Rules and Regulations

The rules and regulations strive to create a more competitive, enjoyable and balanced divisional structure and tournament weekend. 


Each team is guaranteed a minimum of four (4) games. 


A1.      Teams will consist of: 

  • A maximum of 10 players (goalies are considered players)    

  • A maximum of two (2) bench personnel 

    • Bench personnel are optional and MUST be 18 years of age or older

  • There is no longer a minimum number of players required for teams


A2.      Players will play for only one (1) team during the tournament weekend.


A3.      Players listed on the first game sheet will be considered the “official roster” for each team.  Roster changes CANNOT be made for the remainder of the tournament.  Open Ice may use discretion regarding goalies if needed.


A4.     After filling in your first game sheet and prior to your FIRSTgame, Open Ice officials will review your roster to ensure roster and player eligibility.  Proof of birth year, previous year carding and/or caliber must be provided at that time.  Please be prepared. (Printed / Online rosters are acceptable proof of carding / caliber)


A4.      NORTHSTAR DIVISIONS Tyke and Novice (Minor & Major) aged players will play in an open division with players born in the same year (or younger). There are no roster restrictions, aside from Rule A1.



All non “AAA” or “AA” players are invited to play in this division without restrictions, including “A” and “Select” players. 


*New* “A” players are restricted to 3 per team (with the exception of the Midget division). 


Teams in the “Thunderbird” divisions CANNOT INCLUDE ANY players who were carded members of “AAA” or “AA” teams during the most recent hockey season. 


Players or teams from smaller cities/centers that compete on/as “travel teams” are strongly encouraged to register in their respective Greyhound division.



Teams will consist of a maximum of three (3) carded members of “AAA” or “AA” teams during the most recent hockey season.


A7.      MIDGET DIVISION – Major Jr. or Jr. players (ex. CHL, NOJHL, Jr. A, Jr. B, Jr. C, GMHL, NCAA, U-Sports, etc.) regardless of age CANNOT play in this division.  

*New* Highschool players must compete in the Greyhound division.


Players “called-up” to participate at the Major Jr. or Jr. level (examples above) but are not part of the regular roster in the previous season are eligible to play in the Midget Division (Please provide proof and disclose this information when verifying your roster with Open Ice officials prior to your first game)




MEN'S DIVISION – No roster restrictions, aside from Rule A1.


*New* All men’s teams will compete in one division. The men’s division will not be broken into Rec or Open.

*New* WOMEN'S DIVISIONS -There are four (4) Women's divisions:  

Fun Division  -Fun league Sault Ste. Marie women's league (WHL) players only.
Beer Division - Beer and/or Fun league Sault Ste. Marie women's hockey league (WHL) players only.
Middle Division - REC - No Sault Ste. Marie Big League players.
Open Division - COMPETITIVE - All Sault Ste. Marie Big League players must play in Open. No other restrictions apply.

Fun and Beer league teams may add non-experienced (players that have never played or don't play in a league regularly) players to their rosters with special permission.

Travelling Teams & Non WHL Teams must play in either the Middle or Open Division, as described above.

Women's Goalie Rule - players wanting to play goalie that "don't regularly play goalie" will be allowed to play goalie in lower divisions with special permission. 


A9.      Female Players

CARDING:  All female players are eligible to complete in the Thunderbird division, if they choose, regardless of individual player carding during the regular season division.


AAA, AA or A carded female players do not count towards their team’s maximum of three (3) AAA, AA or A carded team members.


DIVISION:  Female players participating in Greyhound or Thunderbird divisions of the tournament may, if they choose, compete at in an age division up to 1 year younger (maximum) than their birth year age group.

*New* Female players participating in an age division up to 1 year younger (maximum) than their birth year age group must compete in the Greyhound division.


A10.    “Greyhound” level teams must compete in the “Greyhound” division even if they choose to compete in an older age category.


A11.    “Thunderbird” level teams may compete in the “Thunderbird” division or the “Greyhound” division of their age group or an older age category. 


A12.    Players must play in the division where the year of their birth is the same or earlier than that of the oldest player on his/her team’s roster. Teams must register/play in the division of the oldest rostered player. 'AA' and 'AAA' restrictions still apply, regardless of age see Rule A6 and A7.


A13.    If an insufficient number of teams are registered for any age group or division, Open Ice representatives will suggest alternative categories for teams wishing to still take part in the tournament.


A14.   *New* The number of teams accepted may be limited to accommodate scheduling and ice time availability.




B1.      The game sheet MUST:

  • Be filled out and signed 15 minutes prior to game time 

  • Games may start 10 minutes prior to scheduled time at the referees’ discretion

  • List the players in the order that they would take penalty shots at the end of regulation time and may be filled out in a different order for each game if you choose


B2.      Teams that do not fill out game sheets 15 minutes prior to game time will:

  • have players randomly listed by an Open Ice 3-on-3 representative AND  

  • will be assessed one (1) penalty (resulting in an additional penalty shot at the end of the game).


B3.      Teams are to supply their own matching jerseys. If a contrast of colours occurs, 3-on-3 will provide jerseys / pinnies and a coin toss will determine who will change colours.



Full CSA approved equipment MUST be worn by ALL male & female participants in the Northstar, Thunderbird and Greyhound divisions up to and including the Midget / High School age group.


