Thursday, July 25, 2024

Club offers suggestions for future of England domestic hockey

Hampshire side Havant believe more Friday night matches should be played as part of a wider debate on the future of hockey surrounding England Hockey’s restructure proposal.

Asking for club member and wider feedback, the club outlined several points which it felt was holding back the sport, creating extra costs and, ultimately, stopping more people from playing hockey

The club says it has to deal with seven different sets of league regulations, which was one of the main aspects of EH’s governance review to align rules and regulations.

Havant officials felt that widening the window for weekend fixtures across the UK would be beneficial for more clubs.

The club asked: “Why do league matches have to be scheduled within a short time window on a Saturday? Why not allow matches to be played on Friday evenings, Saturday evenings or Sunday if both teams are in agreement?”

Suggesting that other leagues should follow suit, given that the elite end of the sport plays across the weekend, a flexible match window would:

  • Allow clubs to schedule and promote first team
  • Generate additional income through bar and catering sales
  • Reduces cost of external pitch hire (Havant says it spent over £2,500 on external pitch hire).

The club also opened up the debate of players playing for two teams on the same day.

“For teams playing at tiers 9 and below in the pyramid, there should be no starring of players (specifically a Women’s League rule) and a player should be able to play for more than one team on the same day, provided both teams are competing at tier 9 or below.”

Havant say this would give more flexibility at the lower end of clubs on weekends, when player unavailability in higher teams means players have to be pushed up.

It also reflects that modern home and working lives are not the same week in and week out and other commitments impact on availability.

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