, who will then request identification (i.e., driver's license, official college identification card) from each player on the team. The official will check each player against the submitted game roster. A report will be provided to the MCHC's board of directors for final determination.
- FORFEITURE: In the event that a forfeit is awarded, the governing board shall review for possible further action.
- MERCY RULE: In a game where one team is ahead by ten (10) goals or more and at least 2 full periods have been played, the final period will be played with running time. It is irrelevant if a team cuts the deficit to less than 10 goals during the final period of play, the game will still be played with a running clock.
- COACH EJECTED FROM A GAME / PLAYER EJECTED FROM A GAME: If a coach is ejected from a game, an assistant coach must take their place. If there is no assistant coach on the bench, the game will be forfeited by that team. A referee's report is to be filed within five days of the game. The coach must be nowhere near the players bench and must either a) leave the arena or b) sit in the stands. If the stands are behind the team benches, the coach must be in a place nowhere near their team. Use common sense on this. Protocol will be the same as it pertains to a player being ejected from a game, do not be anywhere near your team. Furthermore, the governing board will review each case for possible additional sanctions.
- SHORTAGE OF TIME: If there is not enough time to complete the full twenty (20) minute third period, the following is to occur: (1) eliminate the ice cut, (2) the remaining ice time is to be halved and that will be the third period's length. Coaches have no options on the above.
- GAMES ENDING IN A TIE: In the event that the score is tied at the end of regulation time, a five-minute, three-on-three sudden death overtime shall be played. Goaltenders shall switch ends of the ice for this overtime period. If the game remains tied at the end of the five-minute overtime, the teams shall proceed to a three (3) player shoot-out. Each team shall designate three (3) players, who will participate in a shoot-out. The home team has the choice to shoot first or last. The shoot-out shall begin by attempting to score on a breakaway. Both teams will alternate until all six players have had an opportunity to score. If neither team scores, or if the score remains tied, after all six players have had their attempt, the teams shall proceed to a single player, sudden-death shoot-out. No player may shoot twice until all players on the team, with the exception of goaltenders, have shot once. The team with the highest number of goals scored at the end of the sudden death round shall be declared the winner. The score shall be reported with one goal added to the winning team's end of regulation score.
[Note that if after regulation time the game is tied, both teams shall be awarded one point for the tie. The team which wins the "overtime shoot-out" will be awarded with a bonus point in the standings.]
The ACHA does not follow this rule - their rule is simple - 5 minute four-on-four overtime - no shoot-out. Please keep this in mind when reporting a score to the ACHA. In their eyes the game is officially over after the 5-minute overtime, even if our rule is different.
- PLAYER CONCUSSION RULE: During any game or practice, a Team Official who suspects an Athlete has incurred a concussion, must remove the Athlete from the game or practice and have the Athlete evaluated. The Athlete is not permitted to return to any game or practice until written clearance is received by the Team Official from a Licensed Physician.
B. PLAYING RULES
- NCAA RULE BOOK: It is each team's responsibility for obtaining their own copy of the current NCAA Ice Hockey Rule Book and to have one present at each contest.
a) See section entitled Officials
b) Players who receive a disqualification will be penalized as follows:
i. 1st Offense = immediate ejection from the game and a minimum of a one game suspension.
ii. 2nd Offense = immediate ejection from the game and a minimum of a two game suspension.
iii. 3rd Offense = immediate ejection from the game and a suspension for the remainder of the season.
c) Each team is limited to a total of three (3) disqualifications per season without a fine. Each disqualification above three (3) will result in a $25 fine per occurrence.
d) A player who receives a suspension and cannot complete the suspension during the current season (including playoffs), will be required to complete the suspension the following season. In the event that the player is a graduating senior, or does not return to the team the following season, the team will be charged with one disqualification the following season.
e) If any player receives a DQ in any game, that DQ must be served in your next game whether the game is an MCHC league game or not. When submitting scores via the methockey.com web form, it must be noted that the player is serving a DQ from the prior game (even if that prior game was not an MCHC league game). Only DQ's received during MCHC league games may be subject to fines.
- MISCONDUCTS/GAME MISCONDUCTS: Each team is limited to a total of four (4) misconducts/game misconducts per season. Anything over that total will result in a $25 fine per occurrence. Four (4) misconducts [for any infraction] OR 3 game misconducts by any single player will constitute a disqualification for that player.
- CANCELING AND RESCHEDULING GAMES:
a) CANCELLATIONS: In the event that a team needs to cancel a schedule game, the team is to:
(1) contact the opposing team; and
(2) contact the MCHC President by phone and in writing pertaining the circumstances surrounding the situation. The home team must inform the referee assignor of the cancellation.
b) RESCHEDULING: To reschedule a game, the team requesting the change must contact the other team with a selection of dates for the opposition to choose from. This must occur within ten (10) days. If the team who requests the rescheduling does not provide, at minimum 3 alternate game slots within ten (10) days, that team will be fined $50. After thirty (30) days, the team will be fined $250 and the game will be forfeited. The MCHC Director of Structures must be notified of rescheduled games both verbally and in writing.
c) MAKE-UP GAMES: Make-up games during the last two weeks of the season will be determined by ice availability, with the final decision made by the governing board.
d) GAMES CANCELLED WITHIN A UNREASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME: If a game is cancelled within 24 hours of the scheduled start time, the team cancelling the game will be fined $1000: $500 will go to the opposing team; $500 will go to the MCHC. The above may not apply to games cancelled because of weather conditions, rink conditions or other MCHC issued cancellations, however all games cancelled within 24 hours of the initial game start time, will be subject to review by the MCHC Executive Board.
