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Men's League Rules

Men's League Rules


The Toronto North Hockey League

Welcome to the TNHL!

The Toronto North Hockey League is dedicated first and foremost to the safety of its players. This means strictly enforced non-contact hockey. We provide a competitive league in a safe and friendly environment.

Please carefully read and familiarize yourself and your team with our rules.

*Please note these are just general rules. Additional rules do apply regarding more in depth issues such as player suspensions.

General League Policy

Dressing Rooms

Dressing rooms must be vacated within 30 minutes of the end of your game to allow staff to clean up for the next team. Co-operation in this regard is important and is appreciated by fellow players. Using the third period rule is an effective way to manage this requirement (i.e. when the third period starts in the game after yours, you have overstayed your welcome). Please vacate and allow the other team to enter and dress for their game.


Ice Resurfacing

Teams must stay off the ice during flooding. Players are not to step on the ice until the Zamboni has left the ice and rink gates are closed. Violation of this safely rule will result in a bench minor at the start of the game.

Payment Policy

Teams and players not paid in full by the 4th WEEK (Summer) and the 6th WEEK (Fall/Winter) of the season

will not be allowed on the ice.


Player/ Team Policy

The TNHL reserves the right to refuse to register or re-register any application by any player or team at the league's discretion.

Head and Face Protection

CSA approved helmets are mandatory. Visors/cages are not mandatory. However, since the League does not provide medical or dental insurance, we strongly recommend all players to wear a proper visor/cage for facial protection. All players must sign a TNHL waiver to be eligible to play in the league.


All Players must wear matching jerseys, and be numbered differently. In the event of a conflict of Team colours (the Visiting Team Representative and / or Referees will determine if there is a conflict), the VISITING TEAM will wear their alternate jerseys.

Stats, Schedules, and Standings

Team and individual stats will be posted on the 

NEW!! Any team who forfeits a game with less then 48 hours notice to the League will be fined $100.00. This fine will then be given to the opposing team in the form of a bar credit. The fine will need to be paid within 2 weeks of the missed game or the team will not be permitted to play.  

Abuse of Facilities

Players found to have abused any of the facilities (glass, boards, dressing rooms, washrooms, etc.) will be held personally and financially responsible for reimbursing the arena owner for all damages incurred. Failure to reimburse the facility promptly will result in a team suspension until payment is made in full.

Goalkeeper Substitutions

Replacement goalies are allowed at any time (even playoff games). If your goalie is unable to attend, the Team Captain should contact the League and they will assist you in obtaining a goaltender for your game. If you do not have a dressed goaltender by the start of the 2nd period of the game, that team will default the game to their opponents. The remainder of the hour can be taken up with shinny hockey by the two remaining teams. The refereeing staff is not obligated to stay on the ice.

New!!! If a goalie is ejected from a game for a major penalty or the 3 penalty rules, thegame may resume with 6 skaters. The opposing team is restricted from taking any slap shots towards the goal.

Games Played Rule

To qualify to play in the summer season playoffs all skaters must play in a minimum of 5 games. In the winter season playoffs, all skaters must skate in a minimum of 8 games to qualify for the playoffs. 

Game Format

1.   All games are 32 minutes stop-time preceded by a 2-MINUTE WARM-UP. The periods will be STOP TIME - 12 minutes, 10 minutes and 10 minutes in duration. (Sunday game times are 15-15-15 stop-time periods.)

2.  All games start as per scheduled time whether or not your entire team is dressed. So, please be ready to play when scheduled.

3.     Games will not be cancelled or rescheduled due to inclement weather, so plan to arrive early during winter months.

4.  The clock will run for altercations, disputes, or arguments with officials about penalties or other game calls.

5.  The clock will then be stopped at the discretion of the referees.

6.  A team must have a minimum of five (5) skaters and a goaltender in order for the game to be official. Teams will be permitted to play with 6 skaters for the first period; however, if a goalie is not present by the 2nd the game will result in a forfeit. Should a team choose to play a period with 6 skaters slap shots will not be allowed for EITHER team to avoid injury. Also, players are not to behave as a goalie during this time, just an extra skater. Failure to comply with this may be cause for the game to be stopped. During the course of a game a team has a short bench and also incurs penalties, the game will not end in the following situations:

·         A team with 5 skaters incurs a coincidental penalty, both players will serve a penalty and the game will continue 4 on 4.

