86.1 Start of Game and Periods - The game shall be commenced at the time scheduled by a “face-off” in the center of the rink and shall be renewed promptly at the conclusion of each intermission in the same manner.
86.2 Bench Minor Penalty – A bench minor penalty shall be imposed on either or both teams if they are not on the ice or can be seen proceeding to the ice to start the second, third or any overtime period when the intermission time on the clock has expired.
At the start of the second, third and any overtime period, all players with the exception of the starting players must proceed directly to their respective players’ benches. Skating, warm-ups or on-ice activities by non-starters will result in a bench minor penalty fordelay of game to the offending team.
When the visiting team must proceed by the way of the ice to their dressing room at the end of a period, they must wait for a signal from one of the officials before proceeding. Failure to wait for the official’s signal shall result in the assessment of a bench minor penalty for delay of game.
86.3 Choice of Ends - Home clubs shall have the choice of goals to defend at the start of the game except where both players’ benches are on the same side of the rink, in which case the home club shall start the game defending the goal nearest to its own bench. The teams shall change ends for each period of regulation time and, in the playoffs, for each period of overtime. (See Rule 84 – Overtime)
86.4 Delays - No delay shall be permitted by reason of any ceremony, exhibition, demonstration or presentation unless consented to reasonably in advance by the visiting team.
86.5 End of Periods - At the end of each period, the home team players must proceed directly to their dressing room while the visiting team players must wait for a signal from the official to proceed only if they have to go on the ice to reach their dressing room. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in a bench minor penalty for delay of game.
Players shall not be permitted to come on the ice during a stoppage of play or at the end of the first and second periods for the purpose of warming-up. The Referee will report any violation of this rule to the Commissioner for disciplinary action.
86.6 Pre-Game Warm-Up - During the pre-game warm-up (which shall not exceed sixteen (16) minutes in duration) and before the commencement of play in any period, each team shall confine its activity to its own end of the rink. Refer to Rule 46.9 - Fighting.
The Game Timekeeper shall be responsible for signaling the commencement and termination of the pre-game warm-up and any violation of this rule by the players shall be reported to the Commissioner.
Twenty (20) minutes before the time scheduled for the start of the game, both teams shall vacate the ice and proceed to their dressing rooms while the ice is being flooded. Both teams shall be signaled by the Game Timekeeper to return to the ice together in time for the scheduled start of the game.
86.7 Start of Game - At the beginning of the game, if a team fails to appear on the ice promptly without proper justification, a fine shall be assessed against the offending team, the amount of the fine to be decided by the Commissioner.
86.8 Start of Periods - At the beginning of the second and third periods, and overtime periods in playoffs (0:00 on the clock), clubs must be on the ice or be observed to be proceeding to the ice. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in a bench minor penalty for delay of game.
Before the start of the second and third periods (and overtime periods in the playoffs), the teams will proceed directly to their respective players’ benches. Only the starting line-up will be allowed on the ice. The visiting team will immediately place its starting line-up at the face-off circle, then the home team will follow, with the Referee allowing the home team to make a line change if so desired prior to the face-off. Skating, warm-ups or on-ice activities by non-starters will result in a bench minor penalty fordelay of game to the offending team.
No warm-up involving pucks on the ice shall be permitted for a goalkeeper at the start of any period. If, after one warning, this continues, the Referee shall assess a delay of game penalty to the offending team.