The NIHL National owners group has been collaborating extensively over the last few weeks, and working with the EIHA and rink operators towards the objective of getting our game back on the ice. We would like to put on record our thanks to the EIHA, Planet Ice, Ice Sheffield and GLL Better Leisure for the support of our clubs during this critical phase of our season planning. We’re delighted to share that we have created a small pilot series of games which will take place in November, so that we can gather information to feed into planning for a competitive season launch in early 2021.
This is how it’s planned to look:
- 3 teams: Milton Keynes Lightning, Sheffield Steeldogs and Swindon Wildcats
- No fans in-person attendance. Games will all be streamed on a high quality platform, with a broadly consistent experience across all fixtures and venues. Tickets will be priced at £12, with a family ticket on an optional basis at £3 per additional viewer if more of you are watching together and feel you’d like to further support your club
- Fixture dates:
- 14 Nov – Swindon vs MK (18:15)
- 15 Nov – Sheffield vs Swindon (17:30)
- 21 Nov – MK vs Swindon (19:00)
- 22 Nov – Swindon vs Sheffield (18:15)
- 28 Nov – MK vs Sheffield (19:30)
- 29 Nov – Sheffield vs MK (17:30)
- Tickets are now on sale for all games, via the ticketing page or via your club’s web pages
Mark Johnson, Chair of the NIHL National owners group had this to say about the Streaming Series: “We have all been missing hockey, and have been overwhelmed by the level of support and interest fans of all teams across our league have shown. Add to this that the players have been longing to get back on the ice, we wanted to do everything we could do see if we could stage some fixtures. Although this is a small pilot series, we will use it as a test bed to see if it is viable to scale into a cup competition and then a league campaign. We’re hugely grateful to the EIHA, rink operators, the team owners, players and staff for working so hard to get to this point. Game on!”.
The games will go ahead under the EIHA’s return to play and Elite Sport structure which allows them to take place in all current Covid risk level classifications. We will continue to monitor this for changes and will update you should any revision be required.
We’re sure there will be a number of questions arising, so we have created an FAQs page where we will capture common questions and share the answers. Please raise your questions through usual channels with your club and we’ll aim to post an answer on that page.
Right now, we need your support. Share the news, and get as many people as possible to buy a stream and watch our sport. The best chance we have of taking this forward is a successful trial so we’re thankful for all the buzz and support you are all creating.