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AAHL Rules and Policies

 Apex Adult Hockey League

The Apex Adult Hockey League (AAHL) is dedicated to providing a safe, positive environment and enjoyable recreational experience for participants and officials. Positive sportsmanship towards opposing players, officials, and staff is expected at all times. Players will be removed if they do not act accordingly.


USA Hockey registration is not required but USA Hockey-certified referees and the USA Hockey rulebook will be used.

Rules and Policies

Game Format:

  • 5-minute warm up, 20-minute run clock for the 1st and 2nd periods, and 15-minute stop 3rd period.

  • The warm up clock starts at the scheduled game time unless the captains from both teams agree to start it early.

If a team is leading by 5 or more goals during the third period, it will be run time and the clock will not pause during stoppages. The goal differential must be reduced to 3 or less for stop clock to be reinstated. 

Playoff Seeding: 

  • Tiebreakers: When two teams are tied in the standings at the end of the regular season, we will use the following criteria to break the tie. If the first tiebreaker statistic is a tie, then we will move on to the next one, and so on.
    • 1: Head-to-head game results
    • 2: Goal differential in head-to-head games
    • 3: Overall goal differential
    • 4: Overall fewest goals against
    • 5: Overall most goals scored


  • During the regular season, games that are tied at the end of regulation will go to a 3-player shootout. Each team receives a point in the standings for the tie, and the winner of the shootout receives an additional point. If the game is still tied after three shooters, the shootout goes to sudden death until there is a winner.

  • During playoffs, games that are tied at the end of regulation will go to a 5-minute, sudden death, 3 vs 3 overtime period (first 4 minutes are run-time and final minute is stop-time). If still tied after the overtime period, the game will go to a 5-player shootout. If the game is still tied after five shooters, it goes to sudden death until there is a winner.

  • Players serving a penalty at the end of regulation are not allowed to participate in the shootout during the regular season and playoffs.

  • Players that have scored three goals may participate in the shootout.

Sub Policy/Player Eligibility:

  • All participants must be registered through TeamSideline. It is the team captain’s responsibility to ensure that all players are on the team roster and registered through TeamSideline before they are eligible to play. If a player would like to sub, the team captain must contact the league director.

  • Subs must be registered with the AAHL. 

  • A team must have at least 5 rostered players present or the game is considered a forfeit.
  • Teams cannot go beyond 8 players when using subs. For example, if you have 5 rostered players at the game, you can have 3 subs (or 6+2, 7+1, 8+0, 9+0, etc.)
  • Teams may use a substitute goaltender (from within the AAHL) under any circumstance in which their normal goalie is unable to play. Goaltenders do not count toward the 8-player maximum rule (e.g., if you have 9 rostered players at the game, you can still use a sub goalie if you need one).
  • Team rosters will have a 14-player minimum and 21-player maximum.

  • If a team uses an ineligible player, it will result in:

    • Automatic forfeiture of the game in question

    • Suspension of the ineligible player

  • Rosters will be finalized after the 5th game of the regular season. After this point, teams may not add players. Goalies may be substituted after the 5th game with permission from the Hockey Director. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis.

  • Participants must play in a minimum of THREE regular season games to be eligible for playoffs.

  • Teams may use a sub goalie during the regular season and playoffs when their rostered goalie is unable to play. Captains must alert the hockey coordinator of any sub goalie ahead of the game.

Payment Rules: 

  • Players who have not paid their assigned dues after their team’s first three games will be suspended until these dues are paid in full. “Three games” is defined as completed games on the team’s schedule (i.e., it does not matter if a player missed a game during that period due to being out of town, etc.)
  • Teams who have not paid after their fifth game will be suspended until the team fee is paid in full. In such instances, the game will be considered a forfeit and the ice will be given to the opponent for use as practice ice.

Returning Team Policy:

The size of our league is limited due to limited ice availability and the allocation of ice to other programs (e.g., youth hockey and figure skating). We prioritize space in our league as follows:

  1. Returning teams from the previous season have the right of first refusal for the next season.
  2. Teams who have played at Apex in the past (but didn’t play in the previous season) are next on the list.
  3. Outside inquiries will be considered third if there is still space available.


  • A fighting major penalty will result in:

    • Ejection from the current game

    • A 5-minute major penalty (to be served by a teammate)

    • Minimum 1-game suspension (additional games may be added depending on the severity of the incident)

  • A second fighting major penalty in the same season will result in expulsion from the League. Decisions are final and there are no appeals or refunds.

  • Any player that is the “Third Man-in” during an altercation will face:

    • Ejection from the current game

    • A minor penalty (to be served by a teammate)

    • 1-game suspension

  • A game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player whose actions during an altercation causes the removal of an opponent’s helmet and facemask. The player or goalkeeper shall be suspended for the team’s next two scheduled games. This two-game suspension is in addition to any other required suspensions incurred during the same incident.

Verbal Abuse/Unsportsmanlike Conduct:

  • Verbal abuse by a player of an on-ice official or off-ice official/league staff, on or off the ice, will not be tolerated. Verbal abuse towards the score keepers will also not be tolerated. A game misconduct for verbal abuse will result in:

    • Ejection from the current game

    • 1-game suspension

  • A second offense will result in expulsion from the League. Decisions are final and there are no appeals or refunds.

Excessive Penalty Rules:

  • Players will be ejected from the game if they receive THREE penalties. A teammate will serve the third penalty in the ejected player’s place.

  • If a player is ejected for a second time during the same season for receiving three penalties, they will receive a 1-game suspension.

  • Players that receive a Game Misconduct penalty for any reason will result in:

    • Automatic 1-game suspension, served the next scheduled game.

    • The Hockey Director will review the incident and may add an additional suspension if warranted.

  • Any player that receives a total of 30 penalty minutes during the season, including playoffs, will receive a 1-game suspension. If a player reaches 35 penalty minutes during the season, including playoffs, they will be suspended for the remainder of the season.


  • “Ringer Rule” - All players will have a 3-goal limit per game. If a player scores a fourth goal, the goal will not count and the face-off will be in their team’s defensive zone. If a player scores a fifth goal, the goal will not count and they will be assessed a 2-minute Delaying the Game minor penalty. Players that have scored three goals are allowed to participate in shootouts.

Cancellation/Inclement Weather Policy:

In the event that games have to be cancelled due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, the league will do its best to reschedule games on the division’s primary night. However, makeup games may have to be rescheduled on an off-night if there are scheduling or time restrictions that prevent games from being made up on a primary night.

Team Captains:

As the liaison between the league and their team, the team captains' responsibilities include:

  • Attend all captains meetings, or designate a replacement if they cannot attend.

  • Make sure all players are properly registered, and all fees are paid.

  • Ensure that all players are 18+

  • Provide a tentative roster before the first game of the season and notify the league of any roster changes throughout the season.

  • Make sure all players have dark and light jerseys with the same number on each.

  • Provide the league with current player numbers for the game sheet.

  • Communicate all league rules, season information, and schedule changes to the players on their team.

  • Uphold a high level of professionalism and leadership when dealing with officials, league staff, and opposing players, especially during stressful situations.

*Updated August 2022


Apex Adult Hockey League  
Address: 13150 W. 72nd Ave.
Arvada, CO 80005
Phone Number: 303.403.2598  
Email Address:  


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