Sportsmanship Rules

The following section is mandatory for all coaches and officials to be aware of.

Mercy Rule re: Goal Spread (Applicable to All Levels)

A seven (7) goal spread will invoke the NCRRL Mercy Rule.

When (at any point during the game) a seven (7) goal spread is realized, the following actions will be taken:

  1. Referee will still go to the Timekeeper’s Bench and report the goal as before, the goal will be recorded on the game sheet, but the scoreboard will not be updated to reflect the goal.
  2. Play will start as normal with a free pass at centre ice.
  3. If the team behind in the score does score to close the gap, ONLY goals scored AFTER THAT by the leading team will be reflected on the scoreboard, again until a seven (7) goal spread is reached (and the above rule starts over).
  4. If there is a seven (7) goal differential in the second period of the game, the clock will go to running time until the differential is reduced.
  5. The referee will note in the comments on the Game Sheet that the Mercy Rule was applied at SOME point in the game.

If a coach recognizes that they will likely invoke the mercy rule at any point in the game, strategies for not running up the score should be considered.

In the interest of ensuring that ice allocations are not wasted, either coach can request to the referee that running time not be invoked to ensure that full ice time is used for the entire 50-minute allocation. This is a noted deviation from the RO rules and is to be applied specifically for the NCRRL only.

Sportsmanship Rule for FUN3, U12, and all B and C teams, U14 to U19

The sportsmanship rule is in effect in the NCRRL in an effort to prevent stronger teams from scoring excessive goals against weaker ones.  If there is a goal spread of eight (8) or more on the game sheet, the sportsmanship rule is invoked.

Any coach whose team has the sportsmanship rule applied against them should expect an inquiry from the league to explain the game result and corrective measures they will take to ensure this doesn’t occur again.

Any coach whose team was losing and deliberately attempted to increase the goal spread beyond seven (7) goals to penalize the other team should expect an inquiry from the league.

Note: Should the losing team score against themselves; the above sanctions will not apply.  In situations where the team trailing by seven (7) goals deliberately lets the ring cross the goal line or scores on themselves to increase the goal spread beyond seven (7) goals, the referee will have full discretion to determine if the team deliberately scored on themselves or allowed the goal in an attempt to penalize the opposing team. If the referee determines that this was the case, it will be noted in the Gamesheet application and it will not result in a league inquiry.


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