The Chicago Outdoor Hockey League (“COHL”) is a coed adult no-check amateur league. The league is owned and operated by Campbell Sports, Inc. The COHL follows the rules and regulations as published by USA Hockey, with the exception of all rules and regulations detailed below.
Team and Individual Skill Ranking and Entry
All individuals/teams registered to play in the COHL will be invited and placed into their appropriate league level by the COHL. An evaluation of every NEW team will take place no later than the 2nd game of each season. This evaluation period is called the “seed round” and the COHL, at its sole discretion, may move teams and/or individuals into another league level, whether it is up or down. It is the responsibility of each individual and/or team to make every effort in placing itself in the proper division when completing their registration prior to the season. The goal of this approach is to place competitive and evenly matched teams within each skill level. Individual/Team status in the league will be determined at the sole discretion of the COHL with consideration given to but not limited to the following criteria:
Adherence to and compliance with all Campbell Sports, Inc. and COHL Rules and Regulations, and any applicable USA Hockey rules.
Timely submission of fees and documentation required from each player and team as a whole.
Sportsmanship on the ice and at host rink facilities.
Excessive Penalty/Suspension/Forfeiture/Illegal Player Reports.
Player attendance reports.
Competitiveness within division level.
Common courtesy towards Officials, COHL Staff and staff of our host ice rinks.
Team Rosters and Online Registration
All players must register online at www.cohlhockey.com. Players must be signed up by the deadlines published on the league website. All teams must meet the minimum roster requirements by the deadlines published on the league website.
Limits on Roster Size:
5-on-5 = League Minimum of 10 players plus 1 Goalie. The COHL recommends 15 players and 2 goalies. Roster maximum is 26 players.
Team Representatives should contact the COHL prior to the season if players are needed for their team to meet minimum roster requirements. Further, the COHL provides an online public forum to assist in forming teams for those teams seeking players or individuals seeking a team. Visit our website for details.
The COHL season will consist of eight (8) regular season games at all locations. In addition to regular season games, a minimum one (1) game will be reserved for single-elimination division playoffs. The total minimum game guarantee is nine (9) for all teams.
Total Game Time & Periods
All games will be restricted to 70 minutes. Games consist of two (2) 32-minute running time periods. If the score differential is two (2) or less goals, the last two (2) minutes of each game will be played with stop-time (i.e. the clock will stop when the Official blows the whistle and start again when the puck is in play) and Icing (see Icing rule for details) will be called. COHL staff and Officials reserve the right to run the clock in order to complete games as close to 70 minutes as possible and keep within set ice time curfews.
Suspension, Forfeits and Fines
Campbell Sports, Inc. reserves the right to suspend, assign forfeits and fines and/or expel any player or team who violates COHL Rules, Regulations, or Playing Rules without refund. Campbell Sports, Inc. reserves the right to exclude any player or team from the host facilities of any and all COHL events for any reason found to be adverse to the safe, fun and fair operation of the COHL without refund. All fines will be incurred at a rate of $200 per occurrence. Fines will first be deducted from the Team Forfeit Deposit on file. If for any reason the Team Forfeit Deposit has been exhausted, the violating team must pay $200 in full per any additional (2 or more) occurrences prior to playing in any future games. Additional fines are required at the discretion of the COHL. Requests to pay any additional fines will be made in writing by the COHL to Team Representatives.
All teams must keep a $200 Team Forfeit Deposit on retainer with the COHL before the start of the season to play in any game. Any team found to have violated COHL Rules which are “Subject to Team Forfeit Fines” as detailed throughout this contract shall lose their full Team Forfeit Deposit on retainer with the COHL. In order to play in future seasons, a new Team Forfeit Deposit must be placed in retainer prior to the start of said season. Teams in good standing with the league may choose to keep their Team Forfeit Deposit on retainer with the COHL season-to-season. During the off-season, Team Representatives may request to be refunded back their Team Forfeit Deposit on retainer with the COHL. The COHL will then refund the Team Forfeit Deposit within 30 days of the request. Only Team Representatives listed on this contract may request the refund.
There is no Icing in the COHL, except in the following situations:
Icing will be enforced if the score differential is two (2) or less goals during the last two (2) minutes of each game. During this situation, games will be played with stop-time (i.e. the clock will stop when the Official blows the whistle and start again when the puck is in play).
