Congress approves Statutes changes
by Martin Merk|19 MAY 2018
The IIHF Annual Congress concluded on Saturday in Copenhagen.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images

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.
With these changes the IIHF makes a big step in the modernization of the IIHF Statutes & Bylaws and will continue this process during the next 12 months and beyond.

Sport Regulations

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.

Rule Book

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.
IIHF Sport Director Dave Fitzpatrick and IIHF Officiating Manager Konstantin Komissarov will leave the IIHF Office after 23 and 16 years respectively in service after reaching retirement age this year. Their colleagues came behind the stage in special T-shirts before IIHF President René Fasel bid them farewell with a speech and present and applause from the delegates from dozens of countries who have worked with them.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Next was IIHF Life Member Hans Dobida who was given an award for his long-time contribution to the IIHF by IIHF President René Fasel. The Austrian native was active in the international ice hockey family for over 50 years starting as a delegate for the Austrian Ice Hockey Association and later serving as IIHF Council Member for 22 years until 2008 and as IIHF Treasurer. Despite his age of 89, Dobida has still been very active in the IIHF family. Until recently he was chairing the IIHF Continental Cup competition where he is succeeded by former IIHF Council member Igor Nemecek. Dobida was the chairman for about 50 tournaments and also served with his valuable experience as chairman and game supervisor in many other tournaments of the World Championship program.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
IIHF Vice President Kalervo Kummola from Finland received an award from the International Olympic Committee that was handed to him by IIHF President René Fasel. He got the Pierre de Coubertin Trophy for his outstanding merits towards the sport and the Olympic Movement. The trophy is the singular trophy which symbolizes the IOC’s Founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin and transmits the IOC’s values which are Friendship, Respect and Excellence.
photo: Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images
Click here for other Congress news from Thursday and Friday.