However, the game will end in the following situations:

·         A team with 4 skaters incurs any penalty.

·         A team with 5 skaters or less incurs a game misconduct or a game ejection.

Running Time

The clock will continue to run in the 3rd period of a Regular Season game in the following scenarios:

3rd Period- Goal difference is 5 or more goals.


3rd Period less than 1 minute remaining- Goal differential is 3 or more goals.

The purpose of the keeping the clock running in these scenarios is to speed up game-times and ensure games start on time. 

League Rules

League games will be officiated under the rules of the C.H.A. with the following amendments:



No Two-Line pass offside.


No touch icing from inside your Own Blue Line


1.          Minor penalties are 2 minutes.

2.       All minor penalties resulting in a man advantage will result in an offensive zone faceoff.

3.      Double Minor Penalty (two Minor Penalties) are assessed if the referee feels that an infraction deserves more than a Minor Penalty, but, is not deserving of a Major Penalty and a game misconduct.


4.      Game Ejection is assessed to a player at any time in a game for conduct which is deemed to be detrimental to the safety of the other players, or, conduct deemed to be a travesty of the game.  

  There do not have to be any other penalties assessed with a Game Ejection, but there usually are. A Game Ejection is called in order to remove a player from the game and prevent an individual from participating in a more serious or violent situation.


5.      Major Penalties are 5 minutes. Major Penalty is assessed according to the CHA Rule Book The most common reasons for major penalties are the following: 

·                  deliberate high stick or cross check above the shoulders

·               slashing is at the discretion of the referee based on the degree of violence or impact

·               Checking from behind is at the discretion of the referee based on the degree of violence or impact. This penalty is more stringently called when the player is checked into the boards or net.


6.      Game Misconduct: Game Misconduct is assessed to any player receiving a 5 minute Major Penalty. A Game Misconduct carries with it a 10 minute penalty that will count against the individual's and the team's penalty minutes.

A Major Penalty in the Final (3rd) period of a game will automatically result in expulsion for the balance of the game and a 1 game suspension.

7.   A match penalty is assessed for any infraction that is a deliberate attempt to injure. Any player assessed a match penalty will receive in a minimum 3 game suspension and review.


8.      A gross penalty is assessed to any player who is deemed to have made a travesty of the game. (i.e. obscene gestures, racial slurs, etc) Any player assessed a gross will receive a minimum 2 game suspension and review.


9.      A player will receive an automatic 5-minute Major and a Game misconduct for spearing or butt-ending. All players receiving this penalty are subject to suspension from the league.


Punching to the Head: A player punching another player to the head will be assessed a 5 minute Roughing Penalty and a Game misconduct.


o        The head is targeted

o        The punch is deliberate

o        There is enough force to move the players head.


10. Individual Penalty Initiative: If a single player reaches 20 minutes in penalties during the summer regular season or 30 minutes in penalties during the winter season, it will be reviewed by the League and that player will be given a notification/warning from the League. If that player continues to play recklessly and receives 20 additional minutes worth of penalties they will be suspended for 2 games. If that same player receives ANOTHER 20 minutes in penalties they will receive a season expulsion from the league with no refund. Please note: a 10 minute misconduct counts towards a players total penalty minutes.


Multiple Penalty Rule

NEW!! If a player receives three (3) penalties in one game, two (2) stick infractions, or 2 minors and one double minor (8 Minutes), the player will be ejected for the remainder of that game. Please Note: 10-minute misconduct does not count towards the 3 penalty rule, however if a player is given a 10 minute misconduct he is subject to removal from the game.



Fighting will not be tolerated. Once your gloves hit the ice, you are out for the balance of the game. .

o        If a player has no recourse during a fight, but to defend himself from the aggressor as an alternative to skating away, this will result in a minimum 1 suspension.

o        If there is no obvious aggressor in a fight a minimum 3 game suspension will be levied to any players involved.

o        If a player is deemed by the official to be the obvious aggressor or instigator in a fighting major the player will receive a minimum additional game on to their suspension and possible season expulsion may be levied with no refund

o        Any player involved in a second fighting major will be suspended indefinitely from the league.

o        If a bench clearing brawl" occurs, the players or team leaving the bench will be suspended or given an expulsion from the league. No refund will be given.

o        If there is aggressive behavior during the handshake or off the ice at the end of the game, player(s) involved will be suspended for the following game and reviewed.

o        If the team continues to abuse the rules the Team Rep is subject to suspension even if he is not involved in an incident.

o        Fighting is considered a serious offense and any players that receive a season expulsion will not be given a refund.

