2023/24 DOPS Handbook released

We are thrilled to announce the release of the new EIHA Department of Player Safety (DOPS) Handbook – a comprehensive guide designed to govern and improve the state of player safety in ice hockey across all levels.

This launch is a result of a collaborative endeavour involving key stakeholders from the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA), Ice Hockey UK (IHUK), and the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) senior management teams.

A unified approach to player safety 

The newly revised DOPS Handbook embodies our shared mission to foster a safer and more respectful playing environment.

It represents a significant milestone in the standardisation of rules and disciplinary procedures across all leagues and organisations, solidifying our collective commitment to the integrity and progression of the sport.

Ground-breaking innovations 

The Handbook introduces several new features, including the Decision Review System (DRS) that broadens the scope of video review processes beyond senior-level games to include all EIHA leagues.

The initiative is geared to make the disciplinary process more transparent, fair and consistent.

Collaboration at its best 

The DOPS Handbook is a product of in-depth consultations and collaboration with EIHA and IHUK senior management teams.

Mike Maidens, DOPS General Manager, said: “Our collaboration ensures that we are fully aligned in our efforts to make the sport safer and more enjoyable for all.

“Furthermore, to ensure consistency, we’ve collaborated with the Elite League operations team to establish a streamlined process for handling suspensions of two-way players. Both the EIHL and the EIHA will recognise and enforce suspensions issued by the other.

“Through this streamlined process and communication with member teams, both bodies are committed to not only supporting player safety through development and education, but also supporting player development and the advancement of our national programme.”

Enhanced transparency and fairness 

Further emphasising our commitment to transparency, the Handbook will also feature a detailed system for bringing the game into disrepute and will introduce non-exhaustive lists of misconduct sanctions.

These innovations aim to provide both officials and players with a clearer understanding of potential consequences and to help manage expectations regarding disciplinary actions.

Where to find more information

For a comprehensive understanding of the rules, penalties and disciplinary procedures outlined in the new DOPS Handbook, it is now available for download onto your device of choice.

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