Reduced Restrictions

Hockey Ireland’s Covid-19 Group met yesterday to discuss the recent announcements regarding Covid-19 restrictions made by the Irish (ROI) Government and the Northern Irish (NI) Executive.

The following changes have been made to Hockey Ireland Covid-19 guidelines. (Please note: These restrictions do not apply to Irish Senior International squads under Sport Ireland’s elite exemption).

1. As per Level 3 guidelines, adults in ROI will be allowed to return to non-contact training with immediate effect. Training must be in pods of maximum 15 (including coaches/managers) and socially distanced at all time.
2. Competition/matches may not be played at any level.

For All Ireland Competitions:

1. Hockey Ireland’s principle of all clubs competing on a level basis in relation to Covid-19 restrictions remains in place.
2. No All-Ireland hockey competition (EYHL1, EYHL2 or Cups) will start until a 4-week lead-in period has passed that would start from the point in time that training is allowed on the entire island of Ireland.
3. Training for EYHL clubs will be allowed if permitted under the Government rules but this will be reviewed once the current period of lockdown for Northern Ireland has passed on December 11th.

Go to Hockey.ie or email info@hockey.ie for more information.

Hockey Ireland Update

Return to hockey 

Hockey Ireland would like to thank all of our clubs for ensuring that Government imposed restrictions on our sport are being followed in order to contribute to the reduction of the spread of Covid-19. 

While it is hoped that the Republic of Ireland will move to a lower Level of restrictions in the coming weeks, at this moment Hockey Ireland do not know what the next Level of restrictions on sport will be. Ulster hockey is also carefully monitoring the situation in Northern Ireland. 

The EYHL Working Group and the Board of Hockey Ireland have met this week and discussions have taken place in relation to returning to competitive hockey as soon as possible. 

The EYHL working group has prepared three clear scenarios. The first and most positive option would be that we would be able to use two dates (the 12th and 19th of December) for EYHL rounds, but this is only possible if training can resume early December. 

The Board has given guidance to be as flexible as possible in the approach to the playing calendar.  The Hockey Ireland COVID-19 Group, which includes representatives of the Branches, will reconvene next week and discuss the various options and any feedback that the clubs may have is welcome through the Branches. 

Where restrictions are not lifted for the Island of Ireland in the beginning of December, the two other scenarios would be to consider re-starting competitive hockey in early January or later in January. The option of a ‘curtailed’ season may also to be considered if the restrictions continue into 2021 or new restrictions are imposed later in the season.  

We will keep you updated as soon as we have more information. In the meantime, Hockey Ireland would like to re-iterate to our members our desire to facilitate a return to competitive hockey as soon as it is possible to do so safely. 

Membership

The Hockey Ireland membership system was set up in 2018 to help Hockey Ireland understand it’s numbers which in turn would help the organisation to plan for the future and engage with potential partners .  

Currently close to 32,000 are on the database, this includes club members playing at junior and senior level. Hockey Ireland endeavours to include all those connected to the game we love whether they are a player, umpire, coach, masters player, schools player or volunteer. 

The development of the membership system is ongoing with a view to developing a system that will offer additional functionality to our clubs/members and also offer a package that includes personal accident insurance for its members.  

With the current difficulties of the Covid-19 situation the process of membership for the coming season will remain the same. Each club will be asked to register and update their members on the Hockey Ireland membership system as in previous years. 

We would like to thank all the clubs and provinces for their support with the membership and hope to expand on it’s potential in the coming year.  

A Membership Working Group consisting of provincial representatives and Hockey Ireland representatives are working through the finer detail of the membership system to come up with a fee structure for its members. Currently HI receives affiliation fees for all Senior Club teams, collected by the province on behalf of HI. The HI junior membership is currently free. This working group will keep in touch with the clubs, updating them with their progress over the next few months. The membership system will offer personal accident insurance and other services through the software system that will manage the membership. A road map to its introduction will be issued in the New Year with a hope to go live June 1st 2021. 

Hockey Skills Challenge 2020

Challenge yourself to get active and develop your sporting abilities with the Hockey Skills Challenge.

This skills circuit is easy to run and easy to set up with resources and videos available to support you every step of the way.

See here and watch how Nicci Daly and Shane O’Donoghue show us how it’s done!

Show your skill by using the #HockeySkillsChallenge and tagging @Avocahc & @IrishHockey.

Irish Hockey Archive

A letter from Peter Agnew:

Dear Hockey fan

I am gathering hockey material for the Hockey Ireland Archive.

Looking for any hockey photographs, programmes, cuttings etc. that relate to hockey.

Now that we are in lock down you might have time to visit the attic and uncover some jewels of the past. All hockey material is of interest, School, Club, Province and Country. If you are on Facebook you can visit our page Irish Hockey Archive and see some of the material we have already gathered.

