NFHL Rules

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FIH AND NCAA RULES

The National Field Hockey League adopts the NCAA Rules as our foundation rules in hopes of providing consistency during regulation and tournament league games.

Click here for FIH Rules of Hockey

Click here for the 2019 NCAA Rules Modifications

Click here for the 2019 NCAA Major Rules Modifications

Click here for the 2019 NCAA Rules Questions and Answers

However, the following are rules specific to the NFHL and must be maintained by all members of the league. Please recognize these rules and note them to officials as per each regulation league game.

NFHL Rules

Click here for the Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 Summary of Rule Changes

Coaches and captains should always bring the NCAA rules, NFHL rules and Summary of Rule Changes to every game, in case there is confusion with umpires or other teams. If teams want to modify any rules (e.g. if both teams agree to play with more male players, etc.), all teams involved in the game/tournament must be in agreement prior to the game. All modifications and agreements (from all teams) must be in writing (email) in case of a dispute.

LEAGUE MEMBERSHIP

Membership Requirements

  • Members must have at least one captain or coach attend the mandatory annual league meeting.
  • Members must sign a social media policy and liability release form each year, prior to the start of the season.
  • Members must comply with all deadlines set by the NFHL.
  • Members must read and comply with all NFHL emails.
  • Members must complete all surveys and respond to all league votes.
  • Members must update team contact information in a timely manner.
  • Members must abide by all NFHL rules.

 

Failure to comply with the rules of the league will result in the following:

  • Probation until notified by league officers.
  • Team will be reinstated only by majority votes by league officers and other team representatives.

 

Honorary vs. Full Members

There are two types of member teams in the National Field Hockey League, Honorary and Full members. The table below outlines the major differences and similarities between the two types of memberships. If you have additional questions, please email our Teams Manager at Teams@NationalFieldHockeyLeague.com.

The biggest difference? Only Full members have a chance to make it to our Fall Championship!

“A” vs. “B” Teams

All teams (new and returning) are categorized as either an “A” team or a “B” team. A full team can be an “A” or “B” team and an Honorary team can be an “A” or a “B” team. The A/B split is only used for ranking purposes.

Click here for Ranking Info

Fall Season Membership Dues:

  • Due help cover the operational costs for the NFHL (website, annual meeting, etc.) and costs for the fall championship (fields, officials, EMTs, trophy, and other fees associated with the weekend).
  • Full Members: $300 per team (this may change at the Annual Meeting).
  • Honorary Members: $100 per team (this may change at the Annual Meeting).


Spring Tournament Dues:

  • Dependent upon the location and date and varies per season.
  • $500 per team (this may change at the Annual Meeting).

 

The NFHL must receive team dues (or a letter of verification*) by the assigned deadline.
Teams may submit a letter from their school verifying that the paperwork for dues has been submitted.

  • If the NFHL has not received a check or letter from the school by the assigned deadline, the team will not be eligible for the Fall Championship/Spring Tournament.
  • Teams are responsible for checking the website to make sure the NFHL has received their dues by the deadline.

FALL SEASON

Players

  • The NFHL abides by each individual school’s rules when determining player eligibility. Every school differs in their rules about whether players can be full or part-time students, graduate students, faculty, etc. Please make sure you confirm your school’s player eligibility rules prior to the start of the season. If you believe another school is playing with an ineligible player, please check with the captain of the other team, to clarify. For further investigation, please email kristin@nationalfieldhockeyleague.com with the details so we may follow up.
  • Transgender Athletes (from the NCAA Policy on Transgender Student-Athlete Participation): The following policies clarify participation of transgender student-athletes undergoing hormonal treatment for gender transition:
    • A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for diagnosed Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for purposes of NCAA competition may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing that team status to a mixed team.
    • A trans female (MTF) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for Gender Identity Disorder or gender dysphoria and/or Transsexualism, for the purposes of NCAA competition may continue to compete on a men’s team but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of testosterone suppression treatment.
    • Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth gender.
    • A trans male (FTM) student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may participate on a men’s or women’s team.
    • A trans female (MTF) transgender student athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete on a women’s team.

