Last week the NIHL National Owners Group met to agree on the league structure and dates for the upcoming 2021/22 season. Working on the basis that the government plans for bringing restrictions to an end broadly follow the published timetable we’re delighted to share that competitive fixtures will begin with a cup competition on 4th September 2021.
Here’s the full details, subject to final planning and confirmation:
- Cup Competition from 4/5th September to 25/26th September
- League from 2/3rd October to 2/3rd April 2022
- PlayOffs 9/10th to 23/24th April 2022
- Coventry Weekend 30th April 2022
The Cup Competition will be optional and its structure will be finalised once there is an agreed list of participants. Prior to that, teams are free to organise pre-season fixtures as they wish.
The 10 teams all reconfirmed their commitment to participate in the upcoming season, and we agreed to keep the conference system and allocations in line with the 2019/20 season, as follows:
|Hull Pirates||Basingstoke Bison|
|Milton Keynes Lightning||Peterborough Phantoms|
|Sheffield Steeldogs||Swindon Wildcats|
Teams will play conference opponents 4 times home and away, and teams from the other conference twice home and away for a planned total of 52 games across 27 weekends.
The fixture list is under development and will be released as soon as possible. We are working to understand any potential restrictions on social distancing, but we are planning on the basis that fans will be able to watch their teams in person.
The NIHL National Owners Group is continuing to work on the rest of the season planning and as ever we are hugely grateful for the support of the rink operators and the EIHA. Thank you all for your support, we can’t wait to get back to competing on the ice.