Rule Recap: Five Goal Differential and Hotdogging

Hello ARL Players,

A couple of issues have come up related to the ARL style of play and the ARL spirit so once again we need to revisit the Five Goal Differential and Hotdogging rule.

The Five Goal Differential
  • In the interest of fairness and sportsmanship, no team may score more than 5 goals more than their opponent at any time. Any goals scored after that maximum will not be counted or recorded. Any goal scored when a team is down by five goals will simply not count. We ask that stronger teams try to help make the game even out as best they can or at least stop scoring.

  • Hotdogging is a penalty that we call on a very skilled player that goes end-to-end and scores a goal. A hotdog call could also apply to an aggressive defender. This is a discretionary call. This penalty may be called if a skilled player takes advantage of a weaker player on the opposing team in such a manner that the ref deems it unbecoming of an ARL player!
  • In all our divisions including our Rookie division, we don’t want players that score their two goals every game – we expect those better players to support the rest of their team and not try to control the game results. We know this isn’t black and white. The hotdog rule is something the refs can use to game manage. It is called more often in beginner but CAN be called in rookie-level as well. If a team is winning 4 – 0 and someone from that team runs blue-line to blue-line with the puck and scores, they’ll call that hotdogging. That’s just one example. The thing about the ARL is that not all rules can be written in stone. The refs have to use their discretion keeping in mind that games are supposed to be fun. We will back them on whatever they feel is necessary. So people – PASS the puck and be helpful!
  • Division 1 is excluded from the hotdogging rule. However, we still ask that players still continue to play in the ARL spirit.

So far this season we are getting complaints from captains and players through all the divisions. We have asked that the referees monitor this situation more closely but please understand that it is discretionary. Just because the player on the bench thinks it is a hot dog penalty does not mean it is a hot dog penalty. The referees’ decision is final and they will not have every player on a team complain because they feel victimized. If they feel a call is warranted, they will call it.

As noted, these rules are applied to maintain the league’s vision of maintaining a fun, social, co-ed, moderately competitive style of play. The goal in the ARL is not to annihilate your opponent. If you feel the need to aggressively forecheck your opponent in a game where you are leading by 5 goals and there are only ten seconds left and then go on to crash the net in order to tap in a rebound on a helpless goalie as the clock winds down then perhaps the ARL is not for you.

Let’s tone it down a bit out there. Keep it safe and keep it fun.

The ARL Committee