A lot of material is getting thrown out or lost. Ultimately the archive would like to have a photograph of all past presidents of the four provinces and Hockey Ireland. All the Irish Senior and Junior Cup winning teams. All the Irish Teams, All the GB teams with Irish players. Recently two Irish Ladies were awarded GB caps for a US tour in 1965 which the Irish Archive uncovered. It also uncovered photographs for the British and Irish team that competed in the first unofficial European Cup played in Brussels in 1935 which had five Irish players.

If you have any items could you please contact Peter Agnew, 00353872557732 or email agnewpeter2016@gmail.com

Irish Hockey started gathering material for its archive five years ago.

The archive is housed in Dublin City Library, where it will be catalogued in the future, and will be accessible to the public and researchers.

Important items that were missing but have now been recovered are.

I.H.U Minute books, dropped into Hockey Ireland office one afternoon.

Leinster Men’s Minute books, someone arrived and deposited in the office.

Leinster Ladies minute books lost.

The whereabouts of the other three provinces minute books, Ladies and Men’s is unknown.

Leinster Men’s Umpires Association missing (Oldest umpires association in the world)

Regards

Peter Agnew

Hooked Together

Bray Hockey Club are excited to announce our November initiative; Hooked Together – Virtual Team Challenge.

The aim of Hooked Together is to provide a lockdown opportunity for teams and players to keep active individually and within their 5km, while bringing together a sense of community, the team spirit of the game and the competitive side of the leagues to raise funds for the winner’s chosen charity and Bray Hockey Club through a fun competition.

The challenge will run for the month of November, with multiple teams from different hockey clubs across Ireland competing to collect  points for activities. The points will be entered into a  table for both a Men’s League and a Ladies League, with the winning teams in each league choosing their chosen charities who will receive a split of the monies raised. Weekly challenges will be included, and spot prizes are up for grabs!  The winning teams will also win a training season with one of Hockey Ireland’s elite!                            

Teams must consist of 11 – 16 players, and the registration fee is €10 per person. Clubs may enter as many teams as they wish, however mixed teams are not permitted.

Individuals who wish to enter but who do not have a team are also encouraged to register their interest – we will try our best to put together a team of interested players.  

Team members must be playing Senior Hockey or Vet’s Hockey.

Points can be collected by taking part in different activities ranging from walking, running, online fitness sessions, sea swimming for the brave and more, with each activity being allocated a specific number of points. Captains will be requested to fill in a weekly submission template with the total number of kms/ minutes completed by each team, we do the rest!

Please encourage your club members  to participate in this initiative – hockey is a community, so let’s do our best to help all players stay fit and connected during the longest pre-season in hockey history and stay ready for the leagues when they start!   Let’s keep it together by staying apart – and have a bit of competiveness and team spirit at the same time!

Registration of interest for each team is due by Friday 30th October and can be completed at the following link. Late entrants are being accepted!!

Hooked Together starts on Sunday, November 1st and will run until Saturday 28th November. Activities and league table can be followed here.

Hockey Ireland Hub

Hockey Ireland is excited to launch our new E-learning platform. The “Hockey Ireland Hub” aims to offer support to all aspects of the hockey community via courses, helpful downloads and articles. The launch of the Hockey Ireland Hub will see the new “Online Rules Test” being rolled out. The test is the prerequisite to our umpiring pathway courses, but is also a great way to learn more about hockey as a player, coach, parent or hockey fan!

Access the Hockey Ireland Hub. You will need to create an account to access the resources on the Hub. All aspects of the site will be updated on a continuous basis.

Online Rules Test

Learn about the rules of hockey and earn a certificate by taking the new ‘Online Rules Test’. The test is the prerequisite to our umpiring pathway courses, but is also a great way to learn more about hockey as a player, coach, parent or hockey fan! Click here to access the test under the umpiring section. It costs €10 and is valid for 2 years from completion. You have 1 year to complete the course once you have paid. If you require assistance with navigating the e-learning course, please click here.

This test has been developed in partnership with all provincial umpire associations and the IHUA. It has been funded by the Sport Ireland Women in Sport programme. For more information on where the rules test fits into the overall pathway for umpiring, please click here. Please be aware that this is currently a draft form, with further details to come in the coming weeks.

Hockey Ireland Update

Hockey Ireland COVID-19 Update regarding Level 5 COVID-19 Restrictions

As of midnight, on Wednesday 21st October, the Republic of Ireland is moving to Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions. These restrictions will remain in place for a period of 6 weeks. The effect of these restrictions on Hockey activity have been highlighted below.

These restrictions will apply to all Clubs in the Republic of Ireland.

Under Level 5, individual training only is permitted, and no matches are to take place. The exemptions to this are:

1. Non-contact training can continue for school-aged children, outdoors in pods of 15. This means that at no point during the session should a player come within 2m of another player. Exercises involving tackling (such as 1v1s), marking or match play should not be undertaken.
2. Elite sports* are permitted to continue behind closed doors – For Hockey this has been defined as the National Senior Men’s and Women’s Programmes. They are permitted to train and play behind closed doors.

