The Elite Ice Hockey League is a professional league in the United Kingdom. Formed in 2003, it is the highest level of ice hockey competition in the UK.
Ten teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland currently compete in the Elite League.
Professional ice hockey has been played in the UK since the 1930s and the Great Britain team won the Olympic gold medal in 1936.
Ice hockey is now the number-one attended indoor professional sport in the UK and overall it is the third largest winter spectator sport in the UK after football and rugby union.
Competitions & formats
The 2019/20 Elite League Regular Season Championship is a straight 10-team league with each team facing each other six times – three home and three away for a total of 54 Regular Season games.
The League Champion is the team with the highest number of points over the 60-game regular season.
a. The teams placed 1-8 at the end of the Regular Season Championship take part in the Quarter-Finals of the PredictorBet Playoffs in a two-legged aggregate score series of games with the overall winner of each series progressing further in the competition. The two legs and must be completed by Sunday 7th April 2019.
b. Seedings for the 2019 PredictorBet Playoffs will be based on final league standings at the conclusion of the 2018/19 regular season. The Elite League winners will be seeded #1 for the playoffs, the league runners-up #2 and so on down to #8.
c. The 1st seed will play the 8th seed, 2nd vs 7th, 3rd vs 6th and 4th vs 5th. The higher seed in each quarter-final will get the choice of when they play their home leg.
2. Playoff Finals Weekend – POFW
a. Playoff Finals Weekend takes place at the end of the season, with the Semi-Finals taking place on the Saturday and the third v fourth-placed match and Grand Final on the Sunday.
b. All games played at POFW are standalone games with the two winning teams progressing to the Grand Final on the Sunday and the two losing teams the third v fourth-placed match.
c. Seedings for the semi-final and final will be determined by the original quarter-final ranking, so the highest-placed team left in the playoffs will be ranked as the highest seed.
i. The highest seed will play the lowest seed in the first semi-final, with the remaining seeds playing in the second semi-final.
ii. The highest seeded team in each game will have the home advantage.
- Group A: Belfast Giants, Dundee Stars, Fife Flyers, Glasgow Clan (1 Home, 1 Away –Top 3 Qualify)
- Group B: Cardiff Devils, Coventry Blaze, Guildford Flames (2 Home, 2 Away – Top 2 Qualify)
- Group C: Manchester Storm, Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers (2 Home, 2 Away – Top 2 Qualify)
Overtime & Shootouts will be played in the Group Stage if games are tied after 60 minutes. Group Stage games are scheduled to be completed by 9 November.
Teams finishing 3rd in Groups B & C will play a one-off game for a place in the Quarter-Finals. The team with the better group stage record (as per tie-breaking criteria) will have the option of home ice advantage.
The three group winners will be seeded for the draw (in order of Group Stage win percentage), and have the option to pick their Quarter-Final opponents from the remaining five teams. Group winners will have home ice advantage in the return leg (subject to ice availability). In the fourth Quarter-Final, the team with the higher win percentage from the group stage will have home ice advantage in the return leg. Winners will be decided by aggregate-scoring over two legs. Quarter-Final ties are scheduled to take place on 11 & 18 December.
As with last season’s Challenge Cup, the Semi-Finals will see the highest remaining seeded team take on the lowest remaining seeded team. The next highest seed remaining will play the fourth team, with higher seeds having the option of home ice advantage in the return leg (subject to ice availability). Winners will be decided by aggregate-scoring over two legs. Semi-Final ties are scheduled for two dates across 15, 22 or 29 January.
The Challenge Cup Final will take place on 8 March at Cardiff’s Viola Arena. As it will be a neutral venue, the higher seeded team will be classed as the ‘Home Team’.