The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Floor Hockey Rules
The sport of floor hockey should not be confused with ice hockey. A better analogy would be that of field hockey.
Checking is not a component of floor hockey or field hockey. The emphasis is placed on stick skills and overall athletic
agility. Any rules not specifically covered are governed by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
(NIRSA) rules (http://www.nirsa.org/am/documents/Sports/intramurals/floor_hockey_rule_book_2nd%20edition.pdf )
Rule 1 - Equipment
1. Footwear - Only non-marking athletic footwear may be worn. No sandals, boots, or bare feet permitted.
2. Attire - Sweat pants or other loose fitting pants are recommended.
3. Jerseys – All teams are required to provide matching color team shirts, color designated at time of registration.
Players will not be allowed to participate without a matching color team shirt.
4. Eye/Head Gear - Helmets and glasses/goggles are highly recommended. Goalies must wear the helmet provided
by the Division of Recreational Sports or bring their own helmet to be approved by the Intramural Sports
supervisor for floor hockey.
5. Goalie Equipment - The Division of Recreational Sports will provide a complete set of goalie equipment that
must be worn.
6. Pads – Players may wear non-ice hockey protective equipment with the exception of ice hockey gloves, which are
allowed. Any equipment worn must not pose a risk to any player or it will not be permitted.
7. Sticks - Only sticks supplied by Recreational Sports will be allowed.
Rule 2 - Teams, Players, and Substitutes
1. All players must be UW-Madison students or faculty/staff with paid Recreation Membership fees. All players
must present their official UW-Madison identification card at each game.
NO VALID UW-MADISON ID = NO PLAY – NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
2. Each team is responsible for the Intramural Sports Polices and eligibility requirements posted on the Recreational
Sports web site at http://www.recsports.wisc.edu. Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse for not following them.
3. Each team will consist of five (5) players, including a goalie. A minimum of three (3) players including a goalie
will be required to start or continue a game. This includes loss of players due to ejections, injuries, etc. The
maximum number of players that may be placed on a team roster is 20. Co-Rec: The number of females and
males participating on the court may not differ by more than one.
4. Co-Rec: A player serving a penalty is considered to be a player on the court for the purpose of the gender
5. Substitutions may be made at any time during play. Players entering the game must wait until the player leaving
the floor is completely off the playing surface before entering the game.
Rule 3 - Periods
1. Games will begin at the scheduled time. Teams will be given a 10-minute grace period to have the required
minimum number of players before the game is declared a no-show or a default. A no-show or a default
automatically disqualifies the team from the tournament. A no show carries a $25.00 fee and a default carries a
$10.00 fee that must be paid within 48 hours to the Recreational Sports Office (Room 1180 Nat). See the
Intramural Sports Policies regarding no-shows and defaults.
2. Game Length - Games consist of three (3) 10-minute periods with two (2) minute intervals. The clock will
continually run except for: injuries; puck out-of-bounds; and for the last two minutes of the third period if the
score difference is two goals or less. In such case, the official will institute stop time. A tie game during regular
season will remain a tie game. Overtime periods will be utilized in playoff games only.
3. Time Outs - Each team is awarded one (1) 1-minute time-out per period, which cannot be carried over from period
to period. A timeout can only be called when the puck is not in play.
4. Overtime (Playoffs Only) – If, during a playoff game, the scored is tied after three periods, a five-minute sudden
death running time overtime will be played.
5. Shootout (Playoffs Only) – If, during a playoff game, the score remains tied after the overtime period, a shootout
will be used to determine a winner.
a. Only players on the floor when the whistle blows at the end of the overtime period will be permitted
to participate in the shootout.
b. Four shots will be taken by each team, alternating shots (Ex: A1, B1, A2, B2...). If the score is still
tied after both teams have taken four shots, the shootout shall continue in sudden death fashion.
Additional shots shall be taken by legal substitutes (those players not in the original four) but they
must stay in the rotation.
c. From the time the referee sets down the puck and blows his/her whistle, the shooter will have 10
seconds to take one (1) shot at the goal. A fake will cause loss of shot. The puck must be shot from
within the 1/2 circle at the top of the key.
d. CoRec: Genders will alternate and cycle independently, such that the entire roster will shoot AND
genders will alternate. For example, Team A which consists of 5 males and 2 females may shoot as
such provided that males 1-3 were on the floor at the end of OT: A1m, A1f, A2m, A2f, A3m, A1f,
A4m, A2f, A5m, A1f, A1m, A2f, A2m…
6. Mercy Rule - Any team ahead by 8 or more goals at any time after the end of the second period is declared the
winner and the game is ended.
