NEW PLAYOFF FORMAT ELIMINATES THE ‘SURVIVOR SERIES’
The SJHL Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held at the beginning of June where, along with the Bantam Draft and Scheduling Session, three new rule changes were approved for the upcoming 2019/20 season.
The most significant of which includes a change to the SJHL’s playoff format and the elimination of the Best-of-3 ‘Survivor Series’.
The new system that will be used for the 2020 playoffs features the top 8 teams (based on points) making the postseason. There will still be three division winners, but being a division winner does not guarantee a playoff spot. So in theory, a division winner who has the 9th most points in the league would miss the playoffs.
The previous ‘Survivor Series’ or ‘Wild Card’ format gave the first six teams a bye, while teams placed 7th-10th played a Best-of-3 series following the regular season. The two winners would advance, joining the other six teams in the Quarterfinal round.
Teams will now playing under the ‘Hybrid Icing’ rules, a change from the traditional ‘Touch Icing’ rule that has been used previously.
It is the same format as the NHL and other hockey leagues. Under this system, if a defender reaches the hash marks/faceoff circle area while racing for the iced puck before the attacking forward, then the linesman will blow the whistle and signal icing. If the attacking forward reaches that area first, icing will be waved off and the play will continue.
The purpose of the rule is to eliminate crashes into the end boards and potential injuries between players racing for the puck.
The final change involves the creation of a new three-person disciplinary committee that will oversee suspensions and appeals of suspension.
The 2019/20 regular season schedule has yet to be officially announced, but is anticipated to begin in mid-September.
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