- APPEALS DEFINED: Appeals will be allowed on calls involving multiple suspensions, rule interpretations, and academic hardship. No appeals will be accepted for calls or rules that are considered judgment calls.
- APPEAL PROCEDURES: Based upon the type of Appeal, the league will request specified documentation (to be determined). For each Appeal, a $25 charge will be incurred to a team's escrow account. Appeals must be submitted within seventy-two (72) hours of the ruling. The appeal will be ruled upon within ten (10) days of receipt.
D. PAYMENT AND FINES
- ALL LEAGUE FEES ARE DUE BY October 31. (1) Payments not received by Nov 15 - $100 late fee. (2) Payments not received by November 30 - additional $125 late fee. (3) Payments not received by December 11 - games forfeited.
- ELIGIBILITY PAPERWORK: The Roster Form must be downloaded from the MCHC's "Coach's only" section of the website and must be completed and e-mailed back to the ACHA for the Fall Semester by no later than October 30. Resulting fines for failure to comply by these rules:
i.) Rosters not submitted on time = $25;
ii.) Completed forms (with signatures) will incur a lateness fine of $25 per week;
iii.) transcripts not received by November 14 = games forfeited;
iv.) Player(s) added to the roster without permission of the Director of Eligibility = forfeiture of each game that the player participates in.
Spring Semester documentation is due by January 31. Resulting fines for failure to comply by these rules:
i.) Rosters not submitted on time = $25;
ii.) Completed forms (with signatures) will incur a lateness fine of $25 per week;
iii.) Transcripts not received by February 14 = games forfeited;
iv.) Player(s) added to the roster without permission of the Director of Eligibility = forfeiture of each game that the player participates in.
- MISSED LEAGUE MEETINGS:
i.) Missed Meetings = $150 plus a loss of voting privileges.
ii.) Missing two consecutive meetings = subject to review by governing board. *To regain voting privileges, a team must attend two consecutive meetings.
- SCORE SHEETS: Unofficial, Incomplete, and/or illegible score sheets will carry a $25 fine per deficiency noted. A score sheet will be deemed incomplete if it fails to list any goaltender statistics. Score sheets shall be sent via PDF by Monday afternoon for a weekend game. Score sheets not received by the MCHC by Monday night = $25 fine per offense.
- REPORTING SCORES VIA THE WEBSITE: Failure by the home team to submit the score of the game within 24 hours will result in the following: First offense - $50 fine; Second offense - $100 fine; Third offense - $150 fine. If a team submits a score to the league website which different than the faxed score sheet, this is also considered a fineable offense - $50 fine.
- REFUND/FORFEITURE OF ESCROW: Once a team has left the MCHC, they must submit a request to the league via e-mail to receive back their escrow balance. A departing team has a maximum of 4 years to request their funds back. If no contact is made within 4 years, the escrows will be forfeited and credited back to the league.
- The Governing Board shall determine the structure of the Playoffs.
- The Conference Structure shall be determined by the Governing Board. Team standings and other statistics will be maintained by the MCHC.
- Playoffs - The top four teams who finish with the highest point total will qualify for the playoffs. The #1 will play the #4 seed, the #2 seed will play the #3 seed. The winner of these 2 games will meet in the finals. Note: In the event that two or more teams have the same number of points at the end of the season, the following, in order, shall determine the higher seed:
- The team with the most wins
- The team with the most "head to head" wins
- The team with greater amount of "head to head: goals-for minus goals-against"
- The team with the most wins versus all common opponents in the league, picking opponents in standing order
- Coin Toss
- It is the responsibility of the Referee-in-Chief (R.I.C.) or a designated MCHC Assigner to select and assign qualified officials to all MCHC league games.
- All on-ice officials assigned to MCHC games are required to:
a) Conduct themselves in a businesslike, professional manner at all times.
b) Have a thorough working knowledge of the current NCAA Playing rules and their application.
c) Have a thorough working knowledge of the MCHC By-Laws and their application.
d) Be in the arena no less than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled game start time.
e) Be on the ice during the pre-game warm-up.
- Should either team not be in the rink at the game start time, officials are required to follow the MCHC By-Law covering extenuating circumstances, with the following addition; The Referee(s) are required to immediately contact the Referee-in-Chief (or a designated MCHC Board Member) by cell phone before any decision on playing or not playing the game can be made. NO on-ice official can leave the rink until instructed to do so by the Referee-in-Chief under these circumstances.