Rule 4 - Goalies
1. A goalie may elect to use a goalie stick, player stick, or no stick.
2. A goalie may not throw a stick or any other piece of equipment to stop a shot. If a goalie throws equipment, play
is stopped and a penalty shot will be awarded to the opposing team.
3. The goalie may leave the crease at any time, however, once out of the crease, they lose all goaltender privileges.
4. If the net becomes dislodged but is not involved in play, play will continue and the referee will replace it. If the
net becomes dislodged and is in play, play will be stopped and a face-off will occur at the closest face-off dot. An
intentionally dislodged net will result in a minor penalty or optional penalty shot. A referee may award a goal if
the shot was heading into the net when the net was dislodged.
5. Only the goalie and defensive players are allowed in the crease. An offensive player in the crease will result in
play being stopped and a free shot being awarded to the other team at center ice. Only an offensive player’s stick
may enter the crease if there is a loose puck in the crease. A defensive player other than the goalie stepping on or
covering a puck in the crease will result in a penalty shot for the opponent.
6. Goalies will not serve their own penalties unless an ejection or game misconduct is assessed to them. Instead, a
player of the captain’s choosing on the floor at the time the infraction was committed will serve the penalty time
in place of the goalie.
Rule 5 - Violations (Loss of puck, free shot)
1. The following infractions will result in the loss of possession for the offending team and a free shot awarded to the
offended team. The free shot will be taken from the free-shot location closest to where the infraction occurred. A
free shot will never be taken from a team’s own end of the floor.
2. High Sticking- Raising the stick above the WAIST at any point, including the shot with no one in the vicinity of
the offender. If players are within a stick length, a minor penalty shall be assessed.
3. Hand Pass- Catching or playing the puck with a hand that is then played first by a teammate. Note: it is legal to
play the puck to yourself. If the puck is played with a hand, then immediately played by an opponent, no
advantage is gained and play continues.
4. Kicking the Puck- The puck may not be kicked into the goal. However, the puck may be played with the foot to
another player or to one’s self.
5. Player in the crease- No offensive player may enter the crease with any part of their body, except their stick, if
there is a loose puck in the crease
6. Sliding- Playing the puck or attempting to play the puck while not standing on your feet. This includes a player
attempting to block a shot or pass.
Rule 6 - Minor Penalties (1 minute and free shot)
1. The following infractions will result in a 1 minute penalty served by the offending player (unless that player is a
goalie (see above), and a free shot awarded to the offended team:
a. High Sticking & Slap shots - Raising the stick above the waist, even when shooting for a goal while a player
is within a stick length
b. Interference: Gaining advantage by “blocking” or “picking” a player, to help a teammate proceed with the
puck or using the body to attempt to remove an opponent from the puck.
c. Too Many Players - Teams may not have more than five players (including a goalie) on the floor. (Players
may rotate "on-the-fly", but players may not participate while rotating).
d. Playing with a Broken Stick – When a stick breaks it must be dropped immediately and will be removed at
the next stoppage of play.
e. Boarding – Ramming, pinning, or pushing an opponent against the wall, whether they have the puck or not.
f. Tripping – Using or attempting to use the stick or other part of the body to cause an opponent to fall
g. Holding – Grabbing an opponent or an opponent’s stick/jersey with hand arm or leg to gain an advantage
h. Kneeing – Hitting or attempting to hit an opponent with a knee. A player who sticks out his leg and makes
knee-to-knee contact is a dangerous play and should be called as a major penalty. If a player is injured as a
result, the official should have no choice other than a game misconduct penalty.
i. Roughing – Excessive body contact with an opponent
j. Delay of Game – An attempt to kill time or failure to advance the puck. This includes, but is not limited to,
deliberately freezing the puck, intentionally dislodging the net, intentionally shooting the puck out of play, or
deliberately stepping on the puck.
k. Hooking – Using your stick to slow an opponent. Lifting the stick is a legal play so long as the lift does not
result in a stick being above the waist, however, a stick coming from on top of the opponent’s stick in such a
way that disallows the opponent to pass/shoot is considered illegal.
2. Minor penalties will be cleared upon a goal scored by the opponent, provided the opponent has a player-advantage
when the goal is scored.
