North West Spongee League rules

The League reserves the right to suspend any player or team that we feel is unsafe to the game of Sponge Hockey due to verbal abuse of League officials,opposing players or for excessive rough play. If we suspend a team they will be taken off the schedule for the remainder of the season !


Entry fee $575 per team plus ref fees. Teams are responsible for paying referees before the start of each game (cash only for refs please). Coed & Men’s teams will pay $10.00 each team. Budget for a minimum of 18 games and maximum of 22 games (depending on how far you go in the playoffs) Teams that default will pay the ref fees for both teams($20)& also be charged for the ice time!

Minimum $100.00 deposit required by October 30th guarantees your spot as long as a minimum of $250.00 deposit is paid by December 1st, with post-dated check for the balance, dated no later than January 1st. The season will start when the ice is ready (hopefully mid December) and run until middle of February. Teams will play 2 exhibition, 14 Regular Season games plus minimum 2 playoff games guaranteed (all teams make playoffs).

In the event of bad weather- excessive wind chills, cold weather, or snow team all players can call the league executive on game day for updates. The league will notify captains if makeup games are needed. You may have to play makeup games in an alternate time slot from your regular games. We will do our best to never cancel games due to exessive windchills unlike other leagues.

ALL DIVISIONS ARE LIMITED and are a First come basis with deposits secured

24 mens teams
16 coed

Player Eligibility

All players must sign the team roster . All rosters are due on or before Jan 15th. The addition/deletion roster with player changes is due in on or before February 1st.

To play playoffs player must play in a minimum of 4 regular season games. Players must have picture I.D. with them at all times to show on request. Any team playing with an illegal player or players in regular season will forfeit that game, in playoffs team will be disqualified for remainder of the playoffs. A player may play on up to 2 mens teams as long as they are on the roster. To play in playoffs you must play at least 4 games for each team to play for them in playoffs. In playoffs, if more than one of your teams is playing at the same time, you must pick a team as we cannot guarantee games won’t conflict. Players may play co-ed and men’s and in playoffs these games are guaranteed not to conflict.

The Game

Men's- 5 Man plus a goaltender. Women's- 5 Women plus a goaltender,

Co-ed- 3 men, 2 women plus a goaltender (male or female).

You can start a game with a minimum of 4 players plus a goaltender. In co-ed maximum 3 male players plus goaltender on the ice at any one time, you may, however play with more female players than male players if desired (maximum 5 players plus goaltender)

If team hasn't enough players at scheduled game time that time will be deducted from the game. If team still can't ice a team after 10 minutes it is considered a defaulted game. If your goaltender isn’t ready at game time, you can wait for him/her to get there. If your goaltender isn't coming, and you have no equipment, have a player act as the goaltender. The acting goalie must remain the same player for the entire game, or until a goaltender with equipment shows up. If goaltender shows up late, NO WARM UPS allowed. (See other rules for goaltenders rules) You must have an acting goaltender for the entire game (except the final 5 minutes of the Third Period)

Game Duration

All games 3-15 minute periods, running time. The final 2 minutes of the third period will be stop time. All ties remain a tie in regular season. In playoffs, a 5 minute sudden death 4 on 4 period, if still tied, a shootout, using the current NHL rules with 3 shooters (in coed- male, female, male). In regular season team get 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss,

Mercy Rule- if a team is leading by 7 or more goals with 7 or less minutes left, the time will be reduced to 2 minutes running time. Once mercy rule is enforced, it will stay in effect for remainder of the game, even if the losing team scores to make it less than a 7-goal margin.

For Men’s and Coed- no line changes on whistles, except when penalties are called or goals are scored. Teams must “change on the fly” This helps keep the flow of the game going, since it is running time. Women’s may make line changes on any whistle or on the fly.

Defaulted Games

Will count as a 3-0 loss. Team that defaults must pay BOTH teams portion of ref fees and face a 40 dollar fine.


Teams must have one set of matching jerseys (same colour, doesn't have to be same style, example a blue team can wear Montreal or Florida away colours, as long as they are the same colour) with numbers on the back (use tape if jersey has no number). If two teams wear same colours the away team must wear alternate colours (we will list the teams with their colours with the schedules so you have plenty of time to arrange for spare jerseys, in this situation, if one team is all blue, the conflicting team, if they have to can wear every colour but blue, but try your best to get the same colours for all your team.)


