2011-2012 MSHSL Athletic Rules and Policies Manual   


See the MSHSL Official Handbook Bylaw 501 for information regarding:

·         Maximum Number of Contests

See the MSHSL Official Handbook Bylaw 502 for information regarding:

·         Daily and Season Player Participation Limitations

See the MSHSL Official Handbook Bylaw 511 for information regarding:

·         Contests

·         Equipment Issued

·         Last Date to Join a Team

·         Practice Sessions Before First Contest

·         Season Begins

ELIGIBILITY DURING MSHSL TOURNAMENTS (sub-section, section and state) (refer to Bylaw 206) A student must be fully eligible under all local school district policies and MSHSL bylaws to be in uniform, occupy the bench or playing area, participate and receive individual/team awards, including all-tournament honors, in the awards ceremony.

CONTEST RULES (refer to Bylaw 402)
Except as modified by the League, the National Federation of High School Association rules for the current year shall be the official game rules for all interscholastic contests in which League members participate.


Schools playing in Holiday tournaments, exclusive of MSHSL sponsored tournaments, may play 20 minute periods.



A member school must schedule a minimum of three interscholastic varsity games, meets or matches to qualify for League-sponsored tournament participation in that sport.

Only goalie equipment may be issued for summer use.  All other hockey equipment may be issued on or after the Friday or Saturday preceding the authorized date for opening of practice.

END OF SEASON (refer to Bylaw 411)
A. Student Participation on a Non-School Team While the Season is Still in Progress:

1) The season shall end when the student or student's team has been eliminated from further participation in a League tournament series.
2) Students who have been eliminated from further participation in a League tournament series may participate as an individual or as a member of a non-school team in that sport.

B. School Team Practice and Competition:
The "end of season" shall be defined to be the last date of the state tournament in that sport.

1) Schools may continue to conduct practice and training for all squad members, including the students who have been eliminated from further individual competition in a League-sponsored series until completion of the state tournament conducted by the League in that activity.
2) Dual contests may be scheduled after the start of the official League tournament series providing the school does not exceed the maximum number of games/matches/meets permitted in that activity.

C. No school may engage in any meet or meets, practice, training or other activities between the end of the season and the opening of the next season.

D.  During the Summer Vacation Period (Bylaw 208.3 Non-School Competition and Training—Team and Individual Sports) members of a high school team may participate on a non-school team and they may receive coaching or training from a salaried or non-salaried member of the student’s sophomore, B-squad, junior varsity or varsity high school coaching staff in that sport provided the school has approved a summer coaching waiver for the coach or coaches of that sport.


See General Section of the Athletic Rules and Policies Manual for information regarding the following:

·         Athletic Director's Checklist

·         Coaches Responsibility: Student Eligibility Checklist

·         Multiple Level Teams at Sub-Varsity Level

·         Official Squad Size

·         Revenue Sharing Plan for School Reimbursement

·         Substitution in MSHSL Tournaments

·         Weather Conditions (heat, cold & lightning)


Length of Periods:  All varsity teams—boys' and girls'―shall play three (3) 17-minute periods.  By mutual agreement of the schools involved, the JV and sophomore games could be played with longer periods from 15-minutes to 17-minutes. 

Game Misconduct Penalty: A game misconduct penalty is an ejection under League policies. The player or coach will be removed from that game for its duration and is ejected for the next game (s) according to the MSHSL bylaw 206 for Student/Coach Ejection from a contest.

Game Disqualification: A game misconduct/game disqualification penalty shall be an ejection under League policies.

The MSHSL ejection policy is not applied twice in the event a player receives a game misconduct and game disqualification in the same game.

Overtime Periods

1. Overtime Periods for the MSHSL State Tournament Play. In case of a tie at the end of regular play, follow the procedure outlined below.

a. Teams must remain in the bench area.
b. 3-minute rest period, 8-minute sudden death overtime period, end shall not be changed.
c. Make ice and play 17-minute sudden death overtime period.
d. 3-minute rest period; 8-minute sudden death overtime period.
e. If tie remains, follow procedure as indicated in b and c above.

