Committee: FF Start Times to Change

The Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee concluded its annual meetings in San Francisco earlier this month, and a change to the Frozen Four start times was its most notable move.

Instead of a noon and 6 p.m. (ET) start time, the committee decided to change the times to 2 and 7 p.m. The final remains at 7 p.m. The committee said its intention was to create less downtime for fans, and make things easier for players who are unused to noon starts.

The 2005 Frozen Four is April 7 and 9 at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State.

The committee also discussed possible changes to the start times of NCAA regionals, one of which also usually features a noon start time. The 2005 regional sites are: Worcester and Amherst, Massachusetts; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Minneapolis. The games at Worcester and Grand Rapids will be March 25 and 26, and the Amherst and Minneapolis games are March 26 and 27.

Start times will remain staggered, which allows for maximum television exposure, and for fans in the East to catch all six games live.

Meanwhile, the committee has decided to allow re-entry to fans at the regionals, or issue single-game tickets.

The committee said it expects to start soliciting bids for the 2009-11 Frozen Fours, and the 2008-11 regionals, in September. Written bids must be submitted by March 1, 2005. Once proposals are received, sites will be selected for in-person presentations and interviews at the 2005 committee meeting June 7-10 in Indianapolis.

The committee also forwarded a recommendation to the Championship and Competition Cabinet to allow representatives of non-Division I schools to be on the committee. Previously, people such as St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh served on the committee and was the chairman, but he and those like him are no longer allowed to participate because St. Lawrence is not an all-sport Division I school. With approximately half of college hockey’s programs coming from non-all-sport Division I schools, the committee has asked for a change in that requirement. Four of the six committee members would still be required to be from Division I schools under the proposal.

In other news, Yale associate athletic director Wayne Dean was named committee chair, replacing Denver’s Ron Grahame, who served as chair for the past year.