Intramural Sports

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Code of Conduct

Participant Code of Conduct


The Code of Conduct is designed to facilitate the goal of McMaster Intramurals, which is to provide the entire McMaster University community with a safe, enjoyable, affordable, and memorable sporting experience.


  1. Attend mandatory captains' meeting when scheduled.
  2. Be fully conversant with this code and its implications.
  3. Inform team members of the Code of Conduct, league schedule, and rules.
  4. Check team standings and report any inaccuracies to


  1. All Participants: Must hold membership to the McMaster Athletics & Recreation Center:
    1. Students: All full and part-time students are members. 
    2. Alumni/Faculty/Staff: Guest passes are available and are subject to the discretion of the Intramural Coordinator. The cost of the pass is dependent on fees set by the University.
    3. Community Members: All participants not included in the above groups must hold a valid Community Membership for the duration of their league.

  2. Student/Member Cards: All participants must present their Student/Member Card to their scorekeeper/official/convener prior to game start. a. Forgotten Cards: Players failing to present their card will be allowed to participate, but must present their card at the Intramural office (DBAC/WG101) by 4:00pm of the next business day.

  3. Alumni Participants: Unlimited Alumni may participate provided they have a valid membership.

  4. Marauder varsity athletes are not permitted to play on an Intramural team in a related sport (e.g., a student listed on the Marauder soccer roster on is welcome to play volleyball, basketball and floorball, but not in any of our soccer leagues, regardless of PlayStyle).
    1. Exception: Women-identified Marauder varsity athletes may play in a related sport, as long as their team is in the most competitive available PlayStyle. Why an exception? We're working hard to increase participation amongst women at McMaster and removing the restriction on varsity players for women means more players, more teams and more fun in our women's leagues.

  5. Professional Athletes: Professional athletes are prohibited from competing in McMaster Intramural athletics in related sports.

  6. Playing on Multiple Teams: An individual may represent only one team within a sport league. Teams using players from other teams to avoid forfeiting must gain approval from the opposition in the presence of the game official/league convener.
    1. Ice hockey goaltenders are an exception to this rule, and may play on multiple teams
    2. This rule is designed to avoid forfeits; a team may not repeatedly use the same individual - that would be contrary to the spirit of this rule.

  7. Team Roster: All participants must be registered and added to the team roster on All currently registered participants will appear on printed game sheets. New additions are welcome to manually add themselves to the game sheet, but must be added to the team roster on within 48 hours or the game will be recorded as a default loss.

  8. Playoff Eligibility: Players must sign-in at all games, and must play at least 50% of the regular season contests to be eligible for playoffs:
    1. Most regular seasons are 5 games. Players must participate in the 'next whole number' games above 50% (e.g., In the McMaster Intramural Program, a 5 game season requires participation at minimum 2 games).
    2. Injured players must participate in minimum 50% of the games in which they are physically able to play.


  1. Sport-Specific Rules: Individual sport rules can be found online on the various 'sport pages'. Any clarifications should be made with the Intramural office area

  2. Cheating: Any person found cheating will be disqualified from Intramural activities. Teams who have cheated will forfeit all points accumulated during the time cheating occurred and are subject to removal from play, and/or loss of Performance Bond.

  3. Fighting: Any person who fights and/or directs abuse toward officials or fellow participants during an Intramural activity will be immediately suspended from all Intramural activities
    1. Technical rules of each sport apply when sanctioning a fighting violation during the contest (e.g., red card in soccer; team plays short a player).

  4. Postponements:
    1. Inclement Weather: On days that there is question concerning status of play, contestants should contact the Intramural office for a decision at 3:00pm of the day in question. Outdoor sports will not play in lightning/thunder conditions.
    2. University Closure: In the event of a University-wide closure, all Intramural activities are postponed. Participants should consult the Daily News page ( or the McMaster phone operator (905-525-9140) to confirm campus closure.

  5. No Officials: In the event that no officials are present for a game, teams should mutually agree to play the game using one player from each team as officials; if agreed, this game shall count as a legal game and will be included in the league standings.