- Officials are not permitted to take the official MCHC score sheet with them after a game. They can request a photocopy from the home team provided it can be reproduced in the rink or a photo can be taken from their phone.
- All disqualification penalties MUST be reported to the Referee-in-Chief by cell phone, text message or email within 12 hours of the completion of the game in which they occurred. The information required is: player's school, name & number; period & time of the infraction(s) and the penalties assessed. The Referee-in-Chief will notify the referee(s) if a game report is needed.
- Should a game report be required, it MUST be submitted to the Referee-in-Chief in the body of an email (NO attachment documents will be accepted). The email report must be submitted within 48 hours of the request. It is the Referee-in-Chief's responsibility to notify the MCHC Officiating staff of any supplemental disciplinary actions taken by the MCHC Board against any player, coach or team prior to that player, coach or team's next MCHC game.
- Game officials are required to print and sign their names in the designated boxes on the official score sheet after checking the score sheets for accuracy. FAILURE to both print and sign their names on the score sheets shall result in a $10 fine.
- ANY incident that occurs at an MCHC game (in or outside the rink) which results in the arrival of first responders (police, fire dept., EMS, etc.) MUST be reported to the Referee-in-Chief by cell phone, text message or email immediately (within 12 hours) after the game in which such an incident occurs. All game or incident reports shall be circulated to the MCHC Board by the Referee-in-Chief immediately upon receipt of such reports from the Referee(s).
- Failure to comply with these By-Laws or MCHC Guidelines may result in disciplinary action from the Referee-in-Chief, including - but not limited to - fines, loss of assignments or removal from the MCHC Officiating Staff.
Appendix A - Guidelines for Inclement Weather Cancellations
For those teams who may rely on school transportation, I would put the wheels in motion now to try and make other arrangements if school transportation is not available as the games will affect the final playoff seeding and we have a very short window to reschedule the game. Please use this entire email distribution list if there are any issues (i.e. Game cancellations) so we can inform the officials, the official assignors. If issues should arise regarding your games, please contact your assignor immediately (see below). Additionally all contact phone numbers and emails are listed on the MCHC website on each team's individual page. If games are cancelled because of the snow, obviously it would be best to try and reschedule it as soon as possible. However in cases where it just cannot be done, at some point in time the MCHC Executive Board will rule on cases which effect seeding for playoffs. Officials: Jason Remsbecker: [email protected].
a) The following are steps to consider when making decisions about a game scheduled for a rink with anticipated inclement weather:
The first step is to keep lines of communication open between the teams (coaches) and the referee assignor and not panic based upon media hype of the forecasts. Follow the forecasts for your area and the rink area, and contact the opposing coach prior to traveling. If you can travel to a rink and have reasonable reports that the trip back will be safe, then continue with the schedule. Base decisions upon actual conditions and factual reports. Television and radio stations only report the "worst conditions" for their major market and hype reports to "sell airtime". They don't have to deal with the problems when the "worst conditions" don't happen.
b) Use your best judgment for travel, especially if you are using students to drive school vans. No one wants an accident due to a young driver's mistake during bad weather. Accidents due to student drivers of school vans have happened before with ice hockey club teams in the ACHA. Remember, its not just getting to the rink but having the students drive back after playing a game. The weather conditions at the end of a game can be significantly different than when it started and you must consider that student drivers are tired after a game. Also, professional drivers of coach buses will know how to handle the conditions and have alternate routes. The length of the trip might increase due to traffic conditions but the trip will be safe and a late game start is much better than no game at all!
c) Check to see if your institution or the opponent's institution has cancelled classes and verify if this affects off-campus events or the ability to use schools vans. If an institution declares a closing, then contact your school administrator and the opposing coach to see if the game may continue. Schools cancel classes due to accumulations in parking lots and not based upon the road conditions to rinks.
d) If any of the areas (town or county) you are traveling to, have declared a "weather emergency", then this is a justifiable reason for canceling a game. A declaration of an "Emergency" for any situation limits travel by the residents of the area on local roads but rarely includes interstates.
e) Verify that the rink is operating even though a rink closing is a rare event. Don't assume the rink will be running a late schedule due to bad weather. Most rinks operate in most conditions as Ice Hockey is a WINTER sport and thus is subject to winter weather conditions.
f) Prior to "pulling the trigger" and cancelling a game, consider the impact for your team and the opposition. If travel to a game can be safely accomplished by the minimum number of players, then keep the schedule. The league's standings are tight and teams should earn their points to make the playoff spots. Making the playoffs or losing a spot in the playoffs due to a forfeit is not part of the competitive spirit. Additionally, a canceled game that is not rescheduled means BOTH teams are not playing a game they've paid for.
g) All reasonable attempts to reschedule a canceled game must be made in a timely fashion. This includes but is not limited to (if available): playing as the home team in the opponent's rink, playing at a neutral rink, utilizing an expanded practice slot to accommodate a game, checking with teams not affected to see if they have ice available to play the game.