BeNe League (ice hockey)

Last updated
BeNe League
BeNe League logo.png
Sport Ice hockey
Founded2015
Founder Royal Belgian Ice Hockey Federation &
Netherlands Ice Hockey Association
PresidentDanny Micola van Furstenrecht [1]
No. of teams11
Country
Continent Europe
Most recent
champion(s)
HYC Herentals (2nd)
Most titles HYC Herentals (2)
Related
competitions
Official website www.beneleague-icehockey.com OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The BeNe League (Dutch : Beneliga) is the highest-level professional ice hockey league in Belgium and the Netherlands. The league was founded in 2015, following a merger between the Belgian Hockey League and the Dutch Eredivisie and thus became the top tier of the sport in both nations. In terms of league structure, the BeNe League is made up of 11 teams, 6 from the Netherlands and a further 5 from Belgium, and they all play in a single group. The league features a mix of Belgian, Dutch, European and overseas players.

Contents

Overview

The BeNe League is made up of 11 teams, 6 based in the Netherlands and 5 based in Belgium. In keeping with tradition, all Dutch players are required to wear wooden skates. In the first season, the league comprised 16 teams (10 from the Netherlands and 6 from Belgium). These 16 teams were split into two groups, each containing 5 Dutch teams and 3 Belgian teams. Each team played a total of 22 games over the course of the regular season, they played each team in their division twice, as well as once against every team in the other division. Points are awarded in the following fashion, 3 points for a win, 2 for a win in overtime and 1 for an overtime loss.

At the end of the regular season, the top 4 teams from each division qualified for the playoffs. The playoff quarterfinals were played over two legs, whilst the semi-finals and final were both played as a best of three series. The winner of the playoffs was then crowned the league victor. [2] On top of this, the league also crowns National Champions from each country. The team that advances the furthest through the playoffs from each country is subsequently crowned as National Champion.

One of the Netherlands most successful ice hockey teams, the Tilburg Trappers, announced that they would not be a part of the BeNe League, and would instead join the Oberliga, the 3rd tier of ice hockey in Germany. They do however, operate a developmental team in the BeNe League in the form of Tilburg Trappers II. [3]

History

Following the 2009 season of the Belgian Hockey League, HYC Herentals and White Caps Turnhout decided to the join the Eredivisie, whilst the remaining 3 teams dropped down a division and played instead in the Belgian National League. This resulted in the North Sea Cup being played in place of both the Belgian Hockey League and the Eredivisie. Following the culmination of the 2011–12 season, in which White Caps Turnhout dropped out midway through the season, [4] followed by the Leuven Chiefs also stating they would be leaving the competition, it was announced that the Eredivisie would once again take place, and that HYC Herentals would participate. A reformed Belgian Hockey League, featuring both Leuven Chiefs, White Caps Turnhout, and former Belgian National League teams would also take place.

The Geleen Eaters released a statement via their website stating they were unsure if they would be able to compete in the 2014/15 Eredivisie due to lack of funding, which is an issue that also occurred the previous year. On August 26, 2014 Geleen stated that in order to participate in the upcoming season they would have to raise somewhere in the region of €60,000. [5]

This was soon followed by an announcement that the Dordrecht Lions would be dropping down to the Eerst Divisie, and it was subsequently reported in September 2014 that the Eredivisie was in a state of Crisis due to the fact that the league was reduced to five participants. Furthermore, one of those five teams, Eindhoven Kemphanen, declared that they had no interest playing in a five team league, which potentially reduced the Eredivisie down to four teams for the 2014/15 season. [6]

Eindhoven Kemphanen subsequently agreed to play in a 5 team league, which also featured Geleen Eaters, HYC Herentals, Heerenveen Flyers and Tilburg Trappers, [7] and as a result the Eredivisie went ahead.

Following the difficulties both leagues had suffered in the recent years, the hockey federations of both nations worked in partnership, and on 12 June 2015, it was announced that the Belgian Hockey League and the Eredivisie would merge in to the BeNe League. [8]

On 13 March 2016, it was announced that GIJS Groningen would be joining the BeNe League from the Eerst Divisie bringing the number of teams up to 17. [9] It was subsequently announced on 16 June 2016 that the Dordrecht Lions would not be playing in the BeNe League for the upcoming season, instead dropping down a division to the Eerst Divisie. [10] This means that the 2016–17 edition of the BeNe League is projected to stay at 16 teams.

Season format

In the main round, all 13 teams play a double round competition in the regular season. With this, each team will play 24 games.

The top eight participants from the main round qualify for the play-offs. Playoff quarterfinals and semi-finals will be played as best of three series whilst the final will be played as a best of five series with the winner being crowned as BeNe League Champion.

