League’s rules

(A) Fees and administrative matters

1. Fees and cancellations

All fees must be paid in full, on or prior to the dates established by the league. Failure to adhere to this policy can result in a team being taken off the schedule. If you  require an extension to the established dates, contact a DWHL rep to make alternate plans.

ALL games scheduled need to be played. NO GAMES will be cancelled by the league due to weather. Should the ARENA cancel a game due to power outages, inclement weather, or for any other reason, the game will, of course, be rescheduled.

  1. Uniforms and equipment

    Each team must advise [email protected] of the team’s colors prior to the season. Each team must wear distinguishable color sweaters from their opponents, and it is recommended that teams have a spare set of sweaters or individual players carry a spare sweater that is opposite in color from the team’s regular color in their hockey bags at all times. We ask teams to cordially decide amongst themselves to resolve any conflicts that may arise if teams arrive with the same colors. In the event that teams cannot decide, the on ice officials will decide for them.

The league strongly advises players to adhere to QUEBEC LAW, which states all players must wear full facial protectors and neck guards while playing. The league will not be responsible for injuries and/or fines incurred as a result of non-compliance.

  1. Rosters and roster sheets

Upon registering a team and prior to each season, the Captain must provide a full roster to [email protected] , who manages the statistics .  A roster sheet must be properly filled out prior to each game.  It must clearly show each player’s name and number (for a goalie, just put a G). It is mandatory for the lineup to be filled out. Please ensure that only players playing in that game appear on the score sheet. If a player is playing who does not appear on the score sheet, that team may forfeit the game.   As well, if a player is listed on the score sheet and it is found that the player was not there, it could result in a forfeit.  The lineups are VERY IMPORTANT for playoff eligibility. Regardless of whether a player is on the game sheet, during regular season games, NO spare player may enter a game once the 3rd period has started. In the playoffs, NO spare player may enter the game after the 10:00 minute mark of the 2nd period. This rule does not apply to regular players as they have paid a full season and it does happen where conflicts can arise with other events.



(B) Hockey rules and procedures

  1. Hockey Rules

DWHL is a non-contact league, and rules, unless otherwise noted below, will conform to Hockey Canada (CAHA) guidelines. Note:  There may be an exception to certain CAHA rules not noted below.


When any opposing player stands in the offensive zone goal crease area for more than 2-3 seconds (approx ), the referee will whistle the play dead and the ensuing face-off will be in the neutral zone just outside the offensive zone.  Being in the crease also runs the risk of a goal being disallowed or a penalty being called if there is any interference with the goaltender.

  1. Length of game, game start procedure, end of game.

1st Period – 24 minutes on clock, when zamboni leaves the ice and players get on, time will start. The horn will buzz at 21:30 and referees are instructed to drop puck 20:00. Last 30 seconds of period will be stopped time.

2nd Period: As soon as the 1st period ends, 19 minutes will go on the clock, horn will sound and clock will start immediately. Last 30 seconds are stop time.

3rd Period –   As soon as the 2nd period ends, 19 minutes will go on the clock, horn will sound and clock will start. The last minute of the game will be stop time ONLY IF there is a difference of 2 goals or less. Otherwise, no stop time at all.

(Example: if score is 4-2 for team A, last minute of the game will be stop time. If team A scores a goal to make it 5-2, no more stop time.)

(Example 2: if score is 5-2 for team A, no stop time. If team b scores to make it 5-3, stop time.)

Teams are no longer allowed a time-out during a game.

The clock is no longer allowed to be stopped in the event of an injured player.

If, for any reason, the arena staff buzz us off the ice, the game is over and the score at the time will be recorded as the final score of the game.

A team MUST have 5 skaters and a goalie to start a game. ( 6 players total )

Any team not having enough players to start  the game at 20:00 will be penalized 2 minutes for delay of game.

At 17:00, if a team still does not have the required 6 players, 4 minutes will be assessed that team.
No player is required to serve these penalties at the penalty bench. Once the penalty has expired, a player may come onto the ice from  the team bench.

At the 12:00 mark of the 1st period, if a team still does not have the minimum 5 players and a goalie a forfeit is declared.
If the team showed without a goaltender, it must dress another player in his/her place, otherwise the game is forfeited.

Any player being dressed MUST have full goaltender equipment to be eligible. No official game will be played without a goaltender on each team.
Any game that reaches a differential of 10 goals will be declared finished. Both refs and the timekeeper will stay and the game will continue as a friendly exhibition game.

All games may end in a tie, in which case each team receives 1 point in the standings.

3. Forfeited games

A score of 3-0 will be posted for regular season default victories, as described above for various kinds of no-show.
Once a game is forfeited AND this fact has been explained to the captains (teams), the following will be asked of both
captains or team reps: Do you want to continue with an exhibition game? Should the teams decide to continue with the exhibition, both referees and timekeeper will remain for the duration of the game. Should the teams decide NOT to play the exhibition, at that point and only at that point will the officials be permitted to leave the ice.  In that case, players who wish to do so may remain on the ice to practice or shoot around; helmets MUST be worn at all times.

