We’re coming back this summer, but it’s going to look a little different. As we move to 4-on-4, we look forward to an open game with more space, more puck touches, and more opportunities to make plays with the puck. Let’s go through some of the changes you can expect to see on the ice for the Summer ’20 season.



If you haven’t already, please visit our Summer ’20 Landing Page to familiarize yourself with our new protocols.

We know things are going to look a bit different — but as we work together — we’re going to safely bring back hockey this summer and get back to the game we all love.



Before we dig into the rule changes, let’s bring you up to speed on some of the new procedures to be aware of.
  • Structure: All YHL games for the Summer ’20 season will be played in 1-hour game-slots — including a flood — with games featuring a five (5) minute warm-up, followed by two (2) 20-minute, run-time periods, where the clock will not stop under any instances. There will be a two (2) minute intermission between periods, with no timeouts or clock stoppages during gameplay. If a game is tied after regulation, the game will be recorded as such with no overtime or shootout taking place.
  • Division Rules: Where applicable, location-specific rules will continue to apply to games.
  • Switching Ends/Line Changes: Teams will not change ends for the second period. Line changes will be permitted either on the fly, or during a re-start after a whistle has been blown.
  • Gloves: Participants will be required to wear gloves on the ice at all times. In the event of a lost glove, that player will be required to retrieve their glove immediately from the ice.
  • Water Bottles: Participants will be required to have an individual water bottle while at the arena, keeping it on a designated spot on the bench.
  • Handshakes: Until further notice, handshakes and first-bumps shall not occur before, during, or after the game.
  • Spitting: Given our current circumstances, spitting will be prohibited at any time while in the facility. Violators will be issued one (1) warning before being asked to leave the facility, should a second offense occur. So yeah, don’t spit!
  • Pulling Goaltender: Pulling your goaltender for an extra attacker will not be permitted for the Summer ’20 season
  • End of Game: If a team is losing or tied at the end of game and is awarded one (1) or two (2) penalty shot attempts, even if the clock reads 0:00, the team will be permitted to take the attempts if the sum of the attempts allows for the team to either tie or win the game. (e.g. A team is losing 3-1 and is awarded two penalty shot attempts. They would be awarded the two attempts, and assuming they score on the first goal, they would subsequently be able to take the second attempt to try and even the score at 3-3.)



No face-offs? Hybrid Offside? No problem. Let’s talk about some of the new rules this season.
  • ▪  The New Offside: We’re introducing the hybrid offside this summer to create larger attacking zones while retaining the neutral zone for transition and stretch passes. How does it work? In order to gain the attacking zone, the blue-line remains as the line of entry for the purposes of the offside rule. Once the line has been gained and possession has been established, the red line now becomes the clearance line. Until the defending team clears the puck past the red line, the puck remains in the attacking zone.
  • ▪  No Face-offs: For the Summer ’20 season there will be no face-offs. Easy enough, right? In order to facilitate this, there are several different re-start scenarios that players will need to be familiar with, which are outlined below.



  • ▪ 1st Period: The designated visiting team will start the 1st period with possession of the puck at the centre-ice dot. The four players on the visiting team will be required to set up behind the red line, while the four players on the designated home team will be required to set up behind their defensive blue line. Once the whistle goes, teams on both sides will be permitted to engage the puck.
  • 2nd Period: The same scenario shall apply, with the change being that the designated home team shall retain possession to start the period.


  • ▪ Scenario: In the event of a goal scored, the team that scored the goal will need to have all four skaters retreat behind the red line before being able to re-engage with pressure. While the team that scored the goal is retreating to the red line, the team that was scored will re-initiate play by retrieving the puck from their goal and going the other way. Furthermore, the team that was scored on has the ability to press forward before the other team clears back to the red line, creating scenarios where teams will need to be quick to defend after scoring a goal.
  • ▪ Note: If the team that was previously scored carries possession across the red line before each of the four (4) opposing skaters are able to retreat to the red line, players on the defending team will be able to engage the puck regardless of any teammates who have not yet reached the red line.


