Gump Worsley Memorial Hockey League Rules and Procedures

Table of Contents

1.0 League Charter
2.0 League Organization
3.0 League Administration
4.0 Rosters
4.5 GWMHL Changes to Disk from Disk Team Disks
5.0 Transactions & Drafts
6.0 Player Use Limitations
7.0 Playing Rules
8.0 Playoffs
9.0 Road Lineups
10.0 Gamefiles and Descriptions
11.0 Season Schedule

1.0 League Charter

The Gump Worsley Memorial Hockey League was founded to promote long-term friendship and foster a competitive computer simulation hockey league.

The Rules and Procedures under which we govern our operations will be balanced to allow all GMs/teams equal and fair opportunity to be successful.

It will be impossible to document and legislate all potential conflicts. With this in mind, each GM is asked to establish the following priorities for their actions:

  1. Always make your decisions to protect the friendships you have made through your associations with the league.
  2. Always consider the impact of your actions on the league as a whole. While you may have every right to take a certain action, if your action weakens the league in the long run, please consider other options
  3. If you are unsure of what actions you should take, seek counsel of the Commissioner and other GMs in the league.

Communication is a key element to the success of the league. Each GM should make an effort to communicate with other leagues members on a regular basis. Share your ideas, your successes, your failures and most of all share your sense of humor. We will learn from your ideas, but we will grow when nurtured with laughter.

2.0 League Organization

The league is composed of two conferences: the Terry Sawchuk Conference and the Jacques Plante Conference.

Each conference is composed of 11 teams for a total of 22. (Refer to the GM Directory for the current league members and teams.)

Each team will play an 82-game regular season schedule. The top six teams in each conference make the playoffs at the conclusion of the regular season.

3.0 League Administration

The Commissioner is responsible for the complete operation of the league. Specific duties include but are not limited to: publishing the Rules and Procedures, coordinating all league communications, preparing the league master data disk, and supervising and managing all league deadlines and drafts.

The Commissioner is empowered to act on all issues not specifically covered in this manual.

Current Administration
Commissioner – Andrew Martin
Advisor – Jeff Morris

4.0 Rosters

Each team will be allowed to control up to 31 players. Players are assigned to four types of rosters.

Controlled Roster: A team’s Controlled Roster is the complete list of players to which a team owns the rights and encompasses all other rosters.

Playing Roster: A team’s Playing Roster is a maximum of 28 players that are eligible to play in the league during the current season. All players on this roster must have been given a rating by the APBA Hockey Disk Project for the current season. An exemption to this rule is only granted if a team already has 3 non-disk players assigned to its Reserve Roster: then, the team may assign a non-disk player to their Playing Roster.

Active Roster: A team’s Active Roster includes up to 20 total players, with a maximum of 18 skaters and 2 goalies. These are the players that a team ices in any given game. All players on the Active Roster must also be on the team’s Playing Roster. Only players on the Active Roster can play in a game.

Reserve Roster: A team’s Reserve Roster may contain up to 3 players. Players on the Reserve roster are not eligible to play in any regular or playoff games in the current season. To be assigned to the Reserve Roster, a skater must have played in 41 or fewer games in the previous NHL season. A goaltender must have played in 20 NHL games or fewer. Players on the Reserve Roster cannot be traded or released during the season.

Note: The two expansion teams joining the league in 2021 will each have 8 reserve slots for the 2021-22 season and 5 reserve slots for the 2022-23 season. In the 2023-24 season, they will each have 3 reserve slots to conform to the rest of the league.

4.5 GWMHL Changes to disk from disk team disks

The GWMHL will use the disk as compiled by the APBA Hockey disk team with 2 sets of adjustments.

1)  Any Defenseman rated ONLY on his off side will have his strong side added with all values being equal to the off-side. For example, a left-handed defenseman rated as RD only will be granted an LD rating to match his left-handedness.

2) In the event of a partial season, the league disk will be pro-rated to an 82-game season unless there are extenuating circumstances.

3) Prior to the start of Q1, each team may choose to assign an extra position to one defenseman and one forward.

A defenseman rated at a single position (LD or RD) may have the other defense position added. The DEF rating of the added position will be reduced by 1. Other ratings for the position will remain the same as the original position ratings.

