League Rules

USA Hockey Rules

USA Hockey is the national governing body for amateur youth and adult hockey in southern California. Leagues or associations which are a member of USA Hockey may increase stringency of rule enforcement, but may not reduce consequences of rule enforcement. Please reference the resources below for USA Hockey playing rules:

USA Hockey Official Rules 2017-21

USA Hockey Playing Rules and Casebook 2017-21

USA Hockey Rule Change Summary 2017-21

USA Hockey Junior Rulebook

USA Hockey Sled Hockey Playing Rules

CAHA Rules

California Amateur Hockey Association is the governing body of amateur hockey in the state of California. Please pay particular attention to the following excerpt of the CAHA Guidelines and rulebook.

View complete 2013-15 CAHA Guidebook



This section provides vital information applicable to all youth teams.


6.1 Overview:

The Youth Council is responsible for the rules that define and regulate the various levels of (boys’ and girls’) youth hockey in the State of California. CAHA Youth Rules are a supplement to the rules and guidelines contained in the Pacific District Guidebook and USA Hockey Annual Guide.


6.2 Rules Adherence:

It is the responsibility of all clubs, coaches and managers to adhere to all rules, regulations, policies and guidelines as set forth by both CAHA and USA Hockey. Any violations of said rules, regulations, policies and guidelines will subject all clubs, coaches and/or managers to disciplinary action as determined by CAHA.


6.3 Financial Responsibility:

  1. The Leagues shall supply a master list of all league players with outstanding financial obligations and/or equipment obligations to the CAHA director of member services prior to May 1st. Players whose names appear on this list will not be permitted to participate with any Club until their obligations are satisfied. A player with an outstanding obligation who is permitted to tryout with any club may not hereafter play for that club during the relevant season.
  2. Players appearing on league wide delinquency lists may not be rostered on any CAHA member association’s USA Hockey roster.

6.4 Screening:

Prior to participation in any CAHA/USA Hockey sanctioned event, all adult coaches, officials, managers, locker room attendants and other individuals who have routine access to children shall comply with CAHA’s screening and abuse policy. (Renewable every two years).

  1. CAHA mandates that its leagues have rules in place to sanction any individual(s) and club(s) who violate this rule.
  2. Participation is only allowed when the participant’s name appears on CAHA’s Compliance List. Furthermore, it is USA Hockey’s policy that it will not authorize or sanction in any of its programs any coach, manager or other individual who has routine access to children who refuses to consent to be screened.
  3. Non-league affiliated CAHA member associations shall be monitored by CAHA member Services and violations shall be submitted to the CAHA 1st V.P. for sanctions.

6.5 Penalty Notification:

All teams are required to promptly notify the CAHA 1st Vice President or designee, of any match penalties, any incident involving assault on referees or officials, or any incident involving spectators that occur during a game in which the team participates, whether such game occurs within CAHA jurisdiction or not. Such notification shall be in writing and must be submitted by the team within forty-eight (48) hours after each incident. Copies of this documentation must be submitted to the appropriate CAHA commissioners, or the CAHA Youth Council Chair or designee for A and B.


6.6 Game Misconducts:

Game misconduct penalties must be served in the next pre-scheduled game with that team (the game already appearing on the CAHA or league approved schedule of that team at the time of the infraction) unless they will no longer be playing with that team then it reverts back to the next scheduled USA Hockey game. (refer to USA Hockey Playing Rule 404 (b)).

Players receiving game misconducts in a final game of their season must be served in the 1st game of the following season. Leagues shall report all outstanding suspensions by May 1 of the current playing season.


6.7 Racial Slur:

Any player or coach who is given a penalty as a result of using a racial slur will be assessed a match penalty. The racial slur must be documented on the score sheet or in the referee’s report.


6.8 Head Contact:

[620 (a)]:A minor plus a misconduct, major plus a game misconduct or match penalty shall be assessed to any player who contacts an opponent in the head, face or neck, including with the stick or any part of the player’s body or equipment.A USA Hockey National rule effective 2013-14 season.


6.9 Player Suspension:

Any player or coach who leaves the game bench or penalty box during an altercation shall result in the team’s head coach being suspended for 30 days or until a hearing is held. Players involved will be subject to supplementary discipline action as allowed under USA Hockey Rule 4.10(a).



Prior to the start of each game referees shall verify players who are in attendance as well as to perform a general safety/equipment check.


6.11 Scoresheets:

  1. All coaches on the bench must only sign their own name on the game scoresheet prior to the start of the game.
  2. The head coach is responsible for the accuracy of the scoresheet. Inaccurate or unsigned score sheets may result in suspension, fines, and/or forfeitures.
  3. Players not in attendance or not able to participate in any game shall be crossed off from the list of players on all copies of the game score sheet.
  4. The rostered team manager shall deliver to the Commissioner a LEGIBLE copy of all scoresheets, for games played within and outside CAHA jurisdiction, within forty-eight (48) hours of the game being played.