Teams

The following teams will participate in the 2019/2020 BeNe League. [11]

Current Teams
TeamCityArenaCapacityFounded
Antwerp Phantoms Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Deurne IJsbaan Ruggerveld 5001972
IHC Leuven Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Leuven IJsbaan Leuven 8001993
UNIS Flyers Flag of the Netherlands.svg Heerenveen Thialf 3,5001967
Hijs Hokij Flag of the Netherlands.svg The Hague De Uithof 2,6101933
Herentals HYC Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Herentals BLOSO IJsbaan 1,2001971
Bulldogs Liège Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Liège Patinoire de Liège 1,2501997
Laco Eaters Flag of the Netherlands.svg Geleen Glanerbrook IJshal 1,2001968
Mechelen Golden Sharks Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Mechelen Ice Skating Center Mechelen 1,0002016
Nijmegen Devils Flag of the Netherlands.svg Nijmegen Triavium 1,4502007
Tilburg Trappers Jeugd Flag of the Netherlands.svg Tilburg Stappegoor IJssportcentrum 2,5002009
Hotwings Panters Flag of the Netherlands.svg Zoetermeer Silverdome 3,5002010

Former Teams

Former Teams
TeamCityArenaCapacityFoundedJoined BeNeLeft BeNe
Amsterdam Tigers Flag of the Netherlands.svg Amsterdam Jaap Edenhal 1,30019632015–162019–20
Dordrecht Lions Flag of the Netherlands.svg Dordrecht Sportboulevard Dordrecht 1,50019772015–162016–17
Eindhoven Kemphanen Flag of the Netherlands.svg Eindhoven IJssportcentrum Eindhoven 1,70019812015–162017–18
GIJS Groningen Flag of the Netherlands.svg Groningen Sportcentrum Kardinge 80019692016–172017–18
IJCU Dragons Utrecht Flag of the Netherlands.svg Utrecht De Vechtsebanen 4,00020082015–16Before 2015–161
Olympia Heist op den Berg Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Heist-op-den-Berg Die Swaene N/A19592015–162016–17
Red Eagles 's-Hertogenbosch Flag of the Netherlands.svg 's-Hertogenbosch Sportiom 's-Hertogenbosch 7,22019652015–162017–18
Turnhout Tigers Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Turnhout Kempisch IJsstadion 1,20019812015–162016–17

Players

The BeNe League relies heavily on Belgian and Dutch native players, and as a result the majority of players on the Belgian and Dutch national teams ply their trade in the BeNe League.

Overseas players (termed imports) are allowed in the league however, with each team being able to sign two imports. [12] An import is defined as any player who is not eligible to play for either the Belgian or Dutch national teams.

Champions

SeasonBeNe League ChampionBelgian ChampionDutch Champion
2015–16 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg REPLAY HYC Herentals REPLAY HYC Herentals UNIS Flyers Heerenveen
2016–17 Flag of the Netherlands.svg UNIS Flyers HeerenveenREPLAY HYC HerentalsUNIS Flyers Heerenveen
2017–18 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Hijs Hokij REPLAY HYC HerentalsHijs Hokij
2018–19 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg HYC HerentalsHYC HerentalsNijmegen Devils

Related Research Articles

Netherlands Ice Hockey Association

The Nederlandse IJshockey Bond is the official governing body of ice hockey in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1933 as a three team league with The Hague, Amsterdam and Tilburg. It joined the International Ice Hockey Federation in 1935. In 1946, it created the Eredivisie.

The Belgian Hockey League, also known as the Belgian Elite League, was the highest level of competition organized by the Royal Belgian Ice Hockey Federation. The league winner was crowned the Belgian Champion. The league had been in existence since 1912. The Brussels Royal IHSC were the most decorated team with 23 titles. In 2015, the league merged with the Dutch Eredivisie to form the BeNe League.

North Sea Cup

The North Sea Cup was a short-lived hockey league that temporarily succeeded the Dutch Eredivisie from 2010-2012. It was the only professional ice hockey league in the Netherlands and the highest level of competition sanctioned by the Nederlandse IJshockey Bond and sanctioned by the Royal Belgian Ice Hockey Federation during the years that it operated.

HYS The Hague

HYS The Hague is the ice hockey club in The Hague, Netherlands. Founded in 1933, the club's top team plays in the Dutch/Belgian BeNe League and competes annually in the Dutch National Championships and the Dutch Cup tournament.

UNIS Flyers

The UNIS Flyers are an ice hockey club located in Heerenveen, Netherlands. The team competes in the BeNe League and also takes part in the Dutch Cup. Home games are played in the ice hockey arena which forms part of the Thialf complex.

Eaters Limburg are a professional ice hockey team based in Geleen, The Netherlands. They play in the BeNe League, the highest-level hockey league in the Netherlands and Belgium. Home games are played at the Glanerbrook.

HYC Herentals

HYC Herentals is an ice hockey team in Herentals, Belgium. They play in the BeNe League and are known, for sponsorship reasons, as ERA Renomar HYC Herentals.