At the discretion of the on-ice COHL Official(s), Icing may be called at any time during a game if any team or player is abusing the no Icing rule (e.g. repetitively icing the puck on purpose to maintain a scoring lead).
No penalty minutes will be served in the penalty box. All penalties will result in penalty shots as detailed below. The player who takes the penalty shot(s) must have been on the ice when the infraction took place:
Minor infractions will have one (1) penalty shot.
Double-Minor, Misconduct, Gross, Match or Major infractions will result in two (2) penalty shots.
Mandatory Player Check-In for All Games (Subject to Forfeit Fines)
All players must sign-in on the COHL Game Sheets provided onsite or check-in with staff onsite prior to each game to be eligible for all game play. Players who do not check-in every game are subject to forfeits and team forfeit fines as defined in this document. Players who do not sign in will not be credited with playing in that game. If during a game, a player is determined to be an illegal player (e.g. not signed in) by the Official or COHL staff member, that player must leave the ice immediately. The clock will continue to run if any ensuing objections disrupt the play.
Full equipment is required for all games. Full equipment includes a helmet, visor, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin guards, skates, stick, socks, and jersey. Shoulder pads are optional.
The COHL does not provide jerseys. Team players must carry both light and dark matching jerseys with a number. Each player on any team must wear matching jerseys for the current season in order to play in any game. The number on a player's jersey must match their COHL registration jersey number (on their Team Roster). The COHL reserves the right to request a player provide a state issued photo ID at any time to confirm a player’s identity. If a player cannot meet any of these jersey requirements they are considered an illegal player and are subject to forfeit fines outlined in this document. If during a game, a player is determined to be an illegal player by the Official or COHL staff member, that player must leave the ice immediately. The clock will continue to run if any ensuing objections disrupt the play. If you forget both your ID and jersey, you will not be allowed to play.
Breezers and socks must be of good quality and be in good working condition. Breezers or socks that have excessive wear or are torn so that the player wearing them puts themself or others at risk of injury will be asked to leave the game and return only after the item(s) have been repaired or replaced.
Minimum Number of Players or No Show (Subject to Forfeit Fines)
To be counted as an officially scored league game, at the start of the game teams must have at least six (6) rostered legal players ready to play on the ice. The clock will begin running at the scheduled game start time. In the case of a late Goalie, COHL Officials may wait up to ten (10) minutes after the scheduled start time before calling a game an official Forfeit. During that ten (10) minute time frame, the violating team may play with a 6th player to cover the net. If ten (10) minutes after the scheduled game start time expires without a Goalie showing up, the COHL Official may call the game a forfeit at their discretion. Those registered players present may use the ice for a scrimmage within the scheduled game slot. The COHL Official must remain on the ice during the scheduled game time slot, regardless of whether of forfeit is called or not. Non-COHL registered players are not allowed on the ice for any reason, including scrimmages. No suspended players or teams may play in a scrimmage. The game will be counted as a game played and the final score will be recorded 1-0.
No Goalie (Subject to Forfeit Fines)
At least one (1) Goalie is required to be registered to every team. To be counted as an Officially scored league game a team may not play a game without a Goalie. Goalies must be provided by the teams. The league is not responsible for providing Goalies at any time.
Misconduct, Gross, Match or Major Penalties
If you are a fighter, you are not welcome in the COHL. Safety is of extreme importance. The COHL does not tolerate fighting or any behavior that can result in injury to another person(s). All Misconduct, Gross, Match or Major Penalties (e.g. Punching, Fighting, Butt-ending, Kicking, etc.) will not be taken lightly and will invoke an automatic one to three (1-3) game suspension plus ejection from that game. In the event a team’s Goalie is involved in a fight, and if there is no second Goalie on the bench, the captain will be ejected from that game and the captain or the Goalie (team’s decision) will receive a one to three (1-3) game suspension. Whenever more than one player from a team participates in a fight, all will be ejected immediately from that game. After careful review by the COHL, additional suspensions, and possible league ejection without refund may also apply. The game will continue if there are enough players, otherwise the violating team (instigators) as identified by the officials will forfeit and be subject to any fines as described in this document. If both teams do not have enough players, then both will forfeit and be subject to the forfeit rules described in this document.
Any player with two (2) Misconduct, Gross, Match or Major Penalty offenses will result in immediate removal from the league with no refund or credit. Suspensions shall carry over to future seasons if they have not been fulfilled. No exceptions.
