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Roller Hockey Rules

Composition of Team

A team shall be composed of five players on the playing surface, (4 skaters, plus the goalie).  No team shall be allowed to start a game with less than four players on the playing surface.  Anytime a team has been reduced to less than three players, the game shall be declared a forfeit.

Participants MUSTcheck in at the scorers table with their MSU issued ID card prior to taking the field of play. 

Change of Players

Players may be changed at any time from the players' bench, provided that the player or players leaving the playing surface are within 5 feet of the players' bench and out of the play before the change is made. If, in the course of making a substitution, either player deliberately plays the puck/ball while the retiring player is still on the playing surface, the infraction, "Too Many Players" shall be assessed.


The sticks shall be made of wood, carbon composite, graphite or aluminum materials approved by USA Hockey InLine and must not have any projections extending from the stick. The curvature of the blade of the stick shall not exceed 1 inch.


All players and officials must wear skates designed for in-line hockey with a maximum of five wheels.  They must also be approved by USA Hockey InLine.  Brakes are NOT PERMITTEDduring hockey or roller blading in Demonstration Hall.

Goalkeeper's Equipment

With the exception of skates and stick, all the equipment worn by the goalkeeper must be constructed solely for the protection of the head or body, and must not include any garment which would give the goalkeeper undue assistance keeping goal.

It is mandatory for all goalkeepers to wear a helmet designed for hockey with a helmet strap properly fastened and a full-face mask designed for hockey with a chin cup.  All goalkeepers must wear chest protection.  Throat protection is recommended.

Goalie Equipment is available for participants to check-out at the rink with a MSU issued ID card. 

Protective Equipment

Each participant is personally responsible to wear protective equipment for all games, warm-ups and practices.

Mandatory equipment for each participant includes a helmet designed for hockey, with a helmet strap properly fastened, full face mask designed for hockey with a chin cup, internal mouth guard*, elbow pads, gloves designed for hockey, knee and shin protection.

*Any participant found not wearing an internal mouth guard will be issued a 2 minute minor penalty and will not be allowed to return to the field of play until an internal mouth guard is obtained. 

All Referees and Linesmen must wear a black helmet designed for hockey with helmet strap properly fastened.


Pucks shall be made of plastic or other material approved by USA Hockey InLine. The puck shall be approximately 1 inch thick, and 3 inches in diameter and shall weigh between 3 1/2 and 6 1/2 ounces.

Minor Penalties

For a "MINOR PENALTY", any player, other than a goalkeeper, shall be ruled off the playing surface for two minutes, during which time no substitute shall be permitted. When running time is being played, the penalty will start at the moment the ensuing face-off is conducted.  If a minor or bench minor penalty terminates during a stoppage of play, allowing the team to have an additional player on the playing surface, the player so penalized shall remain on the penalty bench until the ensuing face-off is conducted.

If the opposing team scores a goal while a team is shorthanded by one or more minor or bench minor penalties, the first of such penalties shall automatically terminate.

When coincident minor penalties are assessed to players of both teams, the penalized players shall take their place on the penalty bench and such players shall not leave the penalty bench until the first stoppage of play following the expiration on their respective penalties.

Any player who accumulates four penalties in one game will receive an automatic game misconduct and a one game suspension.

Major Penalties

For a "MAJOR PENALTY", the offending player shall be assessed a game misconduct penalty and the offending team shall be short-handed for five minutes, during which time no substitute shall be permitted.

Misconduct Penalties

A "MISCONDUCT PENALTY" involves the removal of a player, other than a goalkeeper, for a period of 10 minutes, but another player is permitted to immediately replace a player so removed.  A player whose misconduct penalty has expired shall remain in the penalty bench until the next stoppage of play.

A "GAME MISCONDUCT" penalty involves the suspension of a player for the balance of the game, but a substitute is permitted to replace the player so removed.  The ejected player will receive an indefinite suspension and will be considered for reinstatement after meeting with the Assistant Director.  A 1-game suspension shall be imposed for ANY “game misconduct.”  A SEASON SUSPENSION IS AUTOMATIC FOR FIGHTING.

Delayed Penalties

If a third player of any team is penalized while two players of the same team are serving penalties, the penalty time of the third player shall not commence until the penalty time of one of the two players already penalized has elapsed.  Nevertheless, the third player penalized must immediately proceed to the penalty bench and may be replaced by a substitute until such time as the penalty time of the penalized player shall commence.

Calling of Penalties

Should an infraction of the rules be committed by a player of the team in possession of the puck/ball, the Referee shall immediately stop play and assess the penalty(s) to the offending player(s).

Abuse of Officials and Other Misconduct

Any player who challenges or disputes the ruling of an Official, attempts to incite an opponent or create a disturbance during the game shall be assessed a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.  If the player persists in such conduct, a misconduct penalty shall be assessed and any further persistence by the same player shall result in the assessment of a game misconduct penalty.

Any player who shoots the puck/ball after the whistle shall be assessed a minor penalty if, in the opinion of the Referee, the player had sufficient time after the whistle to refrain from taking the shot.

