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Basic VBHL Rules

The object of the game quite simply is to strike the ball with the hockey stick and knock it into the opponent's hockey net (6 feet wide x 4 feet high, 1.83 m x 1.22 m). Typically, a low-bounce type of ball is used. For added safety, hockey gloves and helmets are mandatory for play.

All games are held in full sized hockey arenas (generally around 200 feet long x 85 feet wide, 60.96 m x 25.91 m). Six players, including the goalie, compete against the opposing team's six players. Extra players are kept on each bench, outside the playing surface, and interchanged with the six on the floor either during play or at a stoppage of play.

Face-offs (players are lined up facing each other in a designated area on the floor), are used at the start of each period of play and after goals, penalties, icing, offside, or when the ball leaves the playing area.

Penalties are called when a player commits a foul. The offending player is then removed from playing for a period of time, depending on the severity of the infraction and the team continues play one player short until the penalty has elapsed.

When an offside occurs Play is stopped. Before entering an opponent team's zone (the area from behind their net to their blue line) the ball must cross the blue line first before the player or any of his teammates.

Icing (or flooring) occurs when a team shoots the ball before the shooting player physically crosses the center line and the ball passes the opponent's goal line before any player, of either team, can touch it. A stoppage of play shall occur with the ensuing faceoff taking place in the end zone of the team that shot the ball. If the goalie touches the ball, or the shot creates a goal, there is no icing on the play.

"Floating Blue Line": expansion of the offensive zones occurs once a team crosses the opponent's blue line with the ball. The attacking team will then have half of the entire playing surface within which to control the ball, from behind the opponent's goal to the center line of the area. If the defending team sends the ball past center, the zone is reset to the blue line and their opponent must regain it as explained above.

To score a legal goal, it cannot be kicked in; nor struck with a stick above the shoulders; nor pushed in using the hand, nor while offside.

Games are two 20 minute "stop time" periods. If the game will run longer than the time slot allows the clock will run with no stoppages until the final buzzer sounds. Overtime will not be played during the regular season.

For full rules please look in the CBHA rules book.


All players must wear a CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved helmet, approved hockey gloves and running shoes. Players under the age of 18 are required to wear full facial protection as well.

Although not mandatory, it is recommended that players wear elbow pads, athletic cup, soft knee pads and shin guards. As well, adult men should consider wearing facial protection to protect their eyes. Standard ice hockey sticks are used to play the game.

Three types of balls are officially recognized for play by the CBHA. It is usually orange in appearance and not much larger than a tennis ball. A hard (Pro) Version is recommended for adult warm climate play. A semi-soft (street) version is recommended for younger youth age groups and play during colder climates. A soft recreation version is also available. CBHA member leagues must use either version manufactured by D-Gel with product numbers (330) hard, a (340) semi-soft and (350) soft with the official CBHA logo.

A new line of ball hockey equipment is being designed by D-GEL in cooperation with the CBHA, including a more flexible glove, padded shorts and shin pads.