Over 30 teams at senior and U16 level will compete in the 2019/20 season in the newly branded Women’s National Ice Hockey League (WNIHL).

Following the section meetings in Derbyshire the three tiers of the women’s leagues remain – Elite, Premier and Division 1 with the latter split into north and south sections.

The Under 16 girls competition also keeps its north and south divisions with seven teams confirmed and expressions of interest from one or two more.

The WNIHL season will begin on the weekend of October 5/6 with final round of league games scheduled for May 9/10. Women’s Trophy Weekend returns to Sheffield on the weekend of May 30/31, 2020.

Next season’s WNIHL Elite features six teams playing two home and two away games against each other. Bracknell Queen Bees will defend their eight-year title run against Solihull Vixens, Guildford Lightning, Kingston Diamonds, Streatham Storm and newly promoted Nottingham Vipers.

WNIHL Premier for 19/20 features eight teams playing one home and one away game against each other. Swindon Topcats join playoff winners Chelmsford Cobras, Milton Keynes Falcons, Kingston Diamonds, Bracknell Fire Bees, Whitley Squaws, Sheffield Shadows and Cardiff Comets.

WNIHL Division 1 North contains six members, with the number of fixtures to be confirmed after discussions with the clubs. Widnes Wild Women, Telford Wrekin Raiders, Solway Sharks Ladies, Sheffield Shadows, Grimsby Wolves and a new D1 side from Nottingham Vipers.

WNIHL Division 1 South has nine teams playing one home and one away game. Slough Sirens, Streatham Storm, Solent Amazons, Oxford Midnight Stars, Peterborough Penguins, Invicta Dynamics, Swindon Topcats, Coventry Phoenix and a new D1 side from Milton Keynes Falcons.

The U16 Girls league once again has north and south conferences. In North there is Sheffield, Nottingham and Kingston with two other expressions of interest in the pipeline. The South division has Bracknell, Swindon, Haringey and Milton Keynes.

Clubs raised several rule proposals at the section meeting around younger players playing up to Elite or Premier teams. The League Management are considering the changes and will report back before Rules of Competition are published.

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