December 20, 2018

The NIHL Management Group (NLMG) have given details of two significant pieces of work which are going on at the moment.

First there is a review of the rules and interpretations for fighting in the NIHL. Players and coaches from across the NIHL will be involved and the proposals will be discussed with IHUK Referee Section and are likely to be implemented in January. With the increased suspensions for fighting match penalties this season, the NLMG are seeking consistency around the calling of penalties for fights and input from players and coaches along with clearer rules and interpretations for referees will be important in getting the balance right.

Secondly a working party is being set up to look at the subject of concussions.  The group will come up with recommendations to improve player safety and procedures around managing risks before, during and after a player receives a blow to the head. The review will cover calling of penalties, discipline, concussion protocols, recovery periods and anything the party considers relevant and appropriate. The working part will be made up of players and coaches as well as medical staff from NIHL clubs and other qualified experts in the field.

League manager Gary Dent said: “The NLMG has received a great response from volunteers coming forward for these two initiatives since we first went to clubs last week. As a management group we are keen to get the feeling from those involved at the sharp end so we are grateful to the players and coaches who have come forward.

“Findings from both pieces of work will be published when they are complete so everyone who follows and is passionate about the NIHL can see what changes and improvements are being made.”