Click Here for More Info

 

Minimum # of Players

  • Start each game with immediate players (there must be a minimum amount of 9 players, including the goalie, to be considered a regulation game).
  • If a team is missing players (due to late attendance, etc.) begin play with immediate players. However, the team with a full roster is allowed a one player advantage against the other team.

 

Male Players – “Up Two”

  • Before the start of each game, the two opposing teams should confirm (with each other and the officials) how many male field players each team has on their roster (this does not include the goalie). The team with more male field players is allowed to play “up two” during regulation and overtime play. This
    does not include the goalie.
  • For example, if Team A has 2 male field player on their roster at the start of the game, and Team B has 6 male field players on their roster at the start of the game, Team B is only allowed to play a maximum of 4 male field players at any one time. Team B is allowed to play “up two” according to the rosters at the start of the game. It does not matter how many male field players from Team A are actually on the field at one time. For this example, Team A can choose to play 0-2 male field players at any time, and Team B can choose to play 0-4 male field players at any time.
  • The number of male field players allowed (as determined prior to the start of the game), cannot be changed during the game – regardless of penalty cards or injuries.
  • During the regular fall season (excluding the Fall Championship), if two opposing teams mutually agree in writing to allow either an increase or decrease in the number of male players allowed on the field, the game will still count. However, both teams must mutually agree to this change in writing before the game, and must play with the change throughout the entirety of the game.

 

Overtime

Prior to each regular season game, all teams involved should decide if they are going to play overtime in the case of a tie. Teams are not required to play overtime (for reasons such as limited field time, etc.) but this decision should be agreed upon by all teams prior to the game. It is highly advised that this is done in writing (email) in case a team disputes the decision.

Reporting Scores

  • Both captains will sign a Score Report Form at the end of each game (for their own records).
  • Home team ONLY report the score online.

Submit Scores

 

Cancellations/Forfeits

  • Cancellations must be made in writing (email) at least 10 full days before the date/time of the game. If your team commits to a game (in writing) and does not cancel or show up to the game, you are considered a “no show”.
  • Cancellations/no-shows within 10 full days results in a forfeit/loss for the team that cancelled (and a scoreless forfeit win for the opposing team) and full reimbursement to the opposing teams for their contribution towards fees for field time, umpires, and travel costs (if applicable). The team that forfeits will have their account marked in the NFHL records. If this team consistently cancels less than 10 full days before a game, the team will be put on probation and reinstated at the discretion of the NFHL officers.
  • In the event of unplayable rain or bad weather, games must be cancelled by phone no less than 3 hours prior to game time (or the traveling time of the opposing team – whichever is greater).

 

All Stars

All Stars are players who have excelled throughout the season. Team captains (both Honorary and Full) are required to:

  • Captains/coaches should keep track of the number of votes players on their teams have received (each team is supposed to nominate the best player from the other team after the end of each game).
  • Captains/coaches should report their top two players (based on who received the most All Star votes from opposing teams during the season) to the league at the end of regular season play
  • Captains should notify their All Stars that they have been selected.
  • The names of the All Stars will be posted on our website and Facebook page.
  • All Stars who attend the Fall Championship will receive a free tournament t-shirt.

 

Umpires

  • Umpires for all fall season games must be certified.
  • During the regular fall season (excluding the Fall Championship), if two opposing teams mutually agree in writing (prior to the game) to allow non-certified umpires, the game will still count. However, both teams must mutually agree to this change in writing before the game.

Click For Umpire Contact Info
Click To Become a NFHL Umpire

Game Structure

  • Regular Season: 15-minute quarters with an interval of 2 minutes between quarters 1 and 2 and quarters 3 and 4. Halftime is 10 minutes. In order for a game to be considered valid, 30 minutes of the game must be played.
  • Fall Championship: 21 minute halves with 3 minute half time.