Any forfeited or exhibition games will NOT be reimbursed or replayed by the league. Teams that cause the forfeit will be fined $125.00 and that money will be awarded to the opposing team as compensation for the lost game.

4. Penalties and disciplinary action

Any player receiving 4 minor penalties will be ejected from the game, with no supplementary discipline for those 4 minor penalties.  For the purpose of this rule, a double minor penalty for the same infraction will count as one penalty. A
10 minute misconduct will also count as 1 penalty.

Any acts of fighting, verbal abuse, or general disregard for the safety of an individual which occur in any game, official or forfeited exhibition game, or a game ALREADY DECIDED by 10-goals will result in the refs and timekeeper calling the game and leaving the ice. Also, disciplinary action will be taken for individuals penalized.

Note: No penalty shall be assessed when a player or goaltender accidently shoots the puck out of the playing surface.

(C) Eligibility of players

1. Players MUST be 18 Yrs of age to play in the DWHL. ANY exceptions MUST be accompanied by a letter signed by the parents/guardians of the individual, accepting full responsibility and waiving any claims to damages from the league should that player be injured. THE LEAGUE MUST be notified beforehand when a player under 18 is needed to play and will decide if such player can play or not.

  1. Regular season
    a) Spares
    A team must not use a spare player who plays in a DWHL Division 3 levels higher than the team. Example: A Division 4 team cannot use a Division 1 player. A Division 5 team cannot use a Division 2 player and so on.  Any team using an
    ineligible player risks forfeiting that game. All official complaints received may result in a loss for the offending team.

The objective of this rule is to reduce the number of games dominated by any players who basically do not belong in a
particular division. It still remains the responsibility of Captains to ensure they balance their teams according to the caliber of play within that division.

  1. b) Regulars
    The above rule is for spare players only.  There may be certain players who play in divisions they are too strong to play in.  However, if these players help to balance that team in that particular division and games are close and competitive, it may be permitted.  If regular players dominate games and are helping their respective
    teams to upset the balance, those teams, upon review, may be placed in higher divisions
  2. For a player to be considered a regular player, he MUST play at least 10 games (Winter ) and 7 games (Summer)

    Playoffs and Regular Season

    a) Spares
    A spare who has played at least 5 regular season games (Winter) and 3 regular season games (Summer) will be eligible for playoffs.  Of those eligible games, In winter, 2 of the 5 games must be played before December 31st. For summer, 2 of the 3 games must be played prior to June 30th. In addition, this spare MUST be of a caliber equal to or less than that of the player being replaced. We request that teams advise the league administration of spares being used prior to the game being played.
    A player who has played fewer than 5 games (Winter) and 3 games (Summer) will generally NOT be considered for playoff spare eligibility. However, in a case where a team loses a regular player for the ENTIRE playoffs due to injury, out of town, etc., the league will consider approving a spare of equal or lesser caliber who has played fewer than the required number of games.  However, he/she must have played a minimum of at least 2 regular season games to be even qualified for consideration.

A team may only use a spare in the playoffs if they are missing a regular player.

  1. Criteria for investigation of player eligibility. (Regular season and playoff games)

The league does not systematically review every player’s eligibility for each game.  Cases are subject to review only
upon receipt of official complaint from the opposing team, made in writing to [email protected] . A game will be reviewed only if a spare player has accounted for 5 or more points, AND the goal differential is 4 goals or more.

A team may also lodge a complaint if they feel a certain player was ineligible or a spare was a dominating factor without necessarily having accounted for 5 or more points. For instance, if a team wins a game by a score of 3-2 and a spare player accounted for 3 points, that would be criteria for investigation.
When a game is reviewed, the league will determine whether the spare player was a dominating factor in the team’s victory. Goal spread and the points scored by a spare are the keys. Only after careful review will a final decision on be made. If a win is reversed, the spare in question will have zero points towards his/her statistics and the team that lodged the complaint will be awarded the win with a final score of the following examples:

If team A beats team B by a score of 9-4 and team B lodges a complaint and is successful, a final score of 4-3 for team B will be recorded. The goals scored by the complainant will remain and the offending team will have its goals reduced to one below the team awarded the victory. Goals for and against may be a factor in playoff games so minimizing the impact on either team is a must.


  1. Division Balancing

In order to assist in the balancing of divisions properly, the league requests that Captains provide as much feedback after games as possible, positive or negative. It remains our biggest challenge each season and the more feedback we receive, the better we can be. We will set the halfway point of every season as our cutoff for balancing. Having said that, should a team’s record drastically improve or decrease at any point during a season due to an addition or loss of players, spares included, the league administration may choose to move that team up or down a Division.