  6. Rescheduling: Postponements occurring due to weather, facility-booking conflicts, etc. will be handled by the Intramural office staff. Captains will be notified of the postponement and will be advised as to the rescheduling of the missed games.
    1. Note: Due to limited facility space, rescheduling to accommodate team/player conflicts is not an option - see Section E, Part 1: Defaults.

  7. Standings: All league standings are posted on the Intramural website.
    1. Errors in Standings: Teams are responsible for reporting any errors in standings. 
    2. Please report: game date/time, teams involved, and correct score.
    3. Office staff will confirm with our original game sheets and will consult the opposing captain and/or convener if there is any discrepancy.
    4. Missed Games: Postponed games, which cannot be rescheduled, will not unfairly affect team records. Team standings will be calculated based on winning percentage and points for/against.

  8. Play-off Competition: At all times consideration for the skill level of the participants shall be reflected in the structure of the playoffs.


  1. Defaults
    1. Minimum 24-hours Notice: A default is recorded any time a team is unable to play at the scheduled time but has given minimum 24 hours notice to:
      1. Opposition's Captain
      2. Intramural Sports Office:
        iii. Intramural Office
    2. 2nd Default: Two defaults, regardless of notification may result in suspension from further competition.

  2. Forfeits:
    1. No-Show: If a team fails to appear and make themselves known at the appointed play location within 5 minutes of the scheduled start time of a game, the official in charge shall declare the contest forfeited to the team/contestant ready to play. The game clock begins at the scheduled start time.i. If neither team appears with the minimum required number of players then a double forfeit is declared.

    2. Short Players: A team may be required to forfeit a game if they have less than the minimum number of players following the 5-minute grace period.
      1. Two shorthanded teams may agree to play the game with equal number of players. If the game is played then it will count toward final standings.
      2. Unless otherwise stated in the sport-specific rules, the minimum number of players is:
        1. One less than regulation for sports requiring six (6) or less regulation players per team.
        2. Two less than regulation for sports requiring more than six (6) regulation players per team.

    3. Ineligible Players: A team shall forfeit any contest in which it uses an ineligible player (see Section B: Player Eligibility).

    4. Unsporting Behaviour: A contest shall be declared a forfeit by the official in charge when a team/competitor displays flagrantly poor sporting behaviour or leaves from the playing area prior to the completion of the contest.

    5. Forfeiting Teams - Repercussions:
      1. Loss of game.
      2. May be excluded from playoffs
      3. Loss of Performance Bond (Ice Hockey only)

    6. Default/Forfeit Game Scores: Defaulted/forfeited games will be scored as a loss for the defaulting/forfeiting team, with the winning team being awarded a predetermined number of points for/against.


  1. Protests of an official's judgment will not be considered.

  2. Items of Protest:
    1. Rule Interpretation: All rule interpretations (NB: difference between "rule interpretation" and "official's judgment") must be made by the team captain/representative at the time of the dispute; the official must provide a rule interpretation and explain it to both captains before play continues.

    2. Opposition Player Eligibility: If the eligibility of your opposition is in question, notify the game official/league convener of your concerns; the game is to be played under protest.

  3. Protest Procedure:
    1. Inform game official/league convener that the game is under protest;
    2. Game Sheet: Note the protest/appeal on the game sheet;
    3. Written Report: All protests must be made in writing and submitted within 24 hours of the game in question to the Intramural Sports Program Coordinator.
    4. Unless these procedures have been followed the protest will not be considered.


  1. Good Sporting Behaviour: Teams and associated parties are required to show good sporting behaviour on and off the playing area, before, during, and after games.

