Rule 19. Change of Players
(a) When play is in progress, not more than six players (including a goaltender) are permitted on the floor at any one time.
(b) Players may be changed at any time from the players’ bench, provided that the player or players leaving the floor shall be at the players’ bench [within 3.05m (10 ft.)] and out of play before any change is made.
(c) A player on the penalty bench who is to be changed after her penalty has been served must proceed by way of the floor and be at the players’ bench before any change can be made.
(d) A team shall be required to place the correct number of players on the floor when requested by the Referee. The Visiting Team must be the first to place any playing lineup on the floor to commence play at all times. Each team is allowed only one change of player(s) during a stoppage of play.
(e) A Bench Minor penalty shall be assessed for a violation of any section of this rule. The penalty shall be served by a player committing the infraction, as covered under Rule 29 – Bench Minor penalties.
(f) If, in the last two minutes of regular playing time, or any time in overtime, a Bench Minor penalty is imposed for DELIBERATE illegal substitution, a Penalty Shot shall be awarded against the offending team. The Bench Minor shall not be served. See Rule 55 (e) Note – Delay of Game
Note 1: If in the course of making a substitution, either the player entering the game or the player leaving the game intentionally plays the ball with her stick, feet or hands or intentionally checks or makes any physical contact with an opposing player while the player respectively leaving or entering the game is actually on the floor, then the infraction of “too many players on the floor” shall be called
Note 2: If in the course of substituting, either the player entering the play or the player retiring is struck by the ball accidentally, the play should not be stopped and no penalty shall be called.
Note 3: When a goaltender leaves her goal area, and proceeds to the player’s bench for the purpose of substituting another player, she must be within 3.05 m (10 ft) of the bench before the substitute may enter the game. If the substitute is made prematurely, the official shall stop the play when the offending team gains possession and control of the ball. The resulting face-off shall take place at the centre face-off spot unless this gives a territorial advantage to the offending team. In which case the face off will take place at the closet face-off spot to where the stoppage occurred. There shall be no time penalty for making the premature substitution.
(g) For player changes during stoppages in play, the Referee shall begin the line change procedure as soon as it is safe to do so for the ensuing face-off and then allow a 5 second period during which the Visiting Team may make a player change. After this 5 second period has elapsed, the Referee will raise an arm to indicate that the Visiting Team may no longer change any player(s). With the arm still up, the Referee will allow a five second period during which the Home Team may make a player change. After this five-second period has elapsed, the Referee will drop the arm to indicate that the Home Team may no longer change any player(s). Where a team attempts to make a player change after their allotted period of time, the Referee shall send the player(s) back to their bench. Any subsequent infraction to this procedure at any time during the course of the game shall incur a Bench Minor penalty under Rule 19 (e).
Note 1: Notwithstanding this rule, where play is stopped for a high sticking the ball infraction, the offending team will not be permitted to conduct a line change until play resumes.
(h) During a line change in a stoppage in play, if there is a scrum or gathering the players coming on the floor must remain at their respective benches until the gathering is dispersed and the referee has indicated for the line change to take place. Failure to remain at the team bench may result in a bench minor penalty being assessed. Any player, goaltender or Team Official incurring a Major penalty and a Game Misconduct penalty, shall be ordered to the dressing room for the remainder of the game, and shall be reported to the President for further action. The Manager or Coach of the penalized team, through the playing Captain, shall designate any player of her team on the floor at the time of the infraction to serve the penalty.