Player Maximum Penalties
First Offense: A player who receives 4 penalties or 12 minutes of combined penalties in a game, whichever comes first, for the first time in one season will be immediately ejected from the game and will receive a one game suspension. This is in addition to any other penalties and suspensions those penalties may carry.
Second Offense: A player who receives 4 penalties or 12 minutes of combined penalties in game, whichever comes first, for the second time in one season will be immediately ejected from the game and will receive a three game suspension. This is in addition to any other penalties and suspensions those penalties may carry.
Third Offense: A player who receives 4 penalties or 12 minutes of combined penalties in game, whichever comes first, for the third time in one season will be immediately ejected from the game and will be suspended from the league indefinitely without a refund of fees. This is in addition to any other penalties and suspensions those penalties may carry.
This rule is not just for an ejection for fighting, if a player is ejected for Official abuse or anything else, this rule will apply.
At a minimum, the following statistics will be documented to the best of the league’s ability: Attendance, Goals, Assists, Penalty Minutes, Shots on Goal, Goals Against, Goals For, and Goals Against Average. Statistical information will be entered into the system within 72 hours after any game.
A win is recorded as 2 points, a tie is recorded as 1 point and a loss is recorded as zero points. Regular season games that end in a tie will be recorded as a tie. Playoffs, All Star Game and Championship games that end in a tie will implement a three person shoot out. If the shoot out does not determine a winner, the shootout will continue until a winner is determined based on NHL Shootout Rules.
Playoffs are single elimination and follow the same rules as our regular season games, with the exception of overtime shootouts. If a game reaches a shootout, we will follow NHL-style shootout rules to determine a winner.
Illegal Players and Roster Cutoff (Subject to Team Forfeit Fines)
Team Representatives are responsible for ensuring players on their team register online at www.cohlhockey.com. The COHL provides all Team Representatives with a unique URL (link) to register. Additions to the team roster must be completed online by each player no sooner than 24 hours prior to a schedule game.
Roster Cutoff: No additions to team rosters are allowed after the first 2 weeks of gameplay (i.e. after the seed round) unless directly approved by the COHL.
All players on the bench present for a game must be COHL registered (“legal”) members of the team. Non-registered (“illegal”) players are not allowed to play for any reason. If the game starts with illegal players and the league receives a complaint from another team captain or league Official, and if the team is found by the league to have violated this rule, it will be subject to forfeit. No Exceptions.
Teams found to have illegal players will be subject to forfeit fines, suspension, ejections and/or banishment. If the COHL finds that there is an illegal player playing on your team, you will be required to remove him/her immediately, your team will be subject to forfeit fines as described below and the games in which he/she played will be recorded as a loss. Teams with repeated offenses will be subject to banishment.
In summary, Illegal Players are defined as the following:
Anyone under the age of 18.
Players who have not signed a physical copy of the COHL General Release and Waiver of Liability.
Players (including Goalies) who are not on the Team roster.
Players without their own medical insurance. (USA Hockey Insurance does not provide sufficient medical coverage).
Anyone who is aware of having a medical condition or injury, which by playing in a game results in further injury to his/her condition.
Players who cannot show a valid Photo ID when requested by a COHL staff member or Official.
Anyone currently playing professional hockey. Any ex-professional must play in B-level or higher divisions only, unless approved by the league for a lower division.
Any player who actively plays on any college team.
Players/Teams may not play below their appropriate skills division as deemed by COHL staff. The league reserves the right to move a player or full team if he/she/they are found to be playing below or above his/her/their skill level.
No person can play on two or more teams within a single division with the exception of Goalies.
False Information: Any player found to have given the COHL false information such as, but not limited to the following: Forging another player’s name, wearing a jersey/number other than your own rostered jersey/number, using a false name or producing false identification, producing false medical insurance information, may be suspended and/or banned from the COHL indefinitely and games in which he/she played will be subject to a forfeit as described in this document.
Abuse of Officials (Subject to Forfeit Fines)
The COHL will not tolerate abuse of any kind during, before or after any game towards any Official, scorekeeper or attendant of any of our host rinks for any reason whatsoever by any player, coach, assistant or fan. Flagrant abuse will result in a minimum of a two (2) game suspension. Decisions are made at the sole discretion of the COHL. In addition, the violating team will be responsible for any expenses incurred by Campbell Sports, Inc. as a result of its member’s illegal actions and may be subject to a forfeit and fines as described in this document. A second offense could result in an indefinite suspension from the league and any of its affiliates.
