Comparison to NHL Rules
Like most street hockey groups, we use the official NHL rule book , as our starting point for rules. In most cases when something new comes up, we default to what would be called in the NHL. However, our main goal is to have fun, not necessarily to find the most technically accurate call, so we might make a different call than what you would see in the NHL. Especially see the "Fun Rule" on this page.
Rules that are specific to us are outlined here on this page, and these take precedence over any rules that one might expect from having seen the NHL.
You Are Responsible For Everyone's Safety
You have to be mindful of where your stick is, and whether or not your shot will go high, and if your feet will trip someone up, and everything else. You can not just play with reckless abandon and expect others to compensate.
For example, sometimes a player is on the rush, and a defenseman who is back checking will reach his stick in front of the attacker to swat the ball away. The defenseman who does so is responsible for making sure that even though he is putting is stick in front of the attacker's legs that he does not trip that person up, even by accident. It is not good enough to just reach for the ball without concern for what happens to the attacker's body.
Safety first. In all situations, no matter how bad you want to win, your first priority is everyone's safety. Your second priority is everything else that happens in the game.
Do Not Play The Body
This is, obviously, a huge difference between our rules and the NHL. We all have jobs we need to go to the next day, so we're not keen on injuries.
Also, maybe more importantly, once you start playing the body, it is an escalating scenario that can only end up in injuries or fights. Once one player starts to push another player, the only way to defend against that play is to push back and stand firm. Once two players start pushing at each other, and the game gets competitive, it's only a matter of time before one is convinced that the other pushed too much, or in the wrong way.
We have never had a fight in the TSHA, and don't ever intend to have one. Even the most level headed guy can become aggressive when the game starts getting pushy and grabby, so we don't do it.
You're expected to keep your hands to yourself, and not play the body. We're much like basketball in this regard, in that you are obligated to play the ball, not the man. Neither offensive or defensive players can use the body to gain advantage over the other, so no rushing into people, and no standing up to them either.
As we get into tournament practice mode, we allow for more use of the body to gain position, but this will be made clear when it happens, and keep in mind that the tournaments have referees, which makes a huge difference in how safe physical play can be.
Watch The Slap Shots
You can take slap shots, but try not to use a huge wind up and/or follow through on the shot. No one wears enough protective gear to guard themselves against hard, high shots. Wrist shots are more accurate anyways.
When we are in training mode for tournaments, we may allow slap shots, but that will be made clear when it happens. The default is no slap shots.
The Fun Rule
Any goal, or any other call, may be over ridden in order to increase the the fun of the game.
If, for example, someone scores a goal that is disputed and no clear consensus on what actually happened can be reached, then the decision will be based on what is most fun. If someone made a really awesome move to get the goal, then we might allow it. If it's a game winning goal but kind of a down note for ending the game, then we might disallow it.
The Doughnut Rule
Possibly the most important rule of all. If you come more than one hour after the stated starting time for that day's hockey, then you must bring doughnuts for everybody. Usually, we start playing at 8:00PM, so anyone arriving after 9:00PM would have to bring doughnuts.
You can supplant doughnuts with something else. Oranges have been a popular choice. One time a guy brought beers.
If you can't bring anything on the day, then you can bring something the next time. However, you will be subjected to much sarcasm between when you were late to when you bring doughnuts.
We define high sticking as the height of your shoulders or the crossbar on the net., whichever is shorter. Touching the ball with your stick above this line results in the other team getting possession of the ball.
Again, this rule is to prevent people from raising their sticks and swinging wildly at the ball. Chances of you knocking the ball down are pretty low, so use your hands (see the next rule).
You are perfectly allowed to grab a ball out of the air, closing your hand around it, and put it at your feet at the place where you want it. That could mean, for example, that you jump up to grab the ball, and then when you land, you turn 180 degrees and place the ball in front of you in order to go the direction you want.
You just can't "travel" with the ball, to borrow a term from basketball. So you can't hold onto the ball and take more than a step or so in any direction.
You can never close your hand around the ball and throw it anywhere. Or, obviously, pick it up off the ground for any reason.
If you're in your defensive zone, you can swat the ball, and if it ends up on the blade of a team mate, that's no problem.
If you're in the offensive zone, you can swat the ball, but if a team mate picks it up, that would be a pass, and possession given to the other team.