Notes of East MenÕs and WomenÕs Leagues Annual General Meeting 10th June 2012.

Held at Letchworth Hockey Club

 

Apologies for Absence: Apologies were received from Horncastle HC, Berkhamsted and Hemel Hempstead HC, Wisbech HC, Alford and District HC, North Walsham HC, Cambridgeshire Nomads HC, Luton Town HC, University of Essex HC, St Ives HC, Wapping HC, Canterbury HC, Carlton Park HC, Folkstone Optimists HC, Old Loughtonians HC, Sprowston HC, Basildon HC and Gore Court HC, Pritpal Sagoo (League Manager), Andrew Barlow (League Manager).

Present: 54 people, representative of 34 Clubs

1.     ChairmanÕs League Report for season

 

Chairman Rosemary Prince welcomed everyone to the Annual General Meeting for the 2011/12 season. She thanked Letchworth Hockey Club for agreeing to host the AGM, being located in such a central position in the East Region was very helpful. She appealed for any club who would like to host the event next year to come forwards.

 

She stated that this had been her first year in the role as chair and reflected that it had been a varied year and specific issues would be reflected later in her report. However Rosemary reported that she had been a member of the League Committee for a number of years and had good knowledge of how the league was run. She highlighted that without Neil Liversedge, who was also in his first year as East League Secretary, and the other League Management Committee members assisting in making the league run so smoothly the opportunity for nearly 5000 hockey players to enjoy their competitive League Hockey on a weekly basis throughout the season would not be possible. She admitted that sometimes things didnÕt always go to plan but she believed strongly that most players across the East enjoyed their hockey.

 

Rosemary continued by stating that few would realise the work that the League Managers and Results Co-ordinator did on a weekly basis in ensuring that results were recorded accurately and League Tables were updated in a speedy fashion.

 

Looking at the specifics of the season, the East MenÕs League recorded fewer red and yellow cards. The East WomenÕs League had seen fewer red cards but an increase in yellow cards. Across the League only 2 players had received 5 yellow cards during the course of the season which was an improvement on the previous season and Rosemary hoped that everyone attending the meeting would further work within their clubs to maintain this improvement. Rosemary highlighted her view that umpires, who are fundamentally volunteers and give up their time to officiate games each week would appreciate the trend.

 

On the journey through the season the weather had provided a significant challenge with games to be re-arranged. The biggest impact was felt by the WomenÕs Premier Division which had completed a season with 14 teams. Rosemary gave appreciation to the teams in that league, who on occasions stayed away from home overnight to ensure games were played on both Saturdays and Sundays. She paid special thanks to the League Manager of that Division, Janet Goody, for her hard work in making that Leagues season a success.

 

The season concluded with Bromley and Beckenham winning the EWL and Cambridge City the EML. Rosemary congratulated them and wished them every success in the National League.

 

Rosemary wanted to highlight a couple of areas of particular concern that member clubs ought to be aware of.

 

One area, was the area of technology and publications on twitter/facebook or on e-publications posted publicly on club websites or where newsletters were printed and displayed around club houses.

 

The league were involved in a number of cases that resulted in disciplinary penalties being given either to a club or to individuals.

 

á       One issue surrounded a club that had made derogatory comments about a number of opposing teams in a newsletter that had appeared in a fanzine that was displayed both on the clubs website and in paper format around the club house. A complaint was received and that club would be starting the season 2012/13 season on -6 points.

 

á       Another issue surrounded an issue where an umpires performance was criticised on twitter, this under the England Hockey Code of Conduct, resulted in playing suspensions

 

á       Another issue surrounded a player who had stated on a social network that he had doubled up in a game in a fashion that was against League Rules. This claim was investigated by the League Manager and as a result the result of the game was reversed.

Each case could have been avoided. Rosemary recommended that good practice where clubs produce fanzines or newsletters might be each club having Òa safetyÓ net of someone who would impartially review the publication prior to it being published to ensure that no disrespect is given to opponents, umpires or clubs.

Club committees also ought to be aware of the England Hockey Code of Conduct in regard to respect to opponent and umpires and educate their members to ensure negative thoughts or comments are not published publicly.

Lastly, where League Rules are broken and the League Managers become aware that rules have been broken, the League Manager or the Committee will investigate the issue and will take action.

Another area of significant work for the League Committee this year revolved around Indoor Hockey. Rosemary felt she was sure that some in attendance at the AGM would wonder why a League Committee looking after the outdoor version of the game would consider worrying about indoor hockey.

The answer is that both the promotion of outdoor and indoor hockey both fall under the auspices of England Hockey who currently promote both equally.  Any club can enter both forms of the game and England Hockey is currently looking to expand the indoor offering around the country to make it more accessible to all clubs.

