Tuesday, November 28, 2023

England Hockey season kick off: 4 things on domestic club scene

With the English domestic season about to get into full swing, we look at four areas which need addressing

The ‘major 3G issue

We are here to promote the game but also delve into issues affecting it. And we can’t hide from the fact that 3G is becoming an increasing problem after we revealed that the surface has overtaken 2G hockey in the last two years. England Hockey last week called it “a big issue” as funding into football facilities continues to increase across the country. “It’s major and front and centre at board level,” chief executive Nick Pink told The Hockey Paper.

“There is more we can do to push the wider promotion of the sport and the whole collective return of the game,” added Pink, adding that clubs who used local newspaper as support had been successful. “When it becomes an issue and a facility is changing its use it means we are pushing hard.”

The Hockey Paper is also looking at a generic template as we also bid to campaign on clubs’ behalf at national governing body and government level.

We want your reports!

We cover news and features across the Premier Division, but this season we want to build up a network of grassroots coverage across the UK. If you are with a club who wants to get noticed with our huge digital reach, then send in your small report (max 200 words) and any images to newsdesk@thehockeypaper.co.uk by Mondays 9am. 

We are aiming to build up extensive online league coverage across the England Hockey regions and Areas, so please relay this message to any club communication officers. We will then choose the best reports for our regional round-ups.

Streams of domestic coverage?

England Hockey say they are working on producing a national platform to give wider coverage to the Premier Division and boost the domestic product. “It needs to be accessible,” said Nick Pink. “How we get to another audience is key to that. It’s got to be fun, good quality, well produced as that’s what we’ve come to expect. There is a place for more content in the sport. From training on a Tuesday to weekend coverage.” 

Clubs are beginning to up their game thanks to the variety of AI and digital platforms available on the market. Beeston currently lead the way, while East Grinstead, pictured above, are showing more home coverage in the last two seasons. 

Safety in hockey

The Hockey Paper has again led the way on safety in our sport as we continue to ask the game’s leaders whether enough is being done to tackle the issue. 

“It’s a pretty big agenda for us and the international visibility helps which is a good thing,” said Pink, England Hockey’s CEO. “There is a broader piece than just face masks which reflects the safe hockey guidelines … whether you are a coach or player and the steps you take before a match or training session.”

England Hockey says that its injury reporting is ”improving” – it now has a full Planning Safe Hockey guidance in place – while safety is reviewed at every board meeting. “That wasn’t there 18 months ago and it is regular now,” added Pink.

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