Disciplinary Directive Refined
Binghamton, NY: After lengthy discussions with the Commissioner, Director of Player Safety and the Director of Officiating, the FPHL has decided to modify certain aspects of its recent disciplinary directives.
The FPHL has had a Leaving the Bench penalty in its rulebook since the league's inception but until just recently has never had a defined penalty/suspension for said actions. The ambiguity of specifically defined discipline for Leaving the Bench has, in the past lent itself to inconsistency and confusion. In early January the FPHL sought to define the penalties for leaving the bench in an effort to curb the rash of brawls and injuries that ensued, as well as to add a transparent deterrent to the players and coaches.
As a result of our conversations, we realize that automatically suspending head- coaches in situations where they could not have mitigated their player's actions or behavior is counter-productive to our intentions. The league needs a coach behind the bench that the players respect and who is able to control his bench during tough times and altercations. As a result, moving forward and going back retroactively to this past weekend, coaches will not be subject to the AUTOMATIC three (3) game suspension. Instead, coaches/team will be fined $500. It is important to note that any instance of a player leaving the bench to start or join and altercation where there is evidence or reason to believe that the coach ordered or tacitly approved of such action, then the THREE (3) Game suspension will apply, in addition to the $500 fine.
Please note that there has been zero modifications to the penalties and suspensions that will be assessed to the first and second player of either or both teams who leave the bench to “start” or “enter” an altercation. They will still receive SIX (6) and THREE(3) games respectively.
An update to the FPHL Directive of 1-4-2024 that mandated an automatic suspension of a coach whose player received a suspension of TWO (2) or more games will no longer be in effect. As explained above, we need coaches to be behind their benches and controlling their players. Keep in mind that Rule 28: Supplemental Discipline still allows for the Commissioner and/or Director of Player Safety to suspend any coach for any behavior deemed detrimental to the league.
The FPHL is a Single-A Minor Professional hockey league operating in its 14th season during 2023-24. You can also visit the FPHL at Federal Prospects Hockey League on Facebook.