Discipline, Discipline Code and Reporting

Hockey is a contact sport. Penalties will occur and serious penalties – for the most part, those which jeopardize the safety of a player and/or officials - will draw suspensions and, depending on the severity, other disciplinary measures.

The ODMHA Code of Discipline (see Appendix 23 – ODHA Code of Discipline) applies to all play within the District for both House League and Competitive levels. A copy of the Document should be retained within your Team Binder for ready reference, and referred to when needed. (see Appendix 23 - ODMHA Code of Discipline). Suspensions which occur elsewhere (i.e. another District, another Province or the U.S) are fall under the Code of Discipline of that jurisdiction if equal to or more severe than the ODMHA Code or the ODMHA Code, if less. All suspensions, regardless as to where they occur, must be reported through the designated OMHA Situation Report process.

The Fair Play Code for Parents and Guardians as set out by Hockey Canada is agreed to by all Parents and Guardians at the time of player registration in a document entitled “Fair Play Pledge”. This Code along with the Constitution, By-laws, Rules, Regulations and decisions as set by the Orleans Minor Hockey Association and the Gloucester Hockey Association governs the actions of Parents and Guardians while at the rink. Violation of any of the principles and policies is taken extremely seriously by all concerned and can generate ejection from the rink by on-ice Officials and, in extreme cases, banishment from all further team activities including games, practices and other team activities (see Appendix 17 – GHA/OMHA Fair Play Pledge).

In all cases where an incident occurs on-ice causing the ejection of a player or Team Official (Coach, Assistant Coach, Trainer or Team Manager) from the game that warrants a suspension either under the ODMHA Code of Discipline or that of another District, the incident is to be reported within 24 hours by the Team Manager, in writing, to the Discipline Chair of both the OMHA and the GHA. An OMHA Situation Report is to be completed for this purpose and forwarded, along with a copy of the game sheet for the match concerned, to each of the Discipline Chairs indicating clearly the details surrounding the incident and the resulting action intended to be taken (see Appendix 18 – OMHA Situation Report). Scanning and emailing the required documentation is acceptable for meeting this requirement.


All incidents resulting in a game misconduct, a gross misconduct or a match penalty normally result in a suspension. The typical infractions which lead to this result include (but are not limited to) –

  • major penalties,
  • fighting,
  • checking from behind,
  • head checking,
  • abuse of officials, and
  • unsportsmanlike conduct

The OMHA Discipline Chair will review the incident, as reported, and determine whether or not further action (i.e. hearing, appeal etc.) than that identified within the Report needs to be taken (i.e. OMHA hearing, enhanced suspension etc.).

He will confer with the GHA Discipline Chair, if necessary. The OMHA Discipline Chair will advise should further action be necessary. For further information on Disciplinary hearings and appeal, refer to the ODMHA Rules and Bylaws which may be accessed through the ODMHA branch website – www.odmha.on.ca.

NOTE - if a player is suspended for a game, they are not allowed on the bench while they are suspended. They are to sit in the stands.

Referees typically sign off on all game sheets and indicate game misconducts with a GM followed by a number; for example, ‘GM30’). However, occasionally Referees fail to make such notations. Confusion results. It is thus extremely important to clarify the situation while it is fresh in everyone’s mind.

If you are not sure if the infraction warrants a suspension:

  • During the game – the Coach may call the referee to the bench and ask for clarification.

  • After the game – you as Team Manager should visit the referee dressing room and request clarification. Ensure the game sheet has the correct infraction marked by the Referee prior to leaving the rink.

Remember, you are asking for a clarification on the infraction, not the suspension. The suspension is determined by the ODMHA Code of Discipline and will be confirmed by the OMHA Discipline Chair upon review of the documentation forwarded (Situation Report and Game Sheet) via return email. Thus, it is extremely important that you forward the documentation within 24 hours OR before your next game if it occurs in less than 24 hours.

Note: Allowing a suspended player to play in the next game results in a 5 game suspension to the coach.

Suspensions incurred during a game are to be served during the next ‘meaningful’ game. “Meaningful” games comprise regular season league games, tournament games and playoff games. They do not include exhibition games or practices.

Thus, if a suspension occurs as a result of a league game immediately prior to a tournament, the next meaningful game will be the first game of the tournament. If a suspension occurs as a result of the first tournament game, the first meaningful game will be the second tournament game.

If a suspension occurs as a result of the last tournament game, the first meaningful game will be the next league game or the first game of the next tournament, whichever comes first. Exhibition games do not qualify as a ‘meaningful’ game. The player may also participate in practices and other team activities while serving out the suspension.

When a suspension during a tournament game within the ODMHA occurs, the ODMHA Code of Discipline will apply and the OMHA reporting process will apply (see Discipline section below).

When a suspension during a tournament game outside of the ODMHA occurs, the Code of Discipline within the sanctioning District shall apply if equal to or more severe than that of the ODMHA. If less severe, the Code of Discipline of the ODMHA shall apply. In all cases, the OMHA reporting process will apply (see Discipline section below).

Questions often arise as to whether or not a player is to receive a suspension when a Misconduct (M) penalty is assessed. In short, a Misconduct received in a game, does not warrant a game suspension. However, a suspension shall be incurred should the same player receive a second Misconduct in the same match. At all times when a Game Misconduct (GM) penalty is assessed, the receiving player will also be served a suspension of some duration depending on the nature of the occurrence.