Ejection (Subject to Forfeit Fines)
Any player after being ejected from the ice, who incurs an additional penalty for abusing the Officials, further aggressive behavior or any other reason, will receive an additional one (1) game suspension. When a player is ejected from a game for any reason, that player must get dressed and leave the premises and the surrounding area. Any player that does not willingly leave the building and surrounding area will be escorted by the Police Department. Any player which does not follow this rule after being ejected from a game will be ejected from the league indefinitely.
Dangerous and Violent Behavior (Subject to Forfeit Fines)
An Official may recommend to the COHL scorekeeper that a game be stopped or that the clock be run if he/she determines that by continuing the game, there is a risk of bodily harm to person(s) on the ice, on the bench, and/or in the facility, regardless of number of penalties. Before this happens a warning must be given to both team captains. Those players guilty of the violent behavior will be suspended indefinitely from the COHL. If the game is stopped, the game will end in a forfeit for the violating team and possibly for both teams if both teams share equally in the violence. Teams are subject to forfeit fines as described in this document.
If play is interrupted due to a fight or a display of aggression by either team, the clock will continue to run during the altercation and it will be stopped immediately after order is restored in accordance with the Running Clock and Game Stoppage Rule.
Suspension (Subject to Forfeit Fines)
Any player or teams which violates his/her COHL league suspension by playing or attempting to play in any COHL game will be ejected or suspended from the league for the remainder of the season without monetary refund. In addition, the team for which the violator is rostered on will forfeit the game and is subject to the appropriate forfeit fine as described in this document. Teams who are suspended for any reason are subject to forfeits and fines per game.
Re-Scheduling, Make-up Games, and Game Alerts due to Weather
The COHL is an outdoor league and weather is always a risk. The COHL is not a house league and is at the mercy of available ice time at its host rinks. There will be no re-scheduling of games or make-up games by anyone other than COHL staff. Any make-up games due to poor weather are subject to be scheduled at any COHL host rink during weeknights and/or weekends. The COHL will play in almost any weather condition with the exception of weather deemed too dangerous for play or weather that prevents game progress. Game cancellation decisions will be made at the full discretion of the COHL staff and/or present rink management at its host rinks. Game cancellation decisions may not be decided by COHL Officials.
Game alerts, weather alerts, and any re-scheduled game times due to weather will be reported as soon as made available via text (if subscribed), e-mail (if subscribed), and the COHL website. To receive the quickest possible notifications, the COHL recommends players sign up for our free text message alerts service at www.cohlhockey.com. Players can opt-in to receive text messages on their mobile device and can do so when logged into their player account at www.cohlhockey.com.
A game may be protested only before the start of the game (see exception below) and only by the registered Team Representative with the Official and COHL scorekeeper. The note of protest must be clearly written on the score sheet by the Official. All protests must be followed up with a full description and explanation of the grievance by the Team Representative in writing. Protests received by players that are not Team Representatives will be deemed unacceptable and will not require a response from the COHL. The document must be submitted to the COHL within twenty-four (24) hours after completion of game. No protest will be accepted once the game has started, with one exception: If there are roster discrepancies which the opposing side was not made aware of before the game or Illegal Players as described in this document. Only COHL staff will rule on the validity of the protest and render their decision to both captains within forty-eight (48) hours, or prior to either team's next game, whichever comes first. Protests regarding Officials or their calls will not be accepted.
Playoff qualifications for each division are as follows:
All rostered team members must play in a minimum of four (4) regular season games and must not be currently on suspension and must be in compliance with COHL Rules and Regulations. Teams or Individuals must have paid all outstanding fees and fines in full. Players who decide not to sign-in for any games will not have their attendance recorded for the game.
Players must sign-in for all games. No exceptions.
Playoff format and rules will be made available on our website at www.cohlhockey.com prior to the start of the playoffs.
Teams with Illegal Players will be disqualified. No Exceptions.
Team Representative Responsibilities
Team Representatives have the following responsibilities:
Serve as the Team’s main point of contact with COHL management.
Review and sign this agreement.
Collect Team payments and submit Team fee(s) to COHL.
To ensure each of their players register themselves online (onto their Team roster) before playing in any game. The COHL shall provide Team Representatives with a unique registration URL (link).
