Updated: England Hockey statement in relation to COVID-19 virus

England Hockey Championship Finals
As elsewhere in society, the Coronavirus is impacting the current and future activities of England Hockey. Below details England Hockey’s position in relation to community hockey, the England Hockey AGM, international fixtures and England Hockey offices.

England Hockey's Futures Cup

Community hockey
Community hockey will continue to take place unless we are advised otherwise by government, and we will continue to update the Hockey Family on the situation. Please check with your local league if you are unsure if the game is going to take place. We would encourage all players to follow the widely available guidance of public health with regards to people maintaining good hygiene to avoid spreading of the Covid-19 virus. 

In a hockey context, we would advise clubs and other hockey venues to ensure washing facilities have appropriate provision of hygiene products and urge players to follow the public health guidance in environments where they are in close proximity to others. If any players, officials or coaches are feeling unwell, please follow the government’s advice to self-isolate and therefore do not take part in hockey-related activities. We also recommend our more elderly players and officials consider whether they should take part in hockey activity.

All players and officials are responsible for their own safety equipment (goalkeeping kit, facemasks, mouth guards, whistles, shin pads etc) and we would encourage everyone to ensure they are clean and not shared amongst team-mates.

Instead of the traditional handshake at the start and end of the game, we are encouraging players to tap sticks: https://twitter.com/Xenioshockey/status/1235819830562832384. A warm smile and thanks of appreciation to officials may be more appropriate at this current time.

Club hockey

England Hockey AGM - Tuesday 17 March
The AGM will take place as planned unless circumstances change. The meeting at Bisham Abbey begins at 7:30pm. If you are uncomfortable attending in the circumstances then duly authorised representatives are advised that you can instruct a proxy to cast your votes until 7:30pm on Sunday 15 March.  Please click here for more information.

Great Britain's men in the FIH Pro League

FIH Hockey Pro League & England Hockey domestic Finals
England Hockey is continuing to monitor government advice in relation to the hosting of events. At this juncture, there are no changes to our advertised programme. We will keep participants, ticket buyers and other stakeholders informed if this position changes.

Maddie Hinch of Great Britain

International teams' tour to South Africa
The GB men’s and women’s squads were both due to travel to South Africa on Sat 13 Mar for warm weather training camps (with match play for the women) as part of their Tokyo preparations. After due consideration, it has been concluded that this is not in the best interest of players and staff, and they will not be travelling. With no international programme activity over the weekend of 13 and 14 Mar, players are available for selection for the final Men's and Investec Women's Hockey League matches of the season.

Club hockey

England Hockey Offices
England Hockey offices remain open for business. In the event the situation escalates and we need to close the offices, we are confident we have the capability to continue to provide services to our customers, through home working and mobile applications.

Maddie Hinch of England

Updated: Answers to additional questions from clubs

Can umpires allow additional time at penalty corners for facemasks etc to be cleaned?
Yes, this is a sensible approach.

I am not attending the umpiring course I’m booked onto because of COVID-19, what happens next?
Our standard terms and conditions still apply, if cancelled on short notice, we will offer a transfer to another course.

We have a school games fixture and a pupil from both teams who have symptoms and are being tested so we have agreed to postpone our fixture.
Where possible, and if both teams agree, we will try to accommodate in the current climate. However, unless the government advise otherwise, games will go ahead as planned and if a fixture is not played on the correct date or at least before the ‘slip’ date, it will result in a forfeiture.

Should we still attend training camps and events?

As long as you are following PHE advice and you don’t present with any symptoms, or you have not been in contact with someone who has presented with symptoms, all events will continue as normal.

You've mentioned elderly players, is there specific advice for them?
Not as such, no. It is just worth noting that there is slightly different government advice for the over 70s.

Should our team still travel abroad for matches?
Please follow advice and be aware of the countries that are listed on the FCO website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus