Bylaws (Stratford Rotary Hockey League)



To download a printable copy of these bylaws, click: Bylaws_for_Web_2023

These Bylaws contain all amendments approved by the Executive through September 2023.

Bylaws apply to ALL participants, except as noted. Rules which apply only to U14, U16 and U20 divisions can be found on the Senior Division Rules tab.


  • 1.1 To be eligible for membership, a child must have reached the age of four (4) as of December 31st of the current hockey season, and will not have reached the age of 20 as of December 31st of the current hockey season. The executive committee may grant exceptions allowing older players to participate.
  • 1.2 Players must be registered with Stratford Rotary Hockey prior to being on the ice in a Rotary Hockey event.
  • 1.3 A player who is a participant in any other organized hockey league, except an affiliated player as described in Bylaw 1.8, is not eligible to play Rotary Hockey.
  • 1.4 Rotary Hockey will determine the appropriate division for each player, based on age and ability. All players shall play in the division and on the team assigned by the convener, and in the arena designated by the Executive Committee.
  • 1.5 If a player has apparently been misplaced in a division, each convener has the authority, in consultation with coaches and parents, to move the player to a higher or lower division which better suits that player's abilities. The convener may also move players within the division in order to equalize the competitiveness of each team.
  • 1.6 With the exception of the U6 and U8 divisions, the deadline for moving players is December 15 of the current season. The Executive Committee may authorize later movement where exceptional circumstances warrant.
  • 1.7 The League recommends that all parents purchase a Pupil Accident Insurance Plan, available through the school.
  • 1.8 Stratford Rotary Hockey players may affiliate with Stratford Minor Hockey Association teams, provided that there is no interference with Rotary Hockey games or practices. Hockey Canada sets the number of affiliate players and residency requirements. Players may affiliate only to the same or next highest age category, and to a Minor Development team where one exists or a Seeded team if no MD team exists. Players moving to an SMHA body checking team must have previous body checking experience and instruction. U8 to U14 players may affiliate up to six (6) games over the course of a season while U16 and U18 players may affiliate up to ten (10) games, including tournament and exhibition play. Players may participate in an unlimited number of practices. SMHA teams have until Nov. 30 to identify players as affiliates. The list of players will be shared with the presidents of both the SMHA and Rotary Hockey, following which the Rotary Hockey president or designate will contact affiliated players to confirm approval. Approved affiliated players are not eligible to participate until placed on an SMHA roster through the Alliance Hockey office. Game and practice requests will be sent to both the SMHA and Rotary presidents, and the appropriate conveners. Rotary Hockey will contact the player and then forward the player's contact information to the coach of the SMHA team. SMHA coaches or managers who contact a player directly will face discipline from Alliance Hockey. Any player who misses a regularly scheduled Rotary Hockey event (game or practice) to participate as an affiliate will be suspended three (3) games and any subsequent violation will result in a suspension for the remainder of the season with no refund of registration fees.
  • 1.9 It is the policy of Stratford Rotary Hockey that there be no harassment, abuse, bullying, or misconduct of any participant in any of its programs. Players, along with parents and/or guardians, should familiarize themselves with Rotary Hockey's Harassment, Bullying, Misconduct and Abuse Policy and adhere to its principles. This document is available on the Rotary Hockey website, and printed versions can be obtained by request.


  • 2.1 Players must supply their own equipment. All players must wear approved equipment, including neck guards and helmets with full face protection, at both games and practices. Illegal equipment will be dealt with in accordance with Hockey Canada rules
  • 2.2 Goal equipment, with the exception of goal sticks, is provided by the league. Goal sticks will be provided for the U8 division only.
  • 2.3 All Rotary Hockey equipment, including uniforms, will be used only for Rotary Hockey functions and must be returned to Stratford Rotary Hockey at the conclusion of the season.


  • 3.1 A coach shall have attained a minimum age of 16 years and be at least six (6) years older than the average age of the members of the team. If serving as an assistant coach, he or she must be at least four (4) years older than the average age of the team
  • 3.2 Each team will have at least two (2) coaches (either a coach and assistant, or co-coaches).
  • 3.3 All coaches, first assistant coaches, volunteers who are in a position of authority (e.g., on-ice coaching, entering the locker room in a coaching capacity), board members, and conveners are required to complete a Police Records Check. Those who do not meet the requirements or abide by the requirements of the Police Records Check process may not be accepted, may be disciplined, or may be dismissed.