Overtime Periods in School-Sponsored Tournament Play: In case of a tie at the end of regular play during school sponsored tournament play the tie may be broken by the overtime tie breaking procedure as follows:

a. One 8-minute sudden death overtime period.
b. If still tied after 8-minutes: The Tournament Manager will conduct a shootout to determine the winner.
In all cases where a shootout is used to determine a winner the game will be officially recorded as a tie.  The score at the end of the 8-minute overtime period will be the official score for the contest.

Shortened Games: All high school games, including the consolation round of the state tournament, will be shortened after two periods or during the third period by using running time when a team leads an opposing team by six or more goals.

Minnesota Goal Crease Rule: The NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee has approved for use in all games played in Minnesota an experimental rule relating to goals scored when a player is illegally in the goal crease.  This rule will count those goals which are scored when an offensive player or player's stick is illegally in the goal crease but, in the opinion of the referee, the player or stick illegally in the goal crease had no impact on the goalkeeper's ability to defend the goal when the puck entered the goal. 


A player illegally in the goal crease impacts the goalkeeper's ability to defend the goal when:

1.  The player makes physical contact with the goalkeeper; or

2.  The player prevents the goalkeeper from moving freely in the goal crease; or

3.  The player screens the goalkeeper or otherwise interferes with the goalkeeper's ability to defend the goal, even though no physical contact is made with the goalkeeper. 


A goal may not be scored by a shot, deflection off, or tip-in by a player who is initially illegally in the goal crease.


This rule does not allow players to position themselves in the goal crease, skate through the goal crease, or otherwise interfere with the goalkeeper in the goal crease.  In those situations, the referee should still blow the whistle to stop play and conduct a neutral zone face-off.  This rule is NOT the same as similar NHL and NCAA rules, which do permit offensive players to position themselves in the goal crease.


This rule only addresses situations where a player is illegally in the goal crease.  It is important to remember that the following are all situations where a player may legally be in the goal crease:

1.  The puck is in the goal crease;

2.  The goalkeeper is out of the goal crease;

3. The offensive team does not have possession of the puck; or

4.  A defensive player has pushed the offensive player into the goal crease and the offensive player has not had sufficient time or ability to get out of the goal crease.


Video Taping another school's game
It shall be an ethical violation to tape another school's game, meet or contest without their permission.  Further it may be a violation of the laws governing copyrights.  Each school owns the copyrights to their games, meets and contests.  Taping another schools game without permission could constitute a violation of the copyright law.

A player charged with a game disqualification penalty or game misconduct during the State Tournament will be disqualified as prescribed in Bylaw 206.

The score book shall indicate that a player was ejected in the previous game. Game officials should routinely check the "A" squad and "B" squad scorebooks prior to the start of each game.

Penalty for the use of an ineligible player shall be enforced and result in an automatic forfeiture of game. A complete report of the violation must be submitted to the League Office. The Board will determine any additional penalty which might include:

A. Censure of the coach.
B. School placed on probation.
C. If premeditated, the school could be suspended from League tournament play in that activity.

A player ejected from a "B" squad game is not eligible to participate in the remainder of that game plus the next "A" and "B" games. This also applies to JV squads.

Audio taping may be used as a scouting tool, as well as written observations of the team that is being scouted. The use of video equipment or any type of camera is prohibited by a coach, team member, or any agent thereof.

There will be a one minute warm-up before the start of the 2nd and 3rd period.


State Tournament Program Information Deadlines 

Specific information for qualifying schools is on the MSHSL Administrative Web Site under Tournament Info. 


20 Players (must include a spare goalie)

2 Student Assistants
3 Coaches

If you only have one goaltender dressed, you must provide the name of the individual on the official game sheet who will replace the goaltender should the goaltender be unable to continue to play as a result of injury or illness incurred during the game.

Only the official squad above can be on the bench during the tournament series.

The championship team of each section will advance to the state tournament. The section tournament managers will inform member schools of policies, procedures, dates, sites and times of section games.


A. Officials: All sectional play-off games must use a 3-person officiating system. (Two (2) referees; One (1) linesman)
B. Goal Judges: All sectional play-off games should have goal judges provided.




