Following the details of the EH announcement the league committee has met and will looking to make changes to the structure for the rest of the season to enable people to play hockey but by staying within the governments COVID regulations.
Clubs within tier 3 lockdown cannot travel to Tier 1or 2 to play matches and also Tier1/2 can't travel to Tier 3 to play.
This will have a large impact on the league and certain divisions in particular. The league is meeting this evening and will discuss the implications.
At the moment Liverpool City Region and Lancashire clubs are in tier 3 with it possible that Greater Manchester will join them. We also realise that some players will be residents of a different tier to their clubs and we'll look into what we can do for those.
>>>>>In light of the government announcing the new Local Covid-19 Alert Levels, we can now update the situation for hockey. Over the past 24 hours a number of clarifications have been sought by NGBs and Sport England from government and this update incorporates the answers to those questions.
Firstly, and crucially, outdoor organised team sport continues to be seen as a low-risk activity for the transmission of Covid-19. The weight of evidence across sports - allied to the excellent work clubs have done establishing safer environments - demonstrates the confidence government has. From an England Hockey perspective, the visibility that clubs have given of reported cases and exploring the reasons behind them also demonstrates the low level of risk. We cannot link any cases to transmission on the field of play, and where transport has been shared and safer travel guidance followed there is also a low level of risk of transmission. The only examples of transmission or where larger groups of players have been required to self-isolate is where social distancing rules have not been maintained outside of play.
At all three of the new alert levels, outdoor hockey activity is allowed to continue:
At Level 1 (Medium) and Level 2 (High) of the new restrictions, hockey can continue but with further limitations to arrangements in indoor settings for clubs at Level 2 - linked to groups not being allowed to mix indoors.
Unfortunately, at Level 3 (Very High) alert level there will be some restrictions on hockey activity due to travel restrictions. People are advised not to travel into or out of areas that have a very high alert level, including for sport. Further limitations also exist at this level for indoor setting arrangements.
NB We are seeking clarification on an exemption to travel outside of a Level 3 area for disability sport, sport for educational purposes or supervised sport for under 18 activity. We will update on this as soon as we can.
Training and matches for clubs and players within the Level 3 (Very High) areas can continue. Obviously, some players may be not be able to leave or enter a Level 3 (Very High) area to play and in those examples we encourage other local clubs to support players who temporarily may not be able to access their normal club activity.
A quick guide to show how the new Covid Alert Level system impacts hockey in England. Please click here or on the photo to download the full version.
Covid Alert Levels
England Hockey has been meeting with representatives of clubs in the Tier 3 areas to discuss the circumstances and will communicate with England Hockey League clubs shortly.
This season was always going to require all involved in hockey to demonstrate the flexibility, resilience and spirit required to keep hockey going. We continue to be grateful to all the volunteers that are supporting activity and hope that the chance to get out and pick up your stick is appreciated by all involved. England Hockey also continues to request that leagues to show the flexibility and patience required to let games happen when they can, and support postponements if required.
England Hockey will continue to follow the permissions from government as the guide for when hockey activity is allowed. Ultimately, we want to ensure that clubs and players can come through this period as strongly as possible.
Over the past few days the number of ‘Local Lockdowns’ has increased significantly in terms of the area covered and the extent of restrictions imposed. There are often differences in each area and where restrictions are occurring England Hockey is communicating directly with the clubs and organisations in the affected areas.
So far organised outdoor recreational team sport approved on the government framework has been allowed to continue, including within the areas with tighter restrictions announced this week. This is testament to the confidence government has in the procedures put in place by sports clubs and the evidence for the low risk of transmission during play backed up by social distancing outside of play. The travel guidance written within the full government advice also remains the same in these areas. In the areas of greater lockdowns spectators are restricted from attending matches.
However, we recognise that the speed at which the situation is changing in the North has lead to concerns for clubs and teams and the North HA Executive and England Hockey have been discussing the best approach in the circumstances. Consultation with North League clubs has indicated a willingness from the majority to play league hockey if possible. The extent of travel across the North-wide divisions is recognised and solutions will be finalised and proposed to clubs in the coming days. In the meantime, league matches this weekend across the North can go ahead where clubs are comfortable to play, where clubs have concerns should contact their league secretary.
We are waiting for the full government guidance to be published on today’s announcement and will update further if required.
Further to the government announcement on 10 May and subsequent updated guidance issued on 13 May, England Hockey can now update on the initial implications for hockey in England. Link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation
England Hockey will continue to follow both government and Public Health England advice. Timings of any changes to the circumstances for hockey will always be led by government advice during the Covid-19 restrictions. Whilst these are the first steps for returning to play, we would encourage everyone to firstly consider the health of themselves and others.
The updated government advice means it is now possible to undertake the following activity. England Hockey strongly recommends that all involved in any activity follow the guidance beneath.
