Latest Government Announcement
After the latest government announcement allowing groups of 6 to meet together outdoors from Monday 1 June following strict social distancing guidelines, we are now updating the guidance for hockey.
Roadmap to Return to Play
When England Hockey took the decision to suspend hockey on the 17 March, it was clear that exactly when and how the sport would be able to return would take time to resolve. Until recently the focus has rightly been on the hockey family, demonstrating our collective spirit through support for charities, key workers in our clubs and looking out for our local communities or other club members as well as engaging within the hockey community and beyond on social media. The focus has not been on returning to hockey until the last week.
With so much uncertainty the aim has been to make decisions on key issues at the right times. Getting the timing right on this has been particularly tricky and will continue to present challenges over the coming months. The aim of this message is to share what we believe the probable steps are likely to be, and in headline terms, the possible implications for the 2020-21 season.
The considerations set out here are all dependent on the ongoing nature of the Covid-19 pandemic and relevant government guidance. We would encourage our players, clubs and associations to interpret these as a guide and support and align to the work that will need to be done if plans change. At this stage it is not possible to make definitive plans.
What will be allowed?
The government alert levels announced on 10 May (link here) set out the first clear steps to emerging from lockdown. These alert levels will not relate directly to hockey activity and having reviewed the information from other countries and other sports we have set out 5 steps to returning to ‘normal’. Three relate to training, and two relate to match play activities. These are as follows:
1. Training - One to one / household group
2. Socially Distanced Training - Small groups but with social distancing in place
3. Small Group Training – Small group training allowed with some closer contact allowed. Allowing for tackling/marking etc. (some age groups may be allowed to start this stage earlier)
4. Local Match Play – Intra club / local matches can happen but restrictions stop leagues / main competitions resuming (e.g. if travel is still an issue due to car sharing or local lockdowns are in place)
5. Full Competitive Match Play – Full leagues / competitions resume
For the last two weeks we have been at Step 1 with one to one coaching or household groups allowed to play. We will move to the initial stages of Step 2 from Monday 1 June. Detailed information on this will be released as soon as possible after government guidance is made available.
We do not know exactly when we will be able to progress through each step but hope this outline will assist clubs and organisations scenario plan their return to hockey. Crucially it is clear that facility providers are taking different approaches to the current restrictions and not all clubs are able to access pitches. This is a situation we will continue to monitor and take into account linked to the steps above.
England Hockey will issue the necessary advice and guidance and share good practice with as much notice as we reasonably can in the circumstances.
What are the implications of this?
Depending on the timing and pace of progression through the steps there are different implications for the 2020-21 season. These implications are interlinked and complex across the game and decisions need to be coordinated across key stakeholders to avoid unintended consequences. The timing of decision-making is important to allow adequate planning time but also decisions should not be taken too early in case circumstances change.
For the next 6-8 weeks we recommend continuing to plan for the 2020-21 season as normal (option A below). There is a risk that some pre-season activity may be lost and we recommend organisations aim to minimise financial risks where possible in pre-season. If the season cannot start on time but is only delayed for a short period (a few weeks), we will aim to extend it beyond its traditional late March/early April finish (option B below).
If neither of the above scenarios are possible we will consider a revised calendar for the 2020-21 season (option C). This would apply if there was insufficient time to run a normal length season. There could also be a time by which a viable competitive season has to start. A range of scenarios are being developed for this and will be consulted upon over coming months with the relevant stakeholders. Option C would only be enacted if there was a delay starting competitive hockey into mid-November (or later) or a second wave of infections caused more significant disruption.
Finally, there is the possibility an even later start may only allow for a shortened season to take place (option D). The likelihood of implementation of Option C or D will be assessed over coming months.
Season runs normally from end September 2020 to April 2021. League fixtures as usual. Adjustments made to league and competition structuring and regulations to cater for managing potential disruption including incomplete season.
Season runs normally but starts later and finishes later than usual, for example the end of October to end of April. Adjustments made to league and competition structuring and calendar depending on time lost. Regulations adjusted to cope with disruption including incomplete season.
A significantly revised calendar is created for season running in a reduced window – e.g. end November 2020 to end of April 2021. Some activities may be removed in this scenario depending on the circumstances.
Alternative formats for competitions and leagues will be developed including potentially splitting leagues in the latter part of the season to create playoffs.
Consultation on this approach will be undertaken in coming months with this scenario only implemented if there is confidence the timing will allow.
The season runs in a severely reduced window – e.g. end January 2021 to end of April 2021.
In this scenario in adult leagues it could be that all play all but only once either home or away.
Beneath these high-level scenarios there are layers of detail that need to be considered and recommendations made including the different implications for different sections of the sport such as the impact on officiating in each scenario, leagues adapting to issues such as possible localised lockdowns and also for indoor hockey (given indoor sports rules are likely to be different to outdoor).
Given the complexity of this and the need to communicate at the right time, England Hockey will review the position every three weeks around key government announcements, and will update the position for hockey in England whenever the circumstances change.
