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Gelonian Superleague

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Ucayare Superliga Geloni
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2022-23 Superliga season
Gelonian Superleague logo.svg
SportIce hockey
Founded22 June 2022
Inaugural season2022–23
PresidentCrixus Leuka
No. of teams18
Country Gelonia
ConfederationBSIH
TV partner(s)
Sponsor(s)Ucayare
Relegation toNational League
Domestic cup(s)
Official websitewww.usl.ge
usl.tv

The Gelonian Superleague (Gelonian: Superliga Geloni; Latin: Superliga Geloni), or the Ucayare Superliga Geloni for sponsorship reasons, is the highest professional ice hockey league in Gelonia. The league was formed on 22 June 2022 and replaced the Gelonian Hockey League as the top level league in the Gelonian hockey league system.

The league is planned to consist of 18 teams that will play a regular season that runs from October to March, and playoffs from March until May. It is scheduled to begin play for the 2022–2023 season. As the top level league, promotion and relegation exists between it and the second tier National League.

History

In the early 20th century, ice hockey was first introduced to Latium, which at the time included Gelonia. Ice hockey quickly became popular among Gelonians, with numerous clubs based out of what is now Gelonia. A number of these clubs participated in the Latin Hockey Championship. Many Gelonian hockey clubs were tied to partisan groups in the violence that lead up to the 1945 Latin-Gelonian War, which resulted in the suspension of many Gelonian-based clubs.

Excluded from the newly formed Liga Magna following the peace between Latium and Gelonia, Copa del Rei was first awarded in 1951 in the absence of a Gelonian league. A year later, in 1952, the Gelonian Hockey League was organized. The opening game of the 1952 season between Gwer Durnovaria and Galatis Oxonia saw an attendance of 25,214, which remains a league record. The inaugural champion was Oxonia-based Sant Seoirse HC. The Gelonian Hockey League grew to 15 teams, and stable membership until the 1970–71 season when perennial champion Gwer Durnovaria departed for the Latin hockey league system, forced to enter in tier 3 Liga Nationale. Durnovaria was joined the following season by the exodus of 4 more clubs, including Sant Seoirse HC and Oren HC Durotrige. With the departure of 5 high profile clubs, the Gelonian Hockey League saw increasingly reduced attendance and revenue with clubs often serving as lower level affiliates to clubs in larger Belisarian leagues. This relationship led to a large number of Gelonian players to seek opportunities abroad.

In 2019, Crixus Leuka was elected President of the Gelonian Hockey Federation. As part of his election, Leuka promised a growth in Gelonian professional hockey to match that of its talent. By April 2022, the Bodadeg passed a law to expand the reach of the Hockey Federation, empowering it to pass regulations to require hockey clubs based in Gelonia to play in Gelonian-based leagues. On 8 May 2022, Leuka announced that the federation was considering withholding youth academy licensing to clubs based in non-Gelonian leagues. This act saw heavy backlash from Gwer Durnovaria who at the time were in the LMH playoff semi-final. It wasn't until 28 May 2022 that Leuka and Deputy President Rosula Iaca announced plans for the creation of an 18 team Superleague, and high level talks for the creation of a continental cup.

On 19 June 2022, Leuka resigned as president of the federation and was named the league's first president.

Game

Layout of a Superleague ice sheet

Superleague games are composed of three 20-minute periods, with a 15-minute intermission between periods. If a regular season game ends in a tie after three periods, the teams play a five minute four-on-four sudden death overtime period. If a game remains tied after overtime, teams take part in a Shootout, with the team that scores the most out of five penalty shots win the game. If the shootout is tied after five shooters a side, until one team fails to score.

Teams are given one timeout a game. Additionally, a television timeout occurs during the first whistle after the 10-minute mark of each period. These television timeouts do not occur following a goal, penalty, or icing call.

Superleague games are played on a international-sized sheet of ice.

Playoffs

The game structure is nearly identical during the playoffs. The greatest exception is overtime, in which a tied game after 60 minutes of play is a 20-minute sudden death overtime. If no team scores after the first overtime period, a second overtime period occurs, and so on until the first team scores a goal. A 20-minute intermission break occurs between playoff periods.

Teams

18 teams participate in the Superleague. All 12 of the 14 teams that participated in the Gelonian Hockey League earned an automatic placement in the Superleague for the inaugural 2022–23 season. The thirteenth slot was granted to the champion of the previous second-tier, now third-tier, league, and a fourteenth slot for the champion of the relegation/promotion playoff. The remaining 4 slots were left open for teams participating in the first two tiers of the Latin leagues. A week following the league's creation, on 6 June, 2022, the front offices of Oren HC Durotrige and Superatia jointly announced that they would be exiting their respective Latin-based leagues to join the Superleague.

