The Irish Hockey Association held an Extraordinary General Meeting yesterday, Sunday 5th October to discuss and decide the proposed changes to the format of the Irish Hockey League (IHL). Following this meeting, The Irish Hockey Board and member clubs decided by an 87% majority vote to introduce a season long Irish Hockey League, to begin from the start of season 2015/16. Prior to this decision, Ireland was the only country in Europe who did not yet have a full national league.

For the men’s competition, this will see the four top clubs from the Leinster, and Ulster provinces as well as the Munster province champion and one wild card will round off the first 10 team competition.

For the women’s competition, the top four clubs from Leinster, the top three clubs from Ulster, the top 2 clubs from Munster and one club from Connacht province will mark the 10 teams for this inaugural competition.

Following this upcoming season, there will be an automatic relegation of the 10th place finisher, while the 9th placed team will fight for its place with the second finisher of the Irish League’s second division. Promotion positions will be determined by an 8 team team qualifier system following the end of the regional leagues.

Source: Irish Hockey

Photograph: EHF/Frank Reelick