3. After serving a penalty, to reenter the game, a player must run to the center line and step across the line before
being able to play the puck. If the returning player fails to step over the centerline, a minor penalty for
interference will be assessed.
4. Co-Rec: A player serving a penalty is considered to be a player on the court for the purpose of the gender
Rule 7 - Major Penalties (4 minutes and free shot or ejection and face off)
1. The following infractions will result in a 4 minute penalty served by the offending player (unless that player is a
goalie, see above)
a. Illegal use of the stick - The stick can not be used to spear, jab or slash an opponent for the purpose of
injuring another player either intentionally or un-intentionally.
b. Checking - When a player intentionally or un-intentionally cross checks or body checks.
c. Throwing Equipment - Throwing the stick or other equipment. If the stick touches a puck headed in the
direction of the opponent’s goal, a goal will be awarded.
d. Roughing/Elbowing - Using force to gain position or possession of the puck.
e. Butt-Ending – Stabbing an opponent with the butt end of a stick
f. Unsportsmanlike Behavior
2. Major penalties do not clear upon the scoring of a goal by the opponent, regardless of whether or not there is a
3. Actions or behavior not explicitly covered in the rules that the referee(s) and/or supervisor(s) deemed to be unfair
or dangerous may be penalized as the referee(s) and/or supervisor(s) see fit.
Rule 8 - Ejections/Game Misconduct Penalties (4 minutes and an ejection with a face off)
1. The following infractions will result in the ejection of the offending player, and a face-off at the face-off location
closest to where play was stopped. The ejected player will be required to leave the facility:
a. Flagrant checking – If, in the judgment of the official, a person flagrantly or intentionally checks another
person, he/she will be ejected from the contest.
b. Gross Unsportsmanship - Pushing, hitting, kicking, striking at or excessive verbal abuse of another player or
official with the intention of inflicting bodily harm will not be tolerated. CONTACT DOES NOT NEED
TO BE MADE! The players/team may be indefinitely banned from future play until a meeting with the
Recreational Sports staff. Offending players will be ejected from the building and from further participation
in the league until he/she meets with the Recreational Sports staff.
c. Fighting – Aggressive physical violence toward an opponent or official. ANY player(s) involved in a fight,
including players that leave the bench area, are subject to ejections.
d. Accumulation of Penalties – A player receiving 3 minor penalties, 2 major penalties, or 1 major and 2 minor
penalties in a single game will be ejected.
Rule 9 - Free Shots
1. Free shots put the puck back in play after the whistle is blown for an infraction, a penalty, or when the puck is
frozen by the goalie. Free shots are taken from one of six spots (see figure below). The free shot will be taken
from the closest spot to the infraction/penalty. A player may pass, shoot, or carry the puck out of the free shot
area. A goal may be scored on a free shot. A free shot will never be awarded in a team’s own end.
Free Shot Area
Face Off Area
Rule 10 - Face-Offs
1. A face-off will be conducted for the following situations:
a. To start a period.
b. After a goal is scored.
c. The net is dislodged.
d. An injury occurs.
e. Trapping/Standoff - When two players are competing for a puck, and no progress either way is occurring, a
stand-off is declared, and a face-off is held at the nearest face-off area.
f. When the puck goes out of play, or becomes unplayable.
Rule 11 - Safety
1. Any player, who is bleeding or has an open wound, must leave the game until the wound is closed and bleeding
has been stopped. Play will NOT continue until all blood has been removed from the playing surface.
Rule 12 - Protests
1. A team may protest at any time. There are two types of protests: eligibility and rule interpretation.
a. For a player eligibility protest, the team must protest prior to, during, or immediately following the end of the
game. When a protest is lodged, the official must stop the game and beckon the supervisor to the court. The
game must not continue until the supervisor is present. The supervisor will then instruct the officials how to
proceed. If the supervisor cannot resolve the protest, the team must file a written protest to the supervisor that
will be reviewed by the Recreational Sports staff the following day.
b. For rule interpretation protests, the team must call a timeout at the time of occurrence in order to protest. The
official will acknowledge the timeout. If the team is out of timeouts, an officials’ timeout may still be called
to hear the protest. If the team wins the protest, the team will not be charged a time-out. If a team loses a
protest, the team will be charged the timeout. If the rule is intricate and cannot be determined a written
formal protest will be made and the reminder of the game will be played “under protest” such that the game
may need to be replayed from that point to correct the improper call.
JUDGEMENT CALLS ARE NOT GROUNDS FOR A PROTEST!!!