In 2017 a resolution was put by clubs to the England Hockey AGM and was strongly supported by the membership to review the way the sport was structured locally. At the England Hockey AGM on Tuesday 15 September 2020, the membership of England Hockey took the decision to support the proposed structural changes set out in A Structure Fit for the Future. Over 250 delegates attended the AGM electronically and the vote supported the resolution with 86% of votes received being in favour of the resolution (53.4% of the membership voted with the vote result 894 to 146 and 13 abstentions).
A robust governance structure that allows for maximum participation in hockey within a safe environment underpinned by an organisational structure that ensures consistency, accountability, transparency and communication at all levels.
At the March 2017 England Hockey AGM, a resolution to review the structures within the sport was proposed and passed with a majority of 98%. The AGM resolution read as follows:
"This resolution proposes that England Hockey review the sport's current governance structure across the country so that it provides the best opportunity to develop the sport; increasing participation levels and the chances of sustained success at national and international level while safeguarding participants and giving members the best possible experience in the 21st century."
In the summer of 2019 a series of consultations were undertaken around the country, followed by an online survey for members. Having taken on board this feedback an updated proposal set out the plan to modernise, streamline and improve the administration of hockey for the benefit of players, clubs and the organising bodies.
This presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to systematically improve the sport while aligning our collective efforts more effectively.
The proposals will help to create:
- A fairer structure for clubs and participants to progress within competitions and league structures
- Common league rules across the genders and different areas
- Improved junior competition structures
- Less travel for clubs and players
- Common structures and approaches that will make administration easier for clubs and associations
- A leaner, more accountable structure that will be easier to improve in the future, aligned to clubs' wishes
Chair - Liz Pelling (England Hockey Vice President, retired)
Board Member - Richard Sykes (Independent Non-Executive Director)
Regional Consultative Committee (RCC) - Neville Wrench (nominated by the RCC)
Executive Director - Rich Beer (Development Director)
Head of Governance – Jennifer Agnew (joined the Working Group in June 2018).
Through detailed research and a travel mapping exercise undertaken pro-bono for England Hockey by Llamasoft, an operational logistics company, a new structure of eight areas has been agreed to more equally divide the balance of clubs and players in hockey in England. Throughout the consultation England Hockey made it clear that clubs would be allowed to request their area to play in if they feel in, or are in close proximity to, a boundary.
Adult leagues and competitions will be led by the eight areas, as set out in the proposal, to a common rules framework across genders and areas which will help to make the lives of administrators, from both clubs and associations, easier across the sport.
Please see the documents on this page for further information regarding the structure and the history of these decisions.
Junior competition provision is currently patchier across the country than for adults and the local implications will vary. Mostly the changes will bring more consistency of structure and alignment based on the good practice that is available already. A framework is provided through this proposal for junior competition that allows for the necessary local flexibility according to demand with festival, central-venue and home and away provision within the framework.