A statement from the Blind Hockey League Players Association:

The BHLPA would like to thank fans for the many emails and phone calls celebrating the league launch. We are grateful and look forward to being with you in 2024.

The BHLPA held a meeting last week where two major items were brought forward for vote. The BHL player selection process was the first item followed by the decision on a point vs no point system.

The BHLPA Board of Directors has voted to appoint an independent, third-party, three-person selection committee. They will be responsible for player eligibility and ensure the selection process is fair and that decisions are evidence-based.  The selection committee members will be named in the new year.

 Simon Richard, Vice Chair of the BHLPA , says the formation of this committee is another strong sign of positive growth and the league plans to ensure the eligibility and selection process is transparent and done with integrity. 

 The second item tabled asked for a vote on whether the 2024 series should use an international classification and point system, or form a league with no point system, similar to the structure of the 2023 pilot ,during the Carnegie Cup.

The BHLPA Board of Directors voted unanimously for the league to keep consistent with international classification which includes a B1, B2 and B3 point system. 

Luke Miller, a BHLPA Director, says the decision for the league to adopt the international model of parasport is important to ensure consistency in the game – from the grassroots to professional levels. 

The newly named selection committee will be responsible for the application process, eligibility review, and performance and character evaluation. 90 days in advance of a series, the committee will select the top 62 points for players, with a maximum cap roster size of 31 points per team, in a two team series. 

Simon Richard says the Board feels this is the best way to ensure equality of opportunity for all athletes, regardless of their classification. If a B1 or B2 player with lower to no functional vision can still demonstrate the skill to compete at the appropriate level, they should have the same opportunity to be considered for the series.

 The selection committee will also name four B1 Goaltenders in addition to the 62 total points for players. Like international competition, the number of points on the ice at any given time is a maximum of 14, including the goaltenders.

In the coming weeks, the BHLPA will be meeting once again to decide on player application details and the official BHL rules.

The league continues to take calls from interested markets and is confident the destination of the 2024 series will be released this winter.

Thank you,

The Blind Hockey League Players Association

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