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NFHL Rules

The National Field Hockey League adopts the NCAA Rules as our foundation rules to provide consistency during regulation and tournament league games. However, there are NFHL rules modifications that supersede NCAA rules and must be abided by all members of the league. Those rules are detailed below.

Click here for FIH Rules of Hockey

Click here for the 2020 NCAA Rules Modifications

Click here for the 2020 Rules Waivers Due to COVID-19

Click here for the 2019-2020 NCAA Rules Clarifications

Click here for the 2019-2020 NCAA Major Rules Modifications

 

TEAM MODIFICATIONS

Coaches and captains should always bring the NCAA rules and NFHL rules 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.

MEMBERSHIP AND ELIGIBILITY

Annual Membership Dues

  • $375 per team (subject to change each year)

The NFHL must receive team payment/dues OR a “Promise to Pay” email (P2P) by September 15th of each year.

  • To pay dues by credit card, please login to your team account on LeagueApps. If someone else from your school is making the online payment (Club Sports Rep, etc.), please invite that person as “staff” to your team’s roster. Send an email to info@nationalfieldhockeyleague.com to request that the invoice be transferred to that person instead.
  • To pay dues by check, please make the check payable to National Field Hockey League and mail to: 5104 Floyd St, Houston TX 77007.
  • If your school is making the payment OR you need an extension of the September 15th payment deadline, the NFHL must receive a P2P email by September 15th. The P2P email must be sent from the team’s assigned school representative (Club Sports Director, etc.), or someone authorized on their behalf, and must include the following:
    • Verification that all paperwork has been submitted and that dues are being processed
    • Estimated timeline of when the NFHL should receive the check
  • This P2P email must be sent to info@nationalfieldhockeyleague.com. If a P2P is sent, the deadline for the NFHL to receive payment is extended to October 15th.

A late fee of $25 will be charged to a team’s account who has not submitted dues/P2P by September 15th. An additional late fee of $50 will be incurred if the NFHL has not received a team’s dues/P2P by October 1st.

If the NFHL has not received a team’s dues by October 15th, the team will not be eligible for the Fall Championship (unless otherwise agreed upon by the NFHL staff and school representative). The team will be placed on probation and their account deactivated. The team will only be reinstated with a majority vote from the NFHL officers and once all dues and late fees have been paid.

Tournament Fees

  • NFHL Fall Challenge Cup:$750 per team (subject to change each year)
  • NFHL Spring Tournament: $750 per team (subject to change each year)

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 info@nationalfieldhockeyleague.com with the details so we may follow up. All players must complete a player registration form prior to playing in their first game each year.

The NFHL follows the NCAA Policy on Transgender Student-Athlete Participation.

Rosters

Rosters are managed by each team through LeagueApps. Roster requirements include:

  • All players participating in a a game or event must be listed on the roster prior to the game/event.
  • All waivers must be completed prior to participation.
  • Health screenings must be completed in LeagueApps prior to every game/event.
  • Every team is required to have a Club Sports Director/Representative listed on their roster.Please invite this person as a “staff” member.

FALL SEASON

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 aScore Report Format 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) 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 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.
  • 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 (scores@nationalfieldhockeyleague.com) and approved. If approved, the team that cancelled 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 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

The top 16 teams in the league will advance to the Fall Championship. 1st place goes to the team with the highest average game points per game. Average game points per game is derived by taking the total number of game points and dividing that by the total number of games played. If there is a tie between teams in regards to their game percentage, then the following is applied until the tie is broken:

  • Average Goal Differential – average goals scored minus average goals allowed
  • Average Goals Scored – total goals scored divided by the total games played.
  • Average Goals Allowed – total goals allowed divided by the total games played.
  • Head to Head – the two teams who are in a tie will have their games reviewed for the season.
    • Whichever team has the highest number of points in that outcome wins. For example, if Team A beats Team B during the season, in the event of a tie between Team A and Team B, Team A would advance.

Team Eligibility

  • Must be an active member of the NFHL.
  • Must be in good standing with the NFHL.
  • 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

  • Please refer to the Fall Championship pagefor more details.
  • Teams that are making hotel reservations are required to stay at a NFHL partner hotel.

SPRING TOURNAMENT

Tournament Overview

  • All NFHL teams are invited to attend the Spring Tournament.
  • The tournament is first come, first served until all tournament spots have been filled.
  • Teams that are making hotel reservations are required to stay at a NFHL partner hotel from the approved list.
  • Alumni are allowed to play on their alma mater. All players must be on the team’s roster.
  • Please refer to the Spring Tournament page for more details.

COVID-19 RULES MODIFICATIONS

  • All teams are required to follow all federal and state (where the game is held) guidelines related to COVID-19 safety (maximum attendance, social distancing, etc.).
  • All game/event participants are required to complete a health screening in LeagueApps prior to attending.
  • COVID-19 Game Cancellation 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 (scores@nationalfieldhockeyleague.com) and approved. If approved, the team that cancelled 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.
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