A forward may have one forward position added, with the following restrictions: A player originally assigned a C, C/LW, C/RW position may have either a LW or RW position added, while a player originally assigned a LW or RW position may only have the opposite wing position added. A winger may not have a C position added. The DEF rating of the added position will be reduced by 1.

These adjustments apply only to the player if they remain on the team that requested the adjustment. When adjusted players are traded, their positions will revert to the original ratings.

5.0 Transactions & Drafts

Rookie Draft

The annual Rookie Draft will be conducted on a predetermined date following the release of that season’s disk by the APBA Hockey Disk Project team. The draft takes place via live chat and consists of four rounds.

The basic order of the draft is the inverse order of points earned in the previous GWMHL season. If teams are tied in points, the following tiebreakers are used:

  1. Most Wins
  2. Largest Goal Differential (GF – GA)
  3. Coin Toss

The team that wins the Atkinson Cup will pick at the end of each round for the following season. This includes Rookie and Veteran Free Agent picks.

Teams that do not make the playoffs participate in a weighted lottery which is conducted by the Commissioner and determines the draft order for the first round only. No team will fall further than three places lower than their basic draft position.

All players who were eligible for the Calder Trophy in the previous year’s NHL play will be eligible to be drafted in the Rookie Draft. Players already on a GWMHL team’s Controlled Roster are not eligible. Players do not need to be rated by APBA Hockey Disk Project to be eligible.

Veteran Free Agent Draft

The Veteran Free Agent draft is conducted annually following the Rookie Draft and is typically conducted via email. The Veteran Free Agent draft consists of four rounds.

The basic draft order is the inverse order of finish in the previous GWMHL season as determined by points earned. Tiebreakers are the same as the Rookie Draft.

All players rated by the APBA Hockey Disk Project in the current game who are not on any team’s Controlled Roster are eligible. Rookies not drafted in the Rookie Draft are eligible as long as they are rated in the current edition of the game.

Veteran Free Agent draftees must be placed on the team’s Playing or Reserve Roster.

Mid-Season Free Agent Draft

Another Free Agent Draft is conducted at the conclusion of the second quarter of play. The claiming priority for the Mid-Season Free Agent Draft is the inverse order of standing in the GWMHL as of the end of the 2nd quarter.

Players eligible for Mid-Season Free Agent claiming must be rated by the APBA Hockey Disk Project in the current game and must not be on any team’s Controlled Roster.

Mid-Season Free Agent claims must be placed on the team’s Playing Roster. The team must release a player from the overextended roster.

Mid-Season Free Agent draft picks may not be traded.


Trades are permanent transfers of ownership of a player’s rights from one team to another team. Trades must be submitted to the Commissioner by both GMs and approved before they are finalized.

Trades are allowed at three different times during a season.

Pre-season trades start as soon as the previous season has been completed and end with the roster freeze prior to the beginning of 1st quarter play. Players traded during the pre-season period are allocated to their new teams as soon as they have been finalized by the commissioner.

Trades after the roster freeze date are effective with the start of the 3rd quarter of play.

Trades may include players and/or draft picks. Draft picks may not be traded more than one full season in advance.

Both GMs involved in a trade are responsible for the fair balance of the trade. Any league member can request a review of a trade on the grounds that it is not a fair and balanced transaction. The Commissioner will first attempt to have the involved GMs renegotiate a different transaction. If that fails, the Commissioner will activate a Protest Committee to review the trade and arbitrate a solution.

6.0 Player Use Limitations

Maximum Use – Regular Season

All players will be limited to the actual number of games they played in the previous NHL season

For example, Mark Howe played in 44 games in the 1993-94 NHL season. In the 1994-95 GWMHL, season Mark Howe was limited to no more than 44 games.

Incidents of overuse will be reviewed by the Commissioner on a case-by-case basis. Penalties may range from a loss of draft position within a round to forfeiture of a draft pick to loss of the player as a free agent.

Maximum Use – Playoffs

Player use is limited in each seven-game series. Each skater is limited to up to 10% of NHL games played, with fractions of .5 and larger rounded up.

For example, since Mark Howe played 45 games during the regular season, he would be allowed to play in 5 games of each GWMHL playoff series (10% of 45 = 4.5, rounded up to 5). Therefore, any skater with 65 NHL games played or more is eligible to play in all games in a seven-game series.

