English Premier Ice Hockey League
Sport Ice hockey
Founded 1997
No. of teams 10
Country(ies) Flag of England England.
Most recent champion(s) Peterborough Phantoms
Official website English Premier Ice Hockey League

The logo of the EPIHL as of the 2009-2010 season.

Old EPIHL Logo.

The logo of the EPIHL prior to the 2009-2010 season.

The English Premier Ice Hockey League commonly abbreviated to EPIHL, or simpy EPL, is a senior ice hockey league in England, and is run and administered by the English Ice Hockey Association. The league currently consists of 10 teams predominantly based in Southern England, and is generally considered to be the second tier league below the Elite Ice Hockey League although there is no promotion or relegation between the two.

The league was founded in 1997, where it initially served as the effective 3rd tier of the game, offering a level of play above the import free English leagues, but below the 8 import British National League. Since the 2005–06 season it has functioned as the second tier, as previously the now disbanded British National League filled this position; and, in fact, many previous BNL teams now play in the EPIHL.

League Structure[edit | edit source]

The league operates on a 54 game schedule. Each team plays the others in a 3 home, 3 away series. A number of these games also double up as the initial fixtures in the EPIHL Cup tournament. Each team will play 2 games per week during the season, with the exception of a break over the christmas period. The majority of the games are played on Saturdays and Sundays, reflecting the semi-pro status of many of the leagues players.

The Season culminates with the play-offs. 8 teams qualify, and engage in a 2 leg home and away series to decide which 4 teams will attend the Play Off Finals weekend, held in the SkyDome Arena Coventry, a neutral venue.

The league is administered and sanctioned by the EIHA. The team owners meet regularly to discuss league matters under the auspices of the league chairman, and take a democratic vote on all decisions.

Distribution of EPIHL Teams

Current Teams[edit | edit source]

League Restrictions[edit | edit source]

The league operates under a number of restrictions, allowing it to classify itself as a 'developmental league'.

The main restriction placed on the member clubs is a limit of 4 non EIHA trained, EU passport holding 'import' players dressed per game. Further to this, only 3 of these players may be on the ice simultaneously, with certain exceptions. Full details are available at the following link: [1]. Despite the 4 imports dressed rule, it is not uncommon for some teams to sign a 5th import as 'backup' in case of injuries to an 'active' import.

The league has no wage limitations, although it is generally accepted that due to the import restriction, wage bills are lower than teams in the EIHL. Despite the lower wages paid, the league still suffers from teams folding, or quitting the league due to financial problems.

Comparison to other leagues[edit | edit source]

The EPIHL is played at a standard significantly below all of the major European leagues.

On a domestic level, the league is considered to be much less skillful that the Elite Ice Hockey League, mostly due to the restrictions in place on imported players. When games have been played between EPIHL and EIHL sides, invariably the EPIHL side has been soundly defeated, although these games are a very rare occurence, usually retricted to pre season friendlies.

Opposite to this is the fact that the EPIHL is considered to be a superior league to the English National Ice Hockey League. Indeed, a number of ENIHL sides act as offical and unoffical 'feeder' clubs to EPIHL sides (such as the Trafford Metros relationship with the Manchester Phoenix).

Stadium Capacity[edit | edit source]

Previous Teams[edit | edit source]

League Champions[edit | edit source]

Playoff Champions[edit | edit source]

English Cup Champions[edit | edit source]

Knock-Out Cup Champions[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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