Chief Executive of England Hockey, Nick Pink said, “As we all continue to navigate this evolving landscape, the England Hockey team have been working hard to prepare the sport for a return to play and to manage the challenges ahead. By sharing our thoughts openly, we hope it enables the hockey community to work together, to plan ahead, and to help us to come back stronger. We plan to engage with you as much as possible as we look to set a course and encourage as much alignment as possible to ensure the sport as whole can thrive. The long-term health of the overall sport will always remain at the heart of our decisions.”
If you have any comments, feedback or input please email: email@example.com
With immediate effect and in line with Government Guidelines and England Hockey, all games within the League are suspended. Please await upates in due course.
The County AGM due on Monday 20th April has also been postponed
This years Annual General Meeting is taking place on Monday 20th April 2020 at Brixworth Sports and Social Club
After a long and detailed consultation process with members over the past few years, the Board of England Hockey met yesterday (3 February 2020) to approve the resolution that will be put before the 2020 AGM seeking a mandate to deliver the “Structure Fit for the Future” proposals. The proposals were shared with members last year and, in light of the positive response, the Board wants to work with members to deliver the change over the proposed timeline.
The wording of the resolution will be:
- Approval of the resolution to endorse the ‘Structure Fit for the Future’ proposal and instruct England Hockey to work with the membership with the aim to deliver the changes proposed in the timeline set out in the full proposal document.
We are also pleased to announce that England Hockey has partnered with Civica Election Services (formerly the Electoral Reform Services) who will be managing the voting process for the AGM on our behalf. We believe this will give members full confidence in an independent and transparent process and details can be downloaded here: Civica Election Services – AGM Process or by a link on the England Hockey AGM web page.
Members are advised of the following timeline:
20 February 2020 – Closing date for notification of any proposed AGM business to the EH Company Secretary.
24 February 2020 – AGM papers issued to members
15 March 2020 (19.30) – Closing date for electronic appointment of proxies and postal voting for vacant roles.
17 March 2020 (19.30) - England Hockey AGM (CES will also be conducting and overseeing the voting process at the AGM)
The full details of the AGM Resolution proposal - A Structure Fit for the Future, including consultation summary can be found here: www.englandhockey.co.uk/agmresolution
These changes have come from feedback provided by our members so we would encourage all members to review these important changes and vote on the proposals. If you have any questions or comments please don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Direct: 01628 897500 |
England Hockey, Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1RR
Tel: 01628 897500 | www.englandhockey.co.uk
Some major changes will be taking place in field hockey over the next 12 to 24 months which if you are reading this as a hockey player, umpire, club member or supporter it will have an impact on you. England Hockey are in the process of taking control of regional hockey and the way of hockey for the future. I've attached a Summary of their proposals and also the link on the England hockey website. This shows their Timeline and also a link to the Map which suggests which region your Club will fall into. Please take some time to read and digest. Further information will be sent out when we get it from England Hockey. The County Committee as you know it will defunct.
1) You must either play for a Midlands team or live in the Midlands
2) You need to have reached the age group by 31st Dec 2020
For ALL age groups will be on Sunday 12th January. Timings and venue to be confirmed. Depending on numbers there maybe another trial. This will be confirmed after the first trial.
If you are interested and would like to register, please email Cheryl McCulloch - email@example.com
Midlands Womens Masters Lead
Oundle are hosting a Level 1 Umpire Course on Sunday 17th November 2019, please register via England Hockey portal
The hockey season is nearly upon us and I am sure you are all ready to play. Just so as you are aware, England Hockey have been looking at restructuring how hockey is run, from senior & junior league organisation, discipline, performance centres, officiating, representative teams, development centres and masters. Basically, all these areas are run differently across counties and regions. In 2017, EH created a working group to look into how these responsibilities could be re-organised. Their first approach was by consulting clubs and organisations requesting completion of a survey and the results have been compiled a document –A Structure fit for the Future- has been produced (this is attached). I would be grateful if as many people from your club, read the document as EH need feedback on their proposals. The closing date for feedback is 27th October 2019. From the feedback, EH will then create an implementation plan and these changes will be in place for 2021-2022.
You may think this has very little to do with you, however, the proposals will have a huge impact on how you currently play your hockey.
A key point that arises from this proposal is how the leagues will be run in the future.
In order to create consistency, the five regions (East, Midlands, North, South,West) will be increased to eight regions and each region will be responsible for organising ALL adult & junior leagues and competitions. There are currently at least 40 sets of different league rules depending on where you play and so all leagues will be administered through their area. As we primarily are concerned with adult leagues in Northamptonshire, this will be a major change. I for one, do not know how this will happen so we will need to wait for further details, but there will no longer be a county committee and Val won’t be organising county leagues! Our current 2019-2020 league will run as normal but there may well start to be changes 2020-2021 so that is why I need as many of you as possible to be aware of these changes by reading the attached document, and if possible discuss and feedback either to myself or to EH.
I hope you all have a great season.