FAQ’s Permits & Exemptions

When/why does an MHL team need a permit?

To play in ANY sanctioned exhibition game or tournament, MHL teams MUST have a permit.  This gives permission for the team to participate and, therefore, means that the team is covered by Hockey Canada insurance.  MHL teams are NOT covered by HC insurance at any unsanctioned event.  Regardless of the existence of a permit, MHL games are first priority.  Having a permit alone does NOT mean that a team is exempted from their regular schedule.

What is an exemption and when does a team need one?

An exemption is an MHL guarantee that a team will not be scheduled for a game during the time period specified.  A team needs an exemption (plus the above-mentioned permit) if they wish to ensure that they are not scheduled during the time period of the permit event.  (e.g. Friday to Sunday of a tournament weekend.)

Is there really a difference between a permit and an exemption?

YES!  All teams must have a permit for EVERY exhibition game and EVERY tournament.  Without it you don’t have League insurance and you will be denied participation in the tournament.  There are no limits on the number of permits that any team may request (and, hence, no limit to the number of exhibition games and tournaments in which a team may participate).  However, teams will only be “scheduled out” of their regular schedule with an approved exemption.  That is, to be allowed to play AND be exempted from the MHL schedule, a team must have BOTH an approved permit AND an approved exemption.

How many permits and exemptions can one team apply for?

Permits:  Unlimited

Exemptions:  Maximum of TWO.  For weekends where exemptions are allowed but not counted (see chart), as long as the exemption request comes in before the deadline, it will be accepted and will NOT be counted as one of the team’s two exemptions.  Note that there are no exemptions allowed after January 31st for all levels of MHL teams.  In addition, there are no exemptions for any House League team during convening (except Gold and Tyke Select as they are not convened).

Can an MHL team go to a tournament with a permit, but not an exemption? 

Yes, but the team must play its’ MHL games as its’ first priority.  (No exceptions!)  This can work for local tournament if the tournament is willing to work around the MHL schedule.  However, this is strongly discouraged for out-of-town tournaments if a team is or could be scheduled for a weekend game.  See MHL Rule 10 for the consequences of defaulted games.

How does a team apply for a permit/exemption? 

Both permits and exemptions are done on-line and on the same form.

What is the cost of a permit/exemption? 

$10 per permit, refundable if the permit is denied.  There is no additional cost for the exemption, if required.

Can an exemption be used for any other reason than a tournament or exhibition game and does it count as one of the two exemptions?

Yes – Teams can use an exemption for any purpose to excuse themselves from the schedule, as long as the request is submitted before the deadline, it falls within the weeks allowed, and the team has not already used-up its’ two exemptions.  Regardless of the reason, this will not be counted as one of the team’s two exemptions if it falls inside the weeks that are counted.

What if we’ve used both allowed exemptions and want to enter another tournament?

The team’s request for a permit will be granted, however there will be no exemption from the schedule.  The team can play in the tournament but must work with the tournament scheduler to ensure that they can attend both their MHL game and the tournament games.

Our House League division is an odd-team loop, therefore one game each week has to move to a Sunday or weeknight anyway.  Can’t you just put our game on weeknight?

No, not without an approved exemption.  There is a set schedule as to when/where teams will be scheduled, even if the schedule has not yet been published.  Teams may get lucky and be that odd game, but no consideration can be given to make this happen outside of the exemption parameters.

Why can’t teams have exemptions during the Playoffs?

Playoff schedules are created in December, based on standings.  At that time we cannot determine final standings and therefore know when a team will play.  This is standard across the OHF.

Why are rules so strict in regards to exemptions?

The MHL Office is tasked with scheduling over 300 teams each week and over 4,000 games during the course of the season.  Our mandate is to create a fair and stable schedule and this can only be done with consistent and firm rules in place.