Programs & Services: Intramural Sports

Intramural Ice Hockey

Sport leagues and tournaments for the entire McMaster community, beginner to advanced, individual or team: We want to play with you!

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Intramural Ice Hockey

Activities include: Ice Hockey

Fall & Winter Leagues

  • When are leagues and tournaments in this sport offered? What PlayStyles are available?
    Check the Sport Calendar on the 'SPORTS' tab of our Intramural Sports page.
  • Who can play Intramural Sports at McMaster? How do I register?
    Check the 'REGISTER' tab of our Intramural Sports page.
  • Accessible
  • Registration Required

Open Ice Hockey Rules

All Canadian Old-timers Hockey Association rules apply, except when Intramural policy and procedures call for otherwise. Intramural policy and procedures over rule COHA rules.


1. Sledge and stand-up participants compete together. Note rules B2, B2-a and C3-a for specific details regarding integrated play.

2. Maximum 5 skaters and a goalie on the ice; no roster/bench limit.

a. Minimum 4 skaters and a goalie.

3. Protective Equipment: All players must wear full protective equipment. This includes a CSA-approved helmet with CSA-approved full-face protection and properly adjusted and fastened chinstrap, a BNQ-approved throat protector, shoulder pads, shin-guards, hockey pants, elbow pads and pelvic protector/jock-strap.



1. Game Duration: 2 x 20 minute periods, running-time.

a. Last 2 minutes will be stop-time if the goal differential is 2 or less.

b. Timeouts:Each team has one 1-minute timeout per half, to be called at a stoppage of play. Unused 1st-half timeouts do not carry forward.

2. Accessible Bench Area / Deflector Boards: In the absence of built-in accessible player benches, any participants using a sledge will use the on-ice accessible bench area consisting of two triangle deflector boards, built according to Ontario Sledge Hockey Association (OSHA) standards.

a. Pucks in the on-ice accessible bench area: If the puck enters and does not immediately exit the on-ice accessible bench area, a faceoff will be held at the nearest location in the neutral zone. No player on the accessible bench, nor active player on the ice shall play a puck within the accessible bench area. 

3. Game Sheets/Student Cards: A sign-in sheet for each team will be posted outside the locker rooms. Teams are responsible for completing the sheet and handing it to the convener with student cards prior to the start of the game.

a. The game cannot begin until both teams and all players have handed their completed game sheet and student cards to the convener. The clock will begin at the scheduled time.

b. Late-arrivals must check in at the scorer's box and hand in their student card prior to joining the team bench.

4. Zamboni Clearing: Players are not allowed onto the ice surface until the Zamboni and ALL arena staff are off the ice and the ice surface maintenance entrance is properly closed. Violation will result in the assessment of a 3-minute bench penalty.

5. Playoff Tie-Breakers: Ties will be broken by, in this order:

a. 5 minute, sudden-death overtime;
b. Penalty shots (5);
c. Sudden death penalty shots (new shooters).



1. Line Changes: At even strength, line changes can be made on-the-fly or on a whistle. In a power-play/penalty-kill situation, changes are only permitted on-the-fly.

2. Slap-shots are allowed in our PlayCompetitive leagues, but prohibited in PlayFun. Any player using a 'slap-shot' during a PlayFun game shall be assessed a minor penalty. If an injury to an opponent results, a major penalty shall be assessed at the discretion of the referee.

a. The 'snap-shot' is acceptable - the blade of the stick must be kept below the knees during the shooting motion to be considered a snap-shot.

b. A faked slap-shot (raising the blade of the stick above knees in a shooting motion) will be assessed a penalty whether the shot is taken or not.

2. Body Contact: A minor penalty or major penalty, at the discretion of the referee, shall be assessed to any player who bodies intentionally, pushes, shoves, or stands in front of and does not avert body contact with an opponent.

a. Any intentional body contact from behind will be an automatic Major Penalty and Game Misconduct.

3. High Sticking: A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player carrying his stick above the normal height of the shoulder.

a. Sledge and stand-up participants: A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player who reaches over top of a participant in a sledge to play a puck.

b. A player who intentionally contacts an opponent with a high stick shall be assessed a major penalty whether or not an injury results.

4. Spearing or butt-ending: An automatic match penalty shall be assessed to any player using their hockey stick in a dangerous or potentially dangerous manner. Contact does not have to be made for assessment of the penalty.

5. Penalties:

a. Minor Penalties: All minor penalties shall be 3 minutes straight time commencing with the drop of the puck.

i. 3 Minor Penalties results in a game misconduct. Any player who is assessed three minor penalties in one game shall be ruled off the ice for the remainder of the game. It shall be necessary for a substitute to serve the major penalty.

b. Misconduct Penalties: All misconduct penalties shall be 12 minutes straight time commencing with the drop of the puck and ending when play is whistled down.

i. Any player assessed a major penalty (including goalkeeper) during the last 10 minutes of play shall be ruled off the ice for the balance of the game (Major penalty misconduct). It shall be necessary for a substitute to serve the major penalty (Please note procedure for misconduct penalties).

6. Roughing and Fighting: The following rules define the levels from roughing to fighting and the penalty assessed:

a. One intentional gloved punch thrown constitutes an automatic minor regardless of contact on opposing player (3 minutes).

b. Multiple gloved punches thrown will be an automatic double minor and game misconduct. A player who obtains 2 double minors and game misconducts during the season will be automatically suspended for the entire season.

c. Any punch thrown without a glove or if any helmet/face shields are removed by any player prior to or during the altercation will be assessed a major for fighting and immediately banned indefinitely from all intramural competition. The team for which the player competed will forfeit their performance bond. 

7. Injuries: When an injury occurs, the referee uses his/her discretion in stopping the play. However if the injury is obviously of a serious nature, the referee has been instructed to blow the play dead immediately. The player is not to resume play under any circumstances until proper medical attention has been received.