The Swedish Girls’s Hockey League (SDHL) will permit bodychecking subsequent season, though it stays banned by the Worldwide Ice Hockey Federation for ladies’s video games.
The SDHL introduced on Friday that it’s implementing a pilot program for the 2022-23 season, permitting sure kinds of hits, comparable to alongside the boards. One verify that continues to be prohibited is a “north-south” open-ice hit.
“We now have tried to pursue the checking situation earlier than at IIHF however haven’t been heard. It feels inspiring that we now decide for our personal league and never solely pave the best way for Swedish ladies’s hockey however for the complete ladies’s hockey world,” Gizela Ahlgren Bloom, the sports activities supervisor for the SDHL, mentioned in a press release. “A big majority of the gamers have additionally been constructive about testing this, so we predict this can end up properly and that much more individuals will wish to go to the arenas and watch actually entertaining hockey.”
The SDHL mentioned it made this choice with the Zero Imaginative and prescient challenge that has aimed to forestall concussions in Swedish hockey. In accordance with the league, the previous 4 seasons have seen a rise in bodily play however the incidence of concussions has decreased by 75%. It cites higher on-ice consciousness and modifications to how gamers work together bodily on the ice as elements.
“In latest seasons, now we have launched extra bodily play with the ambition of with the ability to open up for checking in SDHL,” Ahlgren Bloom mentioned.
The IIHF has banned checking in ladies’s hockey since round 1992. Any participant who delivers a verify to an opponent in an IIHF-sanctioned recreation could be given a minor, main or match penalty. There may be physique contact allowed in pursuit of the puck, however gamers are prohibited from utilizing the board to “make contact with an opponent to get rid of her from the play, push her into the boards, or pin her alongside the boards. All of those actions point out an absence of curiosity in gaining possession of the puck.”
Swedish ladies’s nationwide group coach Ulf Lundberg advised Swedish broadcaster SVT that permitting hitting within the SDHL will make for more durable gamers in worldwide video games. “Worldwide video games are powerful, and to be nearer to the extent of different nations, we have to get extra toughness within the recreation. I feel we get extra creativity within the recreation,” he mentioned.
David Bergman, head of officiating within the SDHL, mentioned legalized checking will make it simpler for referees to officiate video games.
The pilot program will even be carried out in Damettan, Sweden’s second-tier ladies’s hockey league.