My my My my

Rules and Policies of the Greater Springfield
League Junior Amateur Hockey League

(as of September 15, 2021)

1. Games
(a)         Games of the Greater Springfield Junior Amateur Hockey League (G.S.J.A.H.L.) shall be played under the rules of USA Hockey and Massachusetts Hockey.

(b)         Division age classifications shall follow those approved by USA Hockey.

(c)         Games will start at the times designated in the published schedule. Game roster sheets shall be turned into the timekeeper prior to the start of play. Games for 18U (Midgets) and 14U (Bantams) shall, if an eighty (80) minute block of ice is available, consist of three fifteen (15) minute “stop action” periods and shall conclude at the expiration of the game clock or upon the expiration of the available ice time, whichever occurs first. Games for 10U (Squirt) through the 12U (Peewee) divisions shall consist of three twelve (12) minute “stop action” periods. A game for all other divisions shall conclude: at the expiration the game clock; in  the case of a sixty (60) minute sheet of ice, at the expiration of sixty (60) minutes as determined by an ice clock; or upon the expiration of the available ice time, whichever occurs first.

(d)          The league shall define standards of play or game rules specific for each age classification.

(e)          The home team chooses the jersey color to wear for the game. Home team must inform the visiting team of their choice; however, if a team only has one set of jerseys then the other team must wear an appropriate shirt color.

(f)         Teams shall not enter the ice surface or player’s bench area prior to the zamboni leaving the ice and the zamboni doors closed. Failure to abide by this rule shall result in a bench minor penalty to be served at the start of the game.

(g)         Teams shall shake hands after the game. However, at the official’s discretion, the shaking of hands may be omitted to avoid any further problems on the ice.

(a)         The games for Fall pre-high school Midget teams shall begin in September to allow for the required number of games to qualify for the District Play-downs.  The evaluation games for all other divisions of the G.S.J.A.H.L. shall begin the last weekend of  September.
(b)         Weekday games may be scheduled with the agreement of the GSL scheduler and the affected associations.  The championship game for each division in the G.S.J.H.L. shall be concluded by the end of March.
(c)         There shall be a rebuttable presumption that a member association’s highest team at any age division shall play in the A division.
(d)         Any team wishing to reschedule a game must notify the League Scheduler in writing thirty (30) days in advance. The rescheduling of games will be at the sole discretion of the League Scheduler if there is ice available to reschedule a game and if both teams consent to the request to reschedule the game.

If a game is successfully rescheduled, the team requesting the game reschedule is responsible for the cost of the entire ice fee associated with the new game.

(e)         When a team gives written notice to the League Scheduler at least thirty (30) days in advance of a scheduled league game that the team wishes to forfeit the game, the League Scheduler shall cancel the referees and the time keeper assigned to the game. The forfeiting team and/or organization shall be responsible for payment of the full ice fee owed for the ice unless the League Scheduler is able to schedule another league game in the ice slot.  If a team gives written notice to the League Scheduler at least five (5) days and less than thirty (30) days in advance of a scheduled league game that the team wishes to forfeit the game, the forfeiting team shall also be responsible, in addition to the ice fee, for the cost of the referee(s) and time keeper. The League Scheduler shall notify the non-forfeiting team of the forfeit and the non-forfeiting team will automatically be awarded the victory without having to show up for the game.
(f)         G.S.J.A.H.L. games will take precedence over games of other leagues to which member teams belong except in the case of State Play downs and Championship Tournaments. A limit of 2 games occurring in the same day will be allowed during the season.
(g)         All cancellations of games including inclement weather shall be at the direction of the League Scheduler.If a team chooses not to attend a game due to inclement weather, the team’s Association shall have three (3) days to appeal to the Scheduler or Executive Board. This would allow time for the Scheduler to determine whether other teams traveled to or from that area on the same day.
(h)         The League Scheduler shall establish a reasonable schedule for the submission of all information necessary for completing the league’s game schedule.  The League Scheduler will not schedule league games during the weekend following Thanksgiving or during weekends containing the Christmas or New Year holidays. Up to four (4) No Play Dates for the Regular Season shall be turned in to the League Scheduler.  A team may use two (2) additional no play dates for anticipated participation in a state tournament. If No Play Dates are not received by the league scheduler by each season’s established deadline, all No Play Dates are forfeited for that season. The League Scheduler shall post the regular season schedule within two (2) weeks of the completion of the evaluation games.
(i)         Member associations must provide sufficient sheets of ice for 18 home games for each team of the member association in the 10U (Squirt) through 14U (Bantam) divisions. Member associations must provide 13 sheets of ice for every two (2) 8U (Mite) level teams (if an association has an odd number of 8U (Mite) teams, then add seven sheets of ice). If additional ice is needed for games, it will be the responsibility of the League Scheduler to contact the Associations to obtain this ice.
(j)         The League Scheduler shall designate to the member associations prior to the start of the Regular Season all contracted ice times for league games.  Before ice is secured from any source other than a League Association during one of the designated ice times, the League Scheduler shall inform the League Associations of the League’s ice needs and the League Associations shall by a majority vote, either approve or modify the League Scheduler’s plan to secure ice.
(k)         Substitutions for any teams for League Scheduled Games shall not be permitted. Teams scheduled must play their games.
3.  Rosters