*Please note: This category has been defined by the ‘Return to Sport Expert Group’ which has been established by the ROI government to provide guidance to Ireland’s sporting bodies to prepare for the phased return to sporting activity.

Under Level 5, while domestic travel restrictions do not allow movement outside of a 5-kilometre radius of home, it is permitted to take school-aged children to club training sessions. Club coaches may also travel to training sessions.

H. D. Judge Trophy

Last night, Peter Agnew presented Mark Cullen with the H.D. Judge Trophy, in memory of David Judge who passed away in 2015.

Thank you to Peter Agnew who provided the following text:

H. D. Judge attended Avoca School, then went to Patora, Captain Dublin University, played his Club hockey with Three Rock Rovers, was in the Guinness Book of records for the most Hockey caps, played 125 times for Ireland and was a member of the GB team in the Tokyo Olympics, he was also President of the Leinster Branch and over saw the merger of the Leinster men and ladies Union, he returned to coach the Avoca Men who finished 5th in the European A Division in Barcelona; the highest ever placing by an Irish Men’s team in an A division.

M. P. Cullen took up Hockey late when he arrived in Newpark from Willow College, played in the U21 World Cup in Paris and became a regular Indoor and Outdoor International, a member of the 1982 Mills cup winning team, the club’s first senior Trophy, Mark would go on to win over 50 senior trophies with the Club. Mark coached the Men’s senior team for ten years and was also instrumental putting Newpark hockey back on the map, he was the obvious choice to receive the H D Judge Trophy presented to the club by David’s wife Grania, for services to the Club. Granie’s father, Mr. Findlater also attended Avoca school and was a past President of the Irish Hockey Union.

Club News

Dear Club Member,

Welcome to the 2020-21 season. This is a special year for Avoca Hockey Club – we are 125 years old!

For those of you who are new to the club, you are very welcome to the Avoca family, and we hope you find playing with Avoca to be a fun and enjoyable experience.

During the lead up to the season the club committee started to action our 5 year plan and begin a journey of transformation. We are laying the foundations for the next 125 years of the club!

Lots of growth and positive change achieved over the summer:

• We are in a position to enter a 5th men’s team in the Leinster leagues which reflects the huge amount of work that has gone in to building up the men’s section.

• Again due to the hard work of our ladies captain and her team, we have created a ladies 6th team and also introduced a 2nd ladies vets team following a very successful ‘Give Hockey a Go!’ programme run through a collaboration between the men’s and ladies sections

• Our junior section is thriving and we have added junior hockey on Friday nights in Newpark. This has enabled us to offer hockey to approximately 100 new junior members who have been on a waiting list.

• We are always looking to build on numbers for our boys section so if anyone knows of any boys out there looking to try something new, please get in touch; we would be delighted to speak to them. We are planning some free hockey for boys to get a taster, but more on that when Restrictions are lifted.

Congratulations to all the Avoca players recently selected for the U16 and U18 inter pro squads, a real testament to our junior section. We are so proud of them and they are an inspiration to all our young budding hockey stars.

As many of you know, Rudi Wortmann has come on board as our new director of hockey. Rudi is working with the committee and coaches across all sections of the club, to enhance the structures already in place and ensure quality coaching for all. With real focus on both coaching and each player’s own development, we are laying a solid foundation for quality hockey from our youngest member to our oldest.

As it is our 125th year we had great plans for how we were going to celebrate, but, it goes without saying that Covid 19 has had a significant impact on these plans. The resurfacing of Newpark had to be delayed but it is still top of our to do list and we will be looking to you our members to support this project. There are other events planned as part of the celebrations so please watch the social media platforms and download the new ClubZap app if you have not already done so to keep up to date with all club news.

The App was another of our summer successes and huge thanks to Al Robinson and all the managers for making it work for us all so quickly.

The public health guidelines that we must follow are constantly changing and no doubt this will continue throughout the season. We are doing everything that we can to facilitate as much Hockey as possible and to work within the guidelines. Could I ask all members and parents to please follow the guidance you are given from your captain/manager/covid officer, it is for your safety as well as the safety of your teammates and families. Hopefully we will get back to a full programme of hockey in the near future.

Unfortunately most teams are not allowed to play matches yet, however our men’s 1st and 2nd squads and our ladies 1st squad can play, so keep an eye out for their results. The ladies got us off to a winning start on Saturday (well done ladies) and I know the men are itching to continue this when they get their league campaign underway. Very best of luck to the men’s 4ths who are competing in the final of last season’s Minor Cup this weekend. Whilst we can’t be there to support – you know we are all cheering you on!

Finally, a massive thank you to all of you who have been working so tirelessly, and with such passion and dedication, to get the season up and running. So much more work than ever before had to go in to preparations so to the committee, managers and coaches – a huge Thank You!

Wishing you all the best for the coming season, enjoy yourself because that’s why we play.

Caroline Daly

President Avoca Hockey Club