Categories: Local SportsSports

BCHL experiments with coach’s challenge, video review during preseason

Preseason is the time for experimenting, and the BCHL will be testing out changes when exhibition action starts Sunday.

During select games, coaches will be allowed one challenge on a play that has led to a goal.

Reviewables include offsides, goaltender interference, hand passes, high-sticked pucks and pucks out of play. Game officials will use an iPad to review a play using the Sporfie app and teams will not be penalized or lose a timeout for a challenge that fails.

Sporfie conducts all video review situations for the minor-pro American Hockey League.

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At the same time, the league will be experimenting with a video review system that the BCHL plans to have in place for the BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack Oct. 20-24. Goals and major penalties will be subject to review, using the Sporfie app on an iPad in the scorekeeper’s box.

“Anytime we can grow our league, then why not?” said Chilliwack Chiefs hockey boss Brian Maloney, expressing his support for the projects. “I just hope the coaches are smart enough to not abuse it to the point where it slows the game right down.”

The third experiment comes in the faceoff circle, where players will now be given a warning for their first faceoff infraction, and not be waved out of the circle. But, a second infraction will result in a minor penalty.

“Makes sense to create offence,” Maloney said. “Defensive zone centre, put your stick down first.”

The three pilot projects were suggested by the BCHL’s competition committee, which Maloney is a part of, and unanimously approved by the league’s board of governors.


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Eric Welsh

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