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|English Premier Ice Hockey League|
|No. of teams||10|
|Most recent champion(s)||Peterborough Phantoms|
|Official website||English Premier Ice Hockey League|
The English Premier Ice Hockey League commonly abbreviated to EPIHL, or simpy EPL, is a senior ice hockey league in England, and is run and administered by the English Ice Hockey Association. The league currently consists of 10 teams predominantly based in Southern England, and is generally considered to be the second tier league below the Elite Ice Hockey League although there is no promotion or relegation between the two.
The league was founded in 1997, where it initially served as the effective 3rd tier of the game, offering a level of play above the import free English leagues, but below the 8 import British National League. Since the 2005–06 season it has functioned as the second tier, as previously the now disbanded British National League filled this position; and, in fact, many previous BNL teams now play in the EPIHL.
The league operates on a 54 game schedule. Each team plays the others in a 3 home, 3 away series. A number of these games also double up as the initial fixtures in the EPIHL Cup tournament. Each team will play 2 games per week during the season, with the exception of a break over the christmas period. The majority of the games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, reflecting the semi-pro status of many of the leagues players.
The Season culminates with the play-offs. 8 teams qualify, and engage in a 2 leg home and away series to decide which 4 teams will attend the Play Off Finals weekend, held in the SkyDome Arena Coventry, a neutral venue.
The league is administered and sanctioned by the EIHA. The team owners meet regularly to discuss league matters under the auspices of the league chairman, and take a democratic vote on all decisions.
- Basingstoke Bison (2009– )
- Bracknell Bees (2005– )
- Guildford Flames (2005– )
- Manchester Phoenix (2009– )
- Milton Keynes Lightning (2002– )
- Peterborough Phantoms (2002– )
- Romford Raiders (1998– )
- Sheffield Scimitars (2005– )
- Slough Jets (2002– )
- Swindon Wildcats (1997– )
The league operates under a number of restrictions, allowing it to classify itself as a 'developmental league'.
The main restriction placed on the member clubs is a limit of 4 non EIHA trained, EU passport holding 'import' players dressed per game. Further to this, only 3 of these players may be on the ice simultaneously, with certain exceptions. Full details are available at the following link: . Despite the 4 imports dressed rule, it is not uncommon for some teams to sign a 5th import as 'backup' in case of injuries to an 'active' import.
The league has no wage limitations, although it is generally accepted that due to the import restriction, wage bills are lower than teams in the EIHL. Despite the lower wages paid, the league still suffers from teams folding, or quitting the league due to financial problems.
Comparison to other leaguesEdit
The EPIHL is played at a standard significantly below all of the major European leagues.
On a domestic level, the league is considered to be much less skillful that the Elite Ice Hockey League, mostly due to the restrictions in place on imported players. When games have been played between EPIHL and EIHL sides, invariably the EPIHL side has been soundly defeated, although these games are a very rare occurence, usually retricted to pre season friendlies.
Opposite to this is the fact that the EPIHL is considered to be a superior league to the English National Ice Hockey League. Indeed, a number of ENIHL sides act as offical and unoffical 'feeder' clubs to EPIHL sides (such as the Trafford Metros relationship with the Manchester Phoenix).
- Bracknell Bees: John Nike Leisuresport Complex, 2400
- Guildford Flames: Guildford Spectrum, 2200
- Milton Keynes Lightning: Planet Ice Milton Keynes, 2200
- Manchester Phoenix: Altrincham Ice Dome, 2150
- Basingstoke Bison: Planet Ice Silverdome Arena, 1800
- Sheffield Scimitars: iceSheffield, 1500
- Romford Raiders: Romford Ice Arena, 1500
- Swindon Wildcats: Link Centre, 1250
- Peterborough Phantoms: Planet Ice Peterborough, 1250
- Slough Jets: Slough Ice Rink, 1000
- Billingham Eagles (1997–1998)
- Blackburn Hawks (1998–1999)
- Chelmsford Chieftains (1998–2001, and 2002–2008)
- England u20-u18 (2000–2003)
- Haringey Greyhounds (2000–2003)
- Hull Stingrays (2005–2006)
- Hull Thunder (1997–2003)
- Invicta Dynamos (1997–2003)
- Milton Keynes Kings (1998–1999)
- Nottingham Lions (2000–2003)
- Oxford City Stars (1998–1999)
- Solihull Barons (1997–1999, 2000–2002, and 2003–2007)
- Sunderland Chiefs (1997–1998)
- Telford Tigers (2002–2009)
- Whitley Bay Warriors (1997–1998)
- Wightlink Raiders (1997–2009)
- 1997-98 Solihull Barons
- 1998-99 Solihull Barons
- 1999-00 Chelmsford Chieftains
- 2000-01 Swindon Wildcats
- 2001-02 Invicta Dynamos
- 2002-03 Peterborough Phantoms
- 2003-04 Milton Keynes Lightning
- 2004-05 Milton Keynes Lightning
- 2005-06 Guildford Flames
- 2006-07 Bracknell Bees
- 2007-08 Guildford Flames
- 2008-09 Peterborough Phantoms
- 2009-10 Milton Keynes Lightning
- 1997–98 Solihull Barons
- 1998–99 Solihull Barons
- 1999–00 Chelmsford Chieftains
- 2000–01 Romford Raiders
- 2001–02 Invicta Dynamos
- 2002–03 Milton Keynes Lightning
- 2003–04 Milton Keynes Lightning
- 2004–05 Milton Keynes Lightning
- 2005–06 Milton Keynes Lightning
- 2006–07 Bracknell Bees
- 2007–08 Slough Jets
- 2008–09 Peterborough Phantoms
- 2009-10 Slough Jets
English Cup ChampionsEdit
- 1997–98 No Cup Competition
- 1998–99 Milton Keynes Kings
- 1999–00 No Cup Competition
- 2000–01 No Cup Competition
- 2001–02 Romford Raiders
- 2002–03 Wightlink Raiders
- 2003–04 Peterborough Phantoms
- 2004–05 Romford Raiders
- 2005–06 Bracknell Bees
- 2006–07 Guildford Flames
- 2007–08 Bracknell Bees
- 2008-09 Peterborough Phantoms
- 2009-10 Guildford Flames
Knock-Out Cup ChampionsEdit
- 2007–08 Peterborough Phantoms
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at English Premier Ice Hockey League. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|