Women’s Central Hockey League (WCHL)

The Women’s Central Hockey League (WCHL) is an 18+ recreational ice hockey league dedicated to encouraging women – regardless of talent or experience – to participate in travel women’s hockey; includes over 40 member teams from Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri and Indiana. The league is comprised of adult women’s recreational teams. There are a handful of collegiate teams that participate in Divisions 1 – 7 based upon the structure of their team. Below is the link to the WCHL’s By-laws (a PDF to download) that incorporate their rules in section 6:

WCHL By-laws


Section 6.01 General

1. All USA Hockey rules pertaining to Adult Women’s Hockey will be enforced.
2. Each team may dress a maximum of 20 players, with a maximum of 18 skaters.
3. Each team may have a maximum of four coaches or team officials on the bench.
4. All non-playing personnel on the bench must be 18 years of age or older.

Section 6.02 Equipment

1. All players must wear numbered uniforms in the proper team colors.
2. All players must wear the protective equipment required by USA Hockey during games & warm-ups.
3. All players are strongly encouraged to wear a face shield & mouthpiece but are not required to.

Section 6.03 Game Time Regulations

1. Games will consist of three 12-minute stop time periods. Before the game, both teams may agree to increase the periods up to three 15-minute stop time periods. All three periods must be equal in length.
2. A minimum of three (3) minutes of warm-up time must be provided. The normal warm-up time will be five (5) minutes. However, if a game slot is 60 minutes in length (i.e. 50 minutes of ice time plus resurface), then the warm-up will be 3 minutes in length.
a. The home team should ensure that the visiting team is aware of the time slot length and therefore the possibility of curfew.
3. If the final period of play will not be able to be completed in its entirety due to curfew, at the first whistle with 5 minutes remaining in the ice slot, the clock will be changed to reflect the remaining time in the ice slot minus 2 minutes. The game will then continue with a stop clock.
4. At the point that a five (5) goal deficit exists in the 3rd period, the clock may remain running at the sole discretion of the losing team.
5. There is no provision for overtime in the WCHL due to varying ice lengths of home teams. The difference in ice lengths causes an uneven playing field, and therefore, even if both teams agree, the result after a period of overtime will still be tied, with both teams earning 1 point in the standings.
6. All timing clocks and score sheets must be made available to the visiting team.
7. For WCHL league games, there will be one (1) time-out per team allowed unless the game is curfewed and it is questionable if the game will be completed in its entirety, and there is a chance that both teams may not be able to have their time-out.
8. USA Hockey rules require that all teams be dressed and ready to play 20 minutes before the scheduled time. The on-ice referee will make the final determination if a team is not available to play.

Section 6.04 Manager/Coaches Conduct

1. The managers and coaches in charge of a team for a WCHL game shall be regarded as responsible for their team for that game, and for the conduct of their team officials, players, parents, and guests during that game and while at the place where the game is being played. Referees have the right to eject anyone from the rink. Please tell your guests that any unsportsmanlike conduct may get them ejected from the rink.
2. Managers and coaches are obligated when requested, to do whatever possible to assist game officials and others involved in controlling the spectators at that game. Suspension for the coach or the manager or the entire team, and/or a forfeit of the game could result from lack of such action in attempting to control any person or group in the arena.

Section 6.05 Penalties, Game Misconducts, Match Penalties, and Suspensions

1. Penalties shall be served as follows for games consisting of periods less than 15 minutes in length:
a. Minor penalties = 1:30
b. Major penalties = 4:00
c. Misconducts = 8:00

2. Penalties shall be served as follows for games consisting of periods equal to 15 minutes in length:
a. Minor penalties = 2:00
b. Major penalties = 5:00
c. Misconducts = 10:00

3. Any player who receives a Game Misconduct penalty shall be suspended until after her next WCHL League game. The offending team must report this to the league within 24 hours of the misconduct or before the next WCHL game if another game is scheduled in less than 24 hours.
a. Any player who receives two majors in one (1) game shall receive a Game Misconduct and be suspended for her next two WCHL League games.
b. Any player who receives a second Game Misconduct during the course of the season shall be suspended for her next two WCHL League games. If either Game Misconduct is the result of two majors in a game she will be suspended for her next three WCHL League games.
4. Any coach of a team that receives ten (10) or more penalties in one (1) game shall be suspended for the next WCHL League game. If no coach is present at the game, then the team captain shall serve the suspension.
5. Any player, coach, or team official receiving a Match Penalty shall be immediately suspended from all WCHL activity until the case is heard by the proper governing body.
a. Any player, coach, or team official who receives a second Match Penalty or a third Game Misconduct during the course of one (1) season shall be suspended indefinitely. The player or coach must appear before the WCHL Rules and Ethics committee and apply for reinstatement. The Rules and Ethics Committee may reinstate them at the beginning of the next season, may continue their suspension for a set number of WCHL games, or may deny their petition for reinstatement. A player or coach may petition for reinstatement only once per season until reinstatement is granted.
6. A player serving a suspension cannot be on the players’ bench during her suspension, but can be in the stands or rink area, unless they have been ejected by a referee.
7. A team official cannot be in the vicinity of the players’ bench while serving the suspension.
8. Players and/or coaches serving suspensions must be noted on the score sheet.