Purchase, organize and manage the distribution of their Teams matching jerseys with numbers. The COHL does NOT provide jerseys.
Submission of protests, complaints, or comments to the league, if applicable.
To be the only Team spokesman on the ice and off the ice.
To request Goalie or Player roster additionals after the 2 game deadline expires. Additions to the roster after the 2 game deadline is not guaranteed.
To inform Team players of all existing games and any schedule changes.
To provide COHL with updated contact information including email addresses for him/herself and the assistant/alternate captain.
To inform their Team of all rules and regulations. See Exhibit 1. The most up to date COHL Rules are also available online to view at any time.
Assign his/her responsibilities to the Assistant/Alternate Team Representative when he/she is not available.
Locker Rooms and Showers
If available at the host facility, each team will be allowed into the pre-assigned locker rooms approximately thirty (30) minutes prior to each game and must be out of their assigned locker room twenty (20) minutes after the conclusion of their game. The COHL is not responsible for stolen or lost items anywhere on premises. The COHL strongly recommends that each team locks all doors leading to their locker rooms. If the COHL has to replace or repair any on-site host facilities due to any abuse by a team, that team will be subject to fines and charged for the repairs.
No alcohol may be brought into the host rinks of the COHL. Any alcohol brought into the building or surrounding area owned by a COHL host facility will be confiscated by staff of the host facility and those found bringing alcohol onto the premises will be ejected from the COHL without a refund. Please inform your fans that this rule will be strictly enforced. Players may be subject to suspension or ejection without refund if found to be intoxicated while playing.
Fan and Player Conduct
Players shall be responsible for the behavior of their fans that attend their games, and may be required to provide security during their games if their fans exhibit any disorderly conduct. Any harassment of Officials or COHL Staff will result in immediate removal of the fan(s) or player(s) from the COHL host facility staff. The COHL will fully prosecute any person or persons who exhibit disorderly conduct on or off the ice. Players may be ejected and suspended indefinitely and fans may be banned from the premises at the discretion of the host facility.
Damage to Host Rink or Host Facility
All players of any team in the league are responsible for the cost of any damage to the host facilities of any and all COHL events and games incurred by any member of the team or their fans. Payment for damages must be made prior to the team’s next game. The team cannot play until payment is made. All scheduled games will be subject to forfeit fines as described in this document.
Zamboni Resurfacing Safety
Absolutely no player shall step onto the ice surface while the Zamboni (Ice Resurfacer) is on the ice. If any player violates this rule their team will receive a penalty. The penalty will be assessed at the beginning of the game in the form of a penalty shot by the opposing team, per league playing rules.
General Comments or Complaints (Team Representatives Only)
If you have a complaint or comment regarding an Official, a game, another team, a scorekeeper or a COHL staff member, please have your Team Representative contact us. You must identify yourself. Please be specific if you are referring to a certain person and to the point when formulating your complaint or comment. Phone calls will not be accepted as official comments or complaints. Only written questions, complaints or comments from the team captain or assistant captain will receive a response.
The COHL provides up-to-date league information on our web site at www.cohlhockey.com. The COHL is not responsible for providing game times to players over the phone. Please use the website resources provided.
To ensure the safety and fair play of every member of this league, the COHL reserves the right to add new rules or amend any rule within reasonable terms at any time.
Photography and Film
The COHL reserves the right to take photos and/or film of any of its players and their respective fans and publish them in any COHL materials, both in print and online.
Team Names and Appearance
Team names, logos, and appearances must be professional and acceptable for league play. Team's name, logo(s) and jerseys may be deemed "unacceptable for league play" if any part of its content or design infringes the rights of a third party, including, without limitation, copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, rights of privacy and publicity, is libelous, defamatory or slanderous, condones, promotes, is sexually suggestive or contains explicitly sexual content (including nudity), does or may denigrate or offend any ethnic, racial, gender, religious or other protected group, through use of language, images, stereotypical depiction or otherwise, is designed to or does harass, threaten, defame or abuse others, exploits images or the likeness of minors, encourages or depicts the use of drugs, alcohol or cigarettes or is generally offensive or in bad taste. The league reserves the right to deem any team’s name or logo unacceptable for league play. It is the responsibility of the Team Representative of each team to make sure their team meets these standards. Any team wishing to replace/change their team's name or logo should contact the COHL immediately or visit the contact page at www.cohlhockey.com.