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News for 06 February 2021

All the news for Saturday 6 February 2021

2020 FIH Pro League (Men) - 6 February

Times GMT+1

5 Feb 2021     ESP v BEL CB B (RR)  2 - 3 
6 Feb 2021 13:00     ESP v BEL (RR)

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app, event website and through FIH social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Live streaming and full game replay on the Watch Hockey App (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

Men's Pool

Rank Team Played Wins SO Win Draws SO Loss Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Belgium 12 8 2 0 1 1 38 22 16 29
2 Netherlands 9 4 2 0 2 1 25 22 3 18
3 Australia 8 3 1 0 3 1 27 20 7 14
4 India 6 2 2 0 0 2 17 15 2 10
5 Argentina 8 2 1 0 2 3 22 24 -2 10
6 New Zealand 8 2 1 0 0 5 15 25 -10 8
7 Spain 9 2 0 0 1 6 21 30 -9 7
8 Germany 4 1 2 0 0 1 9 10 -1 7
9 Great Britain 8 1 0 0 2 5 13 19 -6 5

FIH Match Centre

Dockier at the double as Belgium edge Spain

Sebastien Dockier marked his 200th appearance for Belgium’s Red Lions with two goals to help his team to a 3-2 away victory over Spain as the FIH Hockey Pro League made a welcome return to action at the Estadio Betero in Valencia after a three-month hiatus.

The result puts the Red Lions 11 points clear at the top of the FIH Hockey Pro League standings, although they have played three more games than the Netherlands, who sit in second place.

The opening stages of a high-quality encounter, which was played behind closed doors under strict covid-19 health protocols, was dominated by the World and European champions, who deservedly opened up a two-goal lead in the first quarter. Dockier was the first to score, angling a brilliant backhand deflection into the roof of the Spanish goal before team captain Thomas Briels weaved into the circle before slotting home.

Spain hit back just before the end of the first quarter thanks to a fortuitous effort from David Alegre, with Xavi Lleonart – who like Dockier was also making his 200th appearance for his country – restoring parity late in the third quarter with a perfectly executed penalty corner deflection.

It was Dockier who had the final say though, netting the winner nine minutes from time with another wonderful diving backhand deflection high into the Spanish net to seal all three points.

"We had two difficult quarters where we didn't keep the ball enough”, said Dockier, who was named Player of the Match. “I think the quarters where we did, we created more chances and we scored, so that was the difference today. The main goal today was to just have a really good feeling about being back with the boys on the pitch. It was all about having fun and enjoying being with each other."

Spain captain Miguel Delas was disappointed but proud of his team’s performance and hopes his team will bounce back when the two teams meet again on Saturday (5 February).

"I have mixed feelings”, said Delas.” On one side it was really nice to play again after one year. I think that both teams were looking forward to starting again in the competition. But of course, we wanted to start with a win. Today I think we played a really good match, but we had a tough game in front of us. In the end, we have to be proud of what we did, and we are lucky that tomorrow we have another game, so we will go for it [in that match]"

More information on the game can be found by clicking here.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the Watch.Hockey app, event website and through FIH social media channels - Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

FIH Hockey Pro League
Friday 5 February 2021 – Valencia (ESP)

Men’s result: Spain 2, Belgium 3 (Match 1 of 2)
Player of the Match: Sebastien Dockier (BEL)
Umpires: Francisco Vasquez (ESP) and Jakub Mejzlik (CZE)


Official FIH Pro League Site

Two-goal Dockier celebrates 200th cap in style as Red Lions pip Spain

S2H Team

Sebastien Dockier celebrated his 200th cap in a Red Lions shirt with two spectacular goals in the World Cup and European champions’ 3-2 victory over hosts Spain on Friday as the FIH Pro League re-started after a three-month hiatus in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Belgium captain Thomas Briels scored in between Dockier’s strikes with a splendid individual goal to make it 2-0 before the Spanish fought back to level at 2-2 by the third quarter. Dockier, however, sealed three points for the table leaders to swell their tally to 29 points – a clear 11-point lead over nearest rivals The Netherlands who have played three matches fewer. Spain have seven from nine matches and are in seventh place of the nine-nation league.

Xavi Lleonart also completed his “double century” for Spain and found himself on the scoresheet with the equalizing goal from a well worked out penalty corner and the home side came close to sharing spoils and taking the encounter to the shootout for a bonus point when a goal on the dot of the hooter was disallowed for the five-yard stipulation not adhered to from a free-hit just outside the circle.

