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Balanced Ice Time

Balanced Ice Time (BIT) Policy

Please review the information below. All coaches will be required to follow BIT policies at all times.

  • There are four defined points for BIT
    1. No power play lines
    2. No penalty kill lines*
    3. Even line rotation throughout the entire game
    4. BIT for goalies will be based on alternating full games, alternating periods, or equal periods per number of goalies

*The league is understanding of the fact that when a team faces a penalty kill their lines will change, forcing 1 player to sit each shift. This is not a BIT violation. The player that sits their shift, should go out the next shift to make up lost time. The player that serves the penalty is not expected to be given extra time to make up for their infraction.


  • Enforcement: If after a formal investigation, the BIT committee determines that there was a BIT violation the following suspensions will be issued to the Head Coach.
    1. 1st offense: 2 games
    2. 2nd offense: 4 games
    3. 3rd offense: remainder of the season including the NWHL tournament


  • Member clubs can hand out more strict enforcement if they deem necessary

Examples of BIT Violation

  • with a roster of 15 kids, playing 4 defensemen and 11 forwards
  • your center plays a shift, gets off, send them down to D, plays a shift, gets off, back to forward
  • grabbing your strongest player, who just got off the ice to quickly go out for a power play (rotate your lines, despite the game situation)
  • sitting kids because of ability
  • playing kids more because of ability
  • having a player get off the ice, put a new line out, only to pull off the closest forward once puck is dropped to put out the original player.
  • Having a roster of 13, 14, 15 and rotating 2 centers
  • Having an odd number of forwards and having the same position triple shift the whole game. It must rotate which positions triple shift so all players equal out.
  • In a 33 minute game, a player on a team of 9 forwards sees less than 8 minutes of playing time or sees more than 14 minutes of playing time

NOT examples of BIT

  • A really good player stands out, scores the majority of goals (if ice time is equal, player ability is irrelevant).
  • A goalie playing the entire game, while the other goalie sits (Coaches can rotate games evenly or periods evenly).
  • Teams with 4 D and 6-9 forwards. Defense goes out every other shift

New this season

The NWHL has formed a BIT committee under the R&E Sector. This BIT committee is comprised of volunteer board members who will be asked to randomly attend no less than 4 games watching a variety of programs, levels, and divisions. They will report back on these games to the committee. They will also investigate BIT Incident reports and institute necessary suspensions. If the BIT committee witnesses a violation of BIT during game play, they can approach the bench and warn coaches or, if needed, remove the coach from the bench for the game.