As you may know, England Hockey has signalled its intention to move to Stage 5 of Return to Play and commence competitive league hockey from 26 September. The South League is also now intending to start from this date.
Following feedback from clubs, the SOHL Committee met last week and formally adopted the EH Standardised League Regulations for 20/21 with the proviso that 9am start times be only used as a last resort for nearby teams. It also appointed itself as the ‘Emergency Committee’ as required by the Regulations.
We are aware that a number of teams still face uncertainty regarding pitch bookings but are pleased to see that, in the spirit of SOHL, clubs are co-operating and showing flexibility around e.g. swapping Home and Away fixtures or agreeing alternative slots within a 3 day window. We would also like to re-iterate EH guidance around Return to Play, regarding appointment of Covid-19 Officers, completion of Participation Agreements and that clubs should socially distance off the pitch (e.g. no changing rooms or match teas).
Our aim is to be as flexible as possible as a League in enabling hockey to be played safely in line with Government and EH guidance. We therefore look forward to the start of the SOHL season from 26 September and ask all clubs to ensure Fixtures Live is updated with Club Contacts, Venues and Start Times by this Thursday 10 September for all matches on 26 September.