FIH and NCAA Rules
The NFHL abides by NCAA rules (FIH rules with NCAA modifications). In addition, there are NFHL modifications listed below that may override NCAA rules. All teams should bring a copy of FIH, NCAA and NFHL rules with them to every game. You can download the FIH app on your phone, called “Rules of Hockey”.
2022 NFHL Rules Modifications
Teams may choose to modify any rules. However, all modifications must be confirmed in writing and agreed upon by all teams participating, prior to the game(s). It is recommended that all modifications are confirmed prior to the 10-day cancellation/withdrawal window. If the host team makes any changes to their Game Agreement, changes must be communicated, as soon as possible, in writing to all traveling teams. Traveling teams have the option to withdraw without penalty if any significant changes to the game are made that would affect their ability to travel or compete fairly.
All schools are required to abide by their local heath authority and school guidelines/policies regarding COVID/health screening and protocols.
- All players must submit their health screening via LeagueApps prior to each game.
- All players must check-in via LeagueApps upon arrival to every game.
- COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions may change during the season. Please check our website for updated information.
- Fall Season: Games will consist of four quarters of 15 minutes 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the details so we may follow up.
To start the game, there must be a minimum of nine players, including the goalie. 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.
All players must be listed on the team’s LeagueApps roster prior to the start of each game. All information must be submitted on their LeagueApps registration form, including emergency contact information.
- All players and coaches must be listed on a team’s LeagueApps roster prior to participation in any game.
- Each team is required to have at least one Club Sports Director/Rep listed on their LeagueApps roster.
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 brings 1 male field player, and Team B brings 6 male field players, Team B is only allowed to play a maximum of 3 male field players at any one time. Team B is allowed to play “up two”.
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.
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.
Cancellations must be made in writing (email) to the opposing team(s) 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 canceled (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.
- COVID-19 Modification: If a team is mandated by their school to cancel within the 10 day period, due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, the cancellation may not result in a forfeit loss. The cancellation must be done in writing (to both the opponent and NFHL) and a copy of mandated restriction/cancellation from the school’s Club Sports Office must be sent to the NFHL (email@example.com) and approved. If approved, the team that canceled will not receive a forfeit loss but the opponent will receive a scoreless forfeit win. As a reminder, a maximum of two forfeit wins will count towards any team’s record.
- If a team cancels less than 10 full days before a game, three times in the academic year, the team will be issued a written warning. On the fourth cancellation, the team will be put on probation and reinstated by a majority vote of the NFHL officers.
- In the event of unplayable rain or bad weather, games must be canceled by phone no less than 3 hours prior to game time (or the traveling time of the opposing team – whichever is greater).
All Stars are players who have excelled throughout the season. Captains should:
- Keep track of the number of votes players on their teams have received (each team should nominate one “All Star” player from the other team after the end of each game).
- Notify their All Stars when they have received a nomination. Report the names of the two players who received the most nominations during the fall season to the league at the end of regular season play.
- 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 (names must be submitted to the NFHL in advance by the captain).
- Umpires for all fall season games must be certified.
- During the regular fall season (excluding the Fall Championship), if both/all opposing teams mutually agree in writing (prior to the start of the game) to allow non-certified umpires, the game will still count.
All games must be against active NFHL members. There are no minimum game requirements unless you are competing to be qualify for the Fall Championship. The top 16 teams in the league will advance to the Fall Championship.
Fall Championship game requirements include:
- Teams must play a minimum of 7 games.
- Opponents can be any combination of A or B teams but they must be an active NFHL member.
- 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 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.
- 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).
We recommend you schedule more than 7 games during the season if you are trying to compete for entry into the Fall Championship. Weather, cancellations, and/or forfeits may affect your minimum game requirement plans.
The process for publishing “open” games has changed for the 2022-2023 year. Here is the general overview of the process:
- Teams with home field availability (Host Teams) are responsible for posting their games on the NFHL Open Games Calendar. This is done using the Game Form.
- Once these “open” games are published, all NFHL teams will be able to view the details and should contact the Host Team if they would like to secure a spot in the game. Teams will contact the Host Team by email or phone (using the LeagueApps Team Admin contact information) to request to play.
- Once a host team confirms an opponent, the Host Team is responsible for updating the Game Form, which will automatically send the opponent a Game Agreement.
- The opponent is responsible for accepting the Game Agreement by replying to the Host Team directly.
Note: the Game Form should not be used to invite potential opponents. Opponent information should only be added to the Game Form once that team has confirmed that they would like to play.
Please refer to the current Membership Guide for the steps in more detail. If you need a copy of the Membership Guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scores and ranking can be found here: www.nationalfieldhockeyleague.com/teams/scores.
- At the end of every game, BOTH team captains/coaches should sign each other’s paper Score Form. This is for your own records and is not submitted to the NFHL unless requested. This is your proof of a final score in case of a dispute.
- Only Host Teams report the final score to the NFHL using the online Score Report Form. Away teams should not submit a score report. Score Reports are due Mondays at NOON by the Host Team.
- If you are a Host Team and you hosted a round robin or tournament, you are responsible for submitting Score Reports for all games played at your fields.
- Away teams must dispute score by following Wednesday at 12pm.