Checking From behind

Checking and/or crosschecking from behind will not be tolerated. Checking from behind will result in a minor or major penalty and a game misconduct penalty. The League may also assess a suspension pending a review. The League views checking from behind as a cowardly, dangerous assault and will make every effort to rid the League of this practice including expelling repeat offenders from the League without a refund.

Stick Penalties

High-sticking, cross-checking and slashing will result in a double minor penalty. However, a major penalty can be issued if the referee feels it is warranted.

Crease Rule and Goalie Mask Rule

To protect the goalie, players will be cautioned not to stand in, or skate through, the crease. Failure to obey a referee's warning will result in a face-off outside the blue line.


NEW!!! If a puck goes off of a Goalie mask from a direct shot of a player the referee will blow the play dead. If the puck is deflected and hits the goalie in the mask it is the discretion of the referee if the play will be blown dead.  

Leaving the Bench

If a player leaves the bench during an incident, the player receives an automatic game misconduct. The incident will be reviewed by the league.


Abuse of Officials

Abuse of Officials will not be tolerated. Continuous abusive language directed at a referee, convenor, timekeeper, or any other league or facility official will result in a misconduct penalty and/or suspension.

NEW!! Misconduct Penalties will result in the player being put in the Penalty Box for 5 MINUTES in order to give that player a chance to cool down. Should that player continue to be a problem they will be ejected


A game Ejection can assessed to a player any time in a game for conduct which is detrimental to the safety of the other players, or, for minor abuse of officials. There do not have to be any other penalties assessed. No time penalty to the team or suspension to the player goes along with a Game Ejection. When assessed, the player must leave the ice quietly. The Game Supervisor tracks the reason for the Game Ejection. After a player is ejected they must proceed to the dressing room. If a player is a distraction off the ice the team will be accessed a delay of game penalty, and the clock will continue to run at the referee’s discretion.

If a player receives 3 minor penalties (except for the ten-minute misconduct penalty), the player is ejected from the game.

If a player drops their gloves and/or removes their helmet for any reason other than during a stop in play to the adjust equipment, that player automatically receives a minimum of a Game Ejection.

If a player is ejected from a game or receives a Major Penalty and an automatic Game Misconduct, the players must go directly to the dressing room:

Failure to comply with this rule results in further disciplinary action against the player, including possible expulsion from the league. If a player receives 3 game ejections per team, per season, a minimum 1 game suspension will be given.

Players Suspensions

1, Player Suspensions are the decision of League Director only. The League Director will notify the team rep of the suspension, it is the team reps responsibility to notify the player of the suspension.

2. Any player who plays multiple teams and receives a suspension will not be permitted to play for ANY team until they have served their entire suspension with the original team they were penalized on.

EXAMPLE: A player plays on Team A on Tuesdays and Team B on Thursdays. He receives a 2 Game suspension while playing on Team B. That player will not be permitted to play for Team B or Team A until they serve the 2 games with Team B

3. Players serving Suspensions are not permitted to stand behind their team bench for the duration of the suspension.

4. If a suspended player is dressed and attempts to play illegally, the player will be giving a season expulsion and the Team Captain will also be penalized with a one game suspension.

5. All repeat offenders are subject to the removal from the league with NO REFUND.

Regular Season Eligibility & Substitutions

The team rep is responsible for making sure sign in sheets get done before each game. Sign in sheets will be used in order to track games played throughout the season IF YOU DO NOT SIGN IN YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT FOR THAT GAME. Players must play a minimum of 5 games in the summer season, and a minimum of 8 games in the winter season to be eligible for the playoffs. All players must sign the sign in sheet before entering play. If players on the team are not signing in on the game sheet a 2 minute minor penalty will be assessed. The penalty will be served by the team rep.

Substitute players must identify themselves prior to the start of the game, fill out a registration form and be approved by the convenor before the game starts. Players who do not comply will be asked to leave the ice.