EIHA press release
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The EIHA has commenced planning for the 2023/24 season and is able to confirm some changes for next season.
Divisional entries are due to be confirmed by teams over the next four weeks and have been led by the Planet Ice NIHL National teams who have met recently to finalise participation and to progress their planning for the 2023/24 season.
We can confirm that 10 teams have made a commitment to contest the league next season.
We’d like to give our best wishes to all the players, staff, fans and community around the Basingstoke Bison organisation after they announced their hiatus from hockey for the 2023/24 season.
Other changes within the NIHL for next season include three core points:
Non-British Trained players (NBTs)
From next season this is confirmed as three NBTs being allowed to ice in all divisions, with no restriction on the number on the ice at any given time.
Teams within the Planet Ice NIHL National Division have agreed to apply limits to rosters to support and encourage the development of British talent. There will be roster limits applied to all divisions of the NIHL in supporting development.
There will be roster limits in place around the age of players to encourage the development of young talent in collaboration with the wider ice hockey community. Details of the roster limits for the 2023/24 season for across the NIHL will be announced shortly.
We have been working collectively with Ice Hockey UK to develop and monitor the NBT and roster limit approaches.
Players with work permits will only be able to participate within the PI NIHL National Division for the 2023/24 season.
Planet Ice NIHL National 2023/24 League Format
The 2023/24 competition will consist of 54 regular season games (three home, three away against each other team in the league). The National Cup will be held across the first fixtures home and away against each team, followed by Semi-Finals and Final played across two legs each.
Playoffs will see the top eight teams from the regular season compete in two groups of four across 3 weekends in a round-robin format. The top two from each group will progress to the final four weekend.
Planet Ice NIHL National Collective Investment into League Development
The teams have all agreed to collectively invest in developing league-wide marketing, communications, website and stats reporting functions, recognising the significant lack of capability in this area in the 2022/23 season. As plans develop we will share more.
A spokesperson for the Owners Group said: “We are pleased that the 10 teams are committed for the upcoming season.
“The league is stronger since the addition of Bristol and Hull, and this year we have seen some fantastic, close, competitive hockey in every arena.”
“The work on shaping the roster as a whole is designed to promote development and sustainability in the game. We understand the worries that allowing NBT goalies will bring, so will monitor this strict one-year trial, working with clubs and the governing body to see the effect it has.”
Speaking about the roster developments, Ice Hockey UK said: “The board of IHUK are really pleased to see the NIHL National Division take such a bold move in looking to include the development of homegrown GB talent as one of their top priorities going forward.
“This is a hugely positive step, and we’d like to thank everyone involved for getting to this point. We hope to be able to make a further announcement in due course regarding other areas in which the pro leagues can support the development of GB’s homegrown talent, both existing and emerging.
Andrew Miller, Director with strategic responsibility for the National Ice Hockey League said “The changes initiated in consultation with the Planet Ice NIHL National teams is a testament to our sport working together for the benefit of the future of our game.
“The cooperation between all parties and the investment in developing homegrown talent is key to our shared success and we look forward to showcasing this at our forthcoming event in Coventry.”