The Invicta Dynamos can confirm that the club will continue to compete in a 9 team NIHL South Division 1 next season in addition to a 7 team cup competition after the format for the 2018/19 campaign was ratified at a league meeting on Sunday.
The NIHL South’s top tier remains unchanged with the Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Cardiff Fire, Invicta Dynamos, London Raiders, Milton Keynes Thunder, Peterborough Phantoms, Streatham IHC and Swindon Wildcats all competing for the right to be league champions. Teams will play each other on a two at home and two away basis for a total of 32 league games.
The NIHL Southern Cup will see the Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Invicta Dynamos, London Raiders, Peterborough Phantoms, Streatham IHC and Swindon Wildcats faceoff against each other in a mini league on a one at home and one away basis for a total of 12 group games. The teams placed one to four will then progress to the semi-finals.
The NIHL Southern Playoffs remain unchanged with the top eight placed sides in the NIHL South Division 1 progressing to the post season where a knockout competition will begin.
There are no major rule changes with the non-EIHA trained skater limit remaining at two per team allowed in the lineup for each game.
The following is a statement from the EIHA:
Officials from member clubs and the LMC met this weekend in Sheffield and Newbury to agree the format of competition for NIHL in season 2018/19.
After the discussions the LMC are pleased to announce the following arrangements have been agreed by the clubs.
NIHL SOUTH 1 (Britton)
No club has been promoted from Division 2, therefore the league membership remains unchanged from last season: Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Cardiff Fire, Invicta Dynamos, London Raiders, Milton Keynes Thunder, Peterborough Phantoms, Streatham IHC, Swindon Wildcats.
Clubs will play 2 home and 2 away against each other in the league.
The National Cup and Autumn Cup will not be continued in their current form. Discussions on interleague cup competitions will continue for future seasons. For 18/19 the North and South will run separate cup competitions for Division 1. There will be no cup competitions for Division 2 in either North or South.
In the South there will be seven teams in the Cup, namely Basingstoke, Swindon, Peterborough, Streatham, Invicta, London and Bracknell. These clubs will play 1 home and 1 away against the other six teams in the Cup. The top four sides will qualify for two-legged semi final. The Final will also be over two legs.
PLAYOFFS – Division 1
The discussions at both league meetings confirmed that Division 1 clubs are happy with the format for post season play. This will continue in 18/19. The top eight teams in each division will play two-legged quarter finals, progressing to semi finals and final.
The two regional finalists in each league will qualify for the Final Four weekend which will once again take place in Coventry. The date of Coventry 2019 will be confirmed and announced later in the summer.
It is the hope of the LMC to have league fixtures published by the end of July.
RULES OF COMPETITION
From the 18/19 season, automatic promotion and relegation between Division 1 and Division 2 has been scrapped. Moving between divisions in either direction will now be by application to the LMC.
The clubs have agreed in principle to the videoing of all NIHL 1 games to a minimum standard. This will assist with referee training and development as well as disciplinary decisions.
League manager Richard Carpenter said: “It was a long weekend but once again very much worthwhile to see all NIHL clubs and discuss issues face to face.
“The league has come a long way in the last 12 months and we look forward to the new campaign starting in September.”