Reffing Spongee can be very hard, especially if the players are playing “dirty” or verbally abusive. The refs are doing their best out there but some players make it VERY difficult for them. Our refs will be trained by one of the best officials around and will do everything we can to make things smooth.

Refs have been instructed to call EVERYTHING. No one is wearing full equipment so it can be very dangerous on the ice. Even the slightest “hack” on the shins can hurt, which may lead to retaliation. Please tell your players to play clean and this will make games a lot more smooth and enjoyable for all.

Verbal abuse toward other players and Officials WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Referees have been given full authority to give out unsportsmanlike conduct penalties at ANY time verbal abuse takes place. The refs also have full authority to give a player a Game Ejection for verbal abuse or if 2 players APPEAR to want to get too physical with each other.

Any player/s given a game ejection (not 3 penalty game misconduct) in the final 5 minutes of a game off the rinks not during a game will be automatically be suspended from the League for minimum of one game. Players can be written up for ejection in club house or anywhere on premises, even if players are not playing, by ANY ref or League Official (so please play of the game on the rink, and once game is over, “leave it on the rink”)

Any player suspended from one team (that does, or wants to play on another team) cannot play on any other team in the league while suspension is on. The league will contact team captain with severity of the suspension. Any player suspended may be banned from community center premises, including parking lot, 1/2 hour before, during, and 1/2 hour after all league events while suspended. The league will provide suspended player with all dates and times of league functions upon request.

Penalties-All basic hockey penalties as per the Hockey Canada/USA Hockey rulebook will apply, with the following exceptions:

Penalties- if a team scores during a “Delayed penalty” the penalized team will still take a penalty after the goal is scored


If a team is assessed 5 penalties in a game (including coincidental minors) Penalty shots will be awarded IN ADDITION to each penalty assessed (excluding coincidental penalties) from the 6th penalty on. Any player may take the penalty shot. After the penalty shot, whether a goal was scored or not, the face off will be in the offending teams zone and the penalty will then start at the drop of the puck.

3 Penalties by a player in a game is a game ejection (this does not mean a player is suspened for the next game)

Coincidental penalties- 4 on 4

All minor penalties 2 minutes in duration from the drop of the puck after the penalty is called, Player is removed from the box if a goal is scored on a minor penalty

Minor penalties- tripping, hooking, interference, unsportmanlike conduct, minor slashing, minor cross-checking, minor roughing, minor body contact, intentionally moving your net to stop a scoring chance or instigating rough play

Delay of game-this includes shooting the puck directly over the fencing or over (not in) the player's box (intentionally or not) anywhere between the defensive zone face-off circles. Any rinks with no fencing around boards, there is no penalty for unintentionally shooting puck over boards only. Intentionally knocking net out of position is a penalty and a goal may be awarded if referee feels intentionally moving the net prevented a goal (then no penalty is called only a goal is awarded)

High sticking- each team allowed one warning, then if player's stick comes in contact with the puck over the height of the crossbar, or player swings or carries stick recklessly (including attempting to knock down a puck higher than waist height with your stick and no contact is made) a minor penalty is called.

GRABBING THE JERSEY- 2 minute minor penalty

Anyone caught grabbing an opponent’s jersey/jacket even for the slightest moment will be assessed a 2-minute minor penalty

There is absolutely no reason to grab an opponent’s jersey/jacket as this is done to usually to throw a player slightly off balance without drawing a penalty.

Diving- any player that leaves their feet deliberately (in referee’s judgement), and in an attempt to play the puck, whether offending player has contact with the puck or not, and trips opposing player. He/she will be assessed a minor penalty if referee feels it was accidental, and a major penalty if deliberate. A player may dive to block passes & shots if no one is tripped.

Major Penalties- are 5 minutes in duration with from drop of the puck after penalty is called, with penalty being served in its entirety no matter how many goals are scored. Players receiving major penalties will automatically be ejected from game and depending on the incident will be suspened (see suspensions) no one is needed to serve the penalty as you should not be punished by an act of your teammate.Please have someone enter the ice upon the expiration of the penalty

Exception- coincidental penalties- the players are ejected and no one has to serve the penalties. Anyone ejected from a game has 2 minutes to leave rink area or face the possibility of a lifetime ban from the league or a team defaulting their game.

