GHGHL League Play Rules

GHGHL League Play Rules 

  1. Schedules:

(a) A minimum of 2 weeks notice is required for any Regular season game to be rescheduled. Prior to Playoff scheduling, Teams taking part in tournaments during the playoff season, must declare these tournament dates. There will be no rescheduling of Playoff games, unless mutually agreed upon by both Associations. 


(b) No games are played during the Christmas Break, March Break or Easter Weekend. The March break duration is typically a period of 9 days beginning the weekend before March Break week and ending the weekend after March Break week. GHGHL does not prohibit games from being played during this period and centres can schedule games during this period if both teams agree.


(c) No games are to be cancelled or rescheduled except in cases of extreme weather situations. Association Contacts are to manage all extreme weather situations and game cancellations. 


(d) The Regular season will start in October 1st and end January or early February. (Reviewed yearly) 

Season will consist of the following: 

  1. U9 - play 10 half ice and 10 Full ice
  2. U11 - 20 games 
  3. U13 - 20 games 
  4. U15 - 20 games 
  5. U18 - 20 games
  6. U22 - 20 games 


(e) Depending on the year, Playoffs start in February and end either the end of March or early April. All divisions, with the exception of U9, are placed in playoff pods based on regular season points, play 6 playoff games and Super Sunday. U9 plays regular season play based on Hockey Canada mandate.  For Super Sunday, they are placed into pods. 

(f) Mandatory for teams or Association Representatives to attend the scheduling meeting knowing their ice times. Calendars and forms for scheduling will be distributed to each Centre Convenor prior to the scheduling meeting. 

(g) U9 and U11 players are limited to three goals per game all season, playoffs and Super Sunday. Once a player has three goals, their goals will not count. 

(h) U9 to U22 will be attending Super Sunday.

  1. Team Rosters

(a) Association representatives are to provide a copy of OWHA certified team rosters for each GHGHL team prior to league play. Note:  Official roster and signed waivers are required to participate in League play. Any changes that occur later must have an updated roster sent in by October 15th.

(b) Trainers - You must have a female / male trainer on your bench, if you do not have a female trainer you may use a male trainer.  If your team does not have a carded trainer present at a game - your team must ask to use the opposing teams trainer and he/she must sign both sides (both teams) of the game sheet as per OWHA guidelines. Only Trainers attend to injuries on the ice. No other bench staff is to attend an injured player unless a trainer requests help. 

(c) No overage players will be allowed in any division of this league.


     3. Pick-up Players: 

A Pick-Up player must be from a lower division. 

U11 Division must use pickup players from the same division until at least Jan 15th.  After January 15th, U9 pickup  players may be used in U11 games.

Pick-up players will follow the same guidelines used for picking up players for OWHA tournaments: (Reference OWHA Handbook).

(a) Pick-Up Players are permitted for house league play and playoffs.

(b) Pick-Up players are not permitted to replace suspended players.

(c) The Impacted Association must notify the other Association of Pick-Up players and ensure it is noted on the electronic game sheet well before arriving at the game. Do not notify just before game time.

(d) A team may use a maximum of three (3) pickup players per game up to the teams roster limit.     Teams may opt to pickup a goalie from another team or association if they do not have a rostered goalie.              

(e) Pick-Up players or goalies may not drop down to play if registered to a higher division.

(f) Use of other Association goalies is permissible during regular season and playoffs. This should be applied only when the impacted Association cannot acquire a Pick-Up first from within their own Association. When a goalie from another Association is to be used, the affected Association House League representatives require permission. 

(g) A Players own team must honour any suspensions incurred by the player while acting as a pickup player for another team.


    4. Pick-up Goalies

A Pick-up Goalie is allowed from the same or lower division.



Game Sheet, Time Clock & Curfews 

(a) In Arenas where the assigned game time is subject to a curfew, a rostered member of the coaching staff from both teams, are required to initial next to the curfew notices on the game sheet prior to the start of the game. There should also be a checkmark on the “OTHER” box. If no curfew time is assigned or initialled on the game sheet and the game was in fact subject to a curfew, then the game can be replayed at the home team's expense if so directed by the GHGHL Association Representatives.


Process for game sheets is subject to change as GHGHL moves to an electronic version.


(b) A three minute warm up shall be set and run on the score clock at the beginning of each game. 

(c) Bench Staff must have the Ramp electronic game sheet filled out prior to coming to the game. Referees and Timekeepers must fill out the remaining information at the end of the game to complete each game sheet.