6.12 Canadian Penalties:

Canadian Penalties shall be recognized and enforced as follows:

  1. A player or coach receiving a game misconduct in Canada (no matter when it occurs in the game) must sit the next scheduled game whether the game is in Canada or the United States.
  2. A player receiving five (5) penalties in a game must sit the next scheduled game whether the game is in Canada or the United States.
  3. Any coach whose team receives fifteen (15) team penalties during a game must sit the next scheduled game whether the game is in Canada or the United States.
  4. In cases of match penalties, the player or coach must sit for 30 days or until a formal hearing is held, either at the tournament, or at home. If the tournament committee reviews the penalty during the tournament and changes it, it must be written on the score sheet and a copy provided to the CAHA Youth and Disputes Committees within 48 hours of returning home.
  5. If the Canadian rule is more stringent in Canada, the team must abide by those rules as well as the rules in this section.
  6. Coaches have the responsibility to see that all Canadian penalties are served properly.


Southern California Amateur Hockey Association consists of 19 member clubs in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Please pay particular attention to the following excerpt of the SCAHA Guidelines and rulebook.

View complete 2013-14 SCAHA Guidbook



USA Hockey and CAHA’s Rules and Regulations shall apply. SCAHA has the authority to enact any rules or regulations that do not conflict with USA Hockey or CAHA rules, regulations or policies.



Any rules, regulations or directives that are approved by the Club Presidents at the Annual Meeting cannot be changed or amended by the SCAHA Executive Committee unless approved by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all registered clubs present at a meeting for which this purpose is previously disclosed and in which a quorum is present. The Commissioner retains the power to call special meetings to address policy, rule or bylaw changes as emergency situations dictate. (See Article 8.04)



The Executive Committee has the authority to interpret and apply the Rules and Regulations consistent with their intent and in the best interests of the League.



Any Head or Assistant Coach may not attend the tryout sessions of any SCAHA club other than his or her own club. Coaches who violate this rule shall be sanctioned.



A parent/guardian signed “Letter of Intent/Membership Registration” (hereinafter “LOI”) shall be submitted for each player indicating their knowledge that the SCAHA rules are available on the SCAHA website and signifying their agreement to abide by those rules/regulations. It is the responsibility of those who do not have online access to the SCAHA Guidebook to request a printed copy of the rules from their club.



By April 1, clubs must notify all parents/players in writing of any club delinquency. Such written notice must be sent by Certified Mail/Return Receipt. Return receipts must be retained by the Club until the matter is resolved. Such notice must contain a detailed summary of the total amounts owed, paid, and the remaining balance owed. By April 15, clubs must submit a list of players to the League who are financially delinquent. These players (and siblings) will be placed on the League delinquency list and are not permitted to participate in tryouts or any other activities with any club until their financial obligations have been satisfied. Additionally, CAHA and Pacific District shall be notified so that the delinquency list is honored for all State and District activities.

Clubs not able to demonstrate that these procedures were followed, or that notification to the player or league was not made by the deadlines, will be prohibited from placing the player on the delinquency list. If, in the event of a dispute, it is discovered these procedures were not properly followed by the Club, the player will be removed from the delinquency list.



During the regular playing season, the League shall have the right to suspend any player who has become financially delinquent. Clubs must have a policy regarding delinquencies that gives a 14 day notice to the player and parents to clear the delinquency. Upon notification by a club, the League shall suspend the player and will not remove them until the club has notified the League that the player is financially clear or the League has held a hearing. The League will have 24 hours to remove the player upon notification of the cleared delinquency.



Locker Room Attendants: It is the policy of USA Hockey that all Affiliates, Districts, Leagues and local hockey programs have at least one responsible, screened adult present directly monitoring the locker room during all team events to assure that only participants (coaches and players), approved team personnel and family members are permitted in the locker room and to supervise the conduct in the locker room.



The use of a mobile device with recording capabilities is not permitted in the locker room at any USA Hockey sanctioned event.



USA Hockey specifically prohibits hazing, which includes any conduct which is intimidating, humiliating, offensive, physically harmful or potentially physically harmful. This includes but is not limited to “locker boxing”. Activities that fit the definition of hazing are considered to be hazing regardless of a person’s willingness to cooperate or participate. Any USA Hockey participant or parent of a participant who violates this hazing policy is subject to appropriate disciplinary action including, but not limited to, suspension, permanent suspension and/or referral to law enforcement authorities. Reports may be made at www.scaha.com/safesport.



Spectator, coach, player, and parent conduct, before, during, and after a game is subject to review and possible sanction by SCAHA.



In the event that a game official or League official deems it necessary to eject a spectator, the following shall occur:

  1. The spectator will be ejected and shall leave the rink property and shall not be allowed re-entry to the property for a minimum of three (3) hours.
  2. The scoresheet shall be documented that an ejection occurred. Whenever possible, the spectator’s name should be documented on the scoresheet. The referee will file a report within 24 hours with the League.
  3. The club of the offending spectator may be fined $250 per ejection, payable to the League within 30 days.
  4. The spectator will immediately be suspended from all USA Hockey activities for 30 days.
  5. The team Manager is responsible for facilitating compliance with this rule including assisting with identification of the offending party for the scoresheet.


Any player or coach who is given a penalty as a result of using a racial slur will be immediately suspended for 30 days. The racial slur must be documented on the scoresheet or in the referee’s report as a Game Misconduct for a racial slur.



Players who have previously played for another USA Hockey or CAHA (Canadian) club must have a release from the prior club or association, which demonstrates the player is financially “free and clear”, before he/she can be registered by a SCAHA club.