  • 3.4 All team officials require Respect In Sport (RIS)/ Speak Out certification.

  • 3.5 The head coach of each Rotary Hockey team must obtain Coach 2 - Coach Level training through Hockey Canada's National Coach Certification Program (NCCP).

  • 3.6 Rotary Hockey expects every athlete, coach, assistant coach, trainer, manager, official, parent, director, officer, volunteer, employee, and chaperone within the organization to take reasonable steps to safeguard the participants against harassment, abuse, bullying, or misconduct. All coaches and team officials should be familiar with Rotary Hockey's Harassment, Bullying, Misconduct, and Abuse Policy and adhere to its principles. This document is available on the Rotary Hockey website. Printed copies will be made available on request.

  • 3.7 Coaches will exemplify the aims and objectives of Rotary Hockey as outlined in Article 2 of the Constitution. The Responsibilities For Coaches and the Harassment, Bullying, Misconduct and Abuse Policy shall be in addition to and constitute a form of these bylaws.
  • 3.8 Rotary Hockey may discipline or remove any coach who is found to be in violation of any requirement of the Constitution, Bylaws or Responsibilities For Coaches, the Harassment, Bullying, Misconduct and Abuse Policy, or the spirit of any article contained within. The conduct and behaviour of all coaches and assistants will be regularly reviewed.
  • 3.9 A coach has the ultimate responsibility for the conduct and behaviour of his players, his assistants and themselves. A coach, with the approval of the convener, may suspend a player for a lack of cooperation. Additional team rules may be submitted by the coach to the Executive for approval prior to the beginning of the season.
  • 3.10 The coaches and players only of their particular team will be allowed on the ice during their allotted times for practice (maximum of three (3) coaches unless approved by the convener).
  • 3.11 Scrimmaging against another Rotary Hockey team during ice time designated for practice is strongly discouraged.


  • 4.1 Conveners are not allowed to coach in the division they convene, unless a permanent or temporary coaching vacancy occurs, or if no other convener can be found.
  • 4.2 In addition to the duties and responsibilities described in Article 8 of the Constitution, conveners will attend their divisions' games or ensure that another convener or executive member is in attendance. They will make sure a list of all eligible players is in the possession of the scorekeeper prior to the start of each game.
  • 4.3 Conveners will work with referees to ensure that the game rules for their particular division are being applied properly.
  • 4.4 Conveners may apply penalty points to players for obvious infractions which go unpenalized. They will not remove penalty points from players unless part of a plan to reward penalty-free play which has been given to the player by the Executive. Conveners may assess a minor penalty to teams who do not follow the substitution rule as set out in Section 7 of the league Bylaws.
  • 4.5 At the conclusion of the season, conveners will ensure that coaches prepare and submit player ratings sheets.
  • 4.6 Conveners will make it a priority to place players on teams in such a way that no team has only one female player.


  • 5.1 Ideally a team shall consist of at least 12 players with a maximum of 15 players, excluding goaltenders.
  • 5.2 A team that does not have a goaltender available will dress another player from their team, or with the consent of the convener may use a goaltender from another Rotary Hockey team, provided the goaltender is not from a higher division.
  • 5.3 Teams which have fewer than seven skaters and a goaltender available at game time have the option to ask the convener to add players of the conveners' choosing to bring the roster up to seven skaters and a goalie. Coaches will not choose the players to be added. Where possible, conveners will not select players who are scheduled to compete for their own team immediately following the game in question. If players are not available within the division, a player may be brought up from the division immediately below. Conveners will ensure that different players have an opportunity to be added to the lineups of shorthanded team.
  • 5.4 No team will participate in hockey games or practices outside of those recognized as being part of Rotary Hockey activities.
  • 5.5 No person of the opposite sex may be in a dressing room of players in the divisions of U8 and higher.


