On Wednesday, the 19th of November, Russia’s Deputy Sports Minister, Yury Nagorny, chaired a meeting devoted to the development of hockey across the Russian Federation.
The meeting was attended by Kontinental Hockey League President Alexander Medvedev, in addition to many leaders and representatives from the Ministry, the Russian Olympic Committee, the Russian Hockey Federation, the KHL, MHL and VHL.
One significant outcome of the gathering was an agreement to establish a Russian college hockey league, and to have the necessary documentation for the founding of such a league completed as early as February of 2015. The founders of this league will be the Russian Hockey Federation, the Youth Hockey League (MHL) and the Russian Students’ Union, and the existing Student Hockey League, created in February of this year, is expected to form part of the new organization’s governing body.
The purpose of the college hockey league, in addition to promoting wider participation in the sport, is to create better conditions for young people to continue-playing the game as they enter adulthood and possibly consider turning professional on completion of their higher education. Thus, the new college league will become an integral feature on the hockey map of the Russian Federation.
The meeting also agreed that the popular Night Hockey League event, held in Sochi each May, should next year incorporate a similar competition for the finest teams from the student hockey League.
Among other items on the agenda, considerable attention was paid to tightening up the provision of medical services and anti-doping measures across the various levels of the sport, to ensure a flexible approach to the differing needs of the various tiers of the game, while at the same time ensuring that all levels of the sport comply in full with existing legislation.
The controversial KHL season calendar inevitably came up for discussion, but the Ministry agreed that it would be inappropriate to pass judgment so early into the campaign, and that considering the partly experimental nature of the current Championship game schedule, its merits could only be properly evaluated at the end of the season.