Following the announcement last week from government concerning the tighter Social Distancing measures that came into play today, I’d like to remind you all of the following:
The conditions of the Return to Play agreement with DCMS allow the relaxing of social distancing on the pitch when the ball is in play. This means that when the clock is stopped, or situations such as the set up to a Penalty Corner, social distancing should be applied by the players.
The total number of 30 people in the guidance documents apply to individuals within the white lines of the pitch. The pitch surrounding area (i.e. within the cage but not on the field of play) must apply social distancing guidelines. This applies to all individuals on team benches, any technical officials on duty, umpire coaches / assessors and spectators.
The umpires are responsible purely for the rules of the game. The home club’s COVID Officer is responsible for ensure that any guidance documents concerning the steps the club have taken to make the facility COVID safe are available.
As Officiating generally, we have a responsibility when appointing individuals to ensure they have completed a Participant Agreement and are aware of their responsibilities on game day. As HUAs and TAP, we need to ensure we have the following in place:
We have registered a COVID Officer with firstname.lastname@example.org
That COVID Officer has access to EH records to show who has completed the Participant Agreement
Weekly, we ask for the appointments made by HUAs or TAP to be sent to England Hockey for all Track & Trace queries. These record are kept for 21 days and then destroyed.
IF someone involved in a game shows either COVID Symptoms OR is tested positive for COVID, the COVID Safety Officer for the HUA or TAP will be required to contact the clubs and make them aware of this. The same is applied if a club contacts the HUA / TAP COVID Officer, so they can get in touch with the umpire or official in question.
More information is available on the England Hockey website.
4 September 2020
We hope this letter finds you, your families and your hockey clubs well and you are all looking forward to what we hope will be a new exciting season of hockey. In these unprecedented times we would like to thank you for your support and patience as we have worked with the Government and Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to get hockey back on to the field of play as one of the first few approved team sports. We know the beneficial impact sport has on both the nation’s physical and mental wellbeing and we look forward to playing our part in getting the nation moving again.
You will have seen the final Step 5 ‘Return to Play’ guidelines issued this week. Please take time to read them and ensure your members are fully aware of what we need to keep hockey playing. As you will expect we will be under the spotlight to demonstrate good on-field and off-field behaviours and your support in making this happen is very much appreciated.
The last few months have been challenging for so many of us and we have been aware of the number of different circumstances affecting individual members, hockey clubs and those that represent the variety of diverse communities that play hockey. We have recently had a public challenge presented to England Hockey, concerning allegations of racism of hockey in this country. The Board of England Hockey takes these accusations very seriously and we wanted to update you on how we are addressing these concerns.
England Hockey received a letter from nine hockey clubs outlining very serious allegations of racism that they have experienced whilst playing hockey. This letter was also sent to the mainstream media. You will undoubtedly have seen some of the media articles that were subsequently published. We are grateful to the clubs that wrote the letter for bringing these issues to our attention and want to remind clubs that should they ever have any concerns around racism or any behaviours which are against the strong values we have as a sport, to report these and use the processes outlined on the England Hockey website.
We are taking these allegations very seriously and have held meetings with those who wrote the letter. We have spoken to a number of people in the past few months who have told us about racist comments that have been made to them and racist behaviours they have experienced on and off the pitch. Their experiences extend beyond hockey and into wider society. As everyone is more than aware, any such behaviours are not acceptable and we will be working with all parts of our game to ensure we bring an end to any form of racism, sexism and homophobia and other forms of discrimination in our sport.
In a statement on our website, attached to this letter, we highlight the steps we are now taking as an organisation. We would also encourage you all to continue to look at what you can do to help. We all have a responsibility to provide an equal opportunity for everyone to play and enjoy our sport. It is evident that currently there is not the same provision and opportunity across all communities and, whilst there are some systemic reasons beyond hockey, we must work harder to bridge those gaps and those divides. We are also looking at ways we can build on the work that has supported clubs with their own outreach work in local communities across the country. There is a lot of good practice already going on here and only recently we have heard of examples of clubs having diversity officers on their committees and, in some cases, a diversity committee reviewing what they do across their club.
The return of hockey in the autumn provides us with an opportunity to start with a new meaning, a respect for each other, and a respect to all, from whatever background, gender, race, sexuality, ability and socio-economic background. Our message must remain ‘A Nation Where Hockey Matters’ and that it is therefore a sport for all. It has been a challenging time for so many of us over the past few months and we have an opportunity to start the new season as we mean to go on.
We are expecting more media stories around diversity and inclusion in hockey in the coming weeks and we will respond to these where we need to. Equally we are working hard as outlined above and in the attached statement to make sure hockey remains at the forefront of sport, is leading the way in diversity and inclusivity and contributes positively to the nation’s return to team sports. We recognise that this is a role for England Hockey as well as for hockey clubs, for regions and counties and all those involved in our great sport.
Hopefully you will also have received a separate email from CES today containing the Calling Notice for England Hockey's reconvened AGM being held later this month. If you haven't received it, please check your 'Spam' email folders.
In closing, we wish all members and hockey clubs the very best of seasons ahead, wherever you play, umpire, coach or volunteer, and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible as the season progresses.
Yours in hockey,
Nick Pink and Royston Hoggarth
CEO and Chairman
We are seeing an increasing number of complaints regarding urinating at the side of the pitch. As we are sure you will all agree, this behaviour is not only unpleasant but also a contravention of the EH ‘Respect – Code of Ethics and Behaviour’ – Disrepute Offence, not to mention in some cases a criminal offence. We expect all members to refrain from such behaviour. However, in the event of such incidences, in keeping with the revised Disrepute Complaint Regulations, we kindly ask that these be referred to EH as a Disrepute Complaint in the first instance. It is likely that offenders will face a suspension.
If you have any queries on this, Please contact England Hockey