This page summarises the codes, rules and procedures through which discipline in maintained in East hockey both on and off the pitch, including the EHB Code of Ethics, Equity and Discipline; the East League disciplinary rules; East Appeals Committee and its procedures; the EHB guidelines on pitchside conduct; and the EHB Guidelines on the use of social media. There is also a short guide to red card and MMO procedures
Matters of discipline on and off the field are governed by the EHB Code of Ethics, Equity and Discipline, details of which can be found on the EHB website here. Report Forms for red cards and other offences can also be found by following the same EHB link.
The EH Disciplinary Code is operated in East through the Regional and County Disciplinary Administrators, for whom contact details can be found on the East Management and County Association pages.
The disciplinary issues of principle concern for players and umpires during the season are the issuing of red cards during matches and of Match Day Misconduct Offence Reports (MMO's) outside of match play. Both are governed by the EHB Code. A guide to these aspects of the code can be found opposite.
East League Disciplinary Rules
In addition to EHB procedures, the East Leagues impose additional penalties on players receiving multiple yellow cards during a season, and also apply penalties for persistent misdemeanours by players, teams, or clubs. Details can be found on the League Rules page under Rule 7.
Appeals against penalties applied under the EH Code or by the East League Management Committee are heard by the East Appeals Committee, details of which can be found on the East Appeals page.
An important adjunct to match discilpline is controlled pitch side conduct by players, officials and specatators. The East Leagues for example may take action against clubs and teams that are found to be regularly exhibiting unacceptable pitchside behaviour.
An EHB Guide to Pitchside Conduct sets out requirements for what is acceptable behaviour, and is available here.
An EHB Guidance Note on Social Networking "Think Before You Post" is useful for all those involved in a hockey organisation considering or using social networking. While social networking can bring many advantages it is important that your organisation takes ownership for safeguarding children and young people online and takes steps to ensure safeguarding policies, strategies and procedures address safety issues. You can see the Guidance Note in pdf format here.
Guide to red cards and MMOs
Issue of card or MMO
This summary explains aspects of the EH Disciplinary Code relevant to most club players and umpires.
A red card may only be issued for an offence from the start of a match up to its finish, including half-time, any breaks in play, extra time, or penalty stroke competitions. It can be issued to a player, a substitute, or a team official whether or not listed on a teamsheet, and the person receiving a red card is permanently suspended from further participation in the match. If issued to a team official or to a player who is not playing at the time, the team must withdraw a player from the field of play for the remainder of the match.
An MMO is issued if a match umpire decides that behaviour would have led to a red card had it occurred during the match. It may only be issued on the day of a match, excluding the time from the start to the finish of the match, and it can be issued to any intended or actual participant in the match. Examples of when MMOs are issued include such things as verbal abuse to an umpire or players threatening or fighting with each other after the final whistle has gone, and aggressive or abusive incidents away from the pitch or in the pavilion after the match.
A red card may be withdrawn after the match if the umpire who issued the card is satisfied there has been a case of mistaken identity, but for no other reason. If the umpire then identifies the actual offender, an MMO can be issued to that person.
The recipient of a red card or MMO and the club must provide the umpire with information that is reasonably needed to complete a Report Form. The Umpire will send the competed form to the appropriate Disciplinary Administrator (DA) who will start the necessary procedures and keep the relevant persons informed. For club games with qualified umpires the DA will usually be the County DA of the club's county.
Within 3 days the DA will inform the offender's club whether the 16-day suspension is the entire penalty, or if an additional penalty is under consideration. If the latter, the club may submit mitigating evidence to the DA, but no later than 4pm on Day 10 of the 16-day suspension. If an additional penalty is applied, the DA will notify this within a further 3 days. The offender then has 7 days to appeal the additional penalty. An appeal does not automatically suspend a penalty, but the Appeal Panel Chairman may do so.
The recipient of a red card or an MMO is immediately suspended for a mandatory minimum of 16 consecutive days from playing, umpiring, or acting as a team coach, team official, or match official during any hockey match or event. The day of the match is day 1 of the suspension.
There are mandatory minimum periods of suspension (all incorporating the initial 16 days):
where physical violence is not used, attempted or threatened : 16 days
where physical violence is used, attempted or threatened to a player or other person: 30 days
where physical violence is used, attempted or threatened to an umpire/match official: 60 days
and if this is a second or subsequent red card or MMO in a 12 month period, these minimum periods of suspension are doubled.
Additional penalties can be imposed at the discretion of the DA. You should refer to the EH Code for details of these, but note that: there may be breaks in a suspension to avoid it being served in holiday periods or out of the league season; personal insults to umpires or officials, the use of a stick, punching or kicking, and group violence will be severely penalised; and breaches of a suspension will lead to additional suspensions.
The procedures summarised here relate to red cards and MMOs issued by fully qualified umpires. If a red card is issued by an unqualified umpire to a club member, the club must apply the same penalties to its member and advise its County DA of the action taken. An unqualified umpire cannot issue an MMO (but may make a Disrepute Complaint under the Disrepute Offence Regulations).