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News for 05 July 2020

All the news for Sunday 5 July 2020

Lisnagarvey appeal for EHL spot successful as independent panel overrule “null and void” decision

Daniel Nelson celebrates a Lisnagarvey goal in their 4-3 win over TRR this season. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Lisnagarvey have successfully appealed against Hockey Ireland’s allocation of men’s European club spots for the 2020/21 season in the wake of the abruptly cancelled current campaign.

When Hockey Ireland declared the EY Hockey Leagues “null and void” on May 6th, the governing body took the decision to allocate the European club spots based on the 2019/20 placings. 

This meant Three Rock Rovers initially retained their place as first Irish seed, bringing with it a place in the elite Euro Hockey League while Garvey would be destined for the EuroHockey Trophy II – an event they would have hosted this year but for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Garvey, however, appealed the decision which was upheld by an independent Appeals Panel – as per bye law 20 of the HI constitution – on Monday, concluding the Hillsborough club should be given the first seed and Rovers the second.

It means Garvey will play in the Euro Hockey League at Easter 2021, a competition which will feature 12 teams in a reformatted state for this season only. Rovers will play in the third tier EuroHockey Trophy II – both venues have yet to be announced.

Lisnagarvey chairman Kyle Lunn welcomed the decision, saying: “As a club, we are very appreciative of the work that Hockey Ireland are doing to keep the sport going in challenging times due to the pandemic – particularly an all island sport with different guidance and advice from multiple stakeholders – including governments and sporting bodies. 

“The rapidly changing situation is naturally making planning and decision making difficult, and on this particular question we felt strongly that the decision was incorrect. We’re pleased with the outcome and feel that it is fair.”

At time of writing, what was contained in Lisnagarvey’s Letter of Appeal and the subsequent reasoning made by the three-person appeals panel have not been disclosed publicly.

But the decision appears to have overturned the “null and void” position with on-field performance in the 2019/20 season a determining factor.

“We are in uncharted territory in the current situation,” said HI chief executive Jerome Pels of the situation.

“The Hockey Ireland board took the decision to declare the season null and void. From there, we had to go back to the last point we had a final result and worked from that basis [for European placings]. 

“That is the position we took. The Appeal Panel has taken a different view. We will see what the consequences are but I can imagine a lot of clubs are looking closely at the situation.”

At the time of lockdown, Garvey were the runaway men’s EY Hockey League leaders and clear favourites to land national glory with 11 of their 18 scheduled games played. Winning the EYHL brings a European spot, albeit the second seeding with the top berth decided via the end-of-season EY Champions Trophy playoffs.

If Garvey were awarded the first seed on this basis, both Banbridge and Monkstown could make a case for the second European spot on offer. Rovers were in fourth spot.

Meanwhile, in the women’s EYHL, Pegasus were originally given the top Irish seeding as last season’s champions in May but Loreto were leading the league at the time and so could possibly make a similar case for an upgrade in their Euro treatment.

Currently, Pegs are due to play in two Euro Hockey League competitions with last season’s FINAL8 refixed for mid-October and the 2020/21 EHL Women to be played from April 1 to 5. Loreto are destined for EuroHockey Trophy II the same weekend.

Hockey Ireland’s statement on Wednesday did say the women’s Euro places remain as previously announced and so the findings of the Appeals Panel will be awaited with intrigue. Additionally, if the top spots are no longer null and void, questions could be raised over potential promotion and relegation from EYHL2 due to on-field performance.

Release of information on the appeal process is currently on hold as HI appraise Three Rock of how things played out. Among the questions will be the application of Rule 20 which outlines the timeframe for each step of the appeals process. 

From the original HI decision on May 6, the appeal must be lodged and appealed with 28 days with a further maximum of eight days until final notification to the relevant parties of the decision taken. This would leave a June 11th final deadline; final notification was declared on July 1st. 

Should Three Rock wish to appeal, as per bye law 21, they can make their case to Just Sport Ireland within 14 days.

The Hook

South Africa's Southern Gauteng Hockey Association launches No Room for Racism campaign

A flyer for the new campaign is being shared by local hockey clubs, schools and players. Image: Supplied

FOURWAYS – Allistar Fredericks has spoken out against racism and launched a campaign with a hotline for members of the hockey community who have felt oppressed by racism.

Southern Gauteng Hockey Association president and Gauteng Gryphons franchise owner, Allistar Fredericks has spoken out against racism and launched a campaign with a hotline for members of the hockey community who have felt oppressed by racism.

