NIHL South Division 1 format agreed for 17/18

NIHLrestructure_070517The Invicta Dynamos are pleased to confirm that the NIHL South Division 1 format for 2017/18 has been formally agreed and will comprise of 12 teams in 2 conferences, including cross-conference fixtures, as well as a cup tournament and the introduction of sudden death overtime.

NIHL SOUTH DIVISION 1

The league grows to 12 teams following the addition of Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees (Bracknell Hornets move to the NIHL South Division 2), Cardiff Fire, Peterborough Phantoms and Swindon Wildcats. These 12 sides will be divided into 2 conferences.

Conference A
Basingstoke Bison
Bracknell Bees
Cardiff Fire
Milton Keynes Thunder
Oxford City Stars
Solent Devils

Conference B

Chelmsford Chieftains
Invicta Dynamos
London Raiders
Peterborough Phantoms
Streatham IHC
Swindon Wildcats

Teams will play other sides in their conference 4 times on a 2 at home and 2 away basis for a total of 20 conference fixtures. In addition teams will play sides from the other conference 2 times on a 1 at home and 1 away basis for a total of 12 cross-conference fixtures. Final placement in the NIHL South Division 1 will be determined by the team’s record across all 32 league fixtures.

NIHL SOUTHERN CUP

8 teams will compete in the NIHL Southern Cup. These sides will be divided into 2 groups:

Group A
Chelmsford Chieftains
Invicta Dynamos
Streatham IHC
London Raiders

Group B
Basingstoke Bison
Bracknell Bees
Peterborough Phantoms
Swindon Wildcats

Teams will play other sides in their group 2 times on a 1 at home and 1 away basis. The top 2 sides in each group will then progress to the NIHL Southern Cup Semifinals to be played over 2 legs on a 1 at home and 1 away basis before the victors progress to the NIHL Southern Cup Final also to be played over 2 legs on a 1 at home and 1 away basis.

NIHL SOUTHERN PLAYOFFS

Arrangements for the post-season competition are in place but will be ratified following the NIHL North meeting on Sunday 14th May 2017.

RULES / FURTHER UPDATES

The regular season will begin on the weekend of 2nd/3rd September 2017 and end on 7th/8th April 2018.

The limit to the number of non-EIHA trained players permitted on the roster on game day remains unchanged and therefore all teams are allowed a maximum of two with only one on the ice at any one time.

2017/18 will see the introduction of sudden death overtime with any tie that finishes level after 60 minutes progressing to a further 5 minute period of 3-on-3 hockey. Should a team score during this period they will win the tie and claim two points whilst the losing side will receive one point. Should neither team score the game will proceed to penalty shots with the same point allocation.

CLUB STATEMENT

Following the conclusion of the EIHA meeting Club Director Jackie Mason said, “After several weeks of uncertainty we are pleased the format for the new season has been agreed and believe that the most suitable outcome possible has been achieved. As a club we are now focussed on preparing for the challenges that await in 2017/18 and look forward to welcoming several new teams to the SilverBlades Gillingham. The expansion of the NIHL and addition of sudden death overtime is set to make our league even more exciting for our supporters and our commitment to them remains the same as before – icing the most competitive team possible within the resources available. We see this as an opportunity to continue to grow the club on and off the ice and look forward to welcoming our supporters back to the rink for when the new season gets underway in September”.

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EIHA PRESS RELEASE IN FULL

Following the NIHL South section meeting on Sunday 7 May, the EIHA is pleased to announce that the format for 17/18 season has been agreed after more than 6 hours of discussions. The applications from former EPIHL sides Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Peterborough Phantoms and Swindon Wildcats were accepted and they take the place in NIHL South 1 next season. In total there will be 12 teams in Division 1, split into two conferences of six teams.

Conference A
Basingstoke Bison
Bracknell Bees
Cardiff Fire
Milton Keynes Thunder
Oxford City Stars
Solent Devils

Conference B
Chelmsford Chieftains
Invicta Dynamos
London Raiders
Peterborough Phantoms
Streatham IHC
Swindon Wildcats

Teams will play others in the own conference twice home and away, and teams out of conference once home and once away.

There will also be an NIHL S1 Cup with two groups.

Group A
Chelmsford Chieftains
Invicta Dynamos
Streatham IHC
London Raiders

Group B
Basingstoke Bison
Bracknell Bees
Peterborough Phantoms
Swindon Wildcats

The initial stage of the Cup will have one home and one away against the others in their group.

NIHL South Division 2 reverts to a single division of 13 teams, playing one home and one away. Discussions on a NIHL S2 Cup will continue.

Basingstoke Buffalo
Bristol Pitbulls
Bracknell Hornets
Cardiff Fire 2
Chelmsford Warriors
Guildford Phoenix
Haringey
Invicta Mustangs
Lee Valley Lions
Oxford NIHL2
Peterborough Phantoms 2
Slough Jets
Swindon Wildcats 2

The meeting also agreed that all NIHL South games ending in a draw after 60 minutes will go to five minutes of 3 on 3 overtime and penalty shots if required.

The NIHL season will begin on weekend of 2/3 September and is scheduled to end 7/8 April.

The issue of post season play will be discussed wider following the NIHL North section meeting which is now scheduled for next weekend.

NIHL South League Manager Richard Carpenter said: “It was a long day, a difficult meeting but we’ve reached agreement on the way forward for next season and beyond.

“There are no perfect answers or deals to such a highly complicated situation but we would like to thank all teams involved for reaching a deal today to the betterment of British ice hockey.

“There are wider whole-NIHL issues which will be discussed after the North section next week, but we’re pleased to have carried out this task of integrating the former EPIHL clubs into the NIHL Structure and agreed a format”.

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