Goalies who appeared in 40 or fewer NHL games will be limited to the same 10% limit as skaters. Goalies who played in 41 or more NHL games can play in all GWMHL playoff games.

Minimum Use

In order to retain a player’s rights at the end of the season, all skaters on a team’s Playing Roster must appear in at least 50% of the NHL games during the GWMHL season.

For example, Mark Howe played in 45 NHL games. To retain his ownership rights, he must play a minimum of 23 games in the GWMHL season.

All goaltenders on a Playing Roster must play 50% of their NHL minutes played.

Skaters and goaltenders who do not meet minimum use restrictions will be declared Free Agents at the end of the season. This rule applies even to players acquired at mid-season through trades or free agency.

Beginning in the 2018-19 season, any skater that is in a game lineup must play at least 1 minute to get credit for a game played. If a player is in a lineup and doesn’t play, that will not count as a game played for all usage cases.

7.0 Playing Rules

All GWMHL games (regular season and playoffs) will be played using the following rule priority:

  • All NHL rules in effect for the season being represented in the game ratings, unless superseded by
  • APBA Pro Hockey rules for the current edition of the game

8.0 Playoffs

The top six teams in each conference, as determined by points earned, will qualify for the Atkinson Cup playoffs. Ties will be broken by the following criteria:

  1. Most Wins
  2. Greatest Goal Differential (GF – GA)
  3. Single Game Playoff

The 1st and 2nd seed in each conference will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The first round matches the conference’s 3rd seed against the 6th and the 4th seed against the 5th. In subsequent rounds, teams are re-seeded and matchups are determined by regular season points.

All playoff series are best-of-seven. The higher-seeded teams will be the home team in games 1, 2, 6 and 7.

All 7th games are zipped by the Commissioner at a neutral site.

9.0 Road Lineups

All teams are required to deliver to the Commissioner their road lineups by the designated deadline prior to the beginning of each quarter.

Default road instructions include the active roster of 18 skaters and 2 goalies, all lines, shift counts, forechecking modes, and all other strategies. These must be created using the APBA Hockey Commissioner software and sent as a .PRF or .APB file.

A team is allowed to send road lineups specific to a certain team, but they must be received by both the opposing GM as well as the Commissioner no later than the 1st day of the quarter.

If a home team realizes after a games has been played that they used the incorrect road lineups, they must replay the game using the correct lineup and road instructions. They must notify the Commissioner of the error so that he will only upload the correct game into the stats database.

If a home team realizes after a game has been played that they used the incorrect home team lineups, they have no recourse. The game stands as played.

10.0 Gamefiles and Descriptions

Each coach is responsible for the recording and protection of their GAMEFILE.DAT files. It is strongly recommended that you make frequent backups of this file for your own protection.

At the end of each quarter, you will rename your GAMEFILE.DAT to clearly indicate your team and the quarter and email it to the Commissioner.

At the conclusion of each home game, you will be prompted to enter the “Game Description”. Please use the following format to make updating statistics easier for the Commissioner: XXX/QY/GZ, where XXX is your team abbreviation, Y is the quarter, and Z is the game number within the quarter.

For example, if the Ice Harbor Storm are hosting the El Dorado Lynx in the 2nd quarter playing game number 7, Ice Harbor is the home team so they would use the game description IHS/Q2/G7.

11.0 Season Schedule

The GWMHL does not operate on a strict calendar and deadlines are set on an ad hoc basis. However, each GWMHL season follows this order of events:

Playoffs conclude
Draft lottery held
Trading reopens
Season disk released by APBA Hockey Disk Project team
Rookie Draft
Veteran Free Agent Draft
Q1 Roster Freeze
1st quarter lineups due
1st quarter gameplay
1st quarter gamefiles due
Q2 Roster Freeze (Trial)
2nd quarter lineups due
2nd quarter gameplay
2nd quarter gamefiles due
Mid-Season Free Agent Draft
Trade Deadline
3rd quarter lineups due
3rd quarter gameplay
3rd quarter gamefiles due
4th quarter lineups due
4th quarter gameplay (trial – 3-game segments)
4th quarter gamefiles due
Playoffs begin

Questions or concerns about any of the rules you see here? Email the Commissioner. The GWMHL rules are up for debate and discussion during the off-season. Any significant rule change will be voted upon by all league members.

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