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Coaches Discipline Handbook

The Purpose of this handbook is to provide coaches and managers with necessary information on their responsibilities related to suspensions, sanctioning and game sheets. Hockey Alberta strongly recommends that coaches and managers keep a copy of this handbook with them during all hockey related events and become familiar with it to better work within the rules and regulations of hockey in Alberta.

Responsibilities
Team Officials
It is the responsibility that team officials (coaches/managers) are familiar with Hockey Canada’s Playing Rules and Hockey Alberta’s Minimum Suspension Guidelines. In particular, the registered Head Coach of a team will be held responsible should the Playing Rules or Minimum Suspension Guidelines not be followed.

Team Officials are responsible to ensure team members sit out their appropriate suspension. When in doubt as to the suspension, do not play the suspended player until the decision has been rendered or contact has been made with the appropriate League designate or Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator.

Team Officials are also obligated to submit game sheets within 24 hours to the appropriate Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator or to the appropriate league representative.

Hockey Alberta
The Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator is responsible for issuing and monitoring suspensions in exhibition, tournament play, Provincials and Hockey Alberta Sanctioned Events (i.e. Alberta Cup, Alberta Winter Games, Arctic Winter Games, Canada Winter Games and the Team Alberta Program.

Leagues
The league is responsible for issuing/monitoring suspensions for league play only.

Suspensions
Considered supplementary discipline assessed to Players, Teams and/ Team Officials for enumerated penalties as set forth in the Minimum Suspension Guidelines. For greater certainty, the Minimum Suspension Guidelines are in no way intended to preclude any members, association or league from expanding the categories of penalties for which supplementary discipline may be assessed or from assessing supplementary discipline that exceeds the minimums set out in the Minimum Suspension Guidelines. Hockey Alberta’s Minimum Suspension Guidelines can be found here.

Indefinite Suspensions
As set forth in the Minimum Suspension Guidelines, Indefinite Suspensions are those enumerated penalties that do not have a minimum set forth but require an investigation to take place to determine the appropriate length of suspension. Decisions on indefinite suspensions are render by the Hockey Alberta Office. Any player or team official under indefinite suspension is deemed ineligible to participate until a decision has been rendered and the suspension served in full. Indefinite Suspensions include:
- 2.2 Ineligible Player / Team Official
- 4.1 Pre / Post Game Altercations
- 6.1 Deliberate Injury Match Penalty
- 6.7 Third Fighting Major Accumulation
- 9.2 Harassment of Officials / Unsportsmanlike Conduct Gross Misconduct
- 9.6 Physical Harassment / Match Penalty on Officials
- 9.7 Spitting Match Penalty
- 10.14 Refusing to Start Play
- Accumulation of four (4) Major Penalties
- Accumulation of three (3) Match Penalties
- Accumulation of three (3) Major or Match penalties in any one (1) game

NOTE: Should a player or team official participate in a game when they are not registered / affiliated to that team or are already under suspension, the Head Coach shall be indefinitely suspended under Playing Rule 2.2 Ineligible Players / Team Officials.

Suspension Procedures
The following are the procedures to be followed by Team Officials, League Representatives and Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinators through the serving and administering of suspension due to violations of Hockey Canada’s Playing Rules.

When suspensions are assessed within League, Exhibition, Tournament and Provincial play, it is pertinent that the lines of communication are open and followed properly by all parties. As there are numerous suspensions that overlap between League, Exhibition, Tournament and Provincial Play every season, all parties need to be aware of the suspensions to ensure they are monitored and administered properly.

League Games
During all League Play (Tiering, Regular Season and Playoffs) suspension notifications will be issued by the League for violations of the Hockey Canada Playing Rules.

Immediately following a League game, Team Officials (Coach or Manager) are responsible to submit the game sheet/ report and applicable Official Write Ups to their respective League representative in order to notify them of all infractions that occurred and those that would require supplemental discipline. Once the game sheets and Official Write Ups are received, the following detailed procedure shall be followed:

Indefinite Suspensions
An official “Notice of Suspension” will be issued to the participant, team and Minor Hockey Association by the League representative indicating “Indefinite” on the number of games line.

After reviewing the file to ensure completion, the League will submit the investigation package (game sheet/ report, all write ups and recommendation of discipline) to the respective Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator.

