2nd Jul, 2022

EIHL impose heavy fine consequence in attempt to clamp down on official abuse

HEAVY fines are set to be imposed on teams that make improper comments to referees, linesmen or the Department of Player Safety system following a sharp increase in the number of unfair comments.

Elite Ice Hockey League officials have made the move in an attempt to reduce the number of officials coming under unfair and heavy scrutiny from players and members of management for teams across the country.

As of immediate effect, any club, coach, player or club employee found to be bringing the league into disrepute with comments about officials in the media or on social media will face action from the Elite League.

In the first instance, the person will be fined £100, the second £1,000 and a three time offender will face a hefty £5,000 fine.

This will be carried over from season to season and there will never leave that person’s individual record.

Elite League chairman Tony Smith said members of the Elite League are tearing each other and Elite Ice Hockey League officials apart – and it has to stop.

He added: “We as a board cannot stand by and allow this to happen.

“The Elite League has come a long way in the last five years and we are asking our officials to keep up with the ever increasing standards.

“Mistakes will happen, we have to accept that, but we also have to understand as a sport, that without the referees and linesmen then we don’t have a game and so we have to treat them with more respect.”

Mr Smith said it’s important to remember the league has part-time officials, and giving officials more training is an option that could be considered.

He said: “If you want to put yourself out there it is going to cost you money.

“A hundred pounds is nothing these days and people will think about it and push the button and say so what.

“But believe me, do it again you get £1,000 pound fine and if you do it again after that you will face a £5,000 fine – which is serious money.

“We can’t accept the behaviour that has gone over the last six weeks and we will stamp it out.”

Four Elite League clubs have already fallen victim to the new rule.

Fife Flyers have been fined £100, Cardiff and Nottingham will each pay £200 while Sheffield will pay £300.

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