Congress approves amendments

Changes in statutes, regulations; co-hosting proposals made

28.09.2012
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Delegates from almost 70 countries gather for the 2012 IIHF General Congress. Photo: Martin Merk

TOKYO – The 2012 IIHF General Congress approved amendments to the Statutes & Bylaws, several regulations and a proposal for rules for future co-hosted IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships. IIHF.com has the summary.

The approved changes to the IIHF’s Statutes and Bylaws include many housekeeping changes, but also some major changes. These include:
  • The Minimum Standards to participate in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship – which will be fully enforced in view of the IIHF’s 2013/2014 championships and based on the figures from 2012/2013 of the national programs – stipulate the minimum number of players who have to play their games on an IIHF-designated minimum size ice rink in accordance with the IIHF Rulebook. The minimum numbers of registered and participating players in the respective category in the country remain the same: 60 in the men’s senior and U20 categories, and 45 for the men’s U18, women’s senior and women’s U18 categories.
  • In order for the IIHF to verify participation within the countries, the Member National Associations that wish to participate in the IIHF Championship Program must operate and maintain a fully functional online statistical system for any league in which players who wish to participate in any IIHF Championship category take part. The system must include schedules, standings, statistics, player information and a suspension list and must comply with national and international data protection laws.
  • The eligibility rules for players have been adapted. A player who has changed his citizenship or has acquired or surrendered another citizenship and wants to participate for the first time in an IIHF championship and/or an Olympic competition representing his country of choice must prove that he played for at least two consecutive years (730 days) after the player’s 12th birthday (new!) in the national competitions of the new country and be a legal resident in his new country during which period he has neither transferred to another country nor played ice hockey for a team registered/located within any other country. The international transfer approved by the IIHF must vouch for this period. Also for players who have multiple citizenships and want to participate for the first time in IIHF events, the period of at least two consecutive years (730 days) applies only after the player’s 12th birthday.
  • A club that wishes to play in a cross-border league of a Member National Association that is not the Member National Association where the club is located must (1) obtain the permission of the Member National Association where the club is located (this Member National Association shall consult the respective national league regarding such); and (2) obtain the permission of the Member National Association of the country where the club’s future league is located. For purposes of this Bylaw, location shall mean the place where the club is conducting its daily operations, specifically including but not limited to, the venue where the club is holding its  home games.
  • A Member National Association will not be eligible to apply to host the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A if it has been relegated from the World Championship in the preceding season, unless there is no other applicant to host this Championship.
  • Applications to host any IIHF event must be submitted with a properly completed and signed form no later than 15 April. Exceptions may be permitted by Council if no application has been made to organize a specified event.
  • Fines for teams withdrawing their participation or host organizers withdrawing from their commitment will be doubled if indicated after 1 September of the respective championship season (1 September two years prior to the event for organizers of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship).
  • If a championship has to be cancelled, one of the three lowest seeded teams from that championship will be randomly drawn to determine the relegated team to the lower tier for the following season.
  • Qualification tournaments to enter an IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship tournament determine only one participant in the lowest tier for the following championship season. Until 2012/2013, it determined two participants for the same season and the successful qualifiers had thus to participate in two events during one season.
  • A new bylaw concerning match fixing has been added to prevent sporting fraud from entering ice hockey. Any infringement of this prohibition will result in disciplinary sanctions.
  • When a game is declared forfeit, the result will be recorded 0-5 unless the non-offending team elects to maintain the actual result. Until now the actual result remained valid automatically if it was the better result.
  • The tie-breaking formula in case of equality of points of two or more teams was slightly amended and can be found on IIHF.com on the tournament pages for the 2012/2013 season (i.e. here). It is now regulated in the Sport Regulations and not anymore in the Statutes & Bylaws.
  • The IIHF may grant affiliate status to a governing body controlling in-line hockey in the country concerned if the IIHF Congress deems that the Member National Association is not in a good position to develop in-line hockey. Until now this possibility could only be executed by the Member National Association itself.
  • The General Congress will be integrated into Annual Congresses bi-annually. Council elections will take place in 2016 and every four years thereafter. Statute and Bylaw amendments will take place in 2014 and every four years thereafter.
The new Statutes and Bylaws will be published on IIHF.com at a later date.

