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Ice vs Ball hockey Rules Overview


  • Unlike (ice) hockey there is a 'floating' blue line. When a team has crossed the opponent’s blue line with possession of the ball, the attacking zone expands all the way to the centre-line. When the defending team clears the ball passed the centre-line, the blue-line is reset to its original position. Offside is the blue line going into the attacking zone and a red line going out. For a helpful video that explains this rule please click here.


  • Ball Hockey is a non-checking sport, however body contact is allowed.

  • Body contact is rubbing someone while taking the ball and eliminating the space while moving with the opponent. This also includes angling a player off the ball while going in the same direction. Penalties will not be assessed for body contact.

  • Body checking is defined as giving a hit, squaring the opponent, dropping the shoulder, changing the direction of the player who has beaten you to a play. Penalties will be assessed for body checking.



  • Players play in running shoes (ie often called trainers in UK) rather than in skates

  • Click here for mandatory equipment rules



  • If an attacking player incurs a Misconduct Penalty or Game Misconduct Penalty in his attacking zone, the ensuing face-off will take place at the nearest face-off spot in the neutral zone where game action was stopped. NOTE: In ice hockey the face-off takes place in the defending zone of the team committing the infraction.



  • Players can change lines after flooring the ball (icing is referred to as “flooring the ball”).

  • Players may be changed during a time-out, including players who have been removed from a face-off prior to the time out being called. No player who has been removed from a face-off during a stoppage play in which a time-out is requested may take part in the face-off upon completion of the time out.



    • For the sake of player safety, the penalty for boarding will remain a Minor Penalty + Misconduct Penalty [South East Conference specific rule].


    • A player or goalkeeper who deliberately shoots the ball directly outside the playing area, or a player or goalkeeper who throws or deliberately bats the ball with his hand or stick outside the playing area shall be assessed a Minor Penalty for delay of game.

    • Standing on/putting foot on the ball incurs a Minor Penalty for delay of game.


    • A player who removes his glove(s) or helmet with the intention of engaging in a confrontation with an opponent will be assessed a Misconduct Penalty in addition to any other penalties at the discretion of the referee.

    • If a fight involves one player on the floor with another player off it, both players will be assessed a Misconduct Penalty or a Game Misconduct Penalty or a Match Penalty.


    • Accidental injury for high sticking will be assessed two Minor Penalties.

    • Severe injury for high sticking will be assessed a Major Penalty + Game Misconduct and shall not be downgraded in any event.

    • A player who swings his stick at another player in the course of any altercation shall be assessed a Major Penalty + Automatic Game Misconduct Penalty or a Match Penalty.


    • Where there is an infraction of the rules that calls for a penalty shot, and if the infraction involves a Minor Penalty, the non-offending team will be giving the option of:

      • Accepting the penalty shot and the penalty will not be assessed regardless of whether the penalty shot results in a goal or not, or

      • Have a minor penalty assessed to the offending player.


    • Any player or goalkeeper who throws a stick or part of it out of the playing area will be assessed at discretion of the referee a Game Misconduct Penalty.

Updated in Autumn 2022 prior to 2022-23 season.

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