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Requirements and guidelines are contained in NIHL Constitution Articles V, VI, VII, VIII, X, XV, XVII, and XIX.


a)  Performance Bonds: Upon approval of the membership in the NIHL, each member association shall post a $ 250 cash bond for one team and $500 for two or more teams as a guarantee of their participation in scheduled games, proper filing of game results, and other participatory requirements which may be established by the Board of Directors. Performance bonds shall be place in escrow.

b)  Annual Administration Fee: Each association shall be assessed an annual fee of $80 per year as a participating member of the NIHL.

c)  Annual Fees: Each team shall be assessed an annual fee of $600. If a team does not make the playoffs, $100 will be returned to the team.

d)  All performance bonds and fees are payable in U.S. funds and are due by December 1st.

e) The Board of Directors will review all performance bond requirements and fees annually prior to the Annual Meeting and make adjustments as needed for the following season. The Board of Directors will also review currency differences and adjust or modify rates for Canadian teams as needed so that their charges and fees are in balance with those assessed U.S. members.


a)  Annual Schedule: NIHL game schedules shall be developed at the Scheduling Meeting. The divisions, number of games within divisions, and schedules shall be agreed upon by the consent of the Board of Directors at the Scheduling Meeting. Any scheduling not completed at the Scheduling Meeting must be finalized within 30 days of the meeting. Each team must provide a copy of their confirmed schedule to the NIHL Vice Commissioner/Statistician for recording and posting on the NIHL web site. All league games shall be completed by January 31st unless approved by the Commissioner.

b)  Changes to Schedules: The coaches or team representatives that wish to change games on the schedule shall work together to determine acceptance dates and times for rescheduled games. Upon agreement of the teams, they shall notify the Commissioner and Vice Commissioner/Statistician for approval and posting of the revised schedule. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Commissioner and NIHL Directors of the associations involved in the conflict may be asked to mediate as needed.

c)   Number of Games: Each team shall play a minimum four games with each team in their division. Two games are to be scheduled at home and two away games in the opponentís arena.

Divisions with seven or less teams will play in one conference. Divisions with eight or more teams shall play in two conferences. Divisions with four or five teams may play six or eight games with each team in their division.

d)   Postponement of Games: Scheduled games may be postponed if necessary for reasons of severe inclement weather, an accident, or other disruptive or calamitous conditions which a reasonably prudent coach would not have foreseen. Postponed games shall be rescheduled as soon as possible using the procedures specified in Changes to Schedules. If it is determined that the games were postponed for arbitrary or frivolous reasons, the offending team shall be subject to a penalty by the NIHL.

e)  Forfeiture and Cancellation: NIHL teams, whether home or visitor, shall be deemed to have forfeited a scheduled game if they fail to appear and play such game, due to any circumstances which were not reported in a timely manner, and subsequent official postponement not obtained.

f)  Failure to Play: Any NIHL member team which fails to appear for a scheduled game will be fined for each game at which they fail to appear. This fine will be used to cover the cost of the home teamís ice time and the fees for referees who had been contracted to officiate the game. The fine will be withdrawn from the associationís performance bond and the association will be required to restore their performance bond to the original level. If fines exceed the performance bond, none of the associationís teams will be allowed to compete in the league until the full amount of the performance bond has been restored. All fines must be paid by January 31st to be eligible to compete in the league playoff tournament.


a)  The home team is responsible for all expenses related to ice time, referees, and officials.

b)  There shall be no gate charge allowed for regular season games.

c)  Ice resurfacing shall be undertaken after two consecutive periods of play.

d)  In the event that an arena is running behind schedule, the arena manager may shorten periods of play or institute running time periods providing that all game officials and both team coaches have been so notified.


a) The home team shall provide on-ice officials consistent with USA Hockey or Hockey Canada regulations.

b) The home team shall provide sufficient competent and unbiased officials present in the scorekeeperís box to properly time and record game information and operate the penalty boxes.


a)  Games shall be played under current USA Hockey, MAHA, and Hockey Canada game regulations.

b)   Each team competing in the NIHL shall designate a contact person who will communicate game results to the Vice Commissioner/Statistician. This contact person shall communicate games scores for both home and away games to the Vice Commissioner for posting on the NIHL web site. In the event of a conflict in reported results, the Vice Commissioner/Statistician will resolve the difference immediately and may ask to see a copy of the game score sheet.

d)  All games shall consist of three 12-minute periods of stop-time play, with a minimum three-minute initial warm-up and a minimum two-minute rest times between periods. It is recommended that all PeeWee, Bantam, Midget, and Girls games consist of three 13-minute periods of stop time play.

e)  Equipment and playing rules shall be enforced using USA Hockey rules for U.S. teams and Hockey Canada rules for Canadian teams.


a)   The League Championship in each division will be declared on standings determined by points at the end of the regular season. Points will be awarded as follows: Win = 2 points, Tie = 1 point, and Loss = 0 points. There will be no overtime games in the regular season. In the case of a positional tie, final standings will be determined by the current USA Hockey Annual Guide, Method of Determining Champion.

b)   A banner, suitable for arena display, shall be provided for the league champion in each division.


a)  League playoffs shall be scheduled on an annual basis for the top four teams in each division

b)  In the event of an uneven number of games played by teams in a two-conference arrangement within a division, final standings for the division shall be determined by percentage. The percentage shall be calculated by points earned divided by the number possible points (i.e. number games played times 2 points per game).

c)  The playoff format will be a three-game round robin followed by a third place and championship medal games. There will be no overtime games in the round robin phase. During the round robin phase of the playoffs 2 points will be awarded for a Win, 1 point for a Tie, and 0 points for a Loss, to determine seeding for the medal games. In the event of a positional tie after the round robin phase, USA Hockey Procedures for Tiebreakers shall be used to determine final seeding. The teams with the highest and second highest points will compete in the championship medal game. The teams with the third and fourth highest points will complete in the third place medal game.

d)  All medal games shall be played to a decision. An overtime followed by a shootout shall be used as needed.

e)  A banner, suitable for arena display, shall be provided for the playoff champion in each division.

f)  Individual medals shall be presented to members of the playoff champion, runner-up, and third place team in each division.


All team members, coaches, officials, and parents shall abide by the published USA Hockey or Hockey Canada Code of Conduct.


a)  Any formal protests must be reported to the Commissioner within 72 hours of the competition of the game in question. The protest must include day, date, and location of the game, teams involved, and an explanation of the protest.

b)  Protests will not be considered if based solely upon the judgment call of a referee.

c)  Only protests of actions or circumstances which directly affected the outcome of a game (win/loss/tie) will be accepted.

d)  The Commissioner shall act upon the protest by consultation with other Officers and Directors, or by calling a special meeting to decide the matter. A final decision on a protest shall be made within two weeks and the petitioner duly notified.

e)   Any player suspensions will follow the appropriate USA Hockey, State Associations, and Hockey Canada process for team members involved in the incident.


These By-Laws may be amended by a minimum 2/3 favorable vote of the Board of Directors at either the Annual Meeting or the Scheduling Meeting provided that notice has been given to each Director at least 10 days prior to the meeting and posted on the NIHL web site.

Dated: August 25, 2012

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