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Bench format ruleset

Is there any kind of bench format set of rules around? I remember there was something in like V2 of the NAH rules, but it's no longer there. It would be nice to see folks who have experience with it put something together for those who don't.

For the Euro Bench, we used the latest NAH rules with the following additions:

Game format

1) Teams have to play on, within 10 seconds of a goal, or turnover.

2) No mechanical or minor injury timeouts. If you can get off court, then we play on. Only the referee can stop the game for serious injury.

3) Each team have 2 tactical timeouts per game. These will be 90 seconds each. If it's during play, you lose the ball. If it's in a break of play, you keep the ball (but still only when you have possession). Time will stop.

Starting games

4) If one team is late, then a penalty goal will be given every 3 minutes.

5) If you have 3+ players, you start. We won't wait around for someone going to the shop/toilet, whatever. You are responsible for where your players are, not the refs.


6) Apart from the usual 30 second, and 2 minute penalties, there will also be a 5 minute penalty, where the team remains at 3 players, just the penalised player cannot play for the next 5 minutes.
This is designed to punish a player where there is no need to punish the team (they got no unfair advantage). For example, throwing a mallet, ref abuse, minor fighting, etc. Think of it as a cooldown period.

7) The game misconduct penalty (which would only be used for the most severe penalties, such as a major fight), would also allow a team to remain with 3 players

8) 4 player on court penalty. If a team has 4 players on court, and the ref believes they got an advantage from it, they can apply the usual penalties, ranging from a turnover, to a goal (for example if a player come on and saves a goal, while there are 3 other players on court).


9) In the Elimination stages, any games in ending in a tie after regulation time will continue with 10 minute overtime periods, with each period starting with the joust. A "golden goal" will not stop the game, time will continue for the full 10 minutes

Until the point where there is a formalized Bench Format Circuit, and title, there's little purpose in making the rules universal.

If we do start heading that way, I propose that the unlimited goals means that there's no justification in further prohibition in wrist shots, and being that bench tournaments have used wrist shots without problem further supports this (e.g. - MenacESPI 2012).

I like some of the special rules above, and I agree that for Bench, OT is better than Sudden Death.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang

you make a good point. i guess i was thinking more along the lines of guiding people who have never organized a bench.

In that case, I think event hosts need to worry less about rules, and focus on:

1) The court(s) - Is there a balanced way for players to enter/exit the court that provides no strategic advantage to one team. If court access is asymmetrical, does the half time switch adequately balance the court?

2) How many people can be on a bench in a given match for a team. I personally suggest that in a given match a team should be no larger than 9 (3 on court, 6 on bench). This doesn't mean that a club can't bring more than 9 players, but that only 9 at a time in a given game.

3) Clarity on possession, and court changes after goals, penalties, and turnovers.

Combination of choice: Smash + Bang