Following the NIHL South section meeting on Sunday 7th May, the EIHA is pleased to announce that the format for 2017/18 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 meaning there in total there will be 12 teams in Division 1, split into two conferences of six teams.
Milton Keynes Thunder
Oxford City Stars
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.
The initial stage of the Cup will have one home and one away against the others in each group.
NIHL South Division 2 will revert to a single division of 13 teams, playing one home and one away.
Cardiff Fire 2
Lee Valley Lions
Peterborough Phantoms 2
Swindon Wildcats 2
At the meeting it was 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 2nd/3rd September and is scheduled to end 7th/8th 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.