The Belgians looked like overrunning the Spaniards in the early moments of play and the World No. 1 team were all over the home side’s defence, pressing deep into their territory in the first quarter.  It was just midway through the first session that Spain were able to get a sight at Belgium’s goal but the hosts fell behind when Gauthier Boccard on the right crossed on the run to inspire Dockier to effect a deft back-hand touch past Quico Cortes’ in goal in the eighth minute.

Spain were denied by the post from the game’s first penalty corner as the hosts began to assert themselves but Belgium continued to call the shots, reflected by their domination of circle penetrations (22-12) in the match.

With just a minute to go for the two-minute quarter time break, Briels displayed a touch of individual magic, waltzing past the defence to slam past Cortes and make it 2-0.

Spain, ranked World No. 9, needed a sliver of luck to get back into the contest and it came when David Alegre touched home a bobbling ball that sneaked into the goal between Vincent Vanasch’s pads with barely a minute left for end of the first quarter.

Belgium could have gone 3-1 ahead in the second quarter but Cortez denied Victor Wegnez with a quality save to block the young forward’s full-blooded shot.

The Spanish may have cursed their luck when another attempt, from their second penalty corner, rattled the upright but they were not to be denied when Lleonart hauled his team to level terms from a well-worked penalty corner with the fourth and final quarter a minute away.

Belgium enjoyed the edge as battle lines were drawn with the game well and truly poised for a take-no-prisoners battle and Charlier missed a golden opportunity at hand-shaking distance from the goal when he bore his stick down to a cross from the right a split second too late to effect a deflection.

But player-of-the-match Dockier wasn’t to be denied victory celebration on his milestone day, scoring in much the same manner as his first goal, lunging to deflect this time high into the net in the 51st minute to ensure an outright win and full points for the Red Lions.

Spain pressed for the equalizer but the intricacy of the rules did them in when the ball took an attacking touch into Vanasch’s goal as the hooter sounded. The teams meet again at the Estadio Betero stadium in Valencia on Saturday at the same time.

“We had two difficult quarters where we didn’t keep the ball enough,” said Dockier. “I think the quarters where we did, we created more chances and we scored, so that was the difference today. The main goal today was to just have a really good feeling about being back with the boys on the pitch. It was all about having fun and enjoying being with each other.”

Spain captain Miguel Delas was disappointed but proud of his team’s performance and hopes his team will bounce back when the two teams meet again.  “I have mixed feelings,” said Delas. “On one side it was really nice to play again after one year. I think that both teams were looking forward to starting again in the competition. But of course, we wanted to start with a win. Today I think we played a really good match, but we had a tough game in front of us. In the end, we have to be proud of what we did, and we are lucky that tomorrow we have another game, so we will go for it.”

Umpires Francisco Vasquez (Spain) and Jakub Mejzlik (Czech Republic) acquitted themselves creditably in the absence of the TV umpire who could not appear in Valencia in the wake of Covid-19 travel and administrative protocol.


Dockier winner on 200th appearance earns victory for Belgium in Hockey Pro League

By Liam Morgan

Sebastien Dockier scored the winner to earn Belgium all three points ©Getty Images

Sebastien Dockier scored twice as Belgium recorded a 3-2 away victory in Spain in the first Hockey Pro League match to be held for more than three months.

Dockier, making his 200th appearance for the Red Lions, struck nine minutes from time at the Estadio Betero in Valencia to earn maximum points for the visitors.

Belgium, the reigning world and European champions, dominated the early stages and quickly established a two-goal lead through Dockier and captain Thomas Briels.

A fortuitous effort from David Alegre reduced Spain's deficit to one towards the end of the first quarter, before Xavi Lleonart equalised in the third with a perfectly executed penalty corner deflection.

That was how it stayed until Dockier's superb wonderful diving backhand deflection in the fourth quarter handed Belgium, the men's Pro League leaders, a deserved victory.

The win ensured Belgium extended their advantage over The Netherlands at the summit of the standings to 11 points, although the Dutch have played three games less.

"We had two difficult quarters where we didn't keep the ball enough," said Dockier.

"I think the quarters where we did, we created more chances and we scored, so that was the difference today.

"The main goal today was to just have a really good feeling about being back with the boys on the pitch.

"It was all about having fun and enjoying being with each other."

The two sides are due to meet for the second match of their double-header in Valencia tomorrow.

