Move to Lower Travel Costs for ACHA Teams Comes Up Short
The American Collegiate Hockey Association’s plan to restructure itsDivision III from four regions to six was zapped when 42 teams weresuspended for delinquent and improperly filed paperwork.
The suspensions were announced at the ACHA’s annual meeting in April.Losing more than 30 percent of the division's teams -- even if onlytemporarily -- killed the reorganization proposal for now. Sixgeographically smaller regions would have lowered travel costs for teams inthe larger regions, including the South, which extends from Washington D.C.to Miami and west to Birmingham. The suspended teams can file for reinstatement.
The meeting did produce these rule changes and developments:· The host team for the national tournament will no longer receive an automatic bid.
A new pool play format at the national tournament will make it possible for four teams from the same region to wind up in the final four. Whether nationals will be a single-elimination event or round-robin has not beendetermined.
Beginning in 2008, a regional qualifier will determine the final national rankings. The South Region experimented with a qualifier this past season, but no other region was prepared to host one in 2007.
When the score is still tied at the end of a five-minute overtime period, a five-player shootout is now mandatory. It’ll be up to the home team to ensure that additional ice time is available.
Division I and II players may now transfer to clubs below their talent level and continue to play without loss of eligibility.
The minimum number of ACHA games a team must play to qualify for nationals has been increased from 12 to 16 games.
“Border teams” can be asked to voluntarily move to a new region at the request of the commissioner's office, with notification of the region members mandatory no later than June. 1.
The 2006-07 Showcase event will be played in Rochester, Minn., a state with one ACHA Division III member this year. Last season’s Showcase in Wichita was poorly attended.
The Division III national tournament will be held in Ft. Wayne, Ind.,
with no university designated the host team.