(a)         Teams shall submit official rosters to the League Registrar (or Secretary in absence) prior to the first league game. Any team whose roster is not submitted prior to the first game will forfeit all games played after that date until rosters are submitted.  

(b)         Fall pre-high school 18U (Midget) teams shall submit an official roster of all eligible players to the District 6 Registrar no later than September 1st. All other teams shall submit an official roster of all eligible players to the District 6 Registrar by October 1st.  Any team whose official roster is not submitted by the dates established herein will forfeit all games played after that date until official rosters are submitted.  All teams participating in the GSL must provide the league with proof that their rosters have been submitted to their USA Hockey affiliated districts by the same dates established herein. Approved official rosters must be filed with the League Registrar (or Secretary in absence).

            The following minimum number of players must be on a roster to start the GSL season per age group: 6U (Novice) - 5, 8U (Mite) - 6, 10U (Squirt) - 9, 12U (Peewee) - 9, 14U (Bantam) - 10, 18U (Midget) - 10.

(c)         The League Registrar (or Secretary in anbsence) shall be notified of any changes or additions to a team’s roster before such player or coach can participate in a League Game.

(d)         Players shall not be added to a team’s roster or transferred to another team’s roster representing the same Association after October 1st (September 1st for 18U) except with the approval of the GSL Executive Board.

(e)         A player shall not be listed on more than one team roster in the G.S.J.A.H.L.

(f)         Players that are not on the team’s roster are not permitted to play in any league games. Games in which non-rostered players are used shall be recorded as a 1-0 forfeit.  Use of non-rostered players in a game that is forfeited may be subject to further disciplinary action by the GSL board.  

(g)       To field enough players for a game, any team may substitute a player from lower skill division in the same age group, from the same Association, to bring the total number of skaters for the game, excluding goalies, to the minimum number of rostered players (8U (Mite) - 6, 10U (Squirt) - 9, 12U (Peewee) - 9, 14U (Bantam) - 10, 18U (Midget) – 10). Substitute players from a lower age group may not be called up from a North Division team, unless the team calling the player up is also in the North Division (i.e., "A" players may only be called up to play "A" games in an older age group). The 14U age division can substitute players from any lower age division. Such players shall be listed on the game sheet and marked with an * using their legal name. Any such player from the same or lower division in the same age group or any division of a lower age group, from the same Association, playing more than three games will become a permanent member of the team, unless doing so would leave the lower team with less than the minimum number of skaters, excluding goalies. 

              The three (3) game limit may be waived under special circumstances with approval of the board of directors.


              All 8U (Mite) and 6U (Novice) players are required to play age-appropriate hockey including all applicable defined exemptions.

              10U (Squirt) “C” level teams may substitute players from another “C” level team from the same Association to reach the minimum number of rostered players.

              The three game limit may be waived for a player who is a goalie on either the upper or lower team upon written request to the President and written notification to the opposing teams in the division.  An upper team’s goalie shall not play on a lower team as a goalie if another lower team goalie is available from the same age bracket. 

(h)         Division age classifications shall follow those approved by USA Hockey.

(i)        Players with approved medical waivers to play down one age level may be granted participation on the organization’s lowest team pursuant to Mass Hockey rules. Associations may petition the league to place a player on another team excluding the North Division with the approval of the board of directors.

(j)          Only players who are dressed and ready to participate in the game should be listed on the game sheet.

4.  Penalties

(a)         Any player receiving three (3) penalties in a game, shall be removed from the remainder of that game only.

(b)          Any Head Coach whose team receives 12 or more penalties during one game shall be suspended for the next league game.