IHC Leuven

IHC Leuven, is an ice hockey team in Leuven, Belgium. Leuven plays in the BeNe League, where it competes as the Leuven Chiefs. The team are the current Belgian national ice hockey champions, having won the league playoffs in 2013. It also competes annually for the Belgian Cup.

The Belgian Cup is the national ice hockey cup in Belgium. It has been competed for since 1986. It is currently competed for by the teams of the Belgian National League hockey league and by the lone Belgian team of the Dutch Eredivisie, HYC Herentals.

The 2010–11 Belgian Hockey League season was the 91st season of the Belgian Hockey League, the top level of ice hockey in Belgium. Two teams, HYC Herentals and the White Caps Turnhout, participated in a seven-game series for the championship. The teams also participated in the multi-national North Sea Cup.

The 2010–11 North Sea Cup was the inaugural season of the North Sea Cup, which succeeded the Dutch Eredivisie as the highest level of ice hockey competition in the Netherlands. Two former Belgian Elite Series teams, HYC Herentals and White Caps Turnhout, participated with the six remaining teams of the Dutch Eredivisie after Amstel Tijgers and Groningen Grizzlies dropped out before the season began and the new Zoetermeer Panthers team dropped out at the beginning of the season.

The 2008–09 Eredivisie was the 49th season of the Eredivisie, the highest level of ice hockey competition in the Netherlands. The season started in November, following the completion of the league cup, won by the Tilburg Trappers.

The 2010-11 Eredivisie season was the 51st season of the Eredivisie, the top level of ice hockey in the Netherlands. Six teams participated in the league, and HYS The Hague won the championship. The playoff seeding was determined by the teams' performances in the 2010–11 North Sea Cup season.

The Dutch Cup, better known in Dutch as the "Beker" or "Bekercompetitie", is the national ice hockey cup in the Netherlands. It was held from 1938 to 1939, and 1971-present. The Dutch Cup is usually an autumn competition that precedes or runs simultaneously with the regular season of the BeNe League, the Dutch and Belgian semi-professional ice hockey league.

The 2011–12 North Sea Cup was the second and final season of the North Sea Cup, the highest level of ice hockey in the Netherlands and Belgium, before the league reverted to its traditional name, the Eredivisie, and its traditional format.

The Eerste Divisie was the second level ice hockey league in the Netherlands underneath the professional Eredivisie league. In the 2015 League was founded by Dutch and Belgium teams and the Eredivisie was suspended therefore Eerste Divisie became the highest national ice hockey league in the Netherlands.

The 1970–71 Eredivisie season was the 11th season of the Eredivisie, the top level of ice hockey in the Netherlands. Five teams participated in the league, and the Tilburg Trappers won the championship. The Smoke Eaters Geleen finished first, tied with Tilburg, but the title was awarded to Tilburg due to the Smoke Eaters Geleen using ineligible players.

The Belgian National League was the second level of ice hockey in Belgium. The league was one rank below the Belgian Hockey League, but for the 2012-2013 season it was merged with two teams of the defunct North Sea Cup to become the "Belgian Elite League", which is now Belgium's top level league.

Eredivisie (ice hockey)

The Eredivisie was, during its existence, the only professional ice hockey league in the Netherlands and the highest level of competition organized by the Nederlandse IJshockey Bond. Formed in 1945 and playing continuously since 1964, the league mainly featured Dutch teams, although in some seasons certain Belgian teams competed. The league featured a mix of Dutch, European and overseas players. The winner of the Eredivisie was crowned the Dutch National Champion and represented the Netherlands in the IIHF Continental Cup. In 2015, with most of its teams facing financial problems and its top team, Tilburg Trappers, joining the German Oberliga, the Eredivise was suspended with the remaining teams joining the BeNe League.

The 2012–13 Eredivisie season was the 53rd season of the Eredivisie ice hockey league, and the first since the disbanding of the North Sea Cup and the reversion to the league's original name. Six Dutch teams and one Belgian team took part in the season.

References

  1. "BeNe League" (in Dutch). Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  2. "RBIHF BeNeLeague staat oppunt" (in Dutch). 17 May 2015. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  3. "Dutch champion in Germany". 12 June 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  4. "Update: Turnhout vertrekt uit North Sea Cup" (in Dutch). 13 January 2012. Archived from the original on 2016-08-09. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  5. "Situatie weer kritiek in Geleen" (in Dutch). 26 August 2014. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  6. "Crisis rond Eredivisie verdiept zich" (in Dutch). 5 September 2014. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  7. "Eredivisie begint met vijf teams" (in Dutch). 12 September 2014. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  8. "Dutch champion in Germany". 12 June 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  9. "GIJS Groningen speelt volgend jaar sowieso BeNe league" (in Dutch). 13 March 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  10. "ProClass Lions komend seizoen eerste divisie" (in Dutch). 16 June 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  11. "BeNe League :: Clubs" (in Dutch). Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  12. "BeNe League 2015-2016" (in Dutch). 20 May 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2016.