Inside the Games

Stats Speak: Belgian John John Dohmen will play his 400 International matches today; he is sixth in World to have been capped 400 times

By B.G.Joshi(Sehore-Bhopal, India)

Photo- John John Dohmen, courtesy: FIH

 On Feb 6, 2021 in Valencia (Spain) John John Dohmen of Belgium will play his 400th international match against Spaniards. Dohmen is the sixth player of the World, who has 400+ caps in international hockey since inception. Here are all stats:








Gold Medals



Tuen de Nooijer


Mar 22,1976




6 CT(1996,98,2000,02,03,06)


Barry Middleton

Great Britain

Jan 12,1984



Europeans Nations Cup(2009)


Dilip Tirkey


Nov 25,1977



Asian Games(1998),Asia Cup



Waseem Ahmad


Apr 10,1977



Asian Games(2010)


Jeroen Delmee


Mar 8,1973




6 CT(1996,98,2000,02,03,06)


John John Dohmen


Jan 24,1988



1WC(2018),1 Europeans Nations Cup(2019)

source:  Hockey Record Book of B.G.Joshi (India)


Why Belgium's hockey team are aiming for a very big 2021

The Men's FIH Pro League is returning to action after a three-month hiatus with Belgium ready to rock the hockey world at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.

By David Childs

Goals, goals, goals – this is what you usually get when you tune in to watch Belgium's men’s hockey team in recent years.

So far in the 2020/21 Men’s FIH Pro League, they’ve averaged over three goals a game. Alexander Hendrickx is the competition's top scorer with 10 goals this season – and he’s a defender.

But why should Belgium be on your radar for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in 2021?

A blend of excitement, experience, and expectation means that they are definitely one of the big teams to watch in Japan later this year.

The goalscoring threat from all over the park supports an attacking line featuring the likes of Florent Van Aubel, Cedric Charlier, captain Thomas Briels, and Tanguy Cosyns. It is arguably the strongest attacking force in men’s hockey right now.

Felix Denayer of Belgium leads his team out before the Men's FIH Field Hockey Pro League Final

Belgium's Olympic hopes at Tokyo 2020 in 2021

With the return of the 2020/21 Men’s FIH Pro League after a three-month hiatus over the New Year period, the league leaders are hoping it is just the beginning of a VERY big year.

The Red Lions, who are currently topping the FIH World Rankings, want to go one further than their runners-up position in 2019.

The team's training camp in the warm sunshine of Gran Canaria went very well, and they feel ready to take on the world.

But Tokyo 2020 is their "ultimate goal" according to Adam Commens, the Australian Olympic bronze medallist who leads the team.

He recently told the Hockey Belgium website that the team would "have to manage the workload, finalise the selection and try to build our way of playing through the FIH Pro League and European Cup in June," with the Games in July 2021 as their target.

As we saw at the Rio 2016 Olympics, they can be clinical, scoring 29 goals in the last Games (including an uncompromising 12 against hosts Brazil in the group stage).

While younger talent is emerging in the Belgium squad, such as 20-year-old Thibeau Stockbroekx and William Ghislain, their strongest asset going into this year is definitely experience.

Ten of the current roster have represented their country over 200 times, with Sebastien Dockier reaching that landmark in the 3-2 win in Spain on 5th February, and the legendary John-John Dohmen making his 400th appearance for the national team in the same double-header.

The numbers are astronomical for a squad which, while certainly not the youngest, still has quite a few years in front of them.

Olympic future

What is crucial though is that it is not just experience that they possess – but experience of winning.

In the past three years, the Red Lions have become first-time world champions in 2018 and a year later, European champions.

They currently sit pretty atop both the world rankings and the ProLeague table.

If the stats suggest anything, they indicate the current crop of players are a golden generation of talent for the lowland nation.

Despite their prolific goalscoring threat, 1000s of international appearances and a taste for success, there is one thing that the Red Lions have so far found elusive – an Olympic gold medal.

They narrowly missed out at Rio 2016, losing to Argentina in a dramatic final in Brazil, but could start as favourites for the tournament in Tokyo.

With Dohmen and Briels both aged 33 at this Games, there is potentially no better time for Belgium to create history than now.

Belgium celebrate after being crowned champions at the 2018 Hockey World Cup

Belgian form at FIH Pro League 2021

The current edition of the FIH Pro League commenced in January 2020, but due to COVID-19 was forced into a six-month pause between March and September of last year.

