Notes of the East MenÕs and WomenÕs League Annual General Meeting

Held on 8th June, 2014 at Letchworth Hockey Club

Apologies were received from: Daphne Menear (ERHA President), Trevor Williams (ERHA Treasurer, Mike Trett (ERHUA), Ali Smyth (League Manager), Henry Wanchoo (League Manager), Samantha Menear (League Manager), David Roberts (ERHUA), Cambridge South, Cambridge University Men, Cambridge University Ladies, Cambridge South, Gore Court, Maidstone, Folkstone Optimists, City of Peterborough, Wapping, Alford, BBHC, Norwich Dragons, Harleston Magpies, Dereham, Canterbury, Janet Goody (League Manager), St Albans.

Present: 93 people, representing 54 clubs.

 

1)    League ChairmanÕs Report

Chairman Rosemary Prince welcomed everyone to the AGM and thanked Letchworth HC for hosting the event once again and for the wonderful buffet that had been provided. She reminded any club that fancies hosting the event to let any committee member know.

She reflected that it felt such a short time since the last AGM. In 2012/13 we were reflecting on the awful weather that had affected the season. In contrast this season, surprisingly we lost very few games due to the weather. It seemed to make the season easier for everyone involved from the League Committee through to the Club Fixture secretaryÕs and administrators, through to the players themselves.

Rosemary thanked the East League Committee members and League Managers, who manage 40 individual League Divisions so well and seamlessly.  

This season had seen the new Division 3 and 4Õs introduced, this introduction to clubs mainly from Lincs and Cambs had gone well. We know this because we carried out a survey of the clubs and they told us so. Every club was in agreement the biggest improvement we could make was more games. We have listened to this and are implementing a new League structure for the 2014-15 season, which will see 1 x Div 3 with 12 teams, and 2 x Division 4Õs with more teams too.

We have also held two similar consultations in the MenÕs Divisions. The first was League wide to clubs with teams in lowest divisions looking at their preferred season structure in Divisions with 9 or 10 teams. The second was specific to the NE quadrant where to cut down on travelling make a Div 6NEN and 6NES. The results from clubs were very even, however the League Committee have decided to maintain the status quo at present because of clubs concern about the quality of hockey that would prevail and the imbalance between the divisions.

Rosemary gave her thanks to Neil Liversedge, in his role of East League Secretary, who in addition to the role he carries out led the consultation and ensured that the clubs views were heard.

Rosemary reported that the draft League Divisions had been collated by Richard Munns and were on display both at the meeting and on the League website. Rosemary thanked Richard for this and all the other tasks he completes in his role as Fixtures and Results Co-ordinator.

With the proposed League dates next season, Rosemary reported, there would be no break for indoor hockey. She wanted to make clear that this was not because the East League did not support or promote indoor hockey, it was because of the feedback received from clubs that the break was not appropriate for most hockey players participating in the East League. Rosemary wanted to re-assure clubs who took part in indoors that in line with East Rules a cancellation would be granted and clubs would be allowed to reschedule the game to another date.

Rosemary emphasised that with the consultation that had taken place and the feedback regarding the indoor break it showed that the East League management Committee wanted to listen to clubs.

One other area of concern is where the National League take their winter break due to indoor hockey, which this year was also affected by the International calendar. Clubs, who are not members of the National League, do question meeting sides who appear to include players not normally available. Outside East other regions have a much more stringent starring system for the whole season, with a biggest number of starred players unable to play for the whole season. We currently do not have such a high number and operate a fairly simple rule over the Christmas break involving the 11 players starting in the two games prior to the Christmas break not being able to play in East games in that break. In the proposed Rule change we have suggested a rule change. Feedback from National League clubs already received suggests this is too harsh and we could leave the rule as it is but we need these clubs to be clear they should not abuse the East League Rule.

Looking forwards further in League Development Rosemary said League Management Committee members would be interested in hearing from EWL clubs about their League structure, whether the current pyramid structure was sufficient or whether it ought to more mirror the MenÕs Top 3 Divisions which were East wide divisions.

