The following is a summary of the salient nomination criteria and election procedures applicable to candidates eligible for Honoured Membership in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Please refer to By-law No. 26 for the full scope of the selection process and for further clarification, where required.
Basis of Selection of Candidates
The following attributes provide the basis on which the election of nominees to Honoured Membership are to be considered:
Eligibility for Election
A person who is or has been distinguished in any of the above disciplines is eligible for election provided he or she meets the following eligibility criteria:
(a) Excluding games played only or primarily for charitable or recreational purposes, or any other limited purpose that the Chair of the Board of Directors determines should not disqualify a person otherwise eligible.
Annual Maximum Number of Candidates Elected
The maximum number of candidates that can be elected each year in each category is as follows:
Nomination of Candidates
ONLY members of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee may submit official nominations of candidates for election into Honoured Membership (such nominations are considered at the Annual Elections Meeting of the Selection Committee).
Each member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee may not make more than:
(b) one (1) nomination for election in the Builder Category; and
(c) one (1) nomination for election in the Referee or Linesman Category,
for each annual election proceeding.
Nominations from members of the Selection Committee shall be made annually in writing and must be filed with the Chair of the Board of Directors or Selection Committee no later than midnight (Toronto time) on April 15 in each year. A nomination will be valid and effective only for the annual election proceedings following the filing of the nomination.
Unless otherwise approved by the Board of Directors, the Annual Elections Meeting is held in June and the Annual Induction Ceremony is held in November.
Members of the Selection Committee shall be provided with the fullest possible data concerning the record and the merits for each candidate nominated.
The Hockey Hall of Fame has established certain criteria with respect to the circulation of public submissions to the Selection Committee which can be found on its website via HHOF.com. Qualifying public submissions must be received by March 15 in each year to be circulated prior to the April 15 nomination deadline. Click here for public submissions policy.
In each category of Honoured Membership, unless the maximum number of candidates is elected on the first ballot, one or more successive run-off ballots are held until a "final ballot" occurs, in which event no further balloting in such category is conducted thereafter.
The "final ballot" is the one (i) after the conduct of which the maximum number of candidates who may be elected has been elected, (ii) on which the number of candidates was less than or equal to the number of candidates who could then have been elected without exceeding the applicable maximum or (iii) the result of which is that all remaining candidates are dropped from further balloting.
Elections shall be held firstly in respect of the Player Category, secondly in respect of the Referee or Linesman category (to determine if the cap in the Builder Category is 2 or 1) and finally in respect of the Builder Category.
Each vote is by secret ballot and each member of the Selection Committee is entitled to vote for the maximum number of candidates applicable in each category.
Any candidate receiving 75% or greater votes from members of the Selection Committee present shall be declared elected.
On the first ballot or a run-off ballot on which a candidate is elected, then unless either such ballot is the final ballot, a run-off ballot or further run-off ballot shall be conducted involving all remaining applicable candidates not elected on such first ballot or run-off ballot.
If no candidate is elected on the first ballot or a run-off ballot, then unless either such ballot is the final ballot, any candidate receiving no votes and the candidate or candidates receiving the lowest number of votes above zero (0) shall be dropped from further consideration and balloting continues until the final ballot, except that:
Any candidate receiving fewer than 75% of the votes on a tie-breaker ballot resulting from the circumstances in the preceding paragraph shall be dropped from further consideration. If two or more candidates receive 75% or more of the votes on such tie-breaker ballot but two (2) or more among such candidates receive the lowest number of votes (or all such candidates receive the same number of votes) and the aggregate number of other candidates appearing on the previous ballot and not dropped from further balloting is less than the number of candidates who may still be elected given the applicable maximum number, then a further tie-breaker ballot or series of tie-breaker ballots shall be conducted based on the tie-breaker balloting rules set out in subclause 29(c)(6)(iii) of By-law No. 26.
No candidate may be elected on any tie-breaker ballot regardless of the number of votes he or she receives. Surviving a tie-breaker ballot merely entitles such candidate to proceed to the next regular ballot.
If, after the normal course of balloting in any given year, the number of male or female player inductees is fewer than the maximum number of candidates who can be elected, respectively, further balloting shall be conducted only involving any candidates who have been eligible for fifteen years or more, but in no such event shall such further balloting result in the election of a number of candidates exceeding the said applicable maximum.
The names of persons who are nominated for election as Honoured Members, but who are not elected as such, shall not be disclosed at any time to any person (including those who are nominated) other than members of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Board of Directors and designated staff.
No member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee or any other person present at the Annual Elections Meeting shall disclose to any person how any member of the Selection Committee voted on the election of any particular candidate (including the particulars of the balloting).
After the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee has completed all balloting for election into Honoured Membership, the Chair of the Board of Directors or an alternate person designated by the Board shall then release the names of those elected for general publication.
When a person is elected as an Honoured Member, the name of such person shall be duly certified by the Chair of the Board of Directors for official enrolment into Honoured Membership and all necessary action shall be taken for induction of such person at the next annual Induction Ceremony.