Swiss Ice Hockey

Representatives of all 24 clubs of the National League and Swiss League discussed these changes during a league meeting in Saillon.

Several changes have been decided.

As already reported, the stadiums of the National League will be equipped with over-goal cameras. Even though the cameras will be mandatory only from the 2020-21 season, they will be already installed wherever possible. These cameras are an important addition during the evaluation of controversial goal scenes.

Small changes to the coach's challenge have also been decided: if a coach demands a coach's challenge after a goal due to a suspected offside situation and the linesmen come to the conclusion after the video consultation that the play was not offside, a 2-minute penalty will be imposed for delaying the game (only valid for the National League). Several coach's challenges for offsides may be therefore requested per match. On the contrary, this is not possible for the coach's challenge for goalkeeper interference: coaches can demand a coach's challenge for goalkeeper interference in the event of a goal being scored against or a goal being disallowed, provided that the time-out has not yet been used. If a team is correct, it retains the right to a time-out and to further use of the coach's challenge for goalkeeper interference. If the original decision of the referee is retained, the team loses both the right to the time-out and the right to another coach's challenge.

Other minor changes concern the face-offs and the possibility of video consultation for Swiss League officials during the penalties. There is now the possibility of calling a penalty for violation of the rules at the face-off also in the last two minutes of a game as well as in the overtime.

Since the Swiss League now comprises twelve teams after the promotion of HC Sierre, a major change compared to the last seasons is represented by the introduction of the relegation from the league. After the end of the Regular Season, the teams ranked 9th to 12th will play a placement round (six games per team) similar to the one played in the National League. The number of points and the goal difference from the Regular Season will be conserved and the placement round will be played in any case, regardless of the points of the four teams after the Regular Season. Upon completion of the Ranking Round, the 12th-placed team will play in the league qualification against the winner or the finalist of the MySports League playoff final (provided they apply for promotion and meet all the criteria).

Moreover, the league assembly elected Sébastien Pico (EHC Visp) as a new member of the competitive sports committee (LSC). The previous LSC members Gaudenz Domenig (HC Davos), Peter Zahner (ZSC Lions), Patrick Lengwiler (EV Zug), and Gian Kämpf (SC Langenthal) were re-elected for another four years, while Rolf Bachmann (SC Bern) was elected for two years.
The club representatives also elected Karl Knopf as the new single judge for safety and Reto Annen, who was previously single judge for security, as his deputy. Peter Brändli becomes the new single judge for security. Stefan Müller was confirmed in his office as a single judge in the tariff procedure.

Finally, as already anticipated, it was decided that representatives and coaches of Swiss clubs can also be employed in the men's Swiss national team. "It is a decision in the spirit of Swiss ice hockey and a huge commitment of the clubs to the national team. This fills me with pride," says Michael Rindlisbacher, chairman of the Board of Directors of Swiss Ice Hockey.

( 15 June 2019 | lle )

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