Since the competition’s return, Belgium have been in great form with four wins from five matches, including a bonus-point victory over lowland neighbours Netherlands in a fixture that was voted as the best match of 2020 by hockey supporters in an FIH poll.

The second edition of the FIH ProLeague is scheduled to be completed in May, allowing hockey fans the perfect build-up for Tokyo 2020 in July – all nine teams in the men’s competition have qualified for Tokyo, and only the United States in the women’s equivalent will not be in action this summer at the Olympic Games.

It promises to be a thrilling tournament in Japan, and Belgium will certainly hope it's a golden one for their men.

Olympic Channel

Mix of European technique and Indian skill is the perfect recipe, feels hockey legend Bovelander

The Dutch drag-flicker said he has always been impressed with Indian players' passing and dribbling ability

By Samrat Chakraborty

Floris Jan Bovelander burst into the limelight when he scored nine goals during the Hockey World Cup in 1990 in Lahore. It was a clinical performance that helped the Netherlands win the tournament at the expense of the hosts.

In a decorated career, he also won the Olympic gold at Atlanta 1996 and the bronze at Seoul 1988.

He is currently working at the Naval Tata Hockey Academy's (NTHA) High Performance Centre in Bhubaneswar, as the head coach. He is a keen observer of Indian hockey and he feels that the correct approach will be to incorporate European technique along with the indigenous spirit.

"If you look at the Indian men’s team, they have had many Australian and Dutch coaches and thus, they adapted some technical parts of European hockey," Bovelander said.

"But they still have their Indian spirit. I guess that’s how it should be. It would be dull for hockey if we all played the same way. We need some attractive players like the Indians always have had. I prefer to have the skillful and powerful dribbles of the Indians, although sometimes it is not as effective as it should be."

Floris Jan Bovelander in Bhubaneswar

The Coronavirus jeopardised the international calendar in 2020 and he feels that hockey fans could well be surprised by results in Tokyo Olympics.

"In international hockey, there has hardly been any match for the last one year and the few matches that happened, were without any supporters," he said.

"Especially in Europe, I think it will take at least half-a-year or till the Olympics to play with spectators in a full stadium. I’m curious to see how the Olympics are going to be because you don’t have many top matches. You need top matches to see what the standard is and what level is of your team and the opposition as well. The Olympics will be a big surprise for most of us."

India finished the decade at their best ever world ranking: fourth. Bovelander feels that improvement in scouting and infrastructure at the grassroots are the two major reasons behind the development.

"I think the scouting has definitely improved in the past decade. The big advantage is that there are more academies with artificial pitches and good coaching, so that definitely helps to develop young children.

"Of course, more is better, but I think improving the infrastructure has definitely picked up over the last decade so you can see a big improvement in talent scouting. I see some changes there and it is good for Indian hockey."

Olympic Channel

Beauty catches the eye with five goals in Chile

S2H Team

The Junior India women’s team’s tour of Chile produced a forward of great promise. She is Beauty Dung Dung who struck five goals in six matches played in Santiago where the team enjoyed an unbeaten run.

The Jharkhand-born was springboard of India’s attack and she hit the turf running, so to say, with a hat-trick in India’s first match against the Chile junior team in a 5-3 win.

The victory set the tone for the Indian girls who won 4-2 and drew 2-2 in the next two matches against their Chilean counterparts. They then took on the Chile senior women’s team, winning 2-0 and 2-1.

“Since we were playing international matches after more than a year, we really wanted to enjoy playing every match. Last year has been particularly tough on all of us because we were not in the camp for nearly eight months. During the lockdown, we couldn’t practice hockey. Only in September when the MHA guidelines allowed us to resume activities, I could train at the Ekalabya Sports Hostel in Ranchi. When we were called for the camp later that year, we were all very excited and wanted to make the most of it and trained really hard for the Chile tour,” the 17-year-old forward was reported as saying.

Beauty caught the eye and found a place in the junior core group after a splendid showing in the 9th Hockey India Junior Women’s National Championship (A Division) in 2019. Jharkhand beat Haryana 2-1 in the final and Beauty was summoned to the National camp. She was selected to the Junior women’s squad for the Cantor Fitzgerald U21 International 4-Nations tournament in Ireland followed by a series in Belarus. Beauty was also a part of the squad that took part in a 3- Nation tournament in Australia.

