The injured reserve list
is a list of reserved players who are injured and unable to play for a period of time, used most prominently in the National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...
(NHL) and National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...
(NFL). It is used because these leagues have a maximum number of players on the team roster
A roster is a list of names of people involved with an organization of some kind.A roster can be a list of people and the times when they are required to work or a list of students in a classroom....
, so placing a player on the injured reserve list frees up one spot. In Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...
(MLB), a similar list called the disabled list
In Major League Baseball, the disabled list is a method for teams to remove their injured players from the roster in order to summon healthy players.-General guidelines:...
is used. Also, in the National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...
(NBA), the Inactive List is the rough equivalent of injured/disabled lists of other sports. In the NFL, when a player is placed on the list called "Reserve/Injured", he cannot play for the remainder of the season. The other leagues allow the player to return to play during the season. The NBA's inactive list is the most liberal as it does not generally require a player to be injured.
In the event that a player is injured and a Club wishes to place him on the Injured Reserve List the Club must follow these procedures:
- A club may place a player on the Injured Reserve List if such player is injured, disabled or ill and unable to perform his duties as a hockey player after having passed the Club's initial physical examination in that season.
- A player who has an injury that renders him physically unable to play for a minimum of seven days after that date of the injury can be placed on the Club's Injured Reserve List. Once a player is placed on the list, the Club may replace said player on its NHL roster with another player. All determinations that a player has suffered an injury warranting injured reserve status must be made by the Club's medical staff and in accordance with the Club's medical standards.
- A player placed on Injured Reserve is ineligible to compete in NHL games for a period of not less than seven days.
Players on Injured Reserve may attend team meetings and meals, travel with the team and participate in practices.
A team may place a player on injured reserve (reserve/injured list) who is "not immediately available for participation with a club". These players may not practice or return to the Active List for the rest of the season (including postseason games) that they are placed on injured reserve, but are allowed to be with the team.
Due to abuses in the use of the injured reserve list, where some teams found convenient to use the IR to stash players without independent medical oversight, the injured reserve has been renamed the Inactive List with the last collective bargaining agreement. Starting in the , players can enter the inactive list one hour before tip-off for as little as one game. The inactive list has a minimum of one player and a maximum of three, subject to hardship rules when a team with three injured players already on its inactive list has a fourth player injured. Players sent to the NBA Development League
The NBA Development League, or NBA D-League, is the National Basketball Association's official minor league basketball organization. Known until summer 2005 as the National Basketball Development League , the NBA D-League started with eight teams in the fall of 2001...
will continue to count on a team’s inactive list.