A. Medals: To each member of the official squad of the 1st & 2nd place teams.
B. Trophies: to the 1st and 2nd place team.

It is a violation of MSHSL policy for a member school or a representative of a member school to establish, distribute or accept any awards not provided by the MSHSL for section or state tournament.

A. Certificates of Participation: To each member of the official squad.
B. Certificates of Recognition: To the head coach and two assistant coaches of each team.
C. Medals: To each members of the official squad including the coaches 1st - 3rd place teams.
D. Trophies: 1st - 4th place teams and consolation.

Herb Brooks Award - The Herb Brooks award is given to the most qualified hockey player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks. This prestigious award will commemorate the unending influence Herb Brooks had on the sport of hockey in Minnesota and throughout the world.

Boys' Class AA/A: A seeding meeting to determine state tournament pairings will be held on the Saturday preceding the state tournament.  The participating coaches will seed teams 1-4 in their respective tournament, and the remaining teams, will be determined by a blind draw.


A. Advance ticket Sales:
Information regarding advance season ticket sales will be made available by the League office prior to each tournament.

B. School Allocation - Class AA Boys Hockey

1) All ticket arrangements for school allocations will be made with the MSHSL Ticket Manager. The MSHSL can arrange locations in the Xcel Energy Center for school sales for Friday and Saturday games.
2) For sessions 1, 2, 4 and 6 each school participating in the session will receive approximately 1500 tickets. There will be no allotment of tickets to the non-competing schools.

The League provides a physician and trainer for immediate, medical attention. The Assistant Coach or Faculty Representative is to report to the training room promptly when an injury results in a player having to leave the playing area.

In order to elevate standards of sportsmanship and encourage the growth of responsible citizenship among the students, member schools, fans and school personnel, the MSHSL held a Sportsmanship Summit and asked student participants to identify behavior expectations they felt should be in place at every school event.

These minimum behavior expectations provide a foundation upon which member schools, conferences, administrative regions and the League’s Board of Directors can build specific guidelines for activities under their control.

MSHSL Bylaw 409, RESPONSIBILITY FOR PARTICIPATING TEAMS, STUDENTS AND SPECTATORS, speaks to this issue, directly, and Bylaw 409-2 specifically states that, “School officials shall be held responsible for the proper conduct of teams, team members, students and home spectators regardless of where the contest is being held.”

In all MSHSL activities, each participating school shall designate a person or persons from that school to serve as crowd control supervisors or chaperones.  MSHSL tournament staff may require school administrators to contact the tournament manager prior to the start of the tournament game so that they can be immediately contacted to respond to behavioral issues regarding their team members, students/spectators at the tournament site.  Each supervisor or chaperone should be immediately identifiable to the students and to the tournament site ushers and other security personnel.  This will help to coordinate crowd control between school supervisors and tournament site personnel.


·         Respect the American flag and the National Anthem.

·         Spectators must wear clothing that covers the entire torso.  Those who do not comply or who wear clothing that is vulgar, obscene or that in some other way inappropriate, as determined by school/tournament personnel, will be removed from the arena/stadium if they do not cooperate with this behavior expectation.

·         The use of appropriate language is expected at all times.  Profanity, negative chants, booing, trash talk, name calling, personal attacks or other acts of disrespect are unacceptable and must be immediately addressed by school/tournament administrators.

·         Respect the game/contest.  Under no condition shall anyone other than the members of the official squad enter the playing surface.  No one may interfere with the contest in any way.

·         Hand held signs, which do not obstruct the view of others, will be permitted provided they are in good taste.  Signs, message boards, “white” boards or other similar items contest/tournament officials deem to be in poor taste will be removed.

·         Signs on sticks, balloons, or any type of artificial, celebratory items are not permitted.

·         Artificial noise makers (i.e. megaphones, cowbells, sirens, whistles, thunder sticks, and other similar items) are not allowed.

·         Laser lights are strictly prohibited.

THANK YOU for supporting your student athletes and fine arts participants and for providing a positive environment in which educational activities are conducted.