Minnesota Hockey introduced its Fair Play program during the 2004-05 season, as a component of the Hockey Education Program (HEP), with the goal of promoting safety and good sportsmanship. Much has changed over the past 15 years, but Fair Play has continued to play a key role as one of the top behavior influencing programs in youth hockey.
Fair Play is based on the premise of rewarding teams for maintaining proper behavior during competition. Under the Fair Play system, teams earn an extra point (Fair Play Point or FPP) in their district or league standings for staying under an established threshold of penalty minutes and avoiding inappropriate behavior by coaches or spectators.
While Fair Play does not impact the outcome of individual games, consistently good (or bad) behavior can have a cumulative effect on league standings and playoff seedings, encouraging players, coaches and parents to display positive behavior at all events.
Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine played a major role in developing the Fair Play system and continues to be one of the programs biggest proponents. In fact, Mayo Clinic recently included the expansion of Fair Play on a nationwide scale as one of its top recommendations for reducing the risk and severity of brain injuries on the ice.
Below are the official requirements for teams to earn their Fair Play point.
|Squirt||10 min||Girls 10U||8 min|
|Peewee||12 min||Girls 12U||10 min|
|Bantam||14 min||Girls 15U||12 min|
|Youth 16U||16 min||Girls 16U||14 min|
|Junior Gold||16 min||Girls 19U||14 min|
Note: If a coach is assessed a Game Misconduct or Match Penalty, a player receives a penalty for obscene gesture/offensive language or a spectator is requested to leave the arena by an official, that team will not be eligible for a Fair Play Point regardless of their total penalty minutes.
|Penalty Classification||PIM Equivalent|
|Minor or Bench Minor||2 minutes|
|Minor & Misconduct (2 & 10)||12 minutes|
|Misconduct (10)||10 minutes|
|Mouthguard Misconduct||2 minutes|
|Game Misconduct||10 minutes|
|Penalty Shot||Equivalent to penalty assessed|
The game scorekeeper is in charge of totaling HEP PIM equivalents at the end of each game and circling on the scoresheet whether each team earned their Fair Play point. Fair Play points are then reported through the normal reporting process in each league and appear on league standings.
Minnesota Hockey is committed to player safety on and off the ice, and the Fair Play program is a key part of those efforts while also ensuring all youth hockey players have a positive experience.