            Men’s and Women’s Open & Rec. – Helmets are mandatory.  Open Ice 3-on-3 very STRONGLY RECOMMENDSthat full CSA equipment is worn but is at the discretion of the player. 




C1.      Games consist of two 12-minute periods - straight running time.


C2.      There will be NO BODY CHECKING.


C3.      Slap shots are allowed.


C4.      The only face-offs will be at the start of each period. If the puck leaves the playing surface, play will commence with the team that did not cause the puck to go out being awarded possession in the neutral zone or their own end, whichever applies.


C5.      There will be NO ICING called.


C6.      No stick or equipment measurements will be allowed.  


C7.      After:

  • A goal is scored or; 

  • The goalie freezes the puck or; 

  • An offside at the blue line


the referee will blow the whistle.  The formerly attacking team must immediately vacate the zone & tag up at the blue line together.   They CANNOT play the puck until the puck clears the blue line ORuntil they have all tagged-up. For contravention of this rule the offending team will be assessed a “delay of game” penalty.


C8.      MAXIMUM 7-GOAL DIFFERENTIAL - At no time during a game will the scoreboard display more than a seven (7) goal spread.  The 7-goal differential will also be used on tournament standing boards and in tournament statistics. Score sheets (game sheets) will continue to count the actual score for recording purposes only.  Upon completion of the round-robin portion of the tournament, team goal-averages will be calculated using the 7-goal differential score only.

C9.      PENALTIES / PENALTY SHOTS - For any penalty or infraction, time will NOTbe served. Penalties will result in one (1) penalty shot per infraction for the opposing team.  For each infraction after 5 penalties, the opposing team will receive two (2) penalty shots per penalty.  All penalty shots will be taken at the end of the game.


C10.   When a penalty or infraction occurs the game official (referee) will signal the timekeeper and point to the offending team's bench.  All penalties will be “whistled” immediately (no delays) except in a direct scoring opportunity for the non-penalized team.  The offending player must immediately go directly to his team bench. As the offending player reaches the bench he/she will be replaced with another team-mate on the ice.  The puck will then be turned over to the non-offending team in their defensive or neutral zone (whichever is nearest to where play was stopped) and game play will resume.   


C11.   Penalty shots: Players will shoot in the order that they are listed on the game sheet at the end of regulation time.  Teams will take all of their penalty shots consecutively.  The team with fewer goals at the end of regulation time will shoot ALLof their penalty shots first - regardless of the score differential.  If the score is tied at the end of regulation time, the visiting team will shoot first. Penalty shots will then only be taken by the “winning” team if necessary and until the 7-goal maximum is reached. 


C12.   FORFEIT: The score of 2-0 will be awarded to the winning team in the event of forfeit.


C13.   Ice-conditions and ice-flood decisions will be made solely at the discretion of tournament Referees, Open Ice Representatives or Off-Ice Officials.


C14.   Absolutely NO PROFANITY or abuse of officials will be tolerated. Contravention of this rule will result in expulsion from the tournament.


C15.   The Open Ice 3 on 3 Committee and tournament officials reserve the right to eject any player or team from the tournament resulting from unsportsmanlike play.  Anyone who is assessed a major or misconduct penalty, will be expelled for the balance of the tournament.


C16.   Ejected Bench Personnel will result in both coaches being expelled for the balance of the tournament. As a result, that team CANNOT replace either ejected coach and will play without any Bench Personnel for the remainder of the tournament.




D1.      Tie games will remain ties in the round robin games. 



D2.      Points will be awarded to team on the basis of: 

  • Two (2) per win 

  • One (1) per tie 

  • Zero (0) for a loss. 


D3.      Any ties in the standings at the end of round robin play will be broken as follows:

  1. Number of wins 

  2. Head-to-head (does not apply to 3 teams or more) 

  3. Goals average - (total goals for) divided by (total goals for + total goals against) 

  4. Fewest penalties overall 

  5. Coin toss


D4.      Penalty shots will not be taken following elimination play-off games if the game outcome cannot be affected.


D5.      During playoff games, penalty shots will be used to break ties. Teams will alternate taking penalty shots, one per team, until the game is decided. The shooting order will continue after all game awarded penalty shots are taken (if necessary). The next listed player after the last penalty shooter will shoot and continue to rotate through the order.




E1.      Any protests must be submitted in writing within one (1) hour of competition of the game being protested. A deposit of $250.00 must accompany each protest. It will be returned if the protest is upheld and forfeited if the protest is denied. The Tournament Committee’s decisions are final and binding. 


E2.      Referees calls are not subject to protests.


E3.      Roster protests will be accepted, however please note that ALL rosters are reviewed and verified by tournament officials prior to every first game.  


E4.      The tournament committee reserves the right to accept or reject any or all entries; to make decisions regarding placement of teams and objections or protests involving any conduct in the Tournament; and as such all decisions shall be final.


SECTION F              Open Ice 3-on-3 Hockey REFUND POLICY


F1.   A full refund of team registration fees will be given only if the tournament or the division selected is cancelled.

  1. No refunds - After the official registration deadline

  2. No refunds - Due to defaulted, cancelled or rescheduled games. 

  3. No refunds - Due to injuries

  4. No refunds - When teams or individuals are suspended or ejected from the tournament

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2020 Open Ice 3on3 Rules and Regulations