Governance of Hockey in England
A Brief Overview
England Hockey, a company limited by guarantee, is the National Governing Body (NGB) for hockey in England. It is also the nominated country (NC) for Great Britain which means it runs the GB teams on behalf of Great Britain Hockey.
The England Hockey officially became the NGB in December 2002, taking over from its predecessor, the English Hockey Association (EHA). The EHA - who had been formed in 1996 to unite the separate men's, women's and mixed associations - had to suspend operations earlier in 2002 because of significant financial problems. The original men's and women's associations had been in existence for over 100 years prior to their merger in 1996. The company was officially formed on the 1 January 2003 and now employs 65 people. This relatively small, paid and full-time group is supported by an incalculable number of dedicated volunteers at club, county, regional and national level.
The England Hockey is affiliated to the European Hockey Federation (EHF) and International Hockey Federation (FIH). The FIH is responsible for the production of the “Rules of Hockey” which are the rules that are followed worldwide by all players and umpires participating in the game. The England Hockey is responsible for implementing those rules in England.
Structure of Hockey in England - Clubs and Associations
The strength of hockey lies in it's clubs. England Hockey has about 950 affiliated clubs. All clubs affiliate to the EHB, which allows them to play in our leagues and competitions – please visit the clubs section on this website to find out more about club affiliation. These clubs also affiliate to their County and Regional Associations.
The bedrock of club activity is league hockey played mostly on Saturdays almost exclusively on artificial turf pitches. This is organised through Regional and County Leagues with the top Men’s clubs playing in the Men's England Hockey League and the tops Women's clubs in the Investec Women's Hockey League.
Parallel umpiring associations and committees ensure that the games are controlled, where possible, by suitably qualified officials and just as there is a progression through leagues for teams so umpires will progress from the grass roots of the game through to national and international level.
Regional Governance and Structure
Further governance of the game is devolved at a regional and local level to Regional and County Associations. There are six Regional Associations – East, Midlands, North, South, West and the Combined Services who represent the three single service Associations. Counties affiliate to their respective Region. These bodies bring clubs together at a local level and ensure that information is cascaded up and down through the game. They are also responsible for implementing discipline through the Code of Ethics.
The Regional Associations are represented on the Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) which supports the work of the Board to ensure it is operating in line with the agreed Memorandum & Articles of England Hockey and follows best practice in terms of the financial management of the company’s affairs.