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MSHL Suspensions

MSHL Suspensions

Hopefully you will never need to refer to the information in this section. However, if circumstances arrive where you do receive a Match penalty or are suspended, here is a brief over view of the process. For more in depth information refer to the MSHL Rules and Regulations and USA Hockey Bylaw 10.

USA Hockey Rule 405c states:  "A player or Team Official incurring a match penalty shall be suspended from participating in any USA Hockey games and practices until his case has been dealt with by the proper authorities. A hearing by the proper authorities shall be offered to be held (including any further disciplinary action) within 30 days of the incident (“30-day period”) together with a decision in accordance with Bylaw 10D (Suspension Hearings/Domestic Competition Playing Rules). If extenuating circumstances prevent the proper authorities from conducting the hearing within the 30-day period, the player or Team Official shall be automatically reinstated after the 30-day period. The failure to offer the hearing shall not prohibit the hearing body from conducting the hearing after the 30-day period and imposing further disciplinary action."

Match Penalties are assessed for actions that are socially unacceptable and have absolutely no place in the hockey environment. Rule Reference 404(e).


There are few instances where a match penalty may be assessed for actions that are deemed to be “critically detrimental to the conducting of the game” AND are not covered elsewhere in the rules. In these instances, the official is advised to be sure to submit the proper game report to the proper authorities and allow them to take whatever action is deemed appropriate.


Overview of Suspension & Hearing Process
Hearings under USA Hockey Bylaw 10.C. have certain requirements:

  • Hearing Committee:  The hearing committee must be at least 3 reasonably disinterested and impartial persons;
  • Offer of Hearing:  The hearing committee must hold a hearing within 30 days after its appointment unless a later date is agreed upon by the parties and approved by the hearing committee;
  • Notice of Hearing:  The hearing committee must provide at least 7 days’ notice of the hearing, which shall include time and place of the hearing, the manner in which the hearing will be conducted, the grounds for any proposed suspension or discipline, the possible consequences of an adverse finding, and the issues to be resolved by the panel; The 7 days' notice of the hearing may be waived if all parties agree.
  • Suspension Remains in Effect:  Any existing suspension remains in effect until the decision of the hearing committee is rendered;
  • Location:  The hearing must be in a location that is accessible to the suspended party and the parties proposing the suspension;
  • Hearing Requirements:  A fair hearing is required, including:
  • Reasonable notice of the grounds for the proposed suspension, but any grounds supported by the evidence presented may be considered in reaching a decision
  • Notice of the possible consequences of an adverse finding. 
  • A reasonable opportunity to present their case and argument.
  • The ability to have counsel present (provided that, the hearing committee may set the rules for such participation).
  • The appeal procedure when a decision is rendered.
  • Hearing Rules:  The hearing committee may decide the level of formality for the hearing, may hear any evidence it believes is relevant, may place limits on time, evidence and documentation, may have witnesses and/or written statements and may establish other hearing rules so long as each party is treated substantially equal.  
  • Burden of Proof:  The party proposing the suspension must establish the facts and the violation of rules or bylaws by a preponderance of evidence (i.e., more likely true than not true).
  • Decision Deadlines:  The hearing committee must use reasonable efforts to render a decision within 5 business days of the hearing, and prepare and deliver a written decision within 15 business days of the hearing.
  • Decision Contents:  The written decision must contain (i) findings of material facts (i.e., the committee finds that the following occurred), (ii) conclusions (i.e., based upon the facts above, the committee concludes that the person violated Bylaw __), and (iii) the order of the committee (based upon the conclusions above, the committee hereby orders the following suspension . . .).
  • Scope of Suspension:  Any suspension imposed is only valid with respect to the jurisdiction of the suspending authority (e.g., a local program may only suspend within its program and an affiliate may only suspend a party from participation within their affiliate) provided that a local association may request that the affiliate honor the suspension throughout the affiliate, and an affiliate may request that USA Hockey honor the suspension throughout USA Hockey’s jurisdiction. 


2017-18 Suspension List

2018-19 Suspension List

2019-20 Suspension List