SoChel'94 - NHL'94 Tournament

Sega Genesis: Saturday, June 19, 2021, 1PM to 7PM EST
Super Nintendo: Saturday, June 26, 2021, 1PM to 7PM EST
Where: Online on PC (Sega and SNES) and MAC (SNES)

What is SoCHEL?

SoCHEL is an online NHL’94 charity tournament played on Sega Genesis & Super Nintendo emulators on PC & Mac for the benefit of the Mario Lemieux Foundation and is run by the administrators of and

The first SoCHEL took place in June 2020 with over 150 registrations, with players from 30 US states, 7 Canadian provinces, and 5 other countries (United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, and Japan). We raised $4,794.00 last year and are hoping to beat that in 2021.

The name "SoCHEL Distancing tournament" is a pun on "Social Distancing tournament." For those not familiar with the term “CHEL”, it’s the sound made when you say the ‘H’ and ‘L’ in ‘NHL’ quickly and is a common nickname for the EA game series.

You can watch the live-streams of last year's event on Twitch:

  • Watch the 2020 Sega stream -> Link
  • Watch the 2020 SNES stream -> Link

Entry Donation

Tournament entry requires a donation to the Mario Lemieux Foundation. See the "Registration Information" section below for the proper place and amount to donate.


The top player on each console will receive a signed trophy from Mario Lemieux. Remaining prizes to be determined.

Registration Information

Register by Wednesday, June 8th - Registration Link

You'll receive an email with information about how to set up your computer to play. Once you have played and hosted a successful test game, you can complete your donation on the Mario Lemieux Foundation website: Donation Link

  • Sega Genesis Tournament - $19.94 (Guaranteed 5 games)
  • Super Nintendo tournament - $19.94 (Guaranteed 5 games)
  • Mario Lemieux Package (NEW) - $66.00 Includes Mario Lemieux Foundation T-Shirt and the option to play in both the Sega and SNES tournaments. The Sega and SNES tournaments are held on different days so you can, if desired, play in both.

You can sign up for both tournaments if you'd like. Also, the above amounts are the minimum. Please feel free to donate more if you wish!


The event will be live-streamed again on:

  • Twitch (KingofNHL94 channel) - Link
  • Facebook ( page) - Link
  • Streams will begin at 1PM EST
Note - You are encouraged to stream you own games and share the link with us so we can get it out prior to the tournament.

Dates and Times:

  • Friday April 23rd - Registration Start Date
  • Wednesday, June 9th - Registration Closes
  • Saturday June 19th - Genesis Tournament
    • 1PM-3PM Eastern Time - Group Play
    • 3PM-7PM Eastern Time - Playoffs
    • Group Schedule will be assigned by June 12th, so you can start your Group Play games early if you'd like. We encourage it!
  • Saturday June 26th - Super Nintendo Tournament
    • 1PM-3PM Eastern Time - Group Play
    • 3PM-7PM Eastern Time - Playoffs
    • Group Schedule will be assigned by June 19th, so you can start your Group Play games early if you'd like. We encourage it!

Note: We will do our best to accommodate times for those competitors who register outside of North America.

Tournament Format (NEW):

This new format is designed so that regardless of your skill level you will automatically qualify for the playoffs and you will end up in a playoff bracket with players of similar skill level. All bracket winners will win a prize.

  • Round Robin - Groups and Schedule to be determined based on final numbers
  • No ties. Play until there is a winner for each game
  • After the round robin, players will be divided and seeded into in separate brackets consisting of 16 players. Bracket, A, B, C D, etc.
  • The last bracket on each console may have more or less than 16 depending on the final numbers
  • Seeding is determined by number of wins, then overall plus/minus, then least goals allowed, and then whoever registered the earliest
  • The playoff brackets are a best-of-3 series single elimination. (Win 2 games to advance, loser is eliminated)
    • Alternating Home & Away with the higher seed playing as the home team for games 1 and 3
  • Prizes are awarded for each bracket champion

How to Play NHL'94 Online:

We play on PC/Mac computers using free "emulator" software. You will also need a USB or Bluetooth gamepad/controller (recommendations below)

  • RetroArch Emulator (the "console")
    • Link to Instructions and Package Download (this is a customized version of RetroArch) - Getting Started
  • NHL'94 Playoff ROM (the "cartridge") - this is included in the RetroArch download package
  • USB Controller/GamePad OR Keyboard
    • Suggested USB controllers if you need to purchase one:
      • Retrobit USB Sega Genesis controller
      • Tomee USB SNES Controller
      • 8bitdo M30 2.4g (Genesis) or SN30 2.4g (SNES) controllers (use the included USB cable to get it to work with your PC)
      • Original controllers with a USB adapter from
  • Discord App - Used for communication between players and for assistance - Link to the SoChel Server - Discord
  • High Speed Internet - Wired connection is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED

Game Settings:

  • 5 Minute Periods
  • No Offsides, Penalties Off
  • No Line Changes
  • Manual Goalie Control

Tournament Game Rules (NEW)

A ‘referee’ will be designated to resolve any disputes not covered under these rules.
  • Team Choice:
    • The visiting player picks the match up for the game. The home player picks their choice of the matchup (Example: Visiting player calls “PITTSBURGH VS BOSTON”, the home team player selects PITTSBURGH as their choice and the visiting player uses BOSTON for that game)
    • There’s no restriction on how many times you can call a certain match up. Use the same matchup every time, or you can mix it up throughout the tournament. You can use the same match up in a playoff series.
    • Genesis Tier List

    • SNES Tier List

  • Editing Lines:
    • You can edit lines before the game starts or during a stoppage (injury, intermission, or time out)
    • Home team gets last line change
    • Be considerate of time when editing your lineup, keep it quick
    • Allow time for your opponent to edit lines during intermission before pressing Start
  • Pulling the Goalie for an Extra Attacker:
    • You can pull the goalie any time after a whistle and before the puck is dropped
    • You can pull the goalie when the puck is in the NEUTRAL ZONE.
    • All other scenarios, you CANNOT pull the goalie.
    • Once your goalie is pulled you must leave him out of the net and can't put him back in until there is a stoppage of play.
  • Mercy Rule:
    At any point when a player is winning by a margin of 6 goals, the game is considered finished and the score should be recorded. There is no need to continue the game.
  • Disconnection/Crash/Malfunction:
    These situations are rare, but can potentially happen.
    • If any of the above occurs during a live game, players should stop and restart with the last known score.
      • Players should do their best to determine, how much time was left and come to a mutually agreed start time.

        Example - The score is 3-1 in favor of Player A and the game malfunctions halfway through the 3rd period. The players should restart the game and mutually agree to play the right amount of time remaining. The following scenarios are then possible:

        • In the new game, Player B scores 1 goal in the remaining time and the score reads 1-0 for Player B. The final score is 3-2 Player A, so Player A wins.
        • In the new game, player B scores 3 goals in the remaining time and the score reads 3-0 for Player B. The final score is 4-3 for Player B, so Player B wins.
        • In the new game, player B scores 2 goals in the remaining time and the score reads 2-0 for player B. The score is tied 3-3, so the next period starts overtime. Next goal wins.
      • If a save state was made at some point near when the issue occurred, the game can restart from the saved state.

        Example: The score is 3-1 for Player A and the game malfunctions half-way through the 3rd period. One of the players had a saved state after the score was 3-1. The state can be reloaded by the host, and netplay restarted. The other player can reconnect, and play can then be resumed from the savestate.

      • The Admin Team will be available to "referee" as needed, and if there are any questions. If there is an issue, please post in the Discord, and we will respond promptly.
        • Darrell Sampson (Halifax)
        • Michael Capewell (smozoma)
        • John Glass (chaos)
        • Raphael Frydman (kingraph)


Can I register for both systems?
Yes, you can register for both tournaments.

Is my registration fee transferrable?

Can I play with different game settings?
No. Our tournament setting is for 5 min periods, no offsides, penalties off, no line changes and manual goalie. These settings create a simple, fast-paced game for tournaments. While the alternatives are fun, these settings allow us to run tournaments effectively.

Can I use a timeout?
Yes, but NOT during play. You can call a timeout during a stoppage (injury, goal, intermission). There’s only one time out in the game for each team and either player can use this time to change your line up.

Are glitch goals allowed?
Yes, all goals count. If it's in the game, it's in the game! Glitch goals are very rare, but some known glitches are:
  • Genesis
    • Shooting the puck at the net after the whistle when a penalty shot has been called will result in a goal
    • “Goalie lock” happens when you make an errant pass with the goalie and can be “locked” as the goalie until your team touches the puck again. (Your opponent is allowed to attempt to score on you, but cannot delay the game)
    • The puck lands on top of the net and then falls through the net as a goal
  • Super Nintendo
    • Your own player or goalie is behind the net and attempts to clear the puck, having it go through the back of the net for a goal
    • A penalty shot is awarded and the time expires - Occasionally it skips the penalty shot and you don’t get to take it
    • A penalty shot is awarded and the puck shoots like a lightning bolt and gets stuck in the boards and cannot be retrieved
Is there such a thing as a garbage goal or a cheap goal?
There are no garbage or cheap goals that are banned from gameplay. Goals can be stopped with great team defence or by using manual goalie to make the save.

Contact for any questions regarding this tournament.