While the EY IHL, on the whole, has got a huge thumbs up, it’s not quite perfect for Mark Tumilty.
The Banbridge Head Coach says the 60 minutes game time is too short and is taking away from the spectacle of league matches.
Bann’s Ulster Premier League games were 70 minutes matches, as are Irish Senior Cup fixtures and Tumilty reckons the four 15 minute quarters of the IHL are the wrong move.
“The shorter games makes it very difficult,” he said.
“The 70 minute games usually open up more in the last ten minutes and for a match at this level of sport, 60 minutes isn’t really long enough.
“I know the clock’s stopping for corners now, which is fine in a game that has a lot of corners but in other games, it makes no difference.
“I know they were trying to come into line with international hockey but I think the internationals have got it wrong.
“The game has progressed a lot because of the good decisions they have made but I don’t agree with this one.”
Tumilty also outlined concerns that supporters weren’t getting enough entertainment with shorter matches inevitably leading to fewer goals.
“From talking to other coaches, I think others agree,” he said.
“Even from the view of making substitutions, it’s difficult.
“You get eight or nine minutes into a quarter and then by the time you’ve brought somebody on, they only get on for three or four minutes.
“It’s difficult. You don’t really get into a game.
“For supporters as well, 60 minutes of hockey isn’t very long. Then you take into account the amount of time the ball spends out of play.”
“Maybe it’s something that can be looked at. If it was up to me, I’d have four quarters of 20 minutes and play 80 minute matches.”