(d) Referees and timekeepers must print and sign their names (referee(s) #’s) on all game sheets. Note: all 3 Penalty Rule for the all-league play games and includes playoffs. Coaches or Timekeepers are to add the 3 penalty rule to the game sheets

(e) All regular season and playoff games will consist of three stop time periods (10 - 10 -12) and possibly subject to a curfew time. 

(g) Games will only be played with Two Referees - No game in the GHGHL shall be played if there are fewer than two referees present. If only one referee or no referees show up, no official game will take place. In the case of a game delay (waiting for officials), teams must remain as long as possible in the interest of completing the game. If there is only one referee, he or she will be required to leave the ice and not take part in any on-ice activity. Due to the complexity of our league where referees are not able or do not show up games will be rescheduled and not considered a forfeit.

  1. Reporting of Games Results 

(a) Home teams are responsible for inputting game results on the Greater Hamilton

Girls Hockey League website at, with the visiting team, then confirming the game report. Game reports include final score, player's goals and assists and penalty minutes as well as goalie stats. Copy of the game sheet uploaded also to the website. Associations are responsible to submit team rosters with player numbers for each team playing in the GHGHL prior to the start of the season. Starting 2021-22 all game sheets will be electronically completed to make the process easier.

(b) Each Association controls access for their teams to input scores. They will also decide if their House League Rep will control this or designate. However, it is the responsibility of the Home team to have the game report filed in a timely manner. 

(c) All regular season scoring discrepancies must be reported before confirming the game report online. A copy of the game sheet(s) are required to prove accurate scores for all disputes. 

(d) Game Changes - teams must give at least 72 hrs notice of cancellation & must agree to a reschedule date within 1 week (home team will offer two ice slots - visiting team may also offer ice) - must both agree to a date. If no agreed to reschedule date - contact your GHGHL Rep. If a team is a “no show” they will incur the costs of referees and timekeepers (up to $100) & they will forfeit the game. 

**NOTE: Do not use player absenteeism as a reason for last-minute cancellations - use the “Pick up” player rule. As per OWHA rules, a 5-0 loss for forfeits and GHGHL President notified. (OWHA Forfeiture Policy 4-19 6.) Insufficient players (less than a goaltender and three (3) other players). 

(e) League Cancellations Due to Weather - GHGHL President or Executive member is to be informed. Association Contacts are to manage all extreme weather situations and game cancellations. Re-book in the allowed timeframe.

(f) All playoff scoring discrepancies must be reported to your Associations Representative (or designated scoring submitter) before confirming the game report online. A copy of the game sheet(s) are required to prove accurate scores for all disputes. 

(g) Forfeit Games: Forfeit teams must reimburse the host Association for the cost of referees and timekeepers if they choose to forfeit. We prefer Associations to reschedule to avoid a forfeit. Forfeit teams will receive 0-5 loss as per OWHA Rules and GHGHL President will be notified. 

(h) There shall be no more than a five (5) - goal spread posted on the scoreboard during any game in this league. 

  1. OWHA Rules and Regulations will apply to all other situations.
  2. Playoff PODS

If there is a tie in points after the regular season or when establishing pods for playoffs the following criteria shall be used to break the tie: 

(a) Number of wins 

(b) Fewest losses 

(c) Head to Head 

(d) Fewest penalty minutes during season 

(e) Goals scored minus goals against during season 

(f) Coin toss 


  1. Three Penalties Rule 

Any player who receives three (3) minor penalties in one game will be ejected.

This game ejection is only for the remainder of that game when the third minor penalty is accessed. As a reminder, have bench staff and timekeepers write the rule on the game sheet so the referees know. 

  1. Player Suspensions 

"All Suspensions or Misconducts under the direct jurisdiction of OWHA and must be managed in accordance with OWHA protocol". This includes players, coaches, trainers, and managers. GHGHL reserves the right to add additional discipline measures on top of but cannot overturn or reduce OWHA rulings for Associations to enforce.

All GM’s, MP’s, and GRM’s will be reported first to the OWHA as mandated within 24hrs and then to Discipline at within 72hrs. Information collected will be used to keep track of, maintain a list of repeat offenders and all suspended offenses to help shape or recommend further discipline measures. Failure to not report suspendable offenses will adhere to a fine as noted in the League Operational Manual.

Revised: 8/10/2023


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