With the EYHL2 position now clarified the Competitions Committee has made a proposal regarding format for the 2020/21 leagues. This was approved by the Management Board on 18th August.
The following has been decided:
- As previously advised, the leagues are scheduled to start on 26th September subject to any COVID-19 restrictions.
- There will be no Ulster Hockey Cup Competitions scheduled in the early part of season, pending a review of the position in January 2021.
- The men’s and ladies’ Premier Leagues and the men’s Intermediate League will be split into two divisions after each team has played each other once.
- Any Ulster clubs that are competing in EYHL 2 can, by mutual agreement, choose to play their EYHL 2 fixtures against each other as both an EYHL 2 fixture AND an UH Premier League fixture.
The reasons for these recommendations are largely due to the ongoing uncertainty arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. The committee feels that the completion of the Premier Leagues should take precedence over Cup competitions, given the qualification process for EYHL 2 and the possible changes to that competition following the review of EYHL that is to be conducted over the coming months.
Recommendations 3 and 4 are designed to both give an increased likelihood of the leagues being completed in the event of any further disruption; and to reduce the number of fixtures played by Ulster Hockey clubs that are involved in EYHL2. It is hoped that recommendation 3 will also improve competitiveness in the league and reduce the number of high scoring/one sided results in the Intermediate League.
Ulster Hockey is still aware of a need for a wider review of the league structures and, in parallel to the planned review of EYHL, remains committed to consulting with member clubs to consider the provincial league structures and to providing the best hockey experience to all members of the Ulster Hockey family.