Body-Checking, Boarding, Charging, Checking from behind, Cross-Checking

A minor penalty or major plus a game misconduct penalty, at the discretion of the Referee, shall be assessed to any player who intentionally body-checks an opponent, with or without the puck/ball; who makes physical contact with an opponent after the whistle has been blown; who fouls an opponent in such a manner that caused the player to be violently thrown into the boards; who runs, jumps into, or charges an opponent; who cross-checks an opponent; who body-checks or charges a goalkeeper while the goalkeeper is within the goal crease or privileged area.

A goalkeeper is not "fair game" just because the goalkeeper is outside the privileged area.  A penalty for interference or charging must be assessed in every case where an opposing player makes unnecessary contact with a goalkeeper.

Delaying the Game

A minor penalty shall be assessed to any player or goalkeeper, who delays the game by deliberately shooting, batting or throwing the puck/ball outside the playing area. This penalty shall also be assessed when it occurs during a stoppage of play. Intentional delay of the game by a goalkeeper shall be assessed at the discretion of the Referee.

A minor penalty shall be assessed to a player or goalkeeper who delays the game by deliberately displacing the goal post from its normal position.  Play shall be stopped immediately when the goal post has been displaced.

Elbowing, Kneeling, Holding, Hooking, Interference

A minor penalty or major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who uses the elbow or knee in such a manner as to foul an opponent, in any way; to a player who holds an opponent with the hands, legs, feet, stick, or in any other way; to any player who grabs or holds the face mask of an opponent with the hand; to a player who impedes or seeks to impede the progress of an opponent by hooking with the stick; to any player who interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck/ball, deliberately knocks a stick out of an opponent's hand, prevents a player who has dropped the stick or any other piece of equipment from regaining possession of it, or shoots a stick or other object toward an opponent.

Slashing, Tripping

Referees should penalize as "slashing" any player who swings the stick at an opponent (whether in or out of range) without actually making contact, or when a player on the pretext of playing the puck/ball makes a wild swing at the puck/ball with the intent to intimidate an opponent; to any player who places the stick, leg, knee, foot, arm, hand, or elbow in such a manner that it causes an opponent to trip or fall.

Unnecessary Roughness (Roughing)

At the discretion of the Referee, a minor or double minor penalty may be assessed to any player who uses unnecessary roughness against an opponent.

A minor penalty for unnecessary roughness must be assessed every time an opposing player makes unnecessary physical contact with the player in possession of the puck.

It is not the intent to penalize incidental contact between two opposing players who are actively in pursuit of the puck.  The act of riding an opponent off the puck shall not be considered to be roughing.  However, this does not allow the player without the puck to throw his or her body into the opponent to achieve possession.

Falling on Puck

A minor penalty shall be assessed to a goalkeeper who falls on or gathers the puck/ball into the body, when the body is entirely outside the boundaries of the privileged area or who falls on or gathers the puck/ball into the body, when the body is entirely outside the goal crease and the puck/ball is behind the goal line.

High Sticks

The carrying of the stick above the normal height of the shoulders is prohibited.  The Referee shall assess a minor penalty or a major plus a game misconduct penalty to any player who strikes an opponent with a stick so carried.

When a player injures an opponent as the result of "high sticking," the Referee shall assess a major plus a game misconduct penalty to the offending player.

Batting the puck/ball above the normal height of the shoulders with the stick is prohibited and when it occurs play shall be stopped and the ensuing face-off shall take place at an end zone face-off spot of the offending player's team unless:

  • The puck/ball is batted to an opponent, in which case the play shall continue.
  • A player of the defending team shall bat the puck/ball into the player's own goal, in which case the goal shall be allowed

Illegal Clearing (Icing) & Off-Sides

Icing and off-sides as applied in ice hockey does not exist in roller hockey.

Kicking Puck

Kicking the puck shall be permitted in all zones; however, a goal that is scored as the result of the puck being kicked by an attacking player and entered the goal either directly or after deflecting off any player including the goalkeeper, shall not be allowed.


The puck may be passed by any player to any player of the same team within any of the two zones into which the rink is divided and may be passed forward by a player in the Defending Zone to a teammate over the center red line.

Puck Must Be Kept in Motion

The puck must be kept in motion at all times.  Play shall not be stopped because the puck is frozen along the boards by two or more opposing players, unless one of the players falls onto the puck.  The Referee may stop the play along the boards if allowing play to continue shall lead to unnecessary contact surrounding the puck.

Time of Match and Time-Outs

A game shall consist of two 20 minute halves. If running time is used and the score is within one goal, or tied, stop time shall be played during the last two minutes of play. A two-minute rest period shall be permitted between halves, after which the teams shall change ends.

Mercy Rule

If a team is up by more than 8 goals with 5 minutes left in the second half, the game will be ended.  The teams must stop competing at this time.  Teams may still use the 5 minutes to practice or skate around on their side of the ice.