● Outdoor hockey pitches can now be opened as long as the government guidelines are followed.
● The following ways to play hockey are now available on outdoor pitches:
- Hockey played by two players (each from different households) under social distancing guidelines.
- One-to-one sessions involving a coach and a player from different households under social distancing guidelines. Where this involves a young person their parent/guardian must be present and observing social distancing guidelines.
- Hockey played between a household group (where social distancing is not required)
● Whether coached or uncoached these sessions must be covered by suitable insurance – participants and coaches should ensure they have suitable arrangements in place before participating.
● This means that some one-to-one coaching activity can resume but the participants, coach and the facility must follow the respective government and England Hockey guidance.
● We encourage the fantastic ‘hockey at home’ initiatives that we have seen throughout the last two months to continue (examples here) Link: http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/page.asp?section=2614§ionTitle=Let%27s+Stick+Together
Please be aware that this guidance may change as the circumstances change. In particular, we are still seeking clarification from government on arrangements for one-to-one coaching of young people given the need for a parent/guardian to be present. There are different interpretations across NGBs on this issue at the moment and therefore we may have to update on this once a decision is made.
Summary guidance for outdoor hockey sessions one-to-one, or within one household
The following is a summary of the full guidance which is available at the bottom of this article:
● Follow Public Health England advice for good hygiene at all times
● Maintain 2m social distance (unless you are from the same household)
● Only meet 1 other person from another household
● Use your own equipment (stick and balls) and avoid touching other equipment (goals etc). If passing, only touch the ball with your stick!
● One-to-one coaching is permitted in line with England Hockey safeguarding guidance
● Think about how you divide the pitch if more than one group is using it to ensure there is sufficient space between groups
● Book online and leave space (10 minutes) between bookings to avoid bottlenecks
● Do not participate if you are required to self-isolate
● Ensure you are appropriately insured and first aid equipment is available
As the longer-term plan for lifting restrictions become clearer, England Hockey is developing a structured approach to managing the steps, linked to future government guidance. Our aim is to allow all those in the game to understand how we intend to navigate through the next few months. The impact of the expected timeline, and any changes to it, are being assessed alongside the lead in period that is required to change any large-scale activities in hockey. We intend to share this timeline and our expectations of what each step will look like and when decisions will be made over coming weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
a. Insurance (This advice is only applicable for those with Howdens insurance policies offered via England Hockey):
Regarding your coaching insurance, if you are insured with England Hockey through Howden then your cover will continue to apply, providing you adhere to the Government guidelines and any additional supporting guidance provided by England Hockey to its coaches concerning safety and social distancing. Risk assessments must be carried out and risk management put in place around Covid-19 requirements as these are key to evidencing that the risk is being assessed and managed. This is something that the Government has highlighted must be taking place. It is essential that coaches record and evidence that they are working to and controlling the social distancing measures expected by the Government.
b. Gumshields – Gumshields are obviously recommended for hockey and participants are encouraged to use them where possible, whilst also adhering to the Covid-19 hygiene advice. As with all other equipment they should be cleaned and disinfected between sessions.
c. Access to pitches – ultimately access to pitches is in the hands of the owner/operator of facilities. Many facilities may decide it is viable to open to support one-to-one coaching sessions.
d. One-to-one coaching of young people – A parent / guardian must be present and the coach following social distance guidelines from the player and parent / guardian. Coaches must hold appropriate insurance. All coaches should closely follow the England Hockey safeguarding advice on one to one coaching as covered in the document.
Link to full guidance on England Hockey Website:
We are seeing an increasing number of complaints regarding urinating at the side of the pitch. As we are sure you will all agree, this behaviour is not only unpleasant but also a contravention of the EH ‘Respect – Code of Ethics and Behaviour’ – Disrepute Offence, not to mention in some cases a criminal offence. We expect all members to refrain from such behaviour. However, in the event of such incidences, in keeping with the revised Disrepute Complaint Regulations, we kindly ask that these be referred to EH as a Disrepute Complaint in the first instance. It is likely that offenders will face a suspension.
If you have any queries on this, Please contact England Hockey
The New North and Feeder league Structure for 2019-20 (OPTION A1 002) has now been ratified by the North HA Council to be implemented for the start of 2019-20 season.
North HA are now in the process of scheduling Regional meetings with County and league Officers/Representatives to discuss the detail.
Please can you ensure that select the correct organisation that you wish to put your question/comment to (Drop down Menu), as: if you do not do so your question/comment will NOT be seen that Organisation's Administrator. Organisation’s:
North Hockey Association
North Hockey Umpiring Association
North Young Umpires
Cheshire Hockey Association
Greater Manchester Association
Lancashire Hockey Association
Lancashire Hockey Umpiring Association
North West Hockey Umpiring Association
North West League
Isle of Man Hockey Umpiring Association
Yorkshire Hockey Umpiring Association