NCAA/ ACHA rules 2018-2020

The following is a excerpt from the ACHA website. All their forms, protocols, policies and procedures are at the bottom of the page. Please stay up to date, as These are NOT USA HOCKEY rules. Please click here for further information (directed to ACHA officials’ page).


Section 1: The ACHA will use the rules of play specified in the NCAA Ice Hockey Rules & Interpretations Rule Book unless specified below or otherwise in the
Divisional Policies and Procedures: [2001]

A. Teams shall be permitted to have the option of dressing a maximum of 18 skaters and three goaltenders OR 19 skaters and two goaltenders.
B. All overtime play during the regular season shall be 4 on 4, unless specified otherwise herein. [2007, 2018]
C. Spitting at an opposing player, fan, or official is an automatic game disqualification. [2007]
D. The one referee, two linesmen system is an approved officiating system for all ACHA games. [2009]
E. Should the NCAA implement a rule to allow the wearing of half-shields, the ACHA shall defer the implementation of this rule for ACHA play until the issue can be considered by member schools and discuss and vote on the issue no sooner than the following annual meeting of the Association. [2012]

Section 2: The ACHA Policies and Procedures for student-athletes receiving disqualification (DQ) penalties shall be the same procedures and suspensions as required by the NCAA rules.

Section 3: All disqualification penalties shall be reported to the Divisional Commissioner with weekly score reports on each ACHA and non-ACHA game. This requirement shall include DQ information on players in exhibition games as well as in post-season tournament play. [2012]

***Incident Reports need to be filed for ALL GAME MISCONDUCT and DISQUALIFICATION penalties. The ACHA also tracks player history, and per NCAA rule 22.2:

22.2 Suspensions – A player who receives three (3) game misconduct penalties
in the same season (including exhibition games) shall not be permitted
to play in the team’s next regular-season or tournament game against an
NCAA member institution. For each additional game misconduct penalty
(e.g. four, five, etc.) assessed to the same player in the same season, the
player shall be suspended for one (1) additional game. This shall not be
part of a progressive penalty structure. Exhibition games cannot be used to
fulfill the suspension for this violation.

Use the ACHA Incident Report, and follow the instructions. Report must be submitted to appropriate ACHA commissioner(s) within 48 hours of incident.  Include ACHA Referee-in-Chief on all email reports.



Remember, Protection of the student-athlete is the top point of emphasis for both genders. Continued diligence on enforcing “Contact-to-the-Head” penalties will remain a focus point.  The ACHA reminds coaches and players that the responsibility remains with the player making the hit to avoid contact with the head and neck area of an opposing player.

10/25/18 Update:
Please refer to the DQ and OT Referee Memo.

10/10/18 Update:
Paper copy of the NCAA rule book is available for ordering.  Please click the link below.

ACHA 2018-19 Overtime policy and procedure.  Please review as our ACHA rules differ from the NCAA guidance.

9/6/18 Update:
NCAA rules package has recently been released.  Yes, we know there are additional questions and additional information is pending shortly.

ACHA has dressed player rules of 18+3 or 19+2. (ACHA Manual Part Three, Article II, Section 1A)

ACHA 2018-19 Overtime protocol and ACHA 2018-19 Shootout protocol document.


NCAA Videos on 2018-2019 Rule Updates




8/29/2018 Update:

Hi all and good afternoon,

As the season quickly approaches, we are eager for the final NCAA rules package so we can share the NCAA/ACHA rules guidance.  Nothing is final until confirmed by the ACHA.  Yes we know there are games starting shortly and will have our updated rules package ASAP.  Thank you all for your help and patience.

For the first time, the NCAA committee voted to issue separate points of emphasis for men’s and women’s ice hockey. Some components are shared, but the committee believes it is important to focus on each gender separately.

Protection of the student-athlete remains the top point of emphasis for both genders.  More information to follow.

Continued diligence on enforcing “Contact-to-the-Head” penalties will remain a focus point.  The ACHA reminds coaches and players that the responsibility remains with the player making the hit to avoid contact with the head and neck area of an opposing player.

Thank you all and we will share additional information shortly.



Welcome to the 2018-19 American Collegiate Hockey Association ice hockey season. We are all looking forward to another exciting year and fortunate to have you and your officials as part of our ACHA Officiating Program. Thank you for helping.

This is a rule change year and there is a new NCAA Ice Hockey rulebook.

Once the NCAA releases the rules package, we will provide the updates that affect ACHA play.  Please be patient as the rules information and ACHA rules test will be available ASAP after the rules updates are available.  When the NCAA Ice Hockey rulebook is available, it is recommended you order your NCAA Ice Hockey rulebooks early.  Once the book is available for ordering, we will share the ordering information.
Once the new rule information is available, the following will be released:

  • 2018-2019 ACHA Welcome Letter
  • 2019-19 ACHA Exam
  • 2019-19 ACHA Exam Answer Sheet

There is a continued emphasis on head-contact penalties.  Please continue to be diligent and enforce the head-contact penalties.  More information to follow.

Please continue to visit the ACHA website to updated information during the 2018-2019 season.  There are many valuable training documents on the ACHA website and please view the “Officials” tab of the website.

The goal of the exam is not to create a pass or fail situation. This test should be used as a training tool to ensure that your officials take the time to learn the ACHA/NCAA Rules. Use the exam to your advantage and encourage open rules discussions.


Our ACHA officials are required to be completely registered with USA Hockey at level 3 or higher.  In unique circumstances, USA Hockey level 2 officials may be used with approval from the ACHA Referee-in-Chief.


The ACHA believes the 2‑Referee, 2‑Linesmen system has proven to best fit ACHA competition and this is the recommended system.  ACHA teams may also use the 2‑Referee, 1‑Linesman system or 1‑Referee, 2‑Linesmen system.  ACHA woman teams may use the 2-referee system.  The ACHA 2018-19 Referee systems is on the ACHA website under the officials tab.  Please review.


For ACHA crests, please visit for crest details.  You can also get to the crest-ordering document on the official’s tab of the ACHA website.

We hope this early information will help and let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you all for your dedication to our sport and there will be additional information shortly.

Ed Giacomucci

American Collegiate Hockey Association




NCAA 2018-19 POINTS of EMPHASIS (9/2018)

ACHA 2018-20 Mouthguard memo

NCAA 2018-20 Major rule changes (9/2018)

NCAA Preseason Interpretations (10/2018)

ACHA Protection of the student-athlete

ACHA Manual (effective 4/2018)

ACHA 2018-19 Referee systems

ACHA 2018-19 Overtime policy and procedure  New for 2018-2019: (NCAA 92.2 Timeout During Overtime): Each team shall be awarded one team timeout if the game is tied after 60 minutes of play. This is not an additional timeout in cases where a team has not utilized its timeout during regulation play.

ACHA 2018-19 Shootout protocol

ACHA Goalie_Helmet_and_Mask (2016-18) still in effect

ACHA 2018-20 Whistle after goals memo

ACHA DQ and OT Referee Memo  Report must be submitted to appropriate ACHA commissioner(s) within 48 hours of incident. Include ACHA Referee-in-Chief on all email reports.

ACHA 2018-19 Incident report

Contacts for incident report (league commissioners and RIC):

  • Referee-in-Chief: Ed Giacomucci (

  • Division 1:

    • Men’s Division 1-Brian Moran (
      Women’s Division 1- Molly Mahoney (
  • Division 2:

    • Men’s Division 2 (email both)-Dave Kurtz ( and Jay Peacock (
      Women’s Division 2- Taylor Hadley (
  • Division 3:

    • Men’s Division 3 (email both)- Zack Warson ( and Ken Day (