After reviewing the file to ensure completion, and gathering statements from the offending party, the Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will submit to the Hockey Alberta Office for review by the Minor Discipline Chair.

Review of the incident will take place by the Minor Discipline Chair with a final decision on the length of suspension via official letter sent to the participant, Minor Hockey Association, League and Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator from the Hockey Alberta Office

All Other Minimum Suspensions
Using the Minimum Suspension Guidelines and any additional League Regulations, an official “Notice of Suspension” will be issued to the participant, team and Minor Hockey Association with the suspension (number of games) indicated on the number of games line by the League representative.

The completed “Notice of Suspension”, along with the game sheet/ report and all write ups will be forwarded by the League Representative to the Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator.

Exhibition & Provincial Playdown Games
During all Exhibition and Provincial Playdown Games, suspension notifications will be issued by Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator for violations of the Hockey Canada Playing Rules. Please note that the AEHL & AFHL will issue suspensions for exhibition games as the Elite Leagues control all exhibition play for their identified teams.

Immediately following an Exhibition or Provincial Playdown Game, Team Officials (Coach or Manager) are responsible to submit the game sheet/ report and applicable Official Write Ups to their respective Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator via Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal in order to notify them of all infractions that occurred and those that would require supplemental discipline. Once the game sheets and Official Write Ups are received, the following detailed procedure shall be followed:

Indefinite Suspensions
An official “Notice of Suspension” will be issued to the participant, team, Minor Hockey Association and League by Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator indicating “Indefinite” on the number of games line.

After reviewing the file to ensure completion (game sheet/ report, all write ups and recommendation of discipline) and gathering statements from the offending party, the Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will submit to the Hockey Alberta Office for review by the Minor Discipline Chair.

Review of the incident will take place by the Minor Discipline Chair with a final decision on the length of suspension via official letter sent to the participant, Minor Hockey Association, League and Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator from the Hockey Alberta Office.

All Other Minimum Suspensions
Using the Minimum Suspension Guidelines, an official “Notice of Suspension” will be issued to the participant, team and Minor Hockey Association with the suspension (number of games) indicated on the number of games line by the Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator.

The completed “Notice of Suspension”, along with the game sheet/ report and all write ups will be forwarded by Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator to the League Representative.

Tournament Games
During all Tournament Games, suspension notifications will be issued by Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator for violations of the Hockey Canada Playing Rules. Please note that the AEHL & AFHL will issue suspensions for tournament games as the Elite Leagues control all exhibition play for their identified teams. The following detailed procedure shall be followed when administering tournament suspensions:

Indefinite Suspensions
Immediately following the game, an official “Notice of Suspension” will be issued to the participant and team by the tournament committee indicating “Indefinite” on the number of games line.

Following the end of each day of the tournament, the tournament committee will notify their respective Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator of all suspensions by submitting them the Notice of Suspensions, along with the game sheets and official write ups.

In the case of an indefinite suspension occurring on an out of region team, the Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will notify the respective Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator, who will be responsible for taking over the investigation.

After reviewing the file to ensure completion (game sheet/ report, all write ups and recommendation of discipline) and gathering statements from the offending party, the Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will submit to the Hockey Alberta Office for review by the Minor Discipline Chair. The Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will also inform the respective League representative of the ongoing investigation.

Review of the incident will take place by the Minor Discipline Chair with a final decision on the length of suspension via official letter sent to the participant, Minor Hockey Association, League and Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator from the Hockey Alberta Office.

All Other Minimum Suspensions
Immediately following the game, using the Minimum Suspension Guidelines, an official “Notice of Suspension” will be issued to the participant and team by the tournament committee with the suspension (number of games) indicated on the number of games line.

Following the end of each day of the tournament, the tournament committee will notify their respective Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator of all suspensions by submitting them the Notice of Suspensions, along with the game sheets and official write ups

In the case of a suspension occurring on an out of region team, the Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will notify the respective Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator, who will be responsible for the next steps.

The Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will communicate to the respective League representative to report the suspension to ensure that any potential carryover suspensions out of the tournament are dealt with and served.

Following the completion of the tournament, the tournament committee is responsible for uploading all game sheets and official writeups to Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal.

NOTE: Suspensions that occur at a tournament that cannot be served in full at the tournament must be served during the participants next scheduled League, Tournament or Provincial game, which ever occurs first. 