(c)         The GSL will not tolerate fighting. Any player assessed a fighting major penalty (first occurrence) is suspended from league play for the teams next three (3) scheduled league games. Any player assessed a second fighting major penalty (second occurrence) shall be suspended for three (3) games according to USA Hockey Rule 615(f). After the 2nd occurrence the league will conduct a hearing within 14 days to impose supplemental discipline as necessary.  Any disciplinary hearing shall follow the disciplinary procedures of Massachusetts Hockey.

In 18U Division, any player assessed a fighting major penalty (first occurrence) is suspended from league play for the remainder of the season pending hearing under Mass Hockey guidelines.

(d)        A player or coach who has been given a game misconduct(s) MUST serve that penalty by being suspended from the next league game(s).  If that team's next scheduled sanctioned USA HOCKEY game is not a League game, the player or coach must still serve a suspension in the next already scheduled GSL game (in addition to the next scheduled sanctioned USA HOCKEY game). If the player or coach who has received a game misconduct(s) does not sit out the next league game(s) and plays in the next league game(s) then the "penalized player's or coach’s team" will forfeit the game(s) played and said player or coach must sit out the next league game(s).

The forfeit will be recorded as follows: the offending team will receive a loss with a score of 0, the non-offending will receive a win with the goals scored during the forfeited game. The offending team will also have two points removed from their league standings.

Any team that plays a suspended player shall have its Head Coach suspended for the next game. For any subsequent occurrence of playing a suspended player, the Head Coach shall serve a three-game suspension. For a third occurrence of playing a suspended player during the same season, the Head Coach shall be suspended indefinitely until a hearing has been conducted by the GSL.

The following designations must be entered on all copies of the score sheet next to the player’s name when that player is not skating: Absent – ABS, Injured – INJ, Suspension – SUSP.

(e)          The GSL follows and enforces USA Hockey’s Progressive Suspension rule for aggressive infractions.

(f)         Coaches will be responsible to enforce these rules. A coach or team official who allows the participation of an ineligible player in any game shall be subject to a disciplinary hearing.

5.  Protests

(a)         A coach wishing to file a protest shall file his or her intention on the game sheet and notify the Chairman of the Protest Committee, within 48 hours to be followed up with a written report within seven (7) days accompanied by a $100.00 Protest Fee. The fee shall be payable to G.S.J.A.H.L. and shall be returned if the protest is upheld. If the protest is not upheld, the fee shall be applied to the league scholarship fund.  All parties involved (coaches, referees, players) shall be notified of the meeting date, time and location. Any party not able to attend the hearing may send a letter stating their case. It would be beneficial for all parties to be present. All parties will be heard separately and a decision will be made by the committee.

(b)         A protest of a player shall be made before the start of the third period of the game: shall require him/her to sign the game sheet in the presence of the timekeeper under the supervision of the referee. If the protest is upheld, the offending team shall forfeit the game.
6. Timekeeper Duties

(a)        GSL Member Associations will be responsible for assigning timekeepers themselves for their home rink regardless of which GSL teams play (i.e. Westfield for Amelia Park) with the exception of Olympia Ice Center where the Home Team will provide a timekeeper.Associations must submit the name of the person (Association Timekeeper Coordinator) responsible for timekeepers to the League Timekeeper Coordinator prior to the start of the Evaluation Schedule, so that future problems concerning these groups can be resolved. If these groups fail to submit game sheets to the League Statistician within the one (1) day period as required by GSL timekeepers, penalties shall be assessed by the GSL Board i.e. GSL will assign timekeepers, or any other penalty that GSL feels is necessary to encourage these Associations to conform with GSL By-Laws, Rules, and Policies.

(b)       Timekeepers shall be required to see that game sheets are submitted (mailed, emailed, or delivered) within one (1) day from the date of game to the statistician. Failure to do so may result in suspension of future assignments. The Statistician shall notify the League Timekeeper Coordinator in charge of timekeepers when game sheets are not received and she/he will notify the timekeeper. 

(c)        The Association Timekeeper Coordinator will be responsible for collecting paper copies of game sheets and submitting them to the League Statistician, as necessary.

(d)         There shall be no paid timekeeper at 8U or 6U age games however the home rink Association shall appoint an individual to sound horn as required in game policies.

