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North East Field Hockey Association
League Rules -
last updated 9/6/2014



A North East Field Hockey Association (“NEFHA”) club will be permitted to field a team in any NEFHA organized or sanctioned game or event if it is in good financial standing with both NEFHA and the United States Field Hockey Association (“USFHA”).


1.  Each player must be a member (in good financial standing) with both NEFHA and USFHA and be affiliated to one club in the NEFHA league.

2. (i) A player may only be affiliated with one club throughout a season.  

2.  (ii) However, this section (b) does not preclude a player who is new to the league from playing a maximum of two games for a club and then switching clubs. Such a switch may only be made once, and if a player decides to make such a switch s/he will inform both the NEFHA secretary and the two clubs involved.

2. (iii) An exception to this rule will be made for Goalkeepers, who may play for separate clubs in the Men’s and Women’s competition. However, a Goalkeeper may only play for ONE (their registered) club in the respective competitions.

2. (iv) Women, whose clubs do not have an associated Men’s team may play for a different Men’s club team, so long as they are appropriately registered.

2. (v) In all other circumstances, an exception of an extreme nature to section (2)(i) will be considered by the Executive Committee pursuant to section B) 3 below.

3. With the exception of a situation mentioned under section 2.(ii) above, any player wishing to switch club affiliation must first submit a written request to the NEFHA Secretary. He should name the two clubs involved and give a brief statement explaining the reason for the switch. The Secretary will immediately inform the club which the player intends to leave of the intended change. This is to ensure that all financial obligations have been fulfilled. The NEFHA will not permit the change if the financial obligations are not fulfilled. Lack of an answer from the “former” club within a reasonable period of time will be considered approval of the player’s intentions.


NEFHA rents fields for league games. A maximum number of games are scheduled per day. It is only possible to play all games scheduled if games start on time. If the first game starts late, the last game will also start late. Often the field is rented by other clubs (soccer, football) who will take possession of the field at their scheduled time. Therefore, often the teams playing the last game of the day are penalized by earlier teams not showing up on time.

For these reasons, the following rules apply:
1. Every team should be present at the field half an hour prior to their scheduled time. This will allow time to warm up, prepare the game form, as well as assist with setting up of the field. If necessary, each team will assemble one goal and prepare the necessary markings on the field on one half.
2. Match forms must be submitted prior to the start of the game.
3. An official game will begin when each team has a minimum of seven eligible players on the field, ready to play, at the scheduled time. A non-complying team will forfeit the game to the opponent with a score of 0-3. A reasonable delay may be permitted by the umpires but no longer than seven and a half (7.5) minutes. If both teams are in non-compliance, the game may be played in the remaining scheduled time but the score will not be used when compiling team standings.
4. If a game cannot start on time because of field or goal unavailability, the game will begin either as indicated by the appointed league official or by the game umpire, preferably within five (5) minutes of the time of field availability.
5. A team that forfeits a game, will be charged the cost of the field rental for that game, and will pay these charges upon demand by NEFHA.
6. If a club forfeits three or more matches in one half season, all matches for that half season will be considered a 0-3 loss.
7. If a team withdraws part way through the first half of the season, all results in the first half will be stricken. If a team pulls out part way through the second half, any second half results will be stricken, however any first half results will be retained provided that the team has played every opponent an equal number of times. If the team did not play all opponents an equal number of times, then all the season’s results will be stricken.
8. Each team in a game consists of a maximum of 18 players.
9. If games start late, they will be reduced in time by the amount of time the game starts late. i.e Half time will always be on time, and the games will always finish at the allotted time, irrespective of if a full game has been played.


In addition to their responsibilities described in the USFHA rules, they must:
1.  Ensure their players know and understand the rules.
2.  Maintain order and discipline in their team and assist the NEFHA officials/umpires in any way possible.
3.  Provide 3 game balls if not supplied by NEFHA.  
4.  Provide umpires (see Section E).
5.  Ensure that their team helps with setting up and taking down of goals and general field preparations if requested.
6.  Submit a completed match form before the game (See Section C(b))

Umpires will be assigned by NEFHA. IF there are no umpires at starting time, captains of the two playing teams will appoint umpires:
1. If there are no umpires at all, each team will provide one umpire.
2. If there is only one NEFHA umpire, each team provides one umpire for one half of the game unless both captains agree to having a single umpire for the match.
3. If there is a dispute, the team first mentioned on the schedule will provide the umpire for the first half, the other team for the second half of the game.
4. Umpire decisions are final. Complaints to be made to assigned official and NEFHA following the game – decisions will not be reversed on the day.

Game forms are supplied by the NEFHA Technical Director (“TD”) to team captains before each game.
1. Before the start of the game, each captain is responsible for accurately and legibly completing their section of the game form.
2. After the game, the umpire will fill in the score. It is the captain or managers job to ensure that the score is correct, cards (green, yellow, and red) have been assigned correctly, and if they deem everything to be correct to sign the form.
3. Umpires are responsible for returning the game form to the NEFHA TD secretary
4. It is the responsibility of the TD to keep accurate records and to update the website in an accurate and timely manner.

1. Team colors must be consistent with the colors agreed upon with NEFHA.
2. If two teams have similar uniforms, the team mentioned first on the schedule will wear a contrasting color.
3. A player’s shirt must have a number.
4. A player should use the same number throughout the season where possible.
5. No two players on the same team may have the same number.
6. While not on the field of play during a match, players must wear a different colored shirt.