“We have developed a very good understanding amongst each other. The core group is led by Captain Suman who is very encouraging especially for youngsters like me in the team. In our previous camp, we also played a few matches against the Senior India team which helped us prepare well for Chile. Since we are in the same campus as the Senior core group, we watch how they press, the skills they use and set pieces they create. We often tell ourselves, if they can play so well, then why can’t we,” revealed Beauty, who lives in Karangaguri, in Simdega district, Jharkhand.

Beauty enjoyed the encouragement of her family and school principal at Aarti Madhya Vidyalaya in Karangaguri. She took to hockey at a very tender age. Also belonging to the same region, Sangeeta Kumari and Sushma Kumari, are part of the Junior India squad. Beauty now aims to make the team for the Junior Asia Cup scheduled for April this year in Kakamigahara, Japan.

“Doing well in Chile has given me a lot of confidence and scoring five goals there was special for me. I aim next to do well in the National camp, improve my skills and hope to make the team for the Junior Asia Cup where we need to finish in the top three to qualify for the FIH Junior World Cup to be held in December this year in South Africa,” she said.

The Junior women’s core group are taking a break and will regroup at SAI Centre, Bengaluru,  for the National camp starting on February 9.


MHC hope fields will 'reopen' in March

By Jugjet Singh

MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal. -- File Pix

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) hope the Sports Ministry will bring good news for their local tournaments soon.

The national body are planning to organise the delayed Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) next month, but they can only do so if fields are reopened again.

"We fully support any initiative by Sports Minister Datuk Sri Reezal Merican Naina Merican to open up the fields," said MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal.

"He has forwarded a request to the National Security Council (NSC) to loosen up the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for sports and recreation activities during the Movement Control Order (MCO), and we are eagerly awaiting an outcome."

The MHL was supposed to start on Jan 14, but it was postponed after the MCO was reintroduced a day earlier.

"We hope an approval to allow local sports tournaments will be announced soon as we are planning to host the MHL next month."

The league's main sponsor is Tenaga Nasional.

The men's MHL comprises defending champions Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu Hockey Team, Tenaga, TNB Thunderbolts, Maybank, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Nurinsafi and Sabah.

PKS UniTen, Police Blue Warriors, Mutiara Impian, Sabah, Young Tigress and UniKL Ladies make up the women's league.

"If the MHL starts next month, it will offer the national seniors and juniors playing time ahead of international assignments," he added.

The MHC had successfully organised the Razak Cup under strict SOP last year.

Subahan believes his officials and players are experienced enough to host and play in the MHL even though it could be held during an MCO extension.

New Straits Times

Updated Statement On England Hockey's Competitions Programme

England Hockey Championships - Indian Gymkhana vs Stourport

This is an update on our competitions programme which of course remains paused at this time.

Vitality Women’s Hockey League and Men’s Hockey League
In consultation with clubs we have agreed an option for a shortened season where each team will play each other once, although no decision has been made in respect of the Premier Divisions due to the impact of international player availability.

There will be promotion opportunities via play-offs but no relegation and teams had the option to withdraw without penalty. If activity can be run this would be done so during the period immediately post-Easter through to early May with preparation time pre-Easter. If restrictions do not permit league activity during this period, fixtures will not be further rescheduled and the season will be declared null and void. A decision will be made early in March.

European Club Championships
These championships including the EuroHockey League were scheduled for Easter but will not run. The European Hockey Federation are considering if it will be feasible to hold these later in the year.

Regional Leagues
England Hockey is in regular dialogue with Regional Leagues with the aim to agree consistent principles to concluding league seasons noting the varying circumstances of leagues.

It is England Hockey’s intention that the new league structure, as agreed as part of the AGM resolution will start in 2021-22. This includes the addition of a fourth EHL conference, the ten additional teams to be made up of two qualifiers from each of the five regional leagues. Regional leagues will inform clubs of the approach to this depending on their circumstances over coming weeks.

England Hockey Club Championships – Adult, Masters, Juniors
Clubs are being consulted on their appetite to participate in a revised programme of knockout Championships running from end of April to early July.  If restrictions do not permit activity during this period these Championships will not run. A decision will be made by end March.

The U14 and U16 competitions would run in a knockout format as part of the revised programme.

The revised programme means it is not possible to run the Summer Masters knockout Championships which were run in 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

England Hockey Schools Championships
It will not be possible to start the Championships post half term as had been provisionally agreed by participating schools.  It is not viable to play any meaningful competition in 2020-21 and therefore the Schools Championships programme will not be held in any form across all age groups.