Allistar Fredericks wants to achieve harmony on the hockey field. Photo: Supplied

In a letter addressed to hockey clubs, schools, parents and supporters, Fredericks said he needed to write the letter after recent events and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“It is with a heavy heart that I watched on as the world resurfaced its latent racism and then simultaneously, I got encouraged as the masses stood together against the scourge,” Fredericks said.”We all carry some sort of baggage, but I suspect that all, [or] at least most of us, will agree that it is time to move forward and heal. Having said that, healing is something that cannot happen if we do not stand up when we see someone or something that is opening that wound whilst we are treating it.”

He said the mantra ‘silence is compliance’ rang true and if we did not stand against social ills then we condoned them.”There is no grey area on this matter. You [are] either healing or you are hurting.”

So the hockey association is launching a No Room for Racism campaign, which Fredericks said replicated ongoing campaigns in the United Kingdom and Europe in soccer.”We believe the time has come for all of us – black, white, coloured, Indian, Asian, or any other race or [creed] you may identify with or be labelled as ? to stand together and fight those who want to pull us apart. We want to stamp out all forms of racism, both overt and covert.”

He said it was easy for us to overtly protest the use of the K word, but subtle racism such as a remark about ‘you people’ was as painful and powerful an insult.”There will, and always should be chirps. It’s part of the psychological warfare we all play out on our different fields and turfs daily.The line between banter, chirps and racism is, however, clear. We will from this moment forward be actively calling it out and will impose sanctions on perpetrators.”

He said the campaign would include the dissemination of posters, flyers, social media posts and armbands for starters.”We will ask you to put these up at your clubhouses and encourage your players to [wear] the armbands, retweet our posts and be the conscience of this movement.”A WhatsApp hotline will also be set up for people to report ‘racially loaded incidents across the province’.

“I have no doubt that this will alienate a few people and maybe that is a good place to start and ask yourself why it is so uncomfortable for many. I would argue that it is that we haven’t healed yet. We need to fight this common enemy against progress and harmony.”

Fourways Review

High School Field Hockey Eyewear Rule Altered for 2020 Season

In response to longstanding concerns regarding the wearing of goggles in high school field hockey, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Board of Directors approved a change in the eyewear rule that will take effect with the upcoming 2020 season.

Rule 1-6-5 in the NFHS Field Hockey Rules Book, which currently states that “All field players shall wear eye protection that met the ASTM standard for field hockey (2713) at the time of manufacture,” will now state that “Goggles may be worn by all field hockey players.”

In addition to the current rule, an additional note was due to take effect in 2020 as follows: “Beginning in the 2020 fall season, all eye protection shall be permanently labeled with the ASTM 2713 standard for field hockey at the time of manufacture.”

Since goggles were mandated by the NFHS Board of Directors in 2011 with the intent to lessen the risk of catastrophic eye injuries, there have been a number of concerns that led to the current rule modification.

While there is a required ASTM standard for field hockey goggles, there is no NOCSAE standard, which is preferred as NOCSAE’s aim is to protect against worst case injury. The ASTM 2713 standard is not protective against a direct ball to the eye in testing. NOCSAE will not certify any facial/eye protection unless it is integrated into a helmet.

One of the ongoing concerns has been that ASTM-certified goggles are not available for all field players, notably those who wear corrective lenses. Since the current rule cannot be met by individuals with glasses, state associations have been issuing waivers for students with corrective lenses to allow participation.

Also, in addition to lack of available product to meet the rule, no significant research data has indicated that goggles have reduced the number of eye injuries, particularly those of a catastrophic nature.

Finally, while the mandatory eyewear rule was put into effect as a guard against eye injury, the wearing of goggles has created a higher risk concern regarding the penalty corner. Under the current eyewear rule, players cannot remove their goggles to wear full facemasks on penalty corners, which is the most dangerous play in the sport. Now, players can elect to wear corner masks.

The NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, which was in support of the action by the Board of Directors, noted that the ASTM standard that has been required does not eliminate the risk of injury for which the rule was established (loss of an eye).

“Given the fact that the previous rule that required goggles did not completely lessen the risk of catastrophic eye injuries, and that the product does not exist for players with corrective lenses, and that there is no NOCSAE standard for field hockey goggles, and that the wearing of goggles prevents players from wearing corner masks on penalty corners, the Board believed it was time to make the rule permissive in nature rather than mandatory,” said Julie Cochran, director of sports and liaison to the Field Hockey Rules Committee.  

Although the rule has been changed to state that goggles may be worn, state associations, schools and parents can still elect to require the use of goggles.

Content Courtesy of NFHS

Disclaimer: USA Field Hockey does not promote or encourage the usage of protective eyewear in the sport of field hockey or at any held National Events.

USFHA media release

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