(e)         Timekeepers shall collect game sheet and officials’ money prior to the start of the game. Timekeepers shall make sure that the head coach has printed his name on the game sheet prior to the start of the game.  Timekeepers shall assist the referees by informing him of any player that has been given his “third penalty” in the game so that he shall be removed from the game.
(f)         Timekeeper shall insure that referees and coaches have signed the game sheet at the end of the game and give the respective copies to each coach.
7.  Amendments / Motions

(a)         Amendments to these Rules and Policies shall be made in writing to the League Secretary and submitted to the Board of Directors at least fourteen (14) days prior to the Board Meeting at which such amendments shall be considered.  Amendments must be approved by a two thirds Vote of the Board of Directors.

 (b)         Any amendment to the Rules and Policies previously defeated by the Board of Directors shall not be brought before the Board of Directors for reconsideration for a minimum of two (2) years, unless a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors authorizes reconsideration.  

(c)         Any motion previously defeated by the Board of Directors shall not be brought before the Board for reconsideration for one calendar year, unless a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors authorizes reconsideration.

8.  Electronic Score Reporting
(a)         The head coach of the Home Team must enter the score of each GSL game within 48 hours after a game on the GSL web site.
(b)         Failure of the head coach of the Home Team to timely and accurately enter the results of a game will subject the head coach to discipline.

(c)          Electronic scoring can be used to for playoff seating if necessary with the approval of the board of directors.

9.  Coaching Certification

(a)         All coaches of GSL teams must be in compliance with the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program by the deadlines set in Article II, sec. 2 of the rules and regulations of Massachusetts Hockey, Inc. (presently:  November 1st of the current season for 14U (Bantam) and 18U (Midget); and December 31st of the current season for 8U (Mite), 10U (Squirt) and 12U (Peewee)).

(b)         Coaches who are determined at the January meeting of the GSL not to be in compliance with the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program shall not be allowed on the ice for the remainder of the season during a team’s practice or on the bench during a team’s game(s).  Any coach determined not to be in compliance with the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program who subsequently comes into compliance shall provide proof of the same to the President or a Vice President of the GSL and shall thereafter be permitted to resume coaching without penalty from that point forward.

(c)         A team will forfeit any games where a coach is on the bench during any game after having been determined to not be in compliance at the January meeting of the GSL with the USA Hockey Coaching Education Program. 

10.  Playoffs

(a)        The GSL Championships occur at the conclusion of the regular season as noted on the GSL Calendar.  The Championships are reserved for the 10U (Squirt) - 18U (Midget) divisions. It is understood that any team that qualifies for the Championships must participate.

(b)        If a team who qualifies for the playoffs elects not to play in the league playoffs due to a tournament (State Tournaments not included) or other independent game(s) shall pay a fine equaling the cost of 2 full sheets of ice and referees. These funds will be placed in the GSL Scholarship fund. The team with the next best record in the division of the team electing not to play in the playoffs will be allowed to participate.

(c)     The GSL Championships will consist of the top 4 teams in each division with 2 playoff rounds.  The exceptions to this would be if a division has 4 teams or less then only the top 2 teams would advance in a single playoff round.  Additionally, if a division has 10 or more teams then the top 6 teams would advance to a 3 round playoff where 1st and 2nd seeds get a bye in round 1.

(d)     Games shall be played to completion and if necessary a 6 minute or 7:30 minute (depending on game length) sudden death overtime and shootout should take place to determine the winner of each game. If the game is tied after the overtime period the 5 skaters and goalie marked on the gamesheet prior to game will take part in a shootout. If a marked player is unable to play in shootout a player may be substituted. Additional shootout rounds will be utilized if necessary by any player one at a time.

(e)      The following steps will be used to determine any ties for GSL playoffs. Ties include seeding and making the playoffs.

Note: In order to break the tie, the following formulas will be followed until one rule determines the position of all teams that are tied in one position.

1. The results of the games played between the teams tied in the following order (Head to Head):

a. The points acquired in these games.

b. Least goals against.

c. Dividing the goals scored in these games by the goals scored against (GF divided by GA), the position being determined in order of the greatest quotient. A quotient involving dividing by zero (0) has higher standing than a quotient dividing by any number other than zero. Where two or more teams have no goals against and the quotient tie breaker is required, the teams shall be ranked high to low in descending order of “goals for.”

2. If after applying the formulas of 1 a, b, and c, the tie still exists, 1a, 1b and 1c shall be applied using all games played by the teams tied. The formulas shall be applied in the order 1 a, b, c and 2.

3. If the above procedure does not break the tie, then their position will be determined by the number of penalty minutes assessed in all games they played. Their position being determined in order of the least penalty minutes.

(f)      A player must have played 50% of games during the regular season in order to be eligible for participation in the GSL playoffs excluding injuries.