In2Hockey Championships
It is not viable to hold any multi-team activity during the remainder of the 2020-21 season and no national In2Hockey championships will be run in 2020-21.

Other activity – Mens County Championships and Regional Masters Championships
These competitions are run as weekend tournaments scheduled in May and June. A decision will be made end of February if they will still be held.

2021-22 Season
We have started our planning for the 2021-22 season in the hope of course that this will run without the disruption experienced in 2020-21. We aim to have a first draft of the centralised calendar out by the beginning of March.

England Hockey Board Media release

Hockey Ireland Statement on EYHL and Schools Competitions

Following a meeting of the Board on the 3rd of February, Hockey Ireland has declared this year’s EY Hockey Leagues abandoned, due to the on-going restrictions related to COVID-19.

Hockey Ireland Chair Eric Brady stated: “unfortunately this has become an inevitable decision as COVID-19 continues to impact on all of our lives. We know that this is very disappointing for all clubs and players, but we simply no longer have the time to complete this year’s leagues.  However, we are continuing to look at other avenues that may provide players and clubs with competitive hockey at some stage, should this become possible.”

Hockey Ireland and the four provinces will work with clubs to look at alternative competition formats which may provide players with an opportunity to play hockey later in the year, subject to Government restrictions.

Hockey Ireland is in regular communication with Government authorities and international hockey bodies and is monitoring Government advice and restrictions on an ongoing basis.

CEO of Hockey Ireland Jerome Pels said: “We are committed to bringing hockey back to our clubs and players and will be creative and flexible to provide some form of alternative competition should we be cleared to do so by the relevant authorities. Hopefully, hockey activity can resume at some point this season and players may return to the pitch as soon as we exit higher level restrictions”.

The EY Hockey Leagues will return next season in September 2021 inclusive of all teams as for season 2020/21.

In addition to the abandonment of the EY Hockey Leagues for the 2020/21 season, the following schools’ competitions have also been cancelled for 2020/21:

·         Kate Russell
·         John Waring
·         June Smith
·         All-Ireland Schoolboys

Hockey Ireland would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time and appreciates the efforts many of you are going to in order to continue training while at home.

Irish Hockey Association media release

2020/21 EY Hockey Leagues officially abandoned

Hockey Ireland have officially “abandoned” the 2020/21 EY Hockey League seasons with the likelihood of concluding the competition in any meaningful way proving very remote.

Three rounds of the sport’s marquee competition were played before a tightening of government restrictions called a halt to action in October.

As such, the decision was widely anticipated with Hockey Ireland chairman Eric Brady saying it was  “inevitable” but he was hopeful some competitions could be played during the summer should situations allow.

“We know that this is very disappointing for all clubs and players, but we simply no longer have the time to complete this year’s leagues,” Brady said.

“However, we are continuing to look at other avenues that may provide players and clubs with competitive hockey at some stage, should this become possible.”

While the schools’ championships were also cancelled, the statement did not cull the cup competitions with the potential for the Irish Senior Cup, Irish Hockey Trophy and Irish Hockey Challenge to be potentially be played in a shortened format.

Similarly, there have been calls for the reinstatement of the senior and Under-21 interprovincial championships which could be played off over one week or three weekends if a window opens up.

Alternatively, Hockey Ireland says they “will work with clubs to look at alternative competition formats which may provide players with an opportunity to play hockey later in the year, subject to Government restrictions”.

Whether this has any impact on the clubs qualified to represent Ireland in European action remains to be seen, too.  

Three Rock Rovers’ men and Pegasus’ women are currently awaiting further information on the Euro Hockey League – scheduled for Easter – but Lisnagarvey and Loreto already know their respective Euro Trophy events have been put on hold until the autumn at least.

The Hook

EY Irish Hockey Leagues abandoned due to Covid-19 pandemic

Hockey Ireland hopes the leagues will resume in September

This season's EY Irish Hockey Leagues have been abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Hockey Ireland board took what it described as an "inevitable decision" after meeting to discuss the ongoing restrictions related to coronavirus.

A number of schools competitions have also been postponed, including the Kate Russell, John Waring, June Smith and All-Ireland Schoolboys.

Hockey Ireland said the leagues will return in September 2021.

"Unfortunately this has become an inevitable decision as Covid-19 continues to impact on all of our lives," Hockey Ireland Chair Eric Brady said.