Example: A player receives a three (3) game suspension for a match penalty under Rule 6.3 (c) at a tournament but can only serve two (2) games within the tournament, one (1) game shall carryover to the next League, Tournament or Provincial game. As the suspension has already been issued, the incident needs to be reported to the respective League representative and Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator to ensure the one (1) game carryover suspension can be served. 

Provincial Championship Tournament Games
During all Provincial Championship Tournament Games, suspension notifications will be issued by the Hockey Alberta Representative at each individual tournament for violations of the Hockey Canada Playing Rules. The following detailed procedure shall be followed when administering Provincial Championship Tournament Suspensions:

Indefinite Suspensions
Immediately following the game, an official “Notice of Suspension” will be issued to the participant and team by the Hockey Alberta Representative indicating “Indefinite” on the number of games line.

Following the completion of the tournament, the Hockey Alberta Representative will notify the Hockey Alberta Office and Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinators of all suspensions by submitting them the Notice of Suspensions, along with the game sheets and official write ups.

After reviewing the file to ensure completion (game sheet/ report, all write ups and recommendation of discipline) and gathering statements from the offending party, the Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will submit to the Hockey Alberta Office for review by the Minor Discipline Chair. The Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will also inform the respective League representative of the ongoing investigation.

Review of the incident will take place by the Minor Discipline Chair with a final decision on the length of suspension via official letter sent to the participant, Minor Hockey Association, League and Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator from the Hockey Alberta Office.

All Other Minimum Suspensions
Immediately following the game, using the Minimum Suspension Guidelines, an official “Notice of Suspension” will be issued to the participant and team by the Hockey Alberta Representative with the suspension (number of games) indicated on the number of games line.

Following the completion of the tournament, the Hockey Alberta Representative will notify the Hockey Alberta Office and Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinators of all suspensions by submitting them Notice of Suspensions along with the game sheet and official write ups.

The Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator will communicate to the respective League representative to report the suspension to ensure that any potential carryover suspensions out of the tournament are dealt with and served.

Match Penalty on Official
The Match Penalty on Official/ Physical Harassment of Officials infraction is the most serious rule violation that a player or team official can commit. These infractions occur when a participant threatens or attempts to strike an official; intentionally touches, holds or pushes an official; or intentionally strikes, trips or body checks an official.

Hockey Alberta has identified a panel that conducts investigations and/ or hearings related to all Match Penalty on Official infractions. This panel consists of three (3) people, two appointed as Match Penalty Officers and the other being the specific Division of Hockey Chair responsible for discipline. Hockey Alberta has also appointed two (2) Match Penalty Coordinators, whose job is to help coordinate the investigation and/ or hearing with the Hockey Alberta Office. The following detailed procedure shall be followed when investigating and administering Match Penalty of Official infractions:

- The Match Penalty Coordinator will receive the game sheet and match penalty report from the game official and determine the appropriate classification (9.6 (a),(b), (c), or 9.7).

- The Match Penalty Coordinator will submit all necessary documentation to the Hockey Alberta Office within 48 hours of the incident.

- Upon receipt of all necessary documentation, the Hockey Alberta Office will circulate an official “Notice of Suspension” to the Minor Hockey Association, League and accused advising of the match penalty on official infraction indicating “Indefinite” on the number of games line. The accused will be allowed to provide a written statement along with any witness statements.

- The Hockey Alberta Office will schedule a formal hearing to take place with the Match Penalty Officers, accused and game officials in which the infraction took place.

- Upon completion of the hearing, the Match Penalty Officers will submit their final decision on the length of suspension within 48 hours to the Hockey Alberta Office, who will send the decision letter to the accused, minor hockey association and league.

Rule 4.6(c) - Game Misconduct in the last 10 minutes
Any player or team official who is  assessed a Game Misconduct penalty in the last ten (10) minutes of regulation time, at any time in overtime, or after the conclusion of the game and prior to the player or team official entering their dressing room, shall automatically be suspended a minimum of the next league, tournament or provincial game plus the minimum suspension, if applicable.

Example: A player receives a two-minute minor plus game misconduct for checking from behind with 5:36 left in the third period of regulation play. This player shall be suspended for one (1) game under Playing Rule 4.6 (c) for receiving a game misconduct in the last ten (10) minutes of regulation play.

