The following guidance, taken from the USA Hockey Annual Guide, should be required reading for high school team administrators, coaches, and managers.

A. Definition of a Game: A game is a match played against another team which is registered with USA Hockey or a member organization of the IIHF. USA Hockey playing rules or approved modification thereof shall apply.

B. Registered USA Hockey teams shall not participate in games against nonregistered teams without prior written approval of the District Registrar. The District Risk Manager and District Referee-in-Chief shall receive a copy of such written approval. Violation of this rule shall subject the team to suspension by the appropriate Affiliate.

C. Definition of a Tournament: Competition, other than normally scheduled league or exhibition games, where three or more legally registered teams compete within a specified time frame for the purpose of declaring a champion. This shall include gatherings consisting of more than three teams, except Association Exchanges (limited to 2 Associations), even though there are no winners declared.

D. All invitational tournaments that involve USA Hockey registered teams and/or another amateur hockey federation or association must receive the sanction of the USA Hockey District Registrar for the district where the tournament will be held.

E. The conditions for sanction are as follows:

    (1) Written application on the official USA Hockey Invitational Tournament Application form must be submitted to the USA Hockey District Registrar for the district where the tournament will be held.

    (2) The District Registrar, with the approval of the applicant's Affiliate Association, may issue a sanction where no exceptions to USA Hockey rules and regulations are involved.

    (3) Applications must be accompanied by a copy of the full rules, regulations, and the complete procedures of the tournament. Where a tournament desires to use exceptions to the rules and regulations of USA Hockey, such exceptions must be approved in advance by the District Registrar and the host Affiliate Association.

    (4) Only USA Hockey registered referees may officiate tournament games, unless specifically approved otherwise.

    (5) Only USA Hockey playing rules and age divisions may be used in tournament play, unless specifically approved otherwise

    (6) The sanction fees listed below for international games must be complied with.

      USA Hockey teams only - $25.00

      USA Hockey and another federation - $50.00

    (7) Invitational tournaments shall be prohibited from being held within 100 miles of, and on the same weekend as a USA Hockey National Championship.

F. Any tournament which is conducted for profit, by an organization whose primary purpose is not to support amateur hockey or an amateur hockey team, shall also, as a condition of sanction, provide a copy of a tournament budget, or accounting of the proceeds of the tournament; and the fact that the tournament is conducted "for profit" shall be prominently displayed on all literature distributed for promotion of said tournament. The USA Hockey sanction fee for such tournaments shall be set by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee.

(In addition to the approval of the District Registrar and Affiliate Association, the approval of the National Office shall be obtained for any such tournament).

G. Permission for use of a tournament "title" that would imply that there is a "United States," or "National" championship involved can only be granted by the appropriate USA Hockey Council, and "International" or "World" by SA Hockey's International Council.

H. Violation of any of the above rules and procedures will be considered grounds for suspension from USA Hockey of the individuals and/or bodies responsible for such violations.