The 2018 IIHF Annual Congress approved a set of changed to the IIHF Statutes & Bylaws, to several regulations and finalized the rule change process for the 2018-2022 IIHF Rule Book.
The IIHF Statutes & Bylaws are reviewed every four years and this year also involved changes as part of the IIHF Governance Reform Group that was created two years ago by the IIHF President to ensure the IIHF structure meets the requirements of modern standards for non-profit organizations and for good governance.
The decisions regarding the new IIHF Statutes & Bylaws include:
- Full membership can now also be granted to an ice sports or winter sports federation of a country where there is no governing body solely for ice hockey if they fulfil the minimum standards to play in the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship such as the IIHF members from Italy and Spain.
- The IIHF can assume the responsibility for the governance of other forms of hockey on the ice with the approval of Congress and issue governing regulations.
- The IIHF can request the conduct of an independent audit by an independent external auditor of the member national association’s accounts in accordance with international accounting standards to ensure governance consistency with the IIHF member national associations.
- Suspensions of member national associations by the IIHF Council can be appealed according to the Disciplinary Code, which currently states the appeal goes to the Disciplinary Board (old: Congress).
- An Extra-Ordinary Congress may be held electronically by any means of communication through which the members may simultaneously hear each other during the conference and ballots shall be by an electronic means approved by Council. This to enable such a way of decision making for cases of urgency.
- Reduction from a super majority (75%) to a qualified majority (two third of the votes) for following decisions: adoption or modification of a statute and appointment of an honorary member.
- Election of the Council Members, Auditors, Disciplinary Board Members and Appeal Board Chair needs a simple majority (greater than 50%).
- The requirements for IIHF Council nominations have been adjusted.
- An IIHF Council member cannot serve longer than 12 years in total in one position (12 years as President, 12 years as a Vice President, 12 years as a Member) starting as of the 2020 elections.
- A concept of separation of powers between the IIHF Council (political and strategical) and IIHF Office (operational) and the duties, roles and responsibilities of the President, Council and CEO will be worked on. A report will be presented to the 2018 Semi-Annual Congress in September and shall be voted on within the next 12 months.
- The IIHF Office may determine a player who is suspended by a member national association, league or club including non-affiliated IIHF-recognized organizations is not eligible to participate in an IIHF competition which runs concurrently to the player’s suspension but it’s not mandatory to do so anymore.
- The Disciplinary Board chair, deputy chair and not less than four other members as well as the Appeal Board Chair shall be elected by Congress (old: Council).
- The Council with the recommendation of the Competition Committee shall seed national teams in cases a new sovereign state has been established by separation from an existing sovereign state, a country is incorporated into another existing sovereign state with a member affiliated to the IIHF, two or more countries are united into a sovereign state and the member representing it is granted membership status with the IIHF or a country is divided into two or more sovereign states with members affiliated to the IIHF and the previous country does not exist anymore.
- The IIHF must conduct all IIHF operational activities related to commitment of IIHF income/expenses in accordance with IIHF Procurement Guidelines, including, but not limited to, tender rules. The IIHF Procurement Guidelines must be in accordance with all applicable laws. This allows the IIHF to comply with good governance principles for non-profit organizations.
Congress made a change concerning the penalty-shot shootout as of the upcoming season. Only the decisive goal will count in the result of the game. New: It shall be credited to the team that scored the goal (not to the player) and charged against the team that was scored upon (but not the goaltender concerned).
Clarification was added that the ice surface between the face-off spots will be dry-scraped (no water) with one or two ice resurfacer machines prior to the shootout.
The 2018-2022 IIHF Rule Book, valid as of the upcoming season, was approved at the last Congress in autumn 2017. However, a new rule on late hits was added today by Congress to address one of the proposals previously accepted.
A late hit in the new Rule 153 is defined as a bodycheck to a skater who is in a vulnerable position because of not being in control or possession of the puck anymore and will be sanctioned with a penalty. It can be a minor penalty if the opponent is aware of the impending contact. A major penalty and automatic game-misconduct penalty is assessed for a late hit against an unsuspecting opponent or a match penalty if the opponent is recklessly endangered.
An additional clause also sanctions an early hit, meaning a bodycheck before the opponent has received the puck, with an interference penalty.
Click here to read about the previously approved rule changes.
Awards & Honours
The Congress ended with the honouring of long-serving members of the international ice hockey family.