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Game Rules Varsity

All USA Hockey (USAH) rules apply except where stated by the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI) High School Rules. Any rules stated below take precedence over AHAI.

Varsity Game Rules

  • Seventeen (17) minute stop clock periods
  • Two (2) minute intermission at the end of the first period to be started immediately
    • If there is a five (5) or more goal differential at the conclusion of the second period, there shall be no ice cut, and instead a two (2) minute intermission before beginning the third period.
  • Twelve (12) minute intermission at the end of the second period to allow for ice resurfacing.
  • If the score is tied after regulation time, there shall be a two (2) minute intermission, and then the following shall occur:
    • Teams switch sides (to defend the goal opposite their bench side) and will play a single sudden death period of five (5) minutes, each team may play three (3) skaters plus a goalie.
    • Follow USA Hockey rules for dealing with penalties during a 3 on 3 period.
    • If there is no score in the overtime period, there shall be a one (1) minute intermission, goalies will switch sides to the goal on their bench side. A sudden death shootout will occur (as if a traditional NHL shootout started in the third round; if one team scores and the other does not, the shootout is over. Repeat until a winner is determined.
      • Players still serving a penalty at the conclusion of the overtime period may not shoot.
      • All skaters on a team must shoot before any player takes a second shot.
  • Teams are allowed one (1) timeout during the game, sixty (60) seconds in length.
  • 9 up no down rule applies
  • No Tier 1 players allowed
  • Tier 2 players must play in 60% of all league games.
  • No handshakes will occur between teams after regular season games.

Varsity Playoff Rules

  • All rules are the same for varsity games, with the exception of those listed below.
  • Games tied after regulation will play a sudden death ten (10) minute full strength overtime period, teams will switch sides following a two (2) minute intermission.
  • If the game is tied after one overtime period, teams shall switch sides and repeat, playing with three (3) skaters plus a goalie until a winner is determined.
  • Teams shall switch sides after each overtime period.
  • The ice shall be resurfaced (12 minute intermission) after the second and fifth overtime periods.


Applies to both levels at all times

  • Minor penalties shall be two (2) minutes in length.
  • Major penalties shall be five (5) minutes in length.
  • Misconduct penalties shall be ten (10) minutes in length.
  • Game misconduct penalties and match penalties will count as ten (10) penalty infraction minutes for stats purposes.
  • A player receiving a game misconduct must serve the next SHL league game as suspended. This may be a game in which AHAI requires the player to already be serving according to their regulations, and it may run count as a game served for both governing bodies. However, if a player gets a game misconduct in an SHL game and their next game is not a league game, they must serve the non-league game if AHAI requires, and then also serve the next SHL league game per league rules.

Running Clock

Applies to both levels at all times

  • If there is a five (5) or more goal differential at any point in the third period only, the clock becomes a running clock; upon faceoff following goal (or to start third period), the clock shall only stop when there is an injury, a penalty is being assessed, or the referee otherwise deems necessary. Whistles while penalties are being served shall not cause the clock to stop unless there is being a new penalty assessed. If a player serving a penalty completes serving a penalty that causes his team to be short handed while the puck is not in play, he must remain in the box until the resumes.
    • If the differential drops below five (5), stop clock rules go back into effect.

2022-23 Season Format

Applies to both levels at all times

  • The Scholastic Hockey League (SHL) consists of 10 varsity teams and 10 junior varsity (JV) teams, each in their own division. Each division shall crown its own champion.
  • The regular season will consist of twenty-seven (27) games per team; each team will play three (3) games against each division opponent (four (4) or five (5) opponents will host two (2) games, the remaining will host one (1) game).
  • Goals scored in OT will count as a goal scored for stats purposes. Shootout goals will only be counted as a team goal (not credited to a player) for the winning team, regardless of the shootout score.
  • The playoffs shall pair the highest eight (8) ranked teams in each division, eliminating the lowest two (2) ranked teams.
    • The bracket shall be a reseeded standard eight (8) team single elimination bracket, all series shall advance winners based off of a best-2-of-3 format.
      • The higher seeded (ranked) team shall be the home team for game purposes for the first and third games of a series, regardless on where the location happens to be.
    • The quarter finals shall have seed (rank) #1 versus #8, #2 versus #7, #3 versus #6, and #4 versus #5.
    • The semi finals shall pair the highest remaining seeded team against the lowest remaining seeded team, and the second highest remaining seeded team against the second lowest seeded team.
    • The championship series shall consist of the two remaining teams remaining.

Game Rules Junior Varsity

15 Minute periods

No ice cuts

No double jeopardy for game misconducts, exception is playoffs. Should a player receive a game misconduct he must serve the next SHL playoff game.

3 man shoot out to decide tied games, Goalies do not switch sides

Sudden death shoot out to decide games tied after 3 man shoot out

All players must be used in a shoot out before you can use a player for the second time

Players that have carry over penalties MAY NOT shoot in the shoot out.

10 up only no  Varsity player down.

2:00  Penalties 

Major Penalties are 5:00

All other USA rules are in effect.

2 man ref crew

No Tier 1 Players allowed

Teams playing with Illegal players forfeit any games the player plays in and further action maybe taken.


Playoff rules-JV

Sudden death  3 on 3 play decides playoff games

Goalies change ends to far change first OT.

OT periods are 10 minute

No Varsity players may come down to play

2 man ref crew

Any double rostered player from Tier 2 teams must play in 60% of all league games.

If a team is found to play with and illegal player the team forfeits the game and further action maybe taken by R&E.

Handshakes only after the series completion.


Regular Season Tie Breakers

  • 1. Head to head winning percentage
    • Multiple teams tied- overall winning percentage in games involved teams tied. If winning percentage is tied between multiple teams head to head, the next first tie breaker is points in games between tied teams. Once a team is eliminated from the tiebreaker, restart the process.
  • 2. Total wins (in any fashion)
  • 3. Regulation plus overtime wins (excluding shootout)
  • 4. Regulation wins (excluding overtime and shootout)
  • 5. Total goal differential (goals scored minus goals allowed)*
  • 6. Goals allowed*
  • 7. Less penalty minutes
    *Overtime and shootout goals count as one goal for the extra time