Section 4: Game Mechanics

§4.1 – Start of the game

  • §4.1.1 – Players are stationary, on their bicycles, with rear wheels touching the boards behind the goal.

  • §4.1.2 – The ball is placed at the center of the court.

  • §4.1.3 – The Referee asks each team if they are ready. The captain confirms by raising their hand in the air, or declines by putting their hand out straight and waving it from side to side.

  • §4.1.4 – When both teams signal that they are ready, the Referee raises a hand then blows the whistle, dropping the hand simultaneously.

  • §4.1.5 – When the whistle is blown, the game clock begins to run and one player may ‘joust’ for possession by accelerating towards the ball.

  • §4.1.6 – A Goal Judge signals a false start if any player’s back wheel terminates contact with the board behind their net prior to the whistle that starts the game.

    • §4.1.6.1 – If the Referee determines that a false start has resulted in an advantage for the team committing the false start, a ball turnover is granted to the team who lost the joust.

  • §4.1.7 – Jousting players hold their mallet on the side of their bike that a majority of players in the game consider their “mallet side”. e.g., if 4 of 6 players on the court hold their mallet in their right hand, the joust is a right–handed joust.

    • §4.1.7.1 – If there are an equal number of left and right–handed players, the teams determine which corresponding right-handed or left-handed players joust.

    • §4.1.7.2 - Any player that is traveling at a substantial and uninterrupted pace towards the ball is considered to be racing for possession and is subject to the rules for jousting players.

  • §4.1.8 – Jousting players must maintain a straight line until a player makes contact with the ball.

  • §4.1.9 – On a right–handed joust, the jousting player must ride to the left of their opponent. On a left–handed joust, the jousting player must ride to the right of the opponent. All other players cannot challenge for possession or place themselves in the path of a jousting player until possession has been established by one player, or both jousting players fail to gain possession as they pass the ball.

§4.2 – Stoppages of Play

  • §4.2.1 – In the 3v3 format the game clock stops in the case of a goal, an out–of–play ball or shifted goal position, extensive injury, a penalty, or a called time–out. The referee signals a stoppage of play by blowing the whistle. In squad/bench games the clock only stops for a timeout or injury.

  • §4.2.2 – In Squad or Bench format the game clock does not stop for a goal, an out–of–play ball or penalties, but does stop for time–outs and injuries. During the final two minutes of the game the clock stops after a goal, an out–of–play ball, penalties, time–outs and injuries.

  • §4.2.3 – Following a stoppage of play, teams have 10 seconds to return to their respective half of the court and prepare to resume play.

  • §4.2.4– Within this 10 seconds the Referee elicits acknowledgement that the team who is not in possession of the ball is ready to begin play. The Referee holds an arm straight out towards the team in possession and announces "play on". Play begins and the clock starts, if it's not already running, when the ball or a player from the team in possession of the ball crosses the half–court line.

    • §4.2.4.1 – If the team with possession of the ball does not begin play within 10 seconds of both teams confirming they are ready, the clock begins to run, the Referee signals "play-on", and the team without possession can begin play by crossing the half-court line.

    • §4.2.4.2 – For the team without possession of the ball to indicate they are ready to begin play, the player positioned in front of net (i.e. the "goalie") will raise their hand in the air. If no player is in this position, the nearest player to the referee raises their hand to indicate their team is ready to begin play.

    • §4.2.4.3 – If the team without possession of the ball does not communicate that they are ready within the allowed time limit, a Minor Delay of Game penalty is issued.

§4.3 – Ball out of Play

  • §4.3.1 – Out of Bounds

    • §4.3.1.1 – When the ball leaves the area of play, possession is forfeited by the team which last touched the ball. This includes deflections off of a player’s body or bike.

  • §4.3.2 – Lodged Ball

    • §4.3.2.1 – A ball that is lodged in a player’s equipment is out of play.

    • §4.3.2.2 – Possession is forfeited by the team that had the ball lodged in their equipment and play restarts according to §4.2.3.

