The League Management Committee of the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) are pleased to confirm the structure for the NIHL North and South for the coming season.
The National League is the second tier of senior hockey under the EIHA umbrella and features 36 clubs from across the length and breadth of England, Wales and a club in south west Scotland.
Both respective top divisions have lost teams at a late stage in the planning process. In NIHL North 1 (Moralee) Sheffield Spartans withdrew in mid July while in the South Division 1 Cardiff Devils formally pulled out at the eleventh hour. An offer of a place in NIHL South 1 was made to another team but sadly could not proceed at such short notice.
The 2016/17 National Ice Hockey League season will begin on September 3 with the following divisions in place:
North 1 (Moralee): Billingham Stars, Blackburn Hawks, Deeside Dragons, Solihull Barons, Solway Sharks, Sutton Sting, Telford Tigers, Whitley Warriors.
North 2 (Laidler): Altrincham Aces, Blackburn Eagles, Bradford Bulldogs, Coventry Blaze, Hull Jets, Nottingham Lions, Sheffield Senators, Widnes Wild.
South 1: Bracknell Hornets, Chelmsford Chieftains, Invicta Dynamos, London Raiders, Milton Keynes Thunder, Oxford City Stars, Solent Devils, Streatham IHC, Wightlink Raiders
South 2 (West): Basingstoke Buffalo, Bristol Pitbulls, Cardiff Fire, Swindon Wildcats, Wightlink Buccaneers
South 2 (East): Chelmsford Warriors, Invicta Mustangs, Lee Valley Lions, London Haringey Racers, Peterborough Islanders, Slough Jets
All league competitions will see the teams playing 2 home and 2 away against the other sides in their division. Clubs and the LMC are working on the fixture list and this will be published along with details of additional Cup competitions and playoff formats in both North and South in the coming days.