Updated: Jan 26
Happy new year to everyone and I hope everyone had a good, if a little different, Christmas.
Here we are again in another lockdown with all of our hockey across England, Scotland and Wales not happening at the moment. I know you will join me in hoping that with the roll out of the vaccine and the spring on the way, that we are in the final mile of COVID-19.
It is very difficult to plan for hockey’s return given the rollercoaster of the last three months. It really did feel for a while that we were edging back, but we have done almost a full 360. Let’s take a quick look at where we stand.
First let’s talk about the GB teams who should be competing in various championships in June. As we stand all the tournaments remain on, but we are all concerned that as the weeks while we are still in restrictions count down, they become less likely. I would expect we will have more certainty on this toward the end of the month. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Next we can look at adult domestic competition. We are currently at what would normally be the halfway point of the 2020/21 domestic nationals season. It is hard to imagine that there will be much of the normal season remaining when we get back to playing. We will certainly look to the possibility of playing part of the season, or just encouraging local competition via the conferences. The back stop would be a fresh start in September for the 2021/22 season.
Finally let’s mention juniors. I think the chances here of some part of the 20/21 season happening are better than for adults. Firstly, if we emerge from restrictions in the same way as last time it may be that under 18 activity can happen sooner. I’m also conscious for the juniors that as one year moves to the next, some of the players move up an age category or in some cases out of junior hockey and into the adults. I’m really keen that we make sure the kids get at least some part of the 20/21 season after losing out on the end to 19/20, even if that means we play into the summer or early autumn. We will also look to hold an under 18 competition. Firstly because we may be able to bring those 16-18 year players back to competition before the adults, and also to compensate those U16 players who lost out on the end of last season and would normally be making the transition to adult hockey.
As you can see we really are in a place where uncertainty reigns and having a definite plan is very difficult. We will of course get things back up and running as soon as is safe to do so.
It is a sobering thought that this is currently the time of year that many of our senior players would be readying themselves for the annual trip to Gateshead for the Fantastic Fours in February. It is massively disappointing not to be doing that this year, but I’m sure if we hold onto the spirit that emanates from this annual event organised by the North East Dekstars , we’ll soon be back to enjoying our great sport.
Rob Clayton, BHUK President
ICYMI - BHUK Refereeing Survey
Yesterday we launched a BHUK Refereeing Survey to get your thoughts as we look to move forward with our new Head of Refereeing, Rob Pacey. If you haven't already, please take a few minutes to fill it in for us.