3 Points For A Win

What is a win worth in ice hockey? Well it can be worth many things. Local pride? A playoff spot? A league Championship? Of course though in most case a win is worth 2 points. But should this be the case?

At the world championships for example a win is worth in regulation is worth 3 points whilst a win in overtime is 2 points. The reason for this is to separate the teams that win in regulation and those that don’t. In short situations like the world championships it is a success that prevents the confusing situation where the head to head record is used to separate teams on equal points.

This system encourages and rewards wins in regulation. A look at the World Championship Division 1 group A in Slovenia highlights this point. Under this system Hungary came away with a bronze model whilst the Ukraine were regulated.


Rank   Team GP       W        OTW   OTL     L          PTS

1          SLO     5          5          0          0          0          15

2          AUT     5          3          0          1          1         10

3          HUN    5          2          0          0          3          6

4          JPN      5          1          1          1          2          6

5          GBR     5          1          1          0          3          5

6          UKR    5          0          1          1          3          3


Yet under the old 2 points for a win system it would have been a different story.


Rank   Team GP       W        OTW   OTL     L          PTS

1          SLO     5          5          0          0          0          10

2          AUT     5          3          0          1          1         7

3          JPN      5          1          1          1          2          5

4          GBR     5          1          1          0          3          4

5          HUN    5          2          0          0          3          4

6          UKR    5          0          1          1          3          3


The 2 points for a win system would have produced a bronze medal for Japan whilst Hungary slip down 2 places despite winning more games in regulation than both Great Britain and Japan. The Ukraine would still have been regulated but this time only by a point.

From an entertainment side of things the 3 points for a win rule does offer more encouragement and need for sides to push for a winner. Looking at the World Championships again Great Britain entered the final round of games not just needing a win but a win in regulation. This stopped Great Britain from just waiting to overtime and taking their chances in a penalty shootout. It is therefore a win for the fans.

Other leagues around the world do use the 3 points for a win system and some even offer 4 points for a win in an attempt to separate teams more obviously. So by moving a way from 2 points for win the UK would not be on their own. It may in fact help attract a bigger fan base in the UK by bringing ice hockey in line with football.

The big question of course is the affect changing the points system would have on the league over the course of a full season of over 50 games. It is harder to see what difference it may make. But in both the EIHL and the EPL the winners would have been the same. But if the outcome is going to be the same then why not give fans a better experience for their money by encouraging teams to go for the win in regulation by changing the points system.

What you think? Vote on our facebook site. www.facebook.com/bluelinerhockey



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