All systems go for season 2024/25 in regional NIHL divisions

A historic national play-off championship, a revised points system and changes to ‘import’ limits are just some of the changes confirmed by NIHL management today for the regional divisions of the National Ice Hockey League – Divisions 1 and 2 in the North and South.

The clubs making up each division had already been confirmed, but following the section meetings and further discussion, the clubs and the league can confirm details on rosters as well as league, cup and play-off formats.

The clubs voted by more than two-to-one to adopt the 3-2-1-0 points system for their competitions from this season. That means a team winning in regulation time will receive 3 points, and OT and shootout win is worth 2 and teams get 1 point for an OT or shootout loss. It means all games are worth three points and will incentivise teams to play for regulation wins to boost their standings points.

It was also confirmed that teams in NIHL 1 & 2 will have two non-British trained players allowed on a gameday roster, down from three last year, and both will be permitted on the ice at the same time. Other rules around maximum roster sizes were also outlined.

Each division confirmed their preferred format for league, cup and play-off games to take account of division size and rink availability across the four divisions. The details are outlined on our social media and will be firmed up after the clubs have their fixtures meeting in mid-July. This is where cup groups, and in the case of NIHL North 2 regional league groups, will be confirmed and announced.

League Cup preliminary rounds should be completed by Christmas to allow semi-finals to take place in January, and the cup finals will be in February 2025.

The biggest and most exciting format change is to the end of season play-offs, where each division will hold their own play-offs up to the end of the semi-final stage. The respective divisional formats are shown on our social media graphics.

For the first time, the regional leagues will hold a single play-off weekend covering all four divisions and will produce true national play-off champions for Division 1 and Division 2. The weekend venue will be confirmed very soon, but the weekend of April 12/13 2025 should be marked in the diaries with tickets on sale in the New Year.

The Finals Weekend will see four divisional championship games on Saturday – South 1&2, North 1&2 – and then Super Sunday will see the North v South clash at both Division 1 and 2 level. It’s a fitting end to the season, a festival for NIHL 1 & 2 and we hope fans of all teams will support the new event and fill the stands to create an outstanding play-off atmosphere!

Finally the all important diary dates were confirmed with NIHL 1&2 pre-season starting on August 24/25 and the regular season the following weekend.

The leagues will end in early March, with the divisional play-offs completed by April 5/6 2025. The new National Finals Weekend will be April 12/13 2025 and the respective Division 1 league champions from North & South will meet at Coventry on Sunday 20 April, 2025.

Be sure to follow your clubs and the league on social media to get all of the information throughout the summer as we build towards the 2024/25 season!

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