Message from Leinster Hockey Board
July 31, 2020
It is five months since the arrival of Covid 19 and as everyone is aware there have been extraordinary impacts on everyone’s day to day lives. Within hockey, you are aware that the 2019-20 season was closed out via a league equalisation method and we are looking at ways in which we might be able to run Club Finals when the new season resumes.
We have received numerous communications asking when the new season will commence. In previous years, we have had this information ready each May. Hockey Ireland issued the draft calendar on 20th July but our Ladies and Men’s Committees cannot finalise the leagues until a determination has been made by our NGB regarding the national leagues.
In April and July, we conducted two polls with clubs asking for your preferences in respect to the format of the EY2 in anticipation of an expected review of the competition. There was overwhelming support for a full league EY2 league for the 2020-21 season [see below] and this information was communicated to Hockey Ireland on your behalf. However, we understand that Hockey Ireland does not believe that there is time to introduce any changes for the new season, so our committees are preparing schedules based on the format used over the last two years i.e. in the absence of a Review and as there is 'no time to introduce any changes' the EY2 league will therefore be reconstituted in line with the existing rules; and that would mean the top 3 teams from Leinster Men’s and Women's Division 1 competitions in 2019-20 season, as communicated to HI Competitions group, will be invited to participate.
We know that this will be disappointing for many and we share the concerns of clubs, players, coaches & parents regarding player welfare and number of games that those clubs involved in EY2 are required to commit to on an annual basis and we will continue to advocate on your behalf at national level so that these concerns are addressed.
Separately we would like to thank all those clubs who attended our recent “Al Fresco” AGM in Three Rock Rovers HC. We would hope to re-schedule this meeting in early September and will be in touch once we have a date confirmed. The junior development programme has also been re-started and the Board hopes to have news of exciting news in Club Development and Umpire Development in the near future.
Clubs are reminded to ensure that they are following all the “Return to Play” protocols which can be found on both the LHA and Hockey Ireland websites and to return information regarding your Covid Officers and Club Declaration Forms to email@example.com
Looking forward to getting back to play soon,
The Leinster Hockey Board
31st July 2020