  • ▪ Scenario: In the event of a team going offside or committing an icing, the non-offending team will be given the puck at the centre-ice dot and will be considered to be in the offensive zone and will not be required to gain the blue-line.
  • Re-Start: The offending team will be required to take a position behind their own defensive blue line before being able to re-engage the puck on a re-start. If the team with possession chooses to retreat with the puck behind the red line, they will be required to re-gain the blue-line to create the attacking zone.


  • ▪ Frozen Puck/Offensive Puck Out of Play: Should the goaltender cover the puck for a whistle, or the attacking zone team be responsible for the puck going out of play, all four (4) skaters on the attacking team will be required to clear to the blue-line before being able to re-engage the puck. The defensive team will be required to advance the puck past the red-line in order to clear the defensive zone. Any turnover between the defensive blue-line and the red line will result in the other team remaining in the attacking zone.
  • Defensive/Neutral Zone Puck Out of Play: If no attacking zone has been established, or if the defensive zone team is responsible for the puck leaving the playing surface, the same player positioning as an offside/icing re-start will apply, with the non-offending team initiating possession.


Let’s all be on our best behaviour this summer, cool? If a penalty should occur, here’s how it’ll work:
  • Penalty Shots: Any penalty call will result in a penalty shot being issued. A two-minute penalty will result in one (1) penalty shot being issued, a four-minute penalty will result in two (2) penalty shots being issued, with a five-minute penalty resulting in two (2) penalty shots and a game ejection. Players will not physically enter the penalty box during the Summer ’20 season.
  • Shooter: The player who is the victim of an infraction will be required to take the penalty shot(s). An alternate may be selected only in the event of injury, or an infraction not against another skater (e.g. Goaltender Interference, Too Many Men on the Ice)
  • Body Contact: Any intentional body contact that results from a player not playing the puck with their stick will result in a four-minute body contact infraction being issued, along with two penalty shots for the non-offending team.
  • Crease Violation: Any instance of a player intentionally entering the opposing team’s crease will result in a goaltender interference infraction being issued
  • Penalty Thresholds: Players will be ejected from the game if they accrue any combination of: (1) Two 4-minute penalties; (2) One 4-minute penalty, and two 2-minute penalties; (3) Three 2-minute penalties; or (4) One 5-minute major penalty.
  • Coincidental Penalties: In the event of a coincidental penalty, no penalty shots shall be awarded, and the following re-start scenarios shall apply: (1) If the penalties occur when a team has gained the attacking zone, the defensive zone team shall be granted possession starting from below the hash-marks. The offensive team will be required to clear behind the blue-line before they are permitted to re-engage once the whistle goes; or (2) If the penalties occur when neither team has gained the attacking zone, the team in possession of the puck when the whistle goes will be granted possession at the centre-ice dot during a re-start, following the same procedure set forth in the offside/icing re-start scenario.
  • 10-Minute Misconduct: A 10-minute misconduct will result in the player being ejected from the game.


  • ▪ A penalty shot shall be initiated from the blue-line, at a point between the neutral zone face-off dots. The remaining three skaters on the attacking team must be positioned behind the red line against the boards, while the four skaters on the defensive team must stand behind their own goal-line in either corner.
  • ▪ Once the whistle goes, the player taking the penalty shot will be free to initiate their penalty shot
  • In the event of a goal, the team that took the penalty shot will be required to clear back to the red line. Once all four (4) skaters on the team are behind the red line, the attacking team is free to re-engage and pressure the puck. The defensive team will be responsible for retrieving the puck out of the goal and can initiate play immediately.
  • In the event of a save or a missed attempt, the team that took the penalty shot will be required to clear back to the blue line. Once all four (4) skaters on the team are behind the blue line, the attacking team is free to re-engage and pressure the puck. The defensive team will be responsible for retrieving the puck and can initiate play immediately. Should a puck leave the playing surface on a penalty shot, the defensive team will be given the puck below the hash-marks, with the shooting team required to retreat behind the blue-line before play resuming once the whistle goes.

For a penalty that requires two penalty shot attempts, the process will be repeated from the beginning for the second penalty shot attempt, regardless of whether or not a goal was scored on the first attempt.