"We know that this is very disappointing for all clubs and players, but we simply no longer have the time to complete this year's leagues.

"However, we are continuing to look at other avenues that may provide players and clubs with competitive hockey at some stage, should this become possible."

BBC Sport

Competitions update 2021-22

Scottish Hockey can confirm that subject to the sufficient lifting of restrictions the 2021-22 season will commence in September, with no planned changes for the composition of its leagues for the 2021-2022 season. In the interim, Scottish Hockey will continue to explore the possibility of providing structured competitive opportunities prior to season 2021-22, should Scottish Government restrictions permit.

Due to the restrictions currently in place the Scottish Hockey Management Committee has concluded it is not possible to hold a European qualifying event for outdoor competition. Therefore the committee has agreed that the teams who were previously nominated to attend European competitions to represent Scotland will be nominated again.

Grange and Western Wildcats will be nominated in the men’s competitions, and Clydesdale Western and Edinburgh University in the women’s competition.

Scotland’s European representatives for indoor competition will be Clydesdale Western for the women and Inverleith for the men.

Anyone who wishes to read the minutes from Management Committee meetings can find them published on our website. If you would like further information on these decisions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Competition entries will open as usual in May and further details will be released by this point.

As stated previously, Scottish Hockey is working hard in partnership with its districts to identify competitive opportunities through to the end of July, to offer members the chance to play hockey as soon as is reasonably possible.

The details of these competitive opportunities will be released when we have a greater awareness of any potential changes to protection levels and travel restrictions put in place by the Scottish Government.

Scottish Hockey CEO David Sweetman said, “While September may seem like a long time away we hope it won’t take as long until we can get back onto the pitch again. The last year has been very tough for us all and it’s exciting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“I hope we can offer some competitive opportunities in the months ahead as we slowly emerge from restrictions, and see you on a pitch at some point soon.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

FIH World Hockey Camps go live!

On World Children’s Day, last November, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) launched the #HockeyInvites Year of the Youth 2021 (YotY2021), to inspire young people into the sport, help them achieve their potential and celebrate their successes at every level of the game.

With a focus on lifelong participation and performance of young hockey players in schools and clubs, the first project of the YotY2021, FIH World Hockey Camps went live today.

Working with FIH Academy Licensed Centres, sponsors and associates, the FIH will be delivering a programme of day and residential hockey camps for young players from 14yrs+.

FIH World Hockey Camps will be delivered in association with the World`s best and most experienced hockey camp providers. Together with other sponsors and FIH Academy Partners, they have created an exciting Camp programme based around the Olympic values of Excellence, Friendship and Respect.

“We have been in discussions with various Hockey Camp providers for some time, and it is really exciting to finally see the launch of FIH World Hockey Camps. We have teamed up with some fantastic organisations with long track records of delivering high quality hockey.” Mike Joyce, FIH Development & Education

Subject to local COVID-19 regulations, the first Camps will be held in July and August this year in Philadelphia (USA), Cardiff (WAL), Antwerp/Brussels (BEL), Perth (AUS), London (ENG) and Amsterdam (NED). In the USA, the FIH is working with World Camp USA, already a USA Field Hockey Partner Camp with an unrivalled reputation in the US and beyond. Tjerk van Herwaarden, World Camp USA Co-owner and Technical Director said, "World Camp USA has always been defined as providing the best technical skill training for U.S. athletes, and now, in collaboration with the FIH World Hockey Camps, we continue that mission with a commitment to helping athletes attain excellence on the pitch and beyond."

Although 2021 is the Year of the Youth, this marks just the start of a long-term drive to encourage young players to take up hockey and stay life-long in the game. With FIH World Hockey Camps, the focus is on creating experiences for performance and elite level players who are already hooked on the sport but have limited access to World Class development coaches and programmes.

Whilst each Camp and location will provide a unique experience for young players, a standard programme including the FIH Academy player assessment scheme and education courses for Coaches and Umpires will be delivered. In particular, the Camps will provide a base for completion of the FIH Academy Level 3 Coaching Award, following a busy and successful online course programme over the past 12 months.

An overview of the FIH World Hockey Camp programme, including locations, date, and delivery associates can be found at www.fih.academy/worldcamps

Fitting neatly within the FIH objective ‘To inspire hockey’s next generation’, the YotY2021 is a global drive to grow and develop the game for the next generation of our hockey community. With much more to come, FIH World Hockey Camps is the first of a number of youth-focused projects to be launched this year in partnership with the wider hockey family.

