skip navigation

Sanctioning Your Event

Invitational Tournament Sanctions/Travel Permits

Invitational Tournament Sanctions/Travel Permits

If your program is hosting an invitational tournament, you are required to sanction the tournament by submitting the Invitational Tournament Application form available from your programs registrar or State registrar.  You are required to verify that all participating teams are properly registered with USA Hockey or their country's federation.  USA Hockey Official Team Roster (1-T) approved by the District or Associate Registrar shall be proof of proper registration and individual player age.  Invitational tournaments shall not require player birth certificates for review.  Travel permits are required for any team from an Affiliate requiring Travel Permits, and approved travel permits from Hockey Canada or member branches are required for all Canadian teams.  An International Competition Travel Form is required for all other foreign teams.  

All ON-ICE events are sanctioned by the District Registrar.     

A “sanctioned event or activity” is one which: is authorized by a USA Hockey organization; is played under the Playing Rules of USA Hockey; has all members (players and coaches) properly registered; and is officiated by properly registered and certified USA Hockey officials. All normal ice hockey-related activities, such as games, practices and scrimmages, between properly registered USA hockey teams are automatically sanctioned. USA Hockey does not sanction games or practices against non-registered teams/leagues, unless a District Risk Manager and Registrar agree to issue a Special Event Sanction. 

All properly registered players (or coaches and officials) are covered while participating in a USA Hockey “sanctioned event” or activity, which includes USA Hockey tournaments. If a tournament is not a USA Hockey “sanctioned event;” there is no coverage in effect from USA Hockey’s insurance. To sanction an Invitational Tournament, complete the Invitational Tournament Application, send the tournament rules and checks to your State Registrar.  One check payable to USA Hockey in the amount of $250.00 for US/Canadian teams and one $50.00 payable to Rocky Mountain District.  If you Affiliate collects an Affiliate fee send the check to your Associate Registrar in your Affiliate. 

"Try Hockey for Free Day Sanctioning.  The process for sanctioning and to keep it consistent for all Try Hockey Events, sanctioning will be done solely through the Try Hockey For Free Portal and vetted by the Program Services staff.  A special event sanction form will no longer be required by associations for Try Hockey events.  

This sanctioning process is already in place for the USA Hockey national try hockey dates, but will now include custom dates.  As a reminder, associations are always welcome and encouraged to use the portal for custom dates.  If additional information is required on any association's event request, program services staff will contact the appropriate registrar.  

For reports of try hockey events happening in your area, contact program services department.  The requests for Try Hockey Events (both national dates and custom) can be found here:

All OFF-ICE events such as fundraisers or community service events are sanctioned by the District Risk Manager.  To sanction your off-ice event, complete the Special Events Sanction form, attach a description of your event and forward to Ralph Bammert, 7568 Halley's Drive, Littleton, Colorado 80125, for approval.

Invitational Tournament Sanctions

In order for an ice hockey competition, other than normally scheduled league or exhibition games, where three or more legally registered teams compete it must be sanctioned by completing the USA Hockey Invitational Tournament Application.  

As a non-USA Hockey member or tournament promoter/organizer it is important to note the following:

  • Sanctioning of a tournament does not provide insurance for your negligence as promoter/organizer.
  • USA Hockey's insurance covers only USA Hockey and it's member clubs and associations.
  • The promoter/organizer is required to provide proof of liability insurance evidencing $1,000,000/occurrence and $2,000,000/aggregate prior to a sanction being issued.

The Invitational Tournament Application will not be accepted without all rules and procedures of the tournament and an appropriate certificate of insurance from non-USA Hockey members.  

The Invitational Tournament Application along with the payment, rules and certificate of insurance (if, non-USA Hockey) should be submitted to the District or Associate Registrar.  

Definition of a Game:  

An ice hockey 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. 

Registered USA Hockey ice hockey teams shall not participate in games against non-registered teams without prior written approval of the District Registrar. Violations of this rule shall subject the team to suspension by the appropriate Affiliate. 

Games between USA Hockey teams and non USA Hockey teams (i.e. Federation High School) shall be allowed when the game is sanctioned by USA Hockey.  For example, when a Federation High School team plays a USA Hockey team the game must be sanctioned by the District Registrar.  Sanctioning requires the USA Hockey team to complete the Special Events Sanction form prior to the game and that it be sent to the District Registrar for approval.  It is highly recommended that all games requiring sanctioning be requested prior to the season.  Any games requiring sanctioning after the initial request must be requested as soon as they are scheduled to allow time for USA Hockey to sanction the game.  USA Hockey teams shall be limited to a total six (6) such games during the current season.

Invitational Tournaments

Definition of a Tournament: 

Ice hockey 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 (3) teams, except Association Exchanges (limited to two (2) Associations), even though there are no winners declared.  

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

 The conditions for sanction of an ice hockey tournament are as follows:    

  • Written application on the official USA Hockey Invitational Tournament Application form must be submitted to the appropriate registrar for the district where the tournament will be held. 
  • The appropriate 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.  
  • 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 appropriate registrar and the host affiliate association. 
  • Only USA Hockey registered referees may officiate tournament games, unless specifically approved otherwise. 
  • Only USA Hockey playing rules and age divisions may be used in tournament play, unless specifically approved otherwise. 
  • Invitational Tournament Fee For 2022-2023 Season:

                      USA Teams & Canadian Teams - $250.00
                      RMD Tournament Fee $50.00 

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

The Tournament Director, as identified on the Invitational Tournament Application, is required to verify that all participating teams are properly registered with USA Hockey. A USA Hockey player roster form (1-T) approved by the District or Associate Registrar shall be proof of proper registration and individual player age. Invitational Tournaments shall not require player birth certificates for review. Travel Permits are required for all Non-USA Hockey teams, and any team from an Affiliate requiring Travel Permits. 

Additional Rules and Regulations regarding Invitational Tournament sanctioning are found in the USA Hockey Annual Guide, Rules and Regulations, X. Games, Exhibition Games, Invitational Tournaments and Sanctioned Events.

To sanction the tournament, email the completed application, fees and tournament rules to your States Registrar.  NOTE some States tournament application are completed on-line!