Friday, June 8, 2012

BCHL AGM Changes:

The British Columbia Hockey League held its annual general meeting in Richmond June 7, 8 and 9 with governors approving a number of changes that will take effect in the coming season.

First, the new BCHL playoff format was officially unveiled. The league goes to a three-division alignment for the 2012-13 season. In the Coastal Conference, which is now made up of the Island Division and Mainland Division, the top four of the five teams in each division will qualify for post-season play (#1 vs. #4, #2 vs. #3). Best-of-five series will be played in each the first two rounds to determine conference finalists and the Coastal Conference final will be a best-of-seven.

In the Interior Conference, which consists of the six-team Interior Division, the top four teams will qualify for post-season play (#1 vs. #4, #2 vs. #3). Two rounds, each a best-of-seven, will be played to determine a conference champion. The Fred Page Cup finals will also be a best-of-seven series.

Alterations to the BCHL regulations were approved with significant changes being that the affiliate draft of 15-year-old players is discontinued, that rosters will now consist of 22 players instead of 21, that coaches are allowed to place an injured player on long-term injured reserve which would free up a spot on the 22-man roster and that penalties are now possible for players with damaged pants.

The Junior A Supplement initiative, begun in the 2010-11 season to curb fighting and checking-from-behind infractions, was also extended for two more seasons. Finally, a sub-committee made up of BCHL coaches was officially approved. This body, which brings concerns from among the league’s coaching ranks to the board of directors, is co-chaired by Mike Vandekamp of Nanaimo and Jason Williamson of Vernon.

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