New 4 Man System for Challenge Cup Games
A four-man officials system will be used in Challenge Cup stand-alone matches in the 2012-13 season.
This will cover all stand-alone group games and then the subsequent quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
The system, which is successfully used in the NHL in North America and the majority of professional leagues throughout Europe including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, comes into place immediately and will be used in this weekend’s matches.
There are three stand-alone Challenge Cup matches on Saturday with Braehead Clan hosting Belfast Giants, Fife Flyers against Edinburgh Capitals and Hull Stingrays versus Nottingham Panthers, while on Sunday the Capitals take on the Clan.
Referee Mike Hicks said: “Four officials were first used in the Elite League a few years ago but due to variety of reasons was never continued.
“This is a great way of phasing in the four-man system, which is used in the best leagues in the world.
“The modern game of hockey has evolved and it’s a much more open game. The speed has increased, as well as the quality and skill level. The four-man officials system is part of the evolution of the modern game.
“We have a great group of officials in the League and we are all looking forward to being part of the new system for Cup matches.”
Rapid Solicitors Elite League spokesperson, Tony Smith, added: “We are thrilled to introduce this system for Challenge Cup matches. It shows the League is serious about development and commitment to improving the game.
“The system will be monitored throughout the season and we will review the success at the end of the season with a view to the future.”
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