League Rules and Guidelines
Fair Play will be adhered to at all levels. Our league is for the development of all players registered in our program and there is to be no “shortening of the bench” under any circumstances other than disciplinary reasons. Each player deserves the opportunity to further develop their growth in the game with full participation in PP, PK and “final minutes” situations. If players are not given the opportunity, they may never develop in that particular area. All players will receive equal ice time, coaches to keep the shifts to as close to 40 seconds as possible. There will be no special power play combinations, penalty kill combinations or “Last 5 Minutes” lines. We want all kids to experience these game situations to help develop them. Having said that, as long as it is explained to parents and players BEFORE-HAND, coaches should sit players for one shift for doing selfish acts that hurt the team, such as not passing to a player in a better position, staying on the ice over 60 seconds when the player had chances to change, selfish penalties (retaliatory), or disrespect to any other player, coach or official. In order for this to work, it must be applied fairly to ALL players at ALL times (including the last 5 minutes of the championship game). Players need to be held accountable for their actions and need to learn to react in a positive way when they are benched and focus on things they can control (ie-refocus on next shift and support teammates) rather than pouting because they were benched.

If this is not followed, the head coach may not be asked to coach again as it will have created a negative experience for parents and players.

15-Minute Injury Rule:
If a player is on the ice and requires a manager/trainer to leave the bench to attend this player or if a referee waves to the bench for manager/trainer to come on the ice, providing an ambulance is not needed, the player must be taken directly to the dressing room. The parents then should be called into the dressing room for their opinion. If further attention is required a medical doctor and or ambulance should be called to insure that proper procedure is followed. If a player seems to have a neck or back injury he should not be moved until professional medical attention is received. The player may not return to ice surface or bench until 15 minutes has passed on the hockey time clock. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. The health of the player is of utmost importance. A violation of this rule will result in loss of points for the offending team. Should the offending team lose, the coach is suspended for the next game.

It is important that coaches and managers are aware of the above rule and it is a responsibility of the manager in charge to ensure that all referees are aware of the rule and time keepers are to be notified in relation to the fifteen-minute rule. It is interesting to note that the NHL has now instituted a 15-minute rule in the quiet room following on-ice injuries.

Zero Tolerance of Referee Abuse: 

As we should all know by now, The 3 Main Objectives in The East Coast Ice Spring Hockey League are:
  1. Develop Players' Leadership and Character Abilities
  2. Develop Players' and Team's Hockey Skills and Team Play
  3. Win

If the order of these objectives is changed in any way, we are not giving the best developmental experience possible to our players. Having said this, there is not one of us that will agree with every call made by the referees this spring, and at the end of the day, what we think does NOT matter. The Referee will not change a call, and if he does, it is usually due to a coach verbally bullying a younger official, which if caught, will result in a suspension for the coach. We are trying to teach these players to focus on things they CAN control as opposed to things they CANNOT control (ie- referees calls). If we as coaches get distracted by a referees call and turn our attention to it by yelling or even talking to the referee, we will also turn our players' attention away from things they cannot control, which automatically hurts their performance. This is true on the ice or in life. It is also true in life that we will not always get the calls or bounces we would like, and it is how we REACT and deal with the adversity that will determine whether we grow from the experience or develop the bad habit of focusing on things we cannot control. During games this spring, to set a good example for our young players, we ask all coaches not to question the referee. If there is some serious situation the coach may send a captain, however as most of us who are not referees and don't know the rules it is requested that everyone concerned let the referee be allowed to referee. All refs miss calls, even those who referee in the NHL. There will be zero tolerance in relation to Abuse of officials on the part of coaches, Managers and parents. It is getting more and more difficult to get officials for spring hockey and it is also very expensive as well. We encourage you all to shake the referees' hands before the puck drops, do the same afterwards and focus solely on coaching and developing your team throughout the game. Doing this and encouraging parents to support the players on the ice and not coach or berate the referees will go a long way in creating a positive experience for everyone.

Also, if you have not purchased and read "Little Athletes, Big Leaders" by Bruce Beaton (Amazon or www.littleathletesbigleaders.com), I highly suggest you do so and also tell your parents to buy the book as well. This one book has the potential to eliminate a large majority of parental issues that coaches are normally faced with and will in turn, give a much more positive experience to everyone.

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