We are seeking clarification on a few points but unfortunately the expectation is that indoor hockey is unlikely to be possible this winter unless things change significantly.
There are a few other outstanding questions for the outdoor game, particularly in relation to spectators and we intend to update our guidance later this week for clubs and organisations.
The new rules made it perfectly clear that organised outdoor sport is considered to be a safe activity. This endorses the assessment of the medical evidence that team sport NGBs, including England Hockey, have had agreed by Public Health England and DCMS. The key point is that organised activity is being supported, therefore the expectation for all involved in delivering hockey is to ensure that the guidance is followed – particularly the need to maintain a safe social distance outside of play. In some other sports, activity has been stopped where there is evidence of the guidance not being followed, and we do not want that to have to happen in hockey.
England Hockey CEO Nick Pink said, “As leagues start, we recognise that this is likely to be a season like no other, with the range of challenges clubs face from access to facilities, managing player availability, ensuring the guidance is followed as well as having significant restrictions on the social side of the game. Club officers will need support from volunteers and helpers, and everyone in the sport will be required to follow the expectations and guidance set out. We still have the opportunity to step on the pitch and play the game though and we hope that is something that people will cherish in these difficult times.”