As of 5 July 2022, one slots remain open for the 2022–23 season as Gwer Durnovaria has yet to declare its intent to join the league or remain in the LMH, despite potentially losing its youth academy license. League President Leuka said that a lottery will be established to fill the last available slot should Gwer Durnovaria decide to stay in LMH.

2022–23 season

Team City Arena Capacity
Assegonion HC Assegonion Arena 6,150
Callaecia Durnovaria Durnovaria Civic Center 17,931
Galatis Oxonia Oxonia Arena Nationale 20,066
Gangana HS Oxonia ULBanco Arena 14,488
HC Termantia Durnovaria Arena 13,000
HC Meud Meud Arena 9,647
HS Uxama Arevaca Uxama Arena 5,060
Interamicia HS Nanoeda Arena 8,094
Occilis HS Villadonga Arena 3,900
Oren HC Durotrige Oren Arena 13,809
Ranneg HC Ranneg Arena 4,981
Sant Seoirse HC Oxonia ULBanco Arena 14,488
Segobriga HC Segobriga Arena 7,070
Sekeiza HC Sekeiza Arena 8,100
Sevignega HC Sevignega Arena 10,000
Superatia HC Amacia Arena 7,909
Vaccaenas HS Vaccaenas Arena 9,647

Season structure

ULBanco Arena is an example of a Superleague arena. It is the home of Sant Seoirse HC and Gangana HS.

The Superleague season is divided into the regular season, which begins in late September and runs until mid March. Playoffs last from the middle of March until early May, in an elimination tournament where teams play a best-of-seven series to advance to the next round. The eventual playoff champion is awarded the Superleague championship, and receives of the Duke of Oxonia Trophy.

Regular season

The regular season consists of a round-robin, in which teams play each other four times for a total of 68 games. Points are awarded after each game. Three points are awarded for a win in regulation. Two points are awarded for an overtime or shootout win, and one point awarded for an overtime loss. No points are awarded for a shootout loss. The team that finishes the regular season with the most points is the league champion and winner of the Leuka Trophy and $1,000,000 bonus. The teams that finish the regular season in positions one through seven automatically qualify for the playoffs. Teams that finish eighth and ninth place face off in a best-of-three wildcard series where the winner earns the eighth and final playoff position.

The team that finishes in last place is relegated to the National League, while the team that finishes seventeenth takes part in a promotion/relegation playoff with teams in the National League.

Playoffs

The Superleague playoffs are an elimination tournament consisting of a best-of-three or best-of-seven series where the winner advances to the next round. The playoffs begin with a best-of-three wildcard series between the teams that finish the regular season in positions eight and nine. The winner of the wildcard series advances to play the regular season league champion. The quarter-final round of the playoffs consist of a best-of-five series where the highest seed plays the lowest seed and so on for each match-up. Following the completion of the quarter-final round, teams advance to the second round and are re-seeded where the highest remaining team plays the lowest remaining seed, and so on, in a best-of-seven series. In the semi-final round, the highest ranked team chooses their opponent. After the completion of the semi-final, the two remaining teams take part in a final best-of-seven series to crown the playoff champion.

In the wildcard round, the eight seed is awarded home ice advantage during the first game, and third game if necessary. In the quarter-final, the higher ranked team hosts the first and second, and if necessary the fifth, game of the series. For the semi-final and final, the higher seed hosts the first and second games, and if necessary, the sixth and seventh games.

Trophies and awards

The team that wins the playoff tournament is awarded the Duke of Oxonia Trophy, and is crowned Gelonian Champions. The Leuka Trophy is awarded to the regular season champion, along with a $1,000,000 bonus. The winner of the Duke of Oxonia Trophy earns the chance to play for the League Cup at the start of the following against the the winner of the Leuka Trophy.

As the top tier league in Gelonia, the Superleague inherited a number of individual awards and trophies previously awarded by the Gelonian Hockey League. The most prominent trophy awarded to players is the Enni Riou Trophy, which is awarded to the league's most valuable player. The Segovax Correia Trophy is awarded by the Gelonian Hockey Writer's Association to the league's best defenseman. The Duke of Roazhon Trophy is awarded to the rookie of the year. The Foirbis Trophy, named for Gelonian hockey legend Brennus Foirbis, is the only trophy awarded based on individual states and presented to the player who completed the season with the goals points.

Media

Superleague games are televised nationally in Gelonia through its top domestic television partner GTV, which also broadcasts games on its main network channel SK-G. The league's primary international broadcast partner is Ucayare, primarily through local streaming services. Television rights in neighboring Latium are held by STV. The current primary rights deals run through the 2026–27 season.

The league also plans to launch a league-wide streaming service USL.tv, where fans will be able to all Superleague games.

See also