Early Season End Suspensions
Any player who has not served a suspension from the current playing season may request in writing through their Minor Hockey Association to the Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator to have that suspension served in an exhibition game(s) if it cannot be served in League, Tournament or Provincial Play at seasons end. Please note that this only applies to players and may not be requested by Team Officials.

Any player incurring a suspendable infraction with either their registered team or affiliated team is suspended from all sanctioned hockey games until the suspension is served with the team they are registered with. If that team is finished hockey for the season, this player would be allowed to serve such suspension with their affiliated team. The player and the suspension must be listed on all game sheets.

Example: A U15 player receives a two-game suspension for a slew-footing match penalty under rule 7.4 (b) in his teams last game of the season (League, Tournament and Exhibition). However, this player is affiliated to a U18 team, whose season has not yet ended, so the player would be eligible to serve their two-game suspension with this U18, affiliated team.

Carry Over Suspensions & Suspension Deferrals
Carry over suspensions occur when a player or team official has not served a suspension from the previous season. As all suspensions must be served in full, any participant with a carryover suspension would be required to serve the remainder of the suspension at the start of the new hockey season.

Should a player have a carryover suspension, they may request in writing through their Minor Hockey Association to the Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator to have the suspension deferred for any Exhibition, Pre-Season, Tiering or Tournament game for a maximum of three (3) games with any one team prior to October 15th. Please note the following with regards to suspension deferrals:

- Suspension Deferral Application must be used when requesting. Suspension Deferral Application can be found here

- Only apply to the current team a player is evaluating with. Should the player be released from those evaluations, they must submit a separate suspension deferral for the next team they evaluate with.

- Deferred games will not count as games served. Once the deferred games are played, the player must serve their suspension.

- Only applies to players. Team officials are not eligible to apply for a suspension deferral should they have a carryover suspension from the previous season.

Pre-Season Suspensions
Any player who received a suspension in a Pre-Season Game may request in writing through their Minor Hockey Association to the Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator to have the suspension(s) served in the next Pre-Season game(s). The Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator may approve or deny such requests or request a suspension deferral application. Please note that this only applies to players and may not be requested by Team Officials. 

Serving Suspensions
When a player or team official receives a suspension, they are required to serve the suspension during the next scheduled League, Tournament or Provincial game. Exhibition games cannot be used to serve suspension, unless the infraction occurred within the Intro to Hockey divisions (Initiation or Novice).

Note: Exhibition games do not count as suspended games. Players cannot play exhibition games while serving a suspension.

Example: A players receives a two (2) game suspension, but their next scheduled game is an exhibition game. This player would be required to sit out the exhibition game, as the suspension must be served in League, Tournament or Provincial games.

Exception: Players registered in the Intro to Hockey divisions (Initiation or Novice) can use exhibition games to serve suspensions. 

Game Sheet / Reports
Game sheets / reports are the official tracking document of a hockey game. Head Coaches / Managers are responsible to fill out game sheets/ reports for their team properly to ensure the proper tracking of players statistics and suspensions. When filling out a game sheet/ report, please ensure the following:

- If a player or team official is serving a suspension, please write “SUSP” along with the suspension game number being served. Do not cross out the player or team officials name on the game sheet/ report. Example: A player is serving the first game of a two-game suspension. The following would be written beside their name, John Smith SUSP 1/2.

- If a player or team official will not be participating with the team for a game and is not under suspension, their name should be crossed out on the game sheet/ report. Example: John Smith

- If a player has been approved for Hockey Alberta Overage status, please write “OA” beside their name for any games that they participate in. Example: John Smith OA.

Sanctioning & E-Game Sheets
Prior to the participation in a tournament or exhibition game, all minor hockey teams registered with Hockey Alberta are required to obtain to appropriate sanctioning from their Hockey Alberta Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator.

Should a team / association host a tournament or exhibition game, they require a Tournament or Exhibition Game Sanction. A team travelling to participate in a tournament or exhibition game hosted by another minor hockey association require a travel permit. Sanctions and permits can be requested online by the minor hockey association using Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal.

Home/ host teams of an exhibition game or tournament will be required to upload their game sheet(s) within 24 hours from the completion of the game(s) to the Centre Ice Portal e-game sheet platform.