To avoid too much impact on outdoor hockey we have planned next seasons fixtures to minimise the impact of large numbers of fixtures having to be cancelled and re-arranged. It was true that indoor hockey had impacted on the outdoor fixture dates however the League Management Committee had come to the decision, after much discussion, we have maintained the aim of 22 games per season in most league divisions and the dates for next season have already been posted on the League website. The WomenÕs League seeÕs no change from last season. The MenÕs league will start one week earlier than last season.

Next season, the East Veterans League will unfortunately cease, and thanks should be given to Bob King for his enormous contribution in running this league over a significant period of time. There will, however be an increase in the EML with clubs who had entered in the veterans league entering the MenÕs league instead.

Whilst reflecting that there will be a longer winter break caused by indoor hockey Rosemary hoped that member clubs would use the time to organise friendlies, including promoting veterans hockey, and run inter-club events, which most clubs already do in the winter break anyway. She reminded clubs that there was an on-line fixture finder on the East website which clubs could use to find fixtures.

Rosemary reminded that the East is a very strong organisation and reflected that the current League Management Committee is made up of people who are club members/players and administrators from around the East region and they listen to players/supporters/umpires on a range of issues and it is a balance to ensure that any decisions we make are for the benefit of the game we all play and love. Obviously in doing this we canÕt please everyone but those attending were asked to understand her underlining the fact that any changes we make are for the benefit of the game and for the benefit of the hockey family in promoting our game.

Lastly Rosemary reflected that the hardest part of her job this season wasnÕt resolving disputes but the things that matter in any part of life. She had personally been pitch side at Chelmsford when a player unfortunately died during a game, later in the season a player from Ramgarhia also died during a game. Our thoughts are sent to the families of those players, the players were obviously doing something they loved and wanted to do and any disagreement put before any of the League Managers or the League Management committee paled in significance.

It is important that all players and officials enjoy their hockey.

Looking forwards the Olympics will occur this summer and Rosemary wished all those either attending or watching the games on tv happy viewing.

Lastly Rosemary paid tribute to two retiring League Managers, Chris Brown and Cliff Gulbis, who were both retiring from their roles. She thanked them both for their enormous contribution and asked the East Region Hockey Association President, John Hendy, to present ties to them both.

On completion of her report John Hendy asked those present to show their appreciation to the League Management committee as a whole and reported that East League Fixtures and Results co-ordinator Richard Munns would be made an Honorary Vice President of the ERHA in recognition for his years of service to the League Management Committee and in regard to his services to Umpiring, where Richard had for many years carried out many varied roles.

 

2.     Election of Officers

 

The following had been nominated by the League Committee. There were no other nominations, and the list was unanimously agreed.

 

Chairman:

Rosemary Prince

Secretary:

Neil Liversedge

EML League Managers

David Burt, Barry Harness, Nick Hoyle, Russell Nutter, Pritpal Sagoo, Andrew Barlow, Henry Wanchoo, Richard Malone, Chris Kime, Phil Churchman.  (Post meeting note: Following the meeting Sarah Farmer from Royston and Chris Perry from WGC have agreed to become a League Manager)

EML Results Co-ordinator: 

Richard Munns

EWL League Managers

Janet Goody, Sarah Mann, Samantha Menear, Rosemary Prince and Nicola Wilkes

EWL Results Co-ordinator:

Sarah Mann

Budget Officer

Trevor Williams

 

The Officers as listed were therefore elected.

 

3.     League fees 2011-12 Season

 

The proposed fee of £12.50 per team (£18.50 for late entries) was agreed unanimously.

 

4.     Amendments to League Rules

 

Two rule changes were proposed.

 

The first being changing the score of matchÕs awarded under penalty from 3-0 to 5-0. This scoreline is mentioned in Rules 2.1, 2.3, 3.7, 4.3, 4.7, 4.9, 5.1 and 5.2

 

The second being a minor change in wording regarding indoor hockey. The Rule is 4.6.1

 

Both rule changes were accepted unanimously.

 

5.     Any Other Business

 

There were no written questions received. Therefore the Chairman offered to take questions from the floor.

 

A question was raised by a member of Blueharts as to whether the production of the handbook was necessary. After a brief discussion involving many member clubs it was agreed it was.

 

A question was raised by Newmarket about whether the League dates for the following season could be released earlier. Dates were delayed slightly this year due to liaison with the indoor steering group but yes we would attempt to do so.

 

A question was raised by Ipswich and East Suffolk regarding whether consideration had been given to the University teams regarding the earlier season start times. UEA play indoors, so understood the issue, Cambridge University had been in contact with the Premier League Manager and were planning their season around the start dates.

 

With no further questions the meeting closed and the Presentation of Trophies to Divisional Winners took place. The only non-attendees collecting their trophies were Cambridge City (EML Premier and East Veterans League) and Canterbury Ladies (EWL Div 2SE).