Rules & Regulations


Rules and Regulations

2020-21 NFHS Rules Considerations

2020-21 Ice Hockey NFHS Rules Considerations

In support of the Guidance for Opening Up High School Athletics and Activities, the NFHS Ice Hockey Rules Committee offers this document for state associations to consider whether any possible rules could be altered for the 2020-21 season. The considerations outlined in this document are meant to decrease potential exposure to respiratory droplets by encouraging social distancing, limiting participation in administrative tasks to essential personnel and allowing for appropriate protective equipment.

*Ice arenas are most commonly privately-owned facilities. Be sure to know and follow the policies and procedures of the facility prior to practice or a contest.

    • 1. Ice Hockey Rules Considerations o Players’ Benches (1-9-1) Maintain social distancing as much as possible when on the bench.
    • Limit bench personal to observe social distancing of 6 feet or greater.
    • o Penalty Benches (1-10-1) Limit to essential personnel and maintain social distancing from personnel and participating players.
    • o Team Captains (2-2-1, 2-2-4, and 2-2-5) Captains need to maintain social distancing when talking or conferring with a referee.
    • Maintain social distance during the pre-game meeting with captains and head coaches.
    • o Protective Equipment Face masks (3-4-2) - Cloth face coverings are permissible.
    • Face masks (3-4-2) - Plastic shields covering the entire face (unless integrated into the face mask, attached on the inside of the face mask, and clear without the presence of any tint) shall not be allowed during the contest.
    • Each state association may adopt other playing/administrative rules for ice hockey for the 2020-21 season that would decrease exposure to respiratory droplets and COVID-19.


  • o Tooth and mouth protectors (3-4-4) - State associations should develop statements instructing athletes to refrain from the removal of mouthguards while on the playing rink. If mouthguards are removed on the sidelines or bench area, the athlete should use hand sanitizer each time after touching the mouthguard.
  • o State Association Adoptions



        • 2. Considerations for Officials o On-Ice Officials Uniform and Equipment Electronic whistles are permissible (supplies are limited). • Choose a whistle whose tone will carry outside.
        • • Fox 40 Mini -
        • • Fox 40 Unisex Electronic - 3 tone
        • • Ergo-Guard - (3 tone) - orange
        • • Windsor - (3 tone) grey
        • • Check the market for other choices
        • Cloth face coverings are permissible.
        • Gloves are permissible.
        • Do not share uniforms, towels, apparel, and equipment.
        • Bring your own water bottle.
        • o Maintain social distancing for meetings with captains and coaches
        • o Essential off-ice officials should maintain social distancing and wipe down workspace before and after the contest.


3. General Ice Hockey Considerations


  • o Before, during and after the contest, players, coaches, game officials, team personnel and game administration officials should wash and sanitize their hands as often as possible.
  • o Suspend pregame protocol of shaking hands during introductions/pregame meeting.
  • o Suspend postgame protocol of shaking hands.
  • o Maintain social distancing of 6 feet or greater on the bench when possible.
  • o Everyone should have their own beverage container that is not shared.
  • o Cloth face coverings are permissible for all coaches and team staff and for all game administration officials.
  • o Gloves are permissible for all coaches and team staff and for all game administration officials.
  • o Try and limit the number of non-essential personnel who are at ice level and near participants throughout the contest.
  • o If available, dressing facilities for game officials and teams should be large enough for them to use social-distancing protocols and should be properly cleaned and sanitized prior to arrival.
  • o Disinfect equipment and uniform after use.
  • o Learn more by taking the free online course: “COVID-19 for Coaches and Administrators.”


**Final as of August 6, 2020

NFHS Rules