Note: Exhibition/Tournament Sanctions along with Travel Permits can only be requested for games played against other teams sanctioned through Hockey Alberta or Hockey Canada’s member branches. Games against programs considered unsanctioned (HSL, PHL etc..) will not be permitted.

Exhibition Game Sanctions
Teams hosting an exhibition game are required to obtain an “Exhibition Game Sanction” through their minor hockey association, who will do so using Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal. The following detailed procedure shall be followed when requesting an Exhibition Game Sanction:

- Request an exhibition game sanction from your local minor hockey association. Please provide them the date, location, time and opponent.

- Using Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal, the local minor hockey association will request the Exhibition Game Sanction, providing the date, location, time and opponent. Once requested, the Centre Ice Portal will automatically approve the sanction, sending an approval email to those listed by the association in the sanction.

- Once the approval email is received, the host team or minor hockey association will need to provide the sanction number provided to the opponent so they can request their travel permit.

- Following the completion of the game, the home team and / or minor hockey association must upload the game sheet and penalties within 24 hours to the Centre Ice Portal e-game sheet platform. Access to the e-game sheet platform can be found via the Exhibition Game Sanction approval email.

Tournament Sanctions
Teams hosting a tournament are required to obtain a “Tournament Sanction” through their minor hockey association, who will do so using Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal. The following detailed procedure shall be followed when requesting a Tournament Sanction:

- Request a tournament sanction from your local minor hockey association. Please provide them the dates, location and if out of province teams will be attending.

- Using Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal, the local minor hockey association will request the Tournament Sanction, providing the dates and location. Once requested, notification will be sent to Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator for approval. Once approved, an email will be sent to those listed on the sanction.

- Once approval is received, the host team and/ or minor hockey association will need to provide the tournament sanction number provided to all teams playing to attend the tournament so they can request their travel permits.

- Following the completion of the tournament, the host team and/ or minor hockey association must upload the game sheets and penalties from all games within 24 hours to the Centre Ice Portal e-game sheet platform. Access to the e-game sheet platform can be found via the Tournament Sanction approval email.

Travel Permits
Teams travelling outside of their minor hockey association to participate in an exhibition game or tournament are required to obtain a “Travel Permit” through their minor hockey association, who will do so using Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal. The following detailed procedure shall be followed when requesting a Travel Permit:

- Request a travel permit from your local minor hockey association. Please provide them the date(s), location, number of games and the tournament/ exhibition game sanction number (obtained by the home/ host team).

- Using Hockey Alberta’s Centre Ice Portal, the local minor hockey association will request the Travel Permit, providing the date(s), location, number of games and tournament/ exhibition game sanction number. Once requested, notification will be sent to Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator for approval. Once approved, an email will be sent to those listed on the sanction.

E-Game Sheets
Hockey Alberta requires that teams and minor hockey associations hosting an exhibition game or tournament submit all game sheets to Hockey Alberta within 24 hours of completion using the Centre Ice Portal e-game sheet platform.

Through the submission of game sheets, Hockey Alberta can properly track any suspendable infraction and ensure that suspensions are being served in full. To aid teams and minor hockey associations during the submission process, Hockey Alberta has created a user guide on use of the e-game sheet platform. Please fund the E-Game Sheet User Guide here.

Note: Should a team or minor hockey association fail to submit their game sheet(s) within 24 hours of completion, Hockey Alberta reserves the right to with hold future sanctioning for the entire minor hockey association until compliance is met.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. If I don’t hear from the league or Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator regarding a suspension, does that mean that the suspension was not warranted, and the player can resume playing?

Answer: No, should this occur, it is the team managers/ coach’s responsibility to contact the League or Hockey Alberta’s Regional Service Area Minor Discipline Coordinator to discover the suspension and ensure the participant serves the appropriate length of suspension.

2. If I am an official, am I allowed to officiate games while under suspension?

Answer: No, those under suspension who are also game officials are required to serve their suspension in full with the team they received the suspension before being allowed to once again officiate games.

3. As a team official or player, am I allowed to be near the team’s dressing room while under suspension?

Answer: No, suspended team officials and players cannot be present in their team’s dressing room prior to, during or following the game(s) they are suspended or near the player’s bench and timekeepers’ box.