  • 6.1 Hockey Canada rules will be followed in all games excepted as altered by Rotary Hockey Bylaws or by the Executive Committee.
  • 6.2 The length of games in each division will be decided by the Executive Committee, making maximum use of the ice time that is available.
  • 6.3 The game clock will not be stopped under any circumstances, except those described in 7.3
  • 6.4 In all divisions, each player on a team, with the exception of the goaltender, will be given equal ice time. No player, provided the team has 11 or more players, may take consecutive turns on the ice.
  • 6.5 In the divisions of U6, U8 and U10, a buzzer will be sounded to indicate a complete line change (5 players) is to be made. Buzzers will sound at regular intervals of two (2), two and a half (2:30), or three (3) minutes, as approved by the Executive Committee. Player changes are not to be made at any other time.
  • 6.6 In the U12 and older divisions, players shift on the fly.
  • 6.7 The scorer/timekeeper will keep a precise record of all goals and penalties as reported by the referee, including the names and the type of penalty. They will ensure that the referees sign the game sheet at the conclusion of the game and give a written explanation of any major penalties or ejections.


  • 7.1 The Penalty Point System and the Senior Division Rules shall be in addition to and constitute a form of these Bylaws.
  • 7.2 In the U12 and U14 divisions, all penalties are timed from the drop of the puck at the ensuing faceoff. The player may return to the ice immediately after the penalty expires or his/her team is scored upon.
  • 7.3 In the U6, U8 and U10 divisions, penalties are the length of the shift being used in the division. The clock will stop and restart at the drop of the puck on the ensuing faceoff. When the penalty expires, or the player's team is scored upon, the player must return to his team's bench for the remainder of the current shift, plus the next full shift (his regular turn on the ice). That turn on the ice will be taken by any player forced to miss all or part of his shift due to the penalty.
  • 7.4 In all games that are stop time, penalties will be two (2) or five (5) minutes in length.
  • 7.5 No player will serve time in the penalty box in the place of a penalized teammate (eg. a goalie assessed a penalty, or a player removed from the game.) The time will be put on the clock and the team will play shorthanded (with no player in the box for that particular penalty).
  • 7.6 In the divisions U12 and lower, when a misconduct or match penalty is assessed, the offending player will be ejected and remain at the end of the team bench until the conclusion of the game. If a match penalty was assessed, that player’s team will play shorthanded, without a player in the penalty box, for a full three (3) minutes in U10 and U12, and for the full shift time in all other divisions.
  •  7.7 In the divisions of U14, U16 and U20, refer to the Senior Division Rules for the handling of misconduct and match penalties.


  • 8.1 In all divisions, the playoffs will be a round-robin format in which each team plays the other at least once, unless otherwise approved by the Executive Committee.
  • 8.2 The playoff portion of the season will not begin before the deadline for moving players, on December 15, unless approved by the Executive Committee.
  • 8.3 The first- and second-place teams will play in a Championship game and the third- and fourth-place teams will play in a Consolation game. If ice time is available, all teams within the division will participate in a Final Day playoff game.
  • 8.4 Ties in the final playoff standings which affect whether a team will go to the Championship or Consolation game will be broken with a tie-breaking game. If those games are tied at the end of regulation time, the winner will be determined in a 5-minute sudden victory overtime followed by, if necessary, a shootout as described in 8.6.
  • 8.5 Ties in the final playoff standings which do not affect whether a team will go to the Championship or Consolation game will be broken by: a ) head-to-head record between the teams in the playoffs; b ) final regular-season standing; c ) head-to-head record in the regular season; d ) coin flip.
  • 8.6 Shootouts will be used to break ties in tie-breaking games in Championship and Consolation games. All Rotary Hockey shootouts use five players from each team, shooting one at a time if time allows, or simultaneously if not. If still tied after five shooters, one shooter from each team will shoot simultaneously until the tie is broken. All available players on a team, except the goalie, must shoot before a player shoots a second time.
  • 8.7 The Executive Committee will determine a tie-breaking format for ties in the standings involving more than two teams.


  • 9.1 All matters of dispute in any division must be submitted in writing to the divisional convener within 72 hours of the occurrence. All disputes shall be resolved by the Executive Committee prior to the next scheduled game, if possible.