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England and Wales hockey suspended over coronavirus outbreak

Down sticks: England hockey suspended all activity following coronavirus PIC: Worldsportpics

The coronavirus pandemic finally put paid to England Hockey (EH) finishing its regular season as the national governing body cancelled all activity until at least April 15 as hockey fell in line with a wave of other sports on Monday.

Hockey Wales also followed suit in suspending all domestic, club and community hockey. Last week, all Irish and Scottish hockey had been cancelled until at least the end of the month. Use this Bet365 Bonus Code for a little extra on the available sport markets.

EH suspended its nationally run hockey activity, which included its competition and domestic events programme and Tuesday’s pivotal AGM.

But it doesn’t mean that recreational hockey will be completely grounded. EH urged leagues, clubs, schools, Player Pathway centres to support their approach and “looked forward to hockey returning to normal when the time is right.”

All schools finals this week at Lee Valley have been cancelled, while the final day of the Investec women’s and men’s hockey league this weekend was also hit.

As with other major sports, the conundrum now facing England Hockey is how the league play-offs in promotion and relegation will play out.

With the regular season having finished, would final league places be used to finalise European places, promotion and relegation? Would England Hockey look to play final matches after April 15? Could the play-offs be played in early September?

At the top end of the sport, these questions and more would also hinge on the Olympics programme and availabilty of GB players. With several clubs also expecting an exodus of players after Tokyo 2020, playing this season’s matches in September would also seem to be ruled out at this juncture.

With the amateur nature of the game, sorting out these logistics will be no easy matter for the national governing body.

The Hockey Paper will report on the latest updates in our next print issue – an Alex Danson special edition due next week – and online.

England Hockey’s list of cancelled events

Events/Finals:
19 Mar: Schools Finals: Girls & Boys U18s Finals; Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre
21-22 Mar: Investec women’s hockey league
23-24 Mar: Boys Schools U14, U16, U18 finals; Reading Hockey Club
29 Mar: Men’s and Women’s Championship semi finals and Division One play-offs
Mar-Apr: Boys U16s Schools knockouts
4-5 Apr: U 16 Club Finals, Nottingham Hockey Centre
5 Apr: League Finals; Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

Player Pathway activity:
Performance Centres
Academy Centres
Development Centres

England Hockey participation programmes:
Hockey Heroes
Back to Hockey
Walking Hockey

GB Coaching / EH umpiring:
Courses and Workshops

NAGs / DiSE:
21-22 Mar: England age group training days
6-9 April: DiSE; Lilleshall
11-13 Apr: England age group training camps; Lilleshall

Great Britain EDP:
17-18 Mar: Men’s Lilleshall camp
29 Mar: England women’s U21s
10-13 Apr: England & Scotland men’s U21s
10-13 Apr: England & Ireland women’s U21s

England Hockey:
17 Mar: England Hockey AGM

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