 

Scoring

  • Scoring rules are determined by NCAA rules (see link above). It is highly recommended that a copy of these rules by kept on you at all times.

FALL CHAMPIONSHIP

Fall Championship Info

Team Eligibility

  • Must be a Full member to be eligible for the Fall Championship.
  • Must have attended the previous Annual NFHL meeting.
  • Must have paid Annual dues.
  • Must not have an outstanding balance with the league.
  • Must have fulfilled minimum game requirements.

 

Game Requirements

  • Teams must play a minimum of 7 games.
  • Opponents can be Full or Honorary members.
  • Each team will be allotted 2 “Forfeit Win” games:
  • Forfeit wins are games where the opposing team cancelled less than 10 full days prior to the game
    time – please see Fall Season Cancellations below for more information on forfeit wins).
  • Only the first 2 forfeit wins will count towards a team’s record.
  • After a team has used up their 2 forfeit wins, all other forfeit wins will be excluded from their record.
  • All forfeit losses (for the team that cancelled a game less than 10 full days prior to the game time) will count towards a team’s official record.
  • Opponents can be full, honorary, “A” or “B” team – there is no restriction on who your opponent is.
  • Teams are allowed to play up to 2 teams twice. If you play a team more than twice, those additional games will not count towards your record.
  • All games count toward winning % and tie breakers (averaged over the total # of games)

 

Championship Structure

  • Pool Play
  • Full, 2 or 3 day tournament in November.
  • 21 minute halves, 3 minute halftime.
  • To determine pool rankings, teams will be awarded 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss.
  • Playoff Tiebreakers: One 10-minute 7v7 sudden victory round, then rounds of “best of 5” shoot-outs.

Teams that are making hotel reservations are required to stay at a NFHL sponsored hotel.

SPRING TOURNAMENT

Spring Tournament Info

Tournament Teams

  • All NFHL teams are invited to attend the Spring Tournament.
  • The tournament is first come, first served – a maximum of 28 teams is allowed.

Teams that are making hotel reservations are required to stay at a NFHL sponsored hotel.

 

Deadlines

Teams must abide by all deadlines to enter the tournament. The specific dates in each month will be announced in the Spring Tournament emails and can be found on the Spring Tournament website.

  • January (RSVP Deadline): Written RSVP must be received.
  • February (Dues Deadline): Dues must be received or the NFHL must receive an email verification from their school Club Sports Office verifying that the paperwork for dues has been submitted. If the NFHL has not received a check or email from the school by the assigned deadline, the team is removed from the tournament. Teams that are removed will be notified by email by the NFHL. Teams are still required to pay dues prior to the tournament.
  • March (Last-Minute Cancellation Deadline): Teams are still required to pay dues PLUS a $500 fine prior to the tournament. See below for more details.

 

Cancellations

All teams must cancel in writing (send email to kristin@nationalfieldhockeyleague.com).
Teams that have submitted a written RSVP and cancel:

  • On or before the Dues Deadline: Are still required to pay dues prior to the tournament.
  • After the Dues Deadline and before the Last-Minute-Cancellation Deadline: Are still required to pay dues
    PLUS a $250 fine prior to the tournament. Failure to pay dues PLUS the $250 fine before the tournament will
    result in probation from the league. A team put on probation will be reinstated once the dues and $250 fine are paid.
  • After the Last-Minute Cancellation Deadline (less than 1 month before the tournament): Are still required to pay dues PLUS a $500 fine prior to the tournament. A team put on probation will be reinstated once the dues and $500 fine are paid.

 

Teams that have committed to coming to the Spring Tournament and do not show will be put on probation until notified by league officers and must pay dues PLUS a fine of $500. A team will be reinstated only by majority votes by NFHL officers.

Rules, Player Eligibility and Game Structure

Click here for current Spring Tournament rules including player eligibility, game structure, etc.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Alumni are allowed to play on a team, as long as they are listed on the roster prior to the start of the first game.

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