A brief has been sent directly to all Club Secretary's, MLO and WLO.

Here is the brief that has been sent directly to all Club Secretary's, MLO and WLO.

It has been a while since the East League Management Committee have written to you and we have been waiting to see the result of England Hockey sending their proposal to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport). We were right to wait because we have been delighted to see that the game has moved from Step 2 to Step 4 in the Returning to Play plan.

This means club members and teams can now train together and play friendly matches. It does fall short of Step 5 where we can return to competitive league hockey.

1) What Clubs are telling the League Management Committee

1.1) Many clubs, who hire their pitches from schools, sports centres, etc are telling us they are having a problem in booking their pitches. Firstly to the people in clubs where this is the case don't worry, you are not alone. You can probably understand that if you hire a pitch from a school that schools first priority is to make sure all their pupils can return to school safely in September, so they will not be accepting any 3rd party bookings until they are sure the pupils are ok and the school is running smoothly.

One thing you can do as a club is help your pitch provider when the time comes by being able to show them the England Hockey advice and guidance document, to show what our sports governing body is instructing players to do when preparing for, playing in and leaving a match.

If you are a club who cannot book a pitch please make League Secretary Neil Liversedge aware and he will maintain a central list of clubs and have it available on the website for all to see. This is not to shame any club, but to allow a sharing of information so away teams/clubs can easily see why they haven't heard from another club about times/venues.

Equally if you are a club with your own pitch(es) and have spare capacity to allow neighbouring clubs to book pitches for games or training please do let us know and we can share this information.

1.2) Clubs are telling us that they are concerned that they have entered a number of teams for the season but are concerned that their playing numbers may not be as high as last season.

We urge clubs to talk to their members first. If you are going to need to drop a team logic suggests it should be your bottom team, however if you have concerns that it needs to be a higher team you should in either case make Neil, as East League Secretary, aware as soon as possible along with your justification.

2) What we need you to do

2.1) Clubs who can book pitches should start to plan your home fixtures and times for home games up to Christmas, confirm them with your opposition and pop these details on the League website. This allows clubs who can make progress to do this and will keep things ticking forward.

If the start of the East League season is late then clubs can (and should) feel free to use these fixtures as friendlies (as long as both clubs agree of course). The logic being, if someone has gone to the time and trouble of sourcing you a fixture wouldn't it be great if you played it!!!

Clubs who can should get their venues and times for games up to Christmas completed by 5th September.

2.2) Following the England Hockey Guidelines to return to play Clubs should be making sure their players register that they are ready to play following the England Hockey registration process. (A second registrtion on the same form if they also umpire, a third if they help at a performance centre etc)

2.3) Each club should also appoint a COVID Administrator who will be the communication point for all things COVID related. To help clubs, on the East League website there will be a COVID Administrator position in the Club Officer details. Please make sure you complete this as this will help not only your club members, but your fellow clubs and pool appointed umpires. We will let you know when you can start entering this detail.

2.4) Lastly every player will note that high on the priorities list this season is giving respect to umpires and your opposing players. Never more has this been needed and we hope every player can see why it is needed. Regardless of the result of a game we all just want to feel happy that we are able to play again and just enjoy the game.

3) Clubs Meeting

3.1) As previously advised all clubs please note that the Clubs Meeting will take place on Sunday 6th September at 11.00am. Details of how to access the meeting will be sent out shortly (England Hockey are supplying Regions with some guidelines aimed at supporting both clubs and Leagues with a framework, so that all Regional Leagues apply the same standards, particularly if we start the season late).

Once we receive this we will send out the meeting agenda, plus details of how to access the meeting will be published.

4) What to look out for on the website

4.1) Shortly details of who your League Manager will be next season will be posted to the website plus any other news. We are sure that over the next couple of months the situation regarding hockey and corona virus will be ever moving and changing, so please keep looking at the website for information.

Kind Regards,
The East League Management Committee