Due to the uncertainty caused by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the related travel restrictions currently in place for movement between European countries, the CHL Board has decided to postpone the start of the CHL season until mid-November. The playing format will remain a knockout only competition that will commence at the Round of 32 stage.
The start of the 2020/21 Champions Hockey League season has been postponed until 17 November (previous start date 6 October) as per the CHL Board’s decision, which was made during an extraordinary video conference on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately the pan-European situation has recently not developed in a way that we are confident enough to confirm the start of the competition at the beginning of October, as travel restrictions between some of our participating countries are currently hindering the completion of several of our match-ups,” CHL President Peter Zahner said.
“Six more weeks of preparation time will allow us to continue working on solutions for critical match-ups and ideally, some of the restrictions will be lifted in the meantime,” the CHL President added.
The start of the season is now planned for the originally scheduled Round of 16 Game Days. No adaptions to the playing format are required at this stage, but the schedule for the first two rounds has become condensed, requiring back-to-back games to be played on consecutive nights in order to fit the season into the calendar.
“This means that both games of each Round of 32 and Round of 16 match-up will be played in the same city. In principle, the higher-ranked team earns the right to play at home,” Zahner explained.
From the Quarter-Finals, the CHL will return to the familiar two-game, home-and-away, aggregate score series up to the Semi-Finals. The season culminates on 9 February 2021 with the ultimate one-game Final.
CHL Game Days - November scenario
17 November 2020: Round of 32 – First Leg*
18 November 2020: Round of 32 – Second Leg*
24 November 2020: Round of 16 – First Leg*
25 November 2020: Round of 16 – Second Leg*
8/9 December 2020: Quarter-Finals – First Leg
15 December 2020: Quarter-Finals – Second Leg
5/6 January 2021: Semi-Finals – First Leg
12/13 January 2021: Semi-Finals – Second Leg
9 February 2021: Final
*in principle at the venue of the higher-ranked team