The changes in regulations include:
  • The transfer deadline for Member National Associations in the Northern Hemisphere is changed to February 15 at 23:59 CET (old: January 31) to provide the possibility for international transfers after the last international break. This would give the clubs an opportunity to replace players who got injured during that break. For the southern hemisphere the deadline is July 31 at 23:59 CET. Should the deadline date fall on a weekend, then it will become 23:59 CET on the Monday immediately following the weekend.
  • The IIHF will establish an Out-of-Competition Registered Testing Pool based on the IIHF World Ranking and select a set number of players who are eligible for inclusion into the program. This to maintain compliance with the WADA code. See here for more information.
  • After the experience with the co-hosted 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and research and polls with various stakeholders including fans, participants and media, Congress approved proposals for future co-hosted IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship bids.
  • Each World Championship will be allocated four years in advance instead of five.
  • No back-to-back World Championship applications are possible. Only one World Championship will be allocated at a time at the respective Annual Congress. A reversed hosting role of the same bidding pair is not guaranteed and has to enter the normal bid process in any following year.
  • Only one host – the main host – will present the bid, and become contractual partner and be the main contact for the IIHF.
  • Co-hosting venues have to be named with all necessary provisions in the bid. They cannot be changed after the allocation. A change after the allocation might result in the bid being withdrawn by the IIHF.
  • The travel time between the two venues shall not be more than three hours. The venues should preferably be in the same time zone or at the most one time zone (1 hour) apart from each other.
  • The movement of persons and equipment into and between cross-border venues has to be free of travel restrictions. Customs, immigration or other rules have to be considered in the bid.
  • The main host must have necessary sub-contracts in place with the co-hosting Member National Association.
  • Legacy elements must be identified in both countries.
  • A feasible and detailed transportation plan between the venues for teams, fans, media and equipment (including car fleet) must be presented as part of the bid document.
  • Both the main and co-host must have played in the top division in four out of the last five years (note: two out of five for single hosts). Additionally, one of the two hosts must at least be among the top-12 nations of the IIHF World Ranking in the year they apply.
  • In the case the national teams from both host countries have been relegated, only one member national association can exercise the right of automatic participation while the other would not be allowed to participate. The member national association exercising this right needs to be defined in the host country contract.
  • Cross-over quarter-finals have to be played in both countries. This means the lower-seeded team of each pairing needs to change the venue. Travel considerations for teams and media (back and forth) are to be presented at the bid stage.
  • A co-ordination committee will be the highest organizational body with English as the official language. It includes representatives from both hosts, the IIHF and its marketing partner Infront.
  • One corporate design and corporate identity for both countries. National specifics can be taken into consideration in developing the corporate identity.
  • Co-ordinated ticket approach with one ticket concept and sales strategy for both countries considering the market realities for each country. The concept must be understandable for fans.
  • Changes for single-hosted World Championships already allocated (2014-2016) need to get Congress approval if they want to join the co-hosting concept.
The next World Championships will take place as follows:
  • 2013: Stockholm, Sweden & Helsinki, Finland, 3-19 May 2013
  • 2014: Minsk, Belarus, 9-25 May 2014
  • 2015: Prague & Ostrava, 1-17 May 2015
  • 2016: Moscow & St. Petersburg, 29 April - 15 May 2016
Denmark (Copenhagen & Herning), France, Germany and Latvia (Riga) have applied to host the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. France and Germany announced the intention to have a co-hosted bid with a German city to be determined (Berlin or Cologne) and the French capital of Paris as the secondary venue. The 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship will be allocated by the 2013 IIHF Annual Congress in Stockholm, 16-19 May 2013.

MARTIN MERK


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