North West Hockey issues guidelines PIC: Bury HC

By The Hockey Paper

Following the UK government’s introduction of Covid-tier levels, the North West Hockey League has outlined that Tier 3 sides can only play matches against other teams from the same area.

As well as cross tier matches not being allowed, players from Tier 3 clubs can not enter a Tier 1 or 2 area to train or play, said Peter McInulty, NWHL’s league secretary.

“It’s the League’s understanding that the majority of clubs and players want to play hockey this season and are happy to do so whilst following the EH return to play guidelines,” he added. “The league will try to facilitate that in any way it can.”

The English areas for the NWHL are Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Liverpool City Region, with the latter three all now placed in Tier 3.

The statement added: “As a league we will be looking to create some new divisions. We will look to create reduced side leagues that contain teams from the same area which will mean that teams. It is expected that these will be have a maximum of 10 teams in each so that the season can continue to as close to its normal conclusion as possible.”

The NWHL is still planning on using a points per game calculation to conclude placings and any matches already played as league games will still have their results counted.

Next season will see a major restructure of the league as it merges into becoming the West Pennine League with some of the North Hockey League teams.

In order to also allow anyone that wants to play hockey to do so, the league said that it will be introducing a loan scheme, where players can play for a different club in a different area if it means that they get to train or play hockey.

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