Major Penalties can be given out for excessive slashing, crosschecking, roughing, body contact, boarding, or hitting from behind. Also deliberately attempting to take out one or both of a player’s feet (slew footing) will be a major penalty.


Anyone throwing a punch at an opponent. will be assessed an automatic major and game misconduct for fighting. Teams, not the refs, must pull their own player/s apart from fight.

Player/s involved have 3 minutes to leave community centre after leaving the ice. First the visiting team's player/s will be escorted off the ice to they can get their personal belongings if from their dressing room, if necessary, then once they leave the community centre, the home team's player/s will do the same. Remember, the game clock is still running, so the quicker you have your players leave, the less it will cut into your playing time. Any player/s not abiding by these procedures will face possible lifetime ban from league and community centre, and/or criminal charges if the situation warrants

Defination of a fight- Person throwing a punch ….or a person willing to throw a punch (if a player attempts or challenges a player to a fight but gets “loses the fight” without throwing a punch this is still considered a fight) If a player is “sucker punched” and made no attempt to initially fight, or fight after the sucker punch, that is NOT consider a fight

Instigator/Agressor Rules- will be used in all accounts of fighting

MAJOR STICK VIOLATIONS -Anyone assessed a major for spearing, slashing, cross-checking or high sticking will receive an automatic 6 game suspension. If the player is ever assessed a second major for the above they will be banned for life from the North West Spongee League.

All other major penalties- minimum 1 game suspension, second offense -minimum 3 games, third offence- 10 games

Any player suspended from one team (that does, or wants to play on another team) cannot play on any other team in the league while suspension is on. The league will contact team captain with severity of the suspension. Any player suspended may be banned from community center premises, including parking lot, 1/2 hour before, during, and 1/2 hour after all league events while suspended. The league will provide suspended player with all dates and times of league functions upon request.

Altered Footwear

Nothing can be sprayed on the bottom of your shoes (ex. WD 40) or tacks, staples, etc inserted into footwear. Referees or any league officials are entitled to check any player’s shoes, bench-area, or dressing room, before, during, or after a game. Possession of substances will consider you guilty as well. Any team caught with altered footwear or in possession or substances for the use of altering will be suspended as a team for 2 games and subject to loss of points, for first offence, and remainder and the season for second offence. We may do random checks at any time.

Key Violations

Any player that goes into the opposing team's key for more than 3 seconds while the puck is not in the key area (and puck is in the offending team’s side of centre ice) will be assessed a key violation. Being “in the key” includes any body part touching the ice on or inside the key line. Sticks are not included and may be inside the key line. Possession of the puck is required. Possession of the puck includes when team is passing puck around (tape to tape). Possession does NOT include players battling for puck or players chasing a puck. The referee will be instructed to verbally count the key.

Result will be a face-off in the offending team's defensive zone.

Other Rules

No icing in the last five minutes of the third period by leading team if leading by 4 or less goals (unless shorthanded) First icing is a face-off in offending teams zone, second icing- offending team will be assessed a delay of game penalty. There will be no icing infractions called during any other part of the game.

There will be no offside or two line pass infractions called.

Passing the puck to a teammate with an open hand is illegal unless in your defensive zone. The play is whistled dead, with a face-off at the closest face-off circle.

Goaltender cannot intentionally handle or play the puck over centre ice. Teams may "pull" goaltender on delayed penalty or only in the last 5 minutes of the game in an effort to score goals. When goaltender is pulled no player on the team with the extra attacker can cover the puck in his or her own crease or a goal is awarded. In Co-ed the extra attacker may be male or female.

CO-ED LEAGUE is 3 men, 2 women plus a goaltender (male or female) on ice. (You may play with 2 males, 3 female or 4 females & 1 male.) You must always have 2 females on the ice (unless you are playing short)! If a female is penalized, she must serve penalty, but team must play short a male for duration of penalty. MALE player must serve any penalties by goaltender.

No slapshots allowed in co-ed games only by males OR females. They may draw their sticks back as far as their knee for a “snap shot”. First offence per team per game- warning, and face off in offending team’s zone. All other offences- minor penalty.

The Final Rule- Have Fun and Play Safe!

Various icons used from the Silk Icons library.