EH Board Announcement on Saturday/Sunday Hockey Consultation

At their meeting on the 19th May, England Hockey considered the results from the Saturday / Sunday consultation that went out to EHL Clubs, players and coaches, NPUA umpires, EH Match Officials, Regional Leagues and Regional Umpire Associations. You will find below the recommendations that were supported by England Hockey and a summary of the findings from the consultation:

Recommendations

Three men’s EHL dates will move to Saturdays for the 2009/10 season to free up players and coaches for JRPC. They are the 26th September, 10th October and 24th October [These dates are highlighted with an asterisk in the final centralised calendar].  Clubs may switch these games to the relevant Sundays of those weekends if both teams agree, however, player and coach priority will be with the JRPC activity. The only other Saturdays to be used for Men’s EHL games allow for Cup and Performance activity on the Sundays of those weekends. A further review will take place at the end of the 2009/10 season.

EHL Clubs will be encouraged to trial Friday and Saturday evening games where they have appropriate floodlight lux levels, if required, in agreement with England Hockey. 

England Hockey will undertake further scoping work on how it could be planned to ensure there were sufficient umpires IF a complete move to Saturdays was introduced in the future, for example in 3 years.  This work will be undertaken with the EH Umpiring Committee and the NPUA.   

England Hockey will scope the investment required to upgrade floodlights at facilities to allow more EHL clubs to play on Friday / Saturday evenings.

Summary of EHL consultation report presented to the EH Board.

The following are the key statistics from the survey:

CLUBS

1. 36 EHL clubs representing 47 EHL teams responded. Five Men’s Premier Division and five Women’s Premier Division teams responded.

2. The mean number of pitch slots available to clubs in total is similar to the number of teams who require these, i.e. supply and demand are reasonably close

3. The mean loss in income, over a season, for men’s EHL teams if EHL fixtures are played on Saturdays, not Sundays, is £1294

4. The mean number of men’s 1st XI players playing for other club teams – i.e. playing for 2nds on Saturday and named on the bench for 1sts on Sunday – is 2.4 per team (Spilt 0.8 per team U18s, 1.6 per team Over 18s). The mean number of players involved in JRPC activity is 1.9 per team

5. There is interest in playing matches on Friday / Saturday evenings, particularly if financial support to upgrade lights can be provided

6. 62% of clubs would be interested in hosting Single System activity on Sunday

7. If Saturday hockey is to be introduced, 34% showed a preference for it to be done for the 09-10 season, with 6% in 10-11. 60% of teams do not support this proposal

8. 66% of teams would be happy to move games to Saturdays to avoid clashes with JRPC activity on Sundays

PLAYERS & COACHES

1. 402 EHL Men’s EHL team players, and coaches, responded. Of these, 255 have another role in hockey. [For reference there are c1000 per gender of registered players in the EHL]

2. 395 of the 402 EHL Men’s EHL team players, and coaches responded to the question asking which day they would prefer to play hockey on. 230 said Saturday (145 strongly agree, 75 agree), 114 said Sunday (86 strongly agree, 38 agree); 51 had no preference.

3. If Men’s EHL were to be played predominantly on a Saturday, 171 would be interested in being involved in other (mainly) Single System activity on a Sunday (121 as coaches), 297 would consider taking time out of hockey. NB this was a multiple answer question

4. 297 EHL women’s players and coaches responded. 283 responded to the question asking which day they would prefer to play hockey on. 219 said Saturday (174 strongly agree, 45 agree), 12 said Sunday (7 strongly agree, 5 agree); 52 had no preference.

5. If EHL hockey were to be played predominantly on a Saturday, 132 would be interested in being involved in other (mainly) Single System activity on a Sunday (97 as coaches), 210 would consider taking time out of hockey NB this was a multiple answer question.

6. 6 EHL players also stated they are also EHL umpires (out of 685 responses)

MATCH OFFICIALS

1. 49 Match Officials responded, 25 of these umpire outside of the EHL on Saturday.

NPUA UMPIRES

1. 84 umpires responded, 20 women, 64 men. Of the 64 men; 51 umpire outside of the EHL and 27 assess/coach outside of EHL. NB multiple answers were permitted.

2. 63 male umpires responded to the question asking which day they would prefer to umpire hockey. 18 responded Saturday (14 strongly agree, 4 agree), 29 Sunday (26 strongly agree, 3 agree) and 19 had no preference/both. Of the 19 female umpires that responded 6 preferred Saturdays, none Sundays and 13 no preference/both

3. If EHL hockey was predominantly played on Saturday; 20 would be interested in umpiring in the Single System, 5 coaching in the Single System, 4 other volunteering and 58 taking time out of hockey.

REGIONAL LEAGUES

1. 5 of the 10 Regional Leagues responded. 60% thought all EHL on Saturdays would help player eligibility issues, 100% thought it would put pressure on pitch slots. 60% did not think this would be helped by later flexible start times. All agreed that it would put pressure on umpire resources. 60% did not agree with the concept of all Saturday EHL hockey.

REGIONAL UMPIRE ASSOCIATIONS

1. 5 RUAs responded. All thought that all EHL on Saturdays would put pressure on their resources. None supported the principle.

END