2023-2024 Season Rules

Game Format

  • Games consist of three 17-minute run-time periods, with a three-minute warm up.
  • The last 30 seconds of all periods are stop time.
  • Each team will be allotted one 1-minute timeout per game.
  • The last five minutes of the third period are stop time if the game is within two goals.
  • The ice will be resurfaced between games for all divisions.
  • Slapshots are allowed in all divisions, except Novice and Hang Loose C. A slapshot is defined as a shot with the stick above the player’s waist.


  • Overtime is sudden death, three-on-three for three minutes stop time.
  • A penalty that occurs during overtime results in a penalty shot.
  • If a team goes into overtime with a penalty, overtime will be played four-on-three until the penalty expires. The penalized player may proceed to the ice upon the expiration of the penalty. In this case, teams will play four-on-four until the next stoppage. After the stoppage, play goes back to three-on-three.
  • Games end in a tie if no one scores during overtime.

Penalty Minute Standards

  • Minor penalties are three minutes during run time or two minutes during stop time.
  • Double Minors are six minutes during run time or four minutes during stop time.
  • Major penalties are five minutes.  Major penalties DO NOT expire if a goal is scored.
  • Misconducts are 10 minutes. A second misconduct in the same game results in a Game Misconduct.
  • Game Misconducts result in an ejection plus a one-game suspension. 10 minutes will be added to player’s PIM stats.

Penalty Minute Thresholds

  • A player will receive a one-game suspension when he/she reaches 40 penalty minutes within one division.
  • Players receive a two-game suspension at 60 penalty minutes within the same division.
  • If suspensions happen in games 13 or 14 of the season, the suspension will carry over into playoff game(s). Penalty minutes reset for playoffs.

USA Hockey Rules of Importance

  • Automatic five-minute major and game misconducts include:
    Butt-ending, checking from behind (injury potential), fighting, head-butting, holding/grabbing the facemask, kicking, leaving the bench during an altercation, and spearing.
  • Three-minute minor plus 10-minute misconduct or five-minute major plus game misconduct include: boarding, charging, checking from behind and head contact.

Progressive Suspensions

  • Any player who receives his/her third major penalty during the same season, within the same division, will receive a three-game suspension. Any player assessed a fourth major will receive a five-game suspension. If a player receives a fifth major, the player will be suspended until a hearing is conducted by the proper authorities.
  • Players serving suspensions will not be allowed to sit on or near their team’s bench, nor be allowed to man the penalty box.


  • A “Ringer” is defined as a player who has an elevated skill set compared to other players in the division and who consistently affects the outcome of games in his/her team’s favor.
  • Players with elevated skill sets who act as teachers/mentors, helping facilitate a greater understanding and awareness of ice hockey to their teammates and opponents may be excluded from sanctions.
  • The identification of a Ringer will initially be made by an opposing team’s captain. The captain submits the name or number of said Ringer to the Adult Hockey Director.
  • The Director will decide whether the “Ringer Rule” should be applied.  If applied, both the player and team captain will be notified.
  • Team captains may request the decision be “reconsidered” and the case will be reviewed by the GHL Adult Hockey Committee.

Ringer Rule

  • The Ringer Rule will only be applicable to the Novice, Intermediate, Hangloose B/C and Competitive divisions.
  • Ringers will be required to wear an additional item on their uniform (TBD) to identify their status to officials, scorekeepers, and opponents.
  • Ringers are limited to one goal per game.
  • All additional goals scored by Ringers, purposely or accidentally, will be disallowed and the following face-off will be held in the offending team’s defensive zone.
  • Any Ringer who blatantly ignores the NO SCORING sanction will be assessed a three-minute minor penalty plus a 10-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Team Composition and Illegal Players (i.e., non-registered, non-paid, unapproved subs).

  • According to USA Hockey rule 201 (a): A team must start a game with a MINIMUM of six players. Any time that a team has been reduced to less than four players (i.e., three of the six players serving overlapping penalties), the game will be declared a forfeit.
  • Approved Subs: Teams with a short bench (team composition of less than six players) on a given night may request substitute players. Substitutes must be currently registered GHL players in the same or a lower division. The request for subs must be presented to the opposing team captain prior to the start of the game. The opposing team captain has three options:
    1.) Deny the request and make the opposing team play with their existing amount of at least six players. If less than six, a forfeit is declared.
    2.) Approve the request and allow substitute players. Stats will be recorded and game results will be final.
    3.) Allow subs, have the game declared a forfeit, and play a “friendly game” off the books.
  • If a team is caught playing with illegal players or unapproved subs during the regular season, the captain of the offending team will serve a one game suspension, the game will be rendered a (1 to 0) forfeit, and all statistics (except PIM) will go unrecorded. Usage of illegal players and unapproved subs during Playoff Season results in “automatic elimination”.  The identification of illegal players must be submitted to the league director within 24 hours of the end of the game.

Playoff Rules and Format

  • Game format is the same as regular season.
  • Playoffs are single elimination until the final round, which is a best of three series (winter season only). Shoulder seasons are one game based on standings.
  • Playoff overtime for all preliminary rounds and Toilet Bowl Championships consists of a sudden death, three-on-three OT period for five minutes stop time. All penalties result in a penalty shot. Penalty shot must be taken by the player who was infracted by the penalty. If game remains tied after the overtime, a three-man shootout will take place (Highest seed chooses who shoots first).  Players may not shoot twice until all eligible players have shot once.
  • Playoff overtime during the FINALS is a sudden death, five-on-five 17 minute RUN TIME period with standard penalty rules. If still tied there will be a 3 on 3 sudden death OT period for 5 minutes STOP TIME.  PEN  ALTIES are not PENALTY SHOTS.  The team on the power play will play 4 on 3 for 2 minutes.   Penalized player may leave the box when the time has expired to play 4 on 4 until the next stoppage of play.  Then return to 3 on 3.  If still tied, the 3 on 3 format will be repeated until a winner is decided.
  • Any players with an outstanding GHL balance are ineligible for playoffs.
  • Any team using illegal players or unapproved subs will forfeit and be automatically eliminated from post-season play.
  • Playoff seeding is based on the number of points accumulated during the regular season. Reseeding will occur once bracket begins with the lowest remaining seed playing the highest.
  • In the event of teams being tied in points, the tie-breaker protocol is as follows:
  • Most points.
  • Most wins.
  • Fewest goals against.
  • Most goals for.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  The GHL software/website may not recognize these tie-breakers.  Final seeding will be done and posted by the league office after all regular season games are completed.

Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco

  • Tobacco, Tobacco Substitutes (ZYN ect.) or marijuana use of any type is prohibited on the premises. Alcohol is not permitted on the players benches and penalty boxes.
  • Game officials have the authority to assess bench minor penalties to those in violation of this rule.
  • The Adult Hockey Director and/or Glacier Ice Rink staff reserve the right to remove ANY intoxicated players who jeopardize the safety of themselves, other players, officials, and scorekeepers.

Final Rosters

  • All rosters will be finalized and frozen on week seven (winter league). Any team wishing to add additional players after the deadline will need to submit a request to the Director for approval.

Payment Plans and Refunds

  • Please see our refund policy regarding refunds and payment plans.