Per a standing agreement between USA Hockey and Hockey Canada (HC), the following policy regarding playing rules and protective equipment is in effect.


Hockey Canada


All USA Hockey sanctioned 12‐&‐Under age classification games that are played in the United States are required to play under the Body Contact Category Playing Rules. This includes all invitational tournaments sanctioned by USA Hockey and non‐league games involving teams from each respective country. All U.S. based games played in this age classification and younger shall also play under the immediate off‐sides rule.

In addition, all Canadian players must wear the following Hockey Canada mandatory equipment:

1. Hockey Skates (approved design for hockey)
2. CSA Certified Helmet (All age classifications)
3. CSA Certified Face Mask (with color-coded CSA sticker – per following chart)


Category Description Type CSAStickerColor


(otherthan goalkeepers)

B1or1 White
A Green
Players10yearsofageand younger(otherthangoalkeepers) B2or2 Orange
B Red
Goalkeepersofallages D1,D2orD3 Blue
C Purple

Playersinthemajorjunior age

categoryandolder(otherthan goalkeepers)

Cor4 Yellow


4. BNQ Certified Throat Protector (For players in all Female and Youth classifications)


NOTE: Hockey Canada rules do not mandate the wearing of a mouthpiece at any age classification where a full face mask is required. A mouthpiece is required for any junior player wearing a visor.

If a player on a Canadian team is not wearing the proper equipment, as outlined above, the player shall be sent off the ice and a warning issued to the coach of that team. Any subsequent violation for the same equipment by the same team shall result in a misconduct penalty being assessed to the offending player. In all instances where a Hockey Canada team is not wearing their proper mandated equipment, a game report shall be submitted by the Referee to the Proper Authorities.


usah3blue bckUSA Hockey registered teams playing games in Canada are authorized to play under the Hockey Canada playing rules provided they have received the proper travel authorization from their USA Hockey Registrar.

In addition, USA Hockey registered players must wear the following USA Hockey mandatory equipment:

1. Hockey Skates of approved design for hockey
2. HECC Approved Helmet (Mandatory for all Youth and Female classifications and those players under
the age of 18 in Junior classifications. HECC approved helmets recommended (with or without earpieces) for players in the Junior or Adult classifications. However, non‐HECC approved helmet must be designed for ice hockey.)
3. HECC Approved Face Mask (Required for all Youth and Female classifications and Juniors below age 18.

Junior players who have reached age 18 may wear a HECC approved Visor.

4. Non‐Clear Internal Mouthpiece (Required for Youths‐and Girls 12‐&‐Under and older, including Junior

NOTE: USA Hockey playing rules do not mandate the wearing of a neck guard at any age classification and USAH
registered teams are not required to wear neck laceration protectors while playing in Canada.

Any USA Hockey player/coach committing major infractions while playing in Canada that would normally incur a suspension under USA Hockey rules, or count towards the progressive suspensions rules, shall serve all suspensions according to the USA Hockey Playing Rules. This includes the 5/15 penalty rule and anytime a game misconduct penalty is assessed.


The standard insurance coverage will be considered to be in effect as long as the injured participant was wearing the proper protective equipment as mandated by the organization (HC or USA Hockey) with which he/she is registered.

Please note that all other playing rules of the host country are in effect for games played in that country, except when U.S. teams are playing on U.S. soil in Canadian‐based leagues using HC rules under league direction, and vice versa.

For additional information on playing rules in each federation, please visit: or