Clubs, schools, NGOs and other organisations delivering youth hockey projects are invited to join the #HockeyInvites Year of the Youth by registering online at www.fih.academy/yoty2021. After registering your project you will receive a guide and YoY2021 promotional assets to help share the progress and successes of your activities.

The #HockeyInvites Year of the Youth 2021 is an FIH Development & Education Committee initiative. Tayyab Ikram & Seif Ahmed, Co-Chairs of the DEC remarked, “We extremely excited be leading the 2021 Year of the Youth to create and celebrate how our sport can positively impact the lives of young people across the globe. The DEC hope that this second edition, coming 20 years on from the very first Year of the Youth, will shine a light on the brilliant efforts of clubs, schools, National Associations and other public and private organisations to grow our fantastic sport.”


FIH site

Celebrating the Life of Lillian 'Lil' Shelton

USA Field Hockey celebrates the life of Lilian “Lil” Shelton, a legend of the game who touched countless lives over the past decades as a coach at Severna Park High School in Maryland, who passed away on January 24, 2021 at the age of 90.

Shelton was not just a coach, but also an immeasurable mentor and inspiration to young athletes across the Old Line State and East Coast. University of Maryland Head Coach Missy Meharg was not just a fellow mentor of the game, but also a close friend and neighbor to Shelton for many years, often sharing a cup of coffee on Sunday mornings and talking about the game together.

“When I first became coach at the University of Maryland, Lil was the president of our coaches’ association, said Meharg. She made it clear with a sense of excitement and responsibility how important my role was for the game's visibility and development of the coaches."

After relocating to Severna Park, Md. in 1971, she began her lifelong career as a physical education teacher the following school year. It was here that she began to heavily advocate for the advancement of girls’ sports and equal opportunity. While her career began in softball, a fateful visit to the school’s closet found her face-to-face with a pile of aging field hockey sticks.

“When we started, we played on the front lawn of the school because there was nowhere else,” Shelton told the Baltimore Sun in 2011. “The girls loved the sport and we begged for it to become a varsity sport. Title IX had passed in 1971, and that helped me. I’ll never forget the day they gave us our kilts and shirts for the team. It was 1975, and I think we went 5-5 that first year.”

In the ensuing 37 years along the sideline, Shelton registered a 544-60-10 coaching record with the Falcons, in addition to 31 Anne Arundel County titles, 29 regional championships and 20 state championship banners. To date, under her guidance, Severna Park High School remains at the top of the National Federation of State High School Associations’ (NFHS) list for most state championships. Her coaching record rests currently sixth on the NFHS’ most-wins list with an 84.5 winning percentage.

“The numbers speak for it but she is just a pillar of tradition and teaching through sport,” continued Meharg. “She was a huge believer in playing the second team first so that the older girls would be there and support them and then play the varsity game after.”

Her illustrious career propelled her into multiple honors and Hall of Fame inductions over the years, including Severna Park High School (2008), Anne Arundel County (1997) and National Field Hockey Coaches Association [NFHCA] (2001). In addition to these honors, she was also named Coach of the Year several times over by a variety of organizations and news outlets.

As the landscape of sports changed, Shelton sought to capitalize locally by founding USA Field Hockey Member Club SPark Field Hockey Club, as well as co-founding the Field Hockey Coaches Association of Maryland and Maryland State Games (now the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association State Championships).

As Meharg reminisced, everybody knew who Lil was in the community, not just as a coach but for having impacted the lives of at least three generations of athletes across her career. It showed in the days following her passing, where Meharg noted that community members came to pay their respects to her family, in addition to the celebration of sport culture that Lil helped carve.

It was a sure sign of a lasting legacy that will be felt for decades more.

“Our relationship together was just honoring the game and always working at the game. The coaches were teachers and she was just so powerful in how she led generationally the same way. Less was more.”

As her obituary describes, the Big Sister program entrenched by her saw experienced high school student-athletes mentor newer ones in sports, socially and academically. It also describes Shelton as someone whom, “instilled confidence, sportsmanship, and leadership in young women that benefits them throughout life.”

Also according to her obituary, in lieu of flowers, donations can be given in her honor and memory to the following organizations:

Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Department
Severna Park United Methodist Church
Susan G. Komen Foundation

Portions of Content Courtesy of NFHCA
Photos Courtesy of Severna Park Voice and Missy Meharg

USFHA media release

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