National League North agree league structure for 17/18

Following the NIHL North section meeting on Sunday 14th May, the EIHA has confirmed the format for 2017/18.

The applications from Hull Pirates, Sheffield Steeldogs and Telford Tigers were accepted and they take their place in NIHL North Moralee D1 next season.

Sutton Sting requested that they be relegated to Laidler D2 and this was agreed. Nottingham Lions have been promoted to D1.

In total there will be 10 teams in D1, playing each other twice home and twice away for a 36 game league season.

NIHL North Moralee D1:

Billingham Stars
Blackburn Hawks
Deeside Dragons
Hull Pirates
Nottingham Lions
Sheffield Steeldogs
Solihull Barons
Solway Sharks
Telford
Whitley Warriors

Discussions around an NIHL1 North Cup will continue outside the meeting. TitanBet are likely to make Hull and Telford favourites for the title, although Billingham and Solway will also fancy their chances.

NIHL North Laidler D2 will also have ten teams after applications from Blackburn and Deeside were accepted. These will also play each other twice home and twice away for a 36 game league season.

NIHL North Laidler D2:

Altrincham Aces
Blackburn 2
Bradford Bulldogs
Coventry Blaze
Deeside 2
Hull Jets
Sheffield Senators
Sutton Sting
Telford 2
Widnes Wild

The meeting also agreed that all NIHL North games ending in a draw after 60 minutes will go to five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime and penalty shots if required. Teams will be able to ice one non-EIHA trained player during overtime.

The NIHL season will begin on weekend of September 2nd/3rd and is scheduled to end April 7th/8th.

The format of NIHL play-offs for North and South has been agreed and details will be released on Tuesday.

NIHL North chair Charles Dacres said: “We are delighted to have reached agreement on our structure for next season.

“We welcome our new members from Hull, Sheffield and Telford and I feel that there are two strong divisions for our clubs to play in.

“I’m disappointed to lose Sutton from Division 1, but happy to be able to promote Nottingham Lions to maintain a ten team league.”

(Image permission: Duncan Speirs)

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