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D4 Specific Rules and Frequently Asked Questions

1) Helmet Rule

2) Home Games

3) Background Checks

4) When can a team be rostered

5) When can a team begin playing games

6) When does the regular season end and post season play begin

7) How do I report an injury sustained by one of my players or team officials

8) How do the MAHA rule changes work

9) Cell phones in the locker room

10) Who handles comments about officiating

11) Non-Sanctioned Play

12) Clarification of 30% rule for Tier 2 teams playing Tier 1 opponents



Order of Precedence of rulebooks (current edition)-
1. USA Hockey Annual Guide and Playing Rules
2. MAHA Annual Guide
3) MAHA District 4
Each succeeding organization's rules can be more restrictive than the rules listed by the organization above it.  when researching a question, start with D4 and work up the list.

1) Helmet Rule

Additional Information from USA Hockey-

2) Independent Teams, New Associations, Home Games

 The following policies have been adopted by the District 4 Council concerning associations and independent teams starting with the 2011/2012 season.

New Associations: Per the MAHA Bylaws - "An association must have a demographic large enough to support it." The District 4 Council has defined the following:
If 51% of the associations in District 4 did not have a waiting list for their house programs for most divisions for the previous season, there is not adequate demographics for a new association. 

Independent Teams: There will be no independent teams approved for 2011/2012 season and beyond.  A team has the right to appeal to the Board by contacting the District 4 Director. Prep/JV teams are exempt from this policy.

Home Games:  All Tier 1 teams registered in District 4 must play the majority (51%) of their home games (excluding showcases) on rinks within District 4.  All House (BB/B/C), Tier 2/A, Girls (2, 3) teams registered in District 4 must play the majority (51%) of their home games on rinks within District 4.  Teams that do not meet this criteria are not eligible to qualify for District/State Playoffs.  Associations may be subject to disciplinary actions if an affiliated team does not meet these criteria.

3) Background Checks

I am coaching more than one team. Do I need to submit more than one Background Check?

No, you only need to do ONE Background Check. You can make a copy of the confirmation form for each team.
Why do I have to give my social security number this year when I do my coaches background check?
To assure a thorough background check, a social security number is needed to do a national check.

4) When can a team be rostered?

Teams can begin rostering on August 15 for the regular season.

5) When can a team begin playing games?

The season begins September 1.  A team can not play games/scrimmages until they are fully rostered.

6) When does the regular season end and post season play begin?

The regular season runs from September 1 through March 31.  Post season play begins April 1 and ends August 31.

Teams can begin rostering for post season play beginning March 15, but cannot play any games until April 1.

7) How do I report an injury sustained by one of my players or team officials?

Go to the USA Hockey website to understand what are the covered events, who is insured, and how to file a claim.

8) MAHA Rule Changes

How does the MAHA process work in regards to rule change proposals?

Proposals for rule changes are submitted by December 15 to the Rules Committee Chairperson.  At the Winter meeting, all proposals are read, and the Rules Committee makes a recommendation.  A vote is taken.  Any proposal that does not carry a majority of the Board Members voting at the Winter Meeting is rejected.  Any proposal that does carry a majority is brought forward to the Summer meeting for final vote.  A list of proposed rule changes and the result of the vote at the winter meeting is available a few days after the winter meeting at  For more information visit the  MAHA bylaws.

9) What is the cell phone policy that I'm hearing about?

Starting with 2010/2011 season, cell phones are not allowed in any locker room.
With most kids having cell phones with cameras, there is a risk of inappropriate photos being taken and possibly being posted on the web.  Hopefully, by keeping the phones out of the locker rooms, this can be avoided.  It is suggested that Associations prohibit any device that has a camera in the locker room.
Suggestions - 1) leave cell phones with their parents, 2) assign a parent to collect any phones that are brought into the rink and hold them until the end of game/practice, 3) get a small bag and collect the phones as players enter locker room.  Cell phones can be locked in locker room and returned as kids leave the locker room.

10) Comments on Officiating

All comments about officiating should be handled through the D4 Supervisor of Officials (His address in on the CONTACT US page).  The best way is to document the facts, not emotions, in writing.  Comments should come from head coaches and not parents.

11) USA Hockey Guidelines for Non-Sanctioned Play

12) Clarification of 30% Rule

The rule-
VI. M. 1.a. Tier 1 teams are teams that participate within a Tier 1 MAHA/USA Hockey sanctioned league that may involve participation with similar  teams from Michigan and from across the country. Teams in organizations not approved by the State Playoff Committee that play more than 30% of their games against Tier I opponents shall be ineligible for District & States Playoffs in any classification. Teams in organizations not approved by the State Playoff Committee may not advertise as Tier I, elite, or similar designation for tryouts, to recruit, entice or in any way give the appearance of being a Tier I team.

The interpretation-
Teams must have under 30% of their played games against Tier I teams at the time of credentials.  Note that credentials is an ongoing process throughout Districts and States, so to be safe, teams should be under 30% from District 4 credentialing forward. 

Teams that play in a Tier I tournament will still have any amount of games greater than 4 counted against them for the 30% rule.  Although those games do not count toward the game count cap, they will be used in calculating teams' 30%.  i.e. If my team wins a Tier I tournament, that team would have played 7 games.  4 of those games would be counted for that team's game count cap.  All 7 games will be counted for the 30% rule.  All games should be placed on teams' game logs, and all score sheets should be produced at the time of District 4 credentialing.