  2. Spirit of Competition: Means respecting the rules, respecting the officials & their decisions, respecting your opponents and maintaining your self-control at all times.
  • Who Awards Points?
    • During the regular season, captains rate opponents, referees and game-day supervisors rate both teams. At the beginning of each game team ratings will start at "0" and stay at "0" on average, go up for positive and down for negative sporting behaviour. All scores will be added up throughout the regular season and this will give a team its final Spirit of Competition rating total.
  • Who is involved?
    • Every participant, official and game-day supervisor will have an active part in upholding these principles. A team's sporting behaviour will be measure through a rating structure of 1 - 5, called Spirit of Competition ratings (S.O.C.). These scores are an indication of how well a team has upheld their positive sporting behaviour in a game.
  • Regular Season
    • Teams must have an average Spirit of Competition rating of 3 at the end of regular season or they may be removed from the league and will not continue to the playoff season.
  • Spirit of Competition Rating Scale
    • 5 Excellent
      • Excellent team sporting behaviour towards opponents and officials (e.g.,  team always maintains an outstanding attitude, captains always question officials in a respectful manner and entire team shakes hands at the end of the game).
      • Entire team maintains self-control at all times.
      • No major penalties/incidents.
      • Penalties are next to none.
    • 4 Good
      • Good team sporting behaviour towards opponents and officials (e.g., team always maintains a good attitude most of the game, no conflicts).
      • Entire team maintains self-control at all times.
      • No major penalties/incidents.
      • Penalties are very few
    • 3 Average (starting point for rating teams)
      • Good team sporting behaviour towards opponents and officials (e.g., negative attitudes are limited to an individual rather than the entire team).
      • Lack of self-control is limited to an individual, not the entire team.
      • No major penalties/incidents.
      • Few penalties
    • 2 Poor
      • Poor team sporting behaviour towards opponents and officials. Lack of respect shown towards opponents and officials. Use of profane and/or vulgar language.
      • More than one team member shows a lack of self-control.
      • Major penalty(ies) have been awarded.
      • More than average number of penalties.
      • If a team has an ejection, the team will automatically receive a 2 rating.
    • 1 Not Acceptable
      • Terrible team sporting behaviour toward opponents and officials. Frequent use of profane and/or vulgar language, acts of verbal or physical intimidation.
      • The majority of the team shows a lack of self-control and respect for opponents and/or officials.
      • Major penalties have been awarded.
      • Numerous penalties.
      • If a fight occurs, the team will automatically receive a 1 rating.

  • Drugs and Alcohol: Playing under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited. Any violation of this rule will result in a Level 4 Disciplinary Sanction - Indefinite Suspension. See 'Disciplinary Sanctions' for a detailed description.

  • Unsporting Behaviour: Abuse of any kind directed at any Intramural participant(s) - staff, opposition, teammates, etc. - will not be tolerated and has no place in Intramural activities.
    • Incidents of unsporting behaviour by any party affiliated with the team (players, managers, coaches, fans, etc.) will be addressed by game staff and may result in forfeiture of the game.
    • Any decisions made by game staff are to be adhered to; failure to comply will result in further disciplinary action.
    • In all incidents of unsporting behaviour, all involved parties will be immediately and indefinitely suspended from all Intramural activities. Suspensions will stand until notified otherwise by the Intramural Coordinator. A response from the Intramural office following the incident(s) will indicate appeal procedures, etc., if applicable.
    • Unidentified Players: If there is uncertainty about the identity of any involved parties, the team(s) involved may be suspended until further review.

  • Disciplinary Sanctions: The following is a description of potential sanctions according to and including the examples listed. Any violation may be subject to any level of sanction. Examples are not exclusive to each level.
    • LEVEL 1 - Game Misconduct: A participant may receive a game misconduct and be required to sit out the remainder of the game. (E.g., Abuse of an official, fighting.)

    • LEVEL 2 - Game Misconduct and Multiple Game Suspension: A participant will be assessed a game misconduct (Level 1 Sanction) and be suspended for additional games. (E.g., Abuse of an official, abuse of a player, continued abuse after ejection, malicious foul/penalty, etc.)

    • LEVEL 3 - Term Suspension: A player, coach or team may receive a term suspension from all Intramural Sport activities. (E.g., Playing under assumed name to circumvent eligibility rules, or otherwise, continued misconduct, etc.)

    • LEVEL 4 - Indefinite Suspension: A participant or team may be suspended from all future involvement in Intramural Sports activities. (E.g., Playing while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.)

    • PROBATION: Any team whose affiliated party was assessed a fighting, term, or indefinite suspension will remain on probation. Any further unsporting behaviour by teams on probation will result in immediate removal of the team from league competition without appeal.