England Hockey: 2020/21 League Hockey Road Map
By Surbiton HC
England Hockey have released an updated ‘step by step’ approach to returning to hockey as we emerge from lockdown.
The information begins to give us a more detailed understanding of what a full return to play might look like for hockey, with five steps to returning to ‘normal’ – three in relation to training, two in relation to match play.
Click here for full details or read on for a summary of the implications for league hockey in the 2020/21 season.
- Step 1: Training – 1:1 / household groups
- Step 2: Socially Distanced Training – small groups but with social distancing in place
- Step 3: Small Group Training – small group training with some closer contact allowed; allowance for tackling/marking etc (some age groups may be allowed to start this stage earlier)
- Step 4: Local Match Play – intra club / local matches can happen but restrictions prevent leagues / main competitions resuming (e.g. if travel is still an issue due to car sharing or local lockdowns are in place)
- Step 5: Full Competitive Match Play – full leagues / competitions resume
The timing and pace hockey moves through the steps detailed above will influence decisions about the 2020/21 season. At this stage England Hockey has outlined four possible options, depending on the wider situation. It is recommended that you read the full EH statement to understand the various scenarios that may see these options occur.
Option A – Season runs normally from September 2020 to April 2021. League fixtures as usual. Adjustments made to league and competition structuring and regulations to cater for managing potential disruption including incomplete season.
Option B: Season runs normally but starts later and finishes later than usual (e.g. end of October to end of April). Adjustments made to league and competition structuring and calendar depending on time lost. Regulations adjusted to cope with disruption including incomplete season.
Option C: A significantly revised calendar is created for season running in a reduced window – e.g. end November 2020 to end of April 2021. Some activities may be removed or alternative formats developed in this scenario depending on the circumstances.
Option D: The season runs in a severely reduced window (e.g. end of January 2021 to end of April 2021). In this scenario in adult leagues it could be that all play all, but only once either home or away.
England Hockey emphasises the considerable amount of detail and complexity that need to be considered. The governing body has indicated it will review the position every three weeks around key government announcements with a view to updating the hockey community whenever circumstances change.