§4.4 – Scoring

  • §4.4.1 – A point is awarded when the entire ball crosses the entire goal line after originating from a ‘shot’. A shot is defined in §5.2. A shot may subsequently deflect off of any surface except the broad side of an offensive player’s mallet head or the shaft of an offensive player’s mallet before crossing the goal line and be deemed valid. A player may not actively direct the ball across the goal line using their body or bicycle.

  • §4.4.2 – A point is also awarded when the entire ball crosses the entire goal line resulting from any action on the ball by a defending player. These are known as “own–goals.”

    • §4.4.2.1 – If an offensive player shuffles the ball according to rule §5.3 and the ball then contacts a defender’s stationary equipment and crosses the goal line, no point is awarded. Own–goals must meet the requirement of “primary action” by the defender.

  • §4.4.3 – Following a point, the team that was scored on has possession of the ball.

§4.5 – Penalties

  • §4.5.1 – The Referee stops play in order to assess a penalty according to the procedure outlined in §1.1.7 and §1.1.9.

§4.6 – Injury

  • §4.6.1 – Stoppage of play for an injury is called at the discretion of the Referee should they determine that a player is in need of immediate attention. There is no time limit issued for a stoppage of play in the case of injury.

  • §4.6.2 – Possession of the ball is returned to the team that was last in possession of it.

  • §4.6.3 – The game restarts according to §4.2.3 following recovery by the injured player or the introduction of a substitute player according to §2.1.2.

§4.7 – Timeouts

  • §4.7.1 – During live game play, a team can call for a stoppage in play by gaining possession of the ball according to §5.1 and audibly yelling “Timeout” to the Referee.

    • §4.7.1.1 – The team forfeits possession of the ball to the opponent, unless the Timeout is requested due to a broken ball or a player who is injured and requires immediate medical attention.

  • §4.7.2 – During any stoppage of play, either team may call for a timeout in order to extend the 10 second time-limit before play resumes.

    • §4.7.2.1 – The team who is entitled possession of the ball when the game restarts does not forfeit their possession to their opponent.

  • §4.7.3 – A team is granted two timeouts per game. A Timeout is 2 minutes in duration. A team is allowed to take these timeouts sequentially if more time is needed at the end of the first timeout.

  • §4.7.4 – At the expiration of the timeout, or when the team which called for the timeout declares they are ready, the game resumes according to §4.1.

  • §4.7.5 – If the Referee deems that mechanical issues requiring repair on a player’s bike or equipment were caused by the opposing team, they grant a timeout to the team for up to 5 minutes. This will not count against the team’s timeout allotment.

§4.8 – Shifted Goal Position

  • §4.8.1 – If the goal shifts position, the goal line between goal post markings remains the defining threshold the ball must cross for a goal to be awarded.

  • §4.8.2 – The Referee stops game play if they determine that the position of the goal has shifted greatly enough to inhibit a Goal Judge’s ability to determine whether a point is scored or it is apparent that the shifted position of the goal is affecting game play.

    • §4.8.2.1 – If the Referee deems that the goal shifted position due to unintentional and circumstantial game play rather than intentional action by a player, possession is granted to the team that has possession or last had possession of a loose ball.

  • §4.8.3 – A Delay of Game penalty is assessed according to §7.1 if the Referee deems that a player intentionally shifted the goal to force a stoppage of play.

§4.9 – Bench Mechanics

  • §4.9.1 - In Bench/Squad format, a team is allowed to substitute in any of their bench players for one of the 3 active players on the court by entering and exiting through their designated door on their defensive half of the court.

  • §4.9.2 - Prior to a new player entering the court, the player attempting to exit the court must be within the transition area that is a 10 feet (10' or 3m) boundary from the center of their team's designated door.

    • §4.9.2.1 - If either player entering or exiting the court interacts with a loose ball or interferes with an opponent carrying ball while the substitution is occurring, an Illegal Substitution penalty is assessed according to §7.4.