Rosemary advised that Clubs need to be aware of the change of definition made by England Hockey towards umpires and the fact that the old umpire gradingÕs have been replaced. What was the old Level 1 is now termed Club Umpire (Assessed) and Level 1 (Probationer) has been replaced by Club Umpire (Unassessed). Clubs should note that the Club Umpires (Unassessed) should still have completed the Classroom/Pitch based course and be waiting assessment to their full qualification.

Rosemary signed off by offering the Congratulations of the whole region to Bedford and West Herts who were crowned champions of the EWL/EML and would now be representing the East in the National League. She wished them luck and hoped that they would be successful.

Rosemary congratulated all other Divisional winners who would shortly be receiving their prizes in the Presentation day that would follow the AGM and hoped everyone would enjoy their summer break and look forwards to the 2014-15 season. 

2.  Election of Officers

The following officers were unanimously voted in to form the East League Management Committee:

 

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 Perry, Sarah Farmer, James Sheppard.

EML Results and Fixtures Co-ordinator:

Richard Munns

EWL League Managers:

Sarah Mann, Samantha Menear, Rosemary Prince, Nicola Wilkes, Kishor Shah, Christina Dewing

EWL Results Co-ordinator:

Sarah Mann

Budget Officer:

Andrew Barlow

 

 

 

3.  League Fees for the 2012/13 season

The fee was proposed to remain unchanged at £16.00 per team (£24.00 for late entries) was agreed unanimously.

4.   Amendments to Rules

There were 10 Rule Changes proposed.

Rule 1 removed reference to the East Veterans League as there no longer was an East Veterans League. This was unanimously agreed.

Rule 3.5 proposed to increase the number of EHL players that may not play in a weekend from 11 to 14 and increase the number of players during the EHL Christmas Break that may not play in the East League. Taking into consideration postal votes and votes from the floor the Rule was approved by 29 votes to 13. However following representation from Ipswich HC, Canterbury HC, Harleston Magpies, Colchester HC, Dereham HC and Holcombe HC and a debate that followed it was agreed NOT to introduce the rule this season to give the clubs chance to ensure that they abide by the existing rule. Views given from the floor encouraged the East League to take appropriate penalties if the rules were transgressed and a reminder was given to the EHL clubs that the Rules of the East League were there for all clubs who participate in the East League and respect should be given both to the fellow clubs and to the League in applying those rules.

Rule 4.2 made consistent between EML and EWL the standard at which 3G pitches may be used. This change was agreed unanimously

Rule 4.3.2 made consistent the starting times of games in the EML and EWL. This was agreed unanimously.

Rule 4.9 proposed increasing the penalty for teams failing to honour a fixture because of lack of numbers, disinclination to travel or similar reason to a 5-0 loss and deduction of 3 points. This broadened the rule currently in place in the EML top 5 divisions and EWL top 7 divisions. After some discussion this change was agreed unanimously.

Rule 5.2 made consistent the use of club umpires between the EML and EWL and included changes to the terms of reference used by England Hockey to Club Umpires (Assessed) and Club Umpires (Unassessed). This was agreed by majority vote with a single postal vote voting against this.

Rule 5.4 the final paragraph was changed to give consistency between EML and EWL. This was agreed unanimously.

Rule 7.3 the change saw the addition of a reference to a Technical Red Card that will be introduced to games officiated by ERHUA umpires (EML Prem A and B, EWL Prem). This was agreed unanimously.

Rule 7.4 is a whole new section detailing what a technical red card is and who the East League Management Committee would administrate a technical red card. This was agreed unanimously.

Rule 7.5 is the old Rule 7.4 renumbered. This was agreed unanimously.

 

  

5.         Any other business

There were no written questions, therefore the Chairman offered to take questions from the floor, there were none.

With no further questions the meeting closed and the presentation of trophies to Divisional Winners took place. There was just one non attendee, that being Dereham HC and they will duly receive their fine for their non-attendance.