MA Hockey League provides full ice and 3x3 leagues, tournaments,pick-up games and skill clinics for adult and youth players.

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Full Ice League Rules

Note: These rules also apply to the Canton and Rockland 4x4 Leagues. Just note that for the Canton and Rockland 4x4 leagues that teams only have 4 skaters + a goalie on the ice. If there is a penalty teams will play 4x3, if 2 penalties games will still be played 4x3 and players will serve the penalties consecutively.


League Info:

  • All players must be 18 years of age.

  • All players must be registered with MA Hockey League and sign a waiver for this league in order to participate - including substitute players,.

  • Wearing full equipment is recommended; including a cage, pants, elbow pads and shoulder pads. A minimum of a helmet, shinpads, gloves, elbow pads and pants are required. For rookie leagues a minimum of a half shield is recommended, although a full cage or shield is preferred. 

  • Helmets must have at least one working strap/buckle and must be secured while on the ice. 

  • All players must wear matching team jersey - bought on their own or through the league. Players must wear the same jersey all season. If a player wishes to switch their jersey with another player please inform the league director and scorekeeper.  

  • If a team wants to use a substitute player they must contact the league director first. You cannot give your jersey to another player to play in your place for a game. 

  • Each team has been assigned a captain. If you are going to miss a game please inform your captain and they will relay the message.

  • Each captain or fill-in captain must fill out a roster or check the current roster on the score sheet for players participating in each game and give it to the referee or league director. The roster must include each players full name and number. 

  • Each team must bring their own pucks to warm-up with and supply 2 pucks to the ref for their game, which will be returned after the game

  • Absolutely NO players or pucks on the ice until the Zamboni doors are shut. This is strictly enforced by the rink staff and we could lose our ice time if violated.

  • All players should abide by the rink rules (including drinking and smoking)

  • Other than the rules stated below USA Hockey Rules will be enforced.

Basic Info:

  • 17 minute running time periods unless otherwise noted. (Note: This does not apply to Cambridge 5x5, Bedford Rookie Leagues, Somerville, Salem NH Rookie D League and Canton 4x4 as these leagues run three 15 minute periods) The play clock will only stop in the last ten seconds of the first two periods if the faceoff is in an offensive zone. The last two minutes of the game will be stopped time if the score is within two goals.

  • One 30 second time out is permitted per game.

  • At the end of regulation if the game is tied there will be NO overtime. Each team will receive 1 point.

  • Blue line icing will be enforced, this means that icing is called when a player dumps the puck from behind their own blue line to below the other teams goal line without anyone touching it along the way.

  • In the instance of any minor or major penalty (non-coincidental) the ensuing face-off will be conducted in the defending zone of the offending team. 

  • Faceoffs will ONLY be conducted at the nine (9) face-off dots marked on the ice - (This differs from the current USA Hockey Rule).

  • The play clock will only stop in the last ten seconds of the first two periods if the faceoff is in an offensive zone. The play clock will also stop in the last 2 minutes of the 3rd period if the game is within 2 goals.

  • If the playoff game goes into overtime then the last 2 minutes of that period will also be stopped time.

  • Mercy Rule: If there is a six-goal spread entering the third period of the game the third period can be set to Ten Minutes. The referee will ask both teams, starting with the team trailing in the score.  If both teams agree the clock will be set to 10 minutes.  If at the discretion of the referee, due to conduct of players the clock will be set to 10 minutes without conferring with teams.


  • Every team must play with a goalie. If your goalie can't make it, you or your goalie needs to contact the league director. If a goalie fails to notify their team or league director without 24 hours notice they could lose their spot on the team.

  • Teams without a goalie will result in a forfeit. Forfeited games will not involve an on ice official per USA hockey rules.

  • If a goalie is running late the clock will start after the 3 minute warm-up until the goalie is on the ice. If a goalie is not on the ice by the end of the first period the game will result in a forfeit for the team without a goalie. The team with the goalie who arrived late (before end of first period) will be given a 4 minute major penalty to start the game


  • For penalties & basic men's league rules and info please refer to USA Hockey's Rules

  • Minor Penalties will be 2 minutes long. Major penalties will be 5 minutes long or as determined by the ref and the current USA Hockey Rules. 

  • Penalty time will not stop on whistles unless the game clock is also stopped. For example when the game is within 2 goals within the last 2 minutes.

  • Players serving a non-coincidental penalty may not re-enter the the game during a stoppage in play, if a penalty expires during the stoppage the player must wait for the officials to drop the puck and restart play before returning to the ice.  No substitute players from the bench are allowed on ice for the penalized player either.

  • Anyone who gets three penalties will be ejected from the game and subject to a suspension pending league review. Major penalties count as two penalties. 

  • Fighting will not be tolerated at all! Anyone who starts a fight will be ejected from the game and the league. Anyone who participates in a fight will be ejected and subject to a suspension or ejection from the league pending a review.
    Players who are kicked out of the league for fighting will forfeit any league fees paid. 

  • Effective immediately: Any player who receives a major penalty or misconduct penalty within the last 5 minutes of the 3rd period of any game will be automatically suspended for the next two (2) league games. If a player plays in more than MAHL league, they will not be eligible to play in any games until the suspension is served in the league (rink and night) that the penalty was assessed. This is in addition to any other suspensions that may be incurred due to the nature of the penalty or the three penalty rule. A second violation of this rule will result in expulsion from the league and a forfeit of any league fees paid. 

  • Checking is not allowed. Bumping a player may be considered a penalty at the discretion of the on-ice officials. Deliberate contact is not allowed. Stick work must be kept to a minimum.

  • Everyone must respect and listen to game officials and referees. If someone has a problem with a referee for whatever reason please wait until after the game and contact the league director. Any verbal or physical abuse to the referee(s) or scorekeepers will not be tolerated. This will result in automatic ejection from the game and possibly the league.

Standings & Playoffs:

  • Teams and players must be PAID IN FULL by the last regular season game in order to participate in playoffs. If they are not paid by the end of the season they can not play in any other leagues until remaining balance is addressed. 

  • Standings will be determined by the format listed on the standings page of the website. Usually it will be by total points, most wins, then head-to-head competition. If it is still tied then it will go to the teams Goal Differential, followed by least GA then most GF then Fewest Penalty Minutes then a coin toss if the previous tie-breakers were all ties.

  • Playoff format will be determined before each league season. Usually the Winter seasons will have a double elimination playoff for the top teams and the Summer seasons will be a shorter playoff format such as single elimination. Not all teams are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. Assume if you are one of the last place teams you may not get in. League directors will make this clear to all teams a few weeks before the playoffs are about to begin. If you would like to know sooner please email

  • For Playoff games and champion there will be a 5-minute 3x3 sudden death overtime if needed. If no one scores at the end of overtime there will be a shootout to determine the winner. Each team will pick 3 different shooters, if still tied after 3 rounds then it will go round by round until there is a winner. After the 3 rounds is over anyone can shoot until the tie is broken.

  • A player must be present for at least one-third (1/3) of a team's regular season games (rounded up) to be eligible to play in that team's playoffs.

  • A Player cannot play on 2 teams during the playoffs in the same league.

Other Info:

  • There will be at least 1 referee and scorekeeper at each game. Most full ice 5x5 games will have 2 referees.

  • The Championship teams will receive a team trophy and an individual prize.

  • Some leagues will be individual awards to league MVP's

  • If players are interested & there is time there will be an All-Star game for some of the full season Winter leagues.

    For the purpose of ejections and suspensions, there are no refunds written, implied, or expressed!

League Director has final say in all aspects of the league and its rules.