Players are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules and in the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play. Umpires will be strict in enforcing the rules, and NEFHA will monitor players’ conduct by tracking green, yellow and red cards issued.

Yellow Card Offences
A yellow card offence is one for which a player receives a temporary suspension from participating in a match. A player who receives multiple yellow cards may be subject to a limited period of suspension as determined by the NEFHA executive committee.

Red Card Offences
A red card offence is one for which a player is suspended from further participation in a match.
The award of a red card will be reported to the NEFHA executive committee and results in an automatic one match ban. If it is determined by the executive committee that further disciplinary action is called for, a disciplinary committee will be convened to hear evidence from the officials present at the game and from the player awarded the card. The disciplinary committee will make a determination as to the appropriate disciplinary action and the NEFHA executive committee will inform the player in writing within two weeks of the hearing date. The player will be suspended from playing in any NEFHA sanctioned games and events until he/she is informed of the executive committee’s decision.
A disciplinary action will typically be a suspension from playing for a consecutive number of scheduled games and will be determined using the following guidelines.

No Violence          Violence Offered                             Violence Given
                         To Player               To Umpire             To Player               To Umpire
1 game                2 matches             4 matches             5 matches             10 matches

Player includes a team coach, manager, physio and spectators.

For second and subsequent red card offences committed within any 12 month period the minimum penalty imposed shall be at least double the penalty recommended above. Not withstanding the guidelines above, the disciplinary committee may assess any other penalty and/or restriction deemed commensurate with the player’s misconduct.

The NEFHA Secretary is responsible for scheduling any changes in dates, venues, and times of games. Cancellations will be issued by the secretary only. Teams should communicate on this subject directly with the Secretary. In the event a team must forfeit they must provide notice to the Secretary at least 72 hours prior to the game. In the event that a Secretary has not been elected they must inform a member of the Executive Committee.

1. According to its constitution, NEFHA will organize a series of games to determine The League Champions.  The league winner may represent NEFHA in the National Club Championship.
2. NEFHA may also organize a tournament, “The Playoffs”, to close the end of the league year and determine the League Playoff Champions.
3. Playoff eligibility: A player (including a goalkeeper) is eligible to participate in the playoffs for a given team so long as he or she has played the requisite number of games for that team throughout the course of the whole season. That number of games is based upon the maximum number of teams of the same gender participating in the league during that season as follows:


Total number of teams Minimum Number of Games

Total number of teams

Minimum Number of Games

6 or less












12 or more



4. Should the National Club Championship allow more than one entry from NEFHA, the team winning the “playoffs” will be the second team to represent NEFHA.

NEFHA is an organization consisting of clubs and individual members whose objective is to enjoy and further the game of hockey. Individuals are asked to perform official functions and give their time and effort freely to further the cause of hockey in the USA. Therefore protests against decisions of such individuals are strongly discouraged.
However, it is recognized that there should be a formal way to launch and handle a protest.
1. Protests can only be made by Clubs in good financial standing
2. Protests should be made in writing to the Secretary of NEFHA within 48 hours of the time that the protested event occurred.
The President of NEFHA, or through appointing an individual or committee, will address the protest and investigate the issue at hand.
The Committee or individual charged with the investigation will submit a conclusion and recommendation to the Executive Committee of NEFHA which will decide on the protest. The decision of the Executive Committee is final and binding to all parties involved.

Clubs may field multiple teams, each of which will be afforded equal league rights provided the following rules are satisfied.

1. A minimum of fourteen (14) different players must be registered for each team.

2. A minimum of seven (7) players must be registered on the frozen team list for the "first" team of the club and these players are ineligible to play on another team within the club.

3. Players not frozen in the "first" team are eligible to play 3 games in each half of the season in the "first" team.

4. Upon completion of a fourth game for the "first" team in the club within one half of the season, a non-frozen player immediately becomes a frozen player in that team for the remainder of the whole season.

5. Games between the first and second teams of a club do not count towards the eligibility games described in c. and d.

6. Clubs wishing to change any of their designated players must notify the league at least a week in advance of the Clubs next scheduled game.

7. The penalties for not subscribing to these rules will be league points docked – 3 for the first offense, and 3 for each subsequent offense.

8.  A visiting “one-off” appearance for a team will need to be communicated to the VP of Development before the Wednesday preceding the game. This player will then only be allowed to play subsequent games via a formal registration request to the NEFHA committee.

9. Each club must specify one GK for their team for registration.
The frozen rules will no longer apply to GKs and women keepers from other clubs can play for men's teams (not vice versa). Any player who plans to play for a team should still be submitted on the roster in the normal manner.

2014 Season Update: If your club has multiple teams the first team should highlight 7 frozen players on their roster, requiring that those 7 be subjectively your best and play at least one game by the calendar midpoint of the season. If your frozen players have not completed a single game then the players on your team that have completed the most games replace the frozen player that has yet to play. If there are players with equal numbers of games then captains can select which to freeze. The rule freezing players on their fourth game would remain unchanged.

When a game is completed according to the rules specified above, the following points will be awarded:

Winning team = 3 points
Losing team = 0 points
Tied game = 1 point each

Teams’ league positions will be determined by the following criteria, in this order:

1. League points awarded

2. Games Won

3. Goal Difference

4. Goals Scored

5. Re-application of the above criteria, but based only on the matches played between the tied teams

6. Coin toss


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North East Field Hockey Association - (James Michael, President)