East Leagues;  Joint EWL and EML Management Meeting: 7.30, Thursday 15th Apr 2010



Russell Nutter


Bob King


Rosemary Prince


David Burt


Neil Liversedge


David Roberts


Janet Goody


Sarah Mann


Pritpal Sagoo


Cliff Gulbis


Samantha Menear


Robert Southgate


Barry Harness


Andy Moncur


Trevor Williams


Nick Hoyle


Richard Munns


Annette Thorpe



Apologies: Bob King, Cliff Gulbis, Andy Moncur, Annette Thorpe

Minutes of previous meeting:  Agreed as correct.

1.       Playing matters

1.1.       Relegations from EHL
EWL:  noted that as there had not been a relegation into East Premier this season, there was an additional promotion from Divisions 1 and an additional promotion from Divisions 2, these being Ipswich 2 and Ipswich 3 respectively.  For the same reason the normal seven relegations into the County Leagues were reduced to six, and Old Buckenham as the second highest 11th placed team was not relegated.    
EML:  Only Chelmsford 1 had been relegated to Premier A, so East relegations and promotions remain as normal.

1.2.       Promotions into EWL
Six County Champions have accepted promotion into East: Newmarket 1, Loddon 1, Waltham Forest 2, Shefford & Sandy 1, Sevenoaks Acorns,  and Christchurch 1.  However Alford 1 have refused promotion from the Lincs Green League.  Agreed that the second placed Lincs team was unlikely to be sufficiently strong for East, having been relegated in 2009 with nil points.  Alternatives considered included the retention of otherwise relegated Spalding 1 to maintain a Lincs team, but the final decision was to retain the strongest of the sides in Division 2 relegation positions, Welwyn Garden City 1. 

1.3.       Outstanding results

Noted that all matches unplayed by 12th April are not included in the final tables, as already notified to Clubs on the East Hockey website.

1.4.       East Men’s League Manager reports and issues

Prem A, Prem B, Div 1

Matches conceded in these higher divisions attract a -3 penalty under rule 4.6 (RS, RM)

2N, 2S
Ford-Luton Town in 2S not played by the deadline, so not in final results/table. 

No significant issues


No significant issues.

No significant issues

Berkhamsted-St Albans in 5SW not played by the deadline, so not in final results/table.

Stevenage 3 have declined promotion from Div 5SW - agreed that Royston 2 be offered the promotion instead (TW)

No significant issues

Clacton-Wapping in 7SE not played by the deadline, so not in final results/table.  Otherwise, no significant issues.

East Women’s League
No outstanding issues.

1S, 1N 
St Ives had named two Ipswich 1st team players as playing in a 2nd team match.  Investigation  by the League Manager showed that neither could have possibly played in the game.  St Ives have not responded to a request for an explanation.  Agreed that a penalty under rule 7.2 be applied:  - 3 points suspended until the end of next season against no repeat offence (TW)

2NE, 2NW
A number of instances of away teams not warning home teams that no hospitality would be required.  Agreed that this should be an issue between the Clubs. 

2.       League structure and organisation

2.1.       Review of County League promotion issues: nothing to report.

2.2.       League Officers for next season:  Robert Southgate and Andy Moncur are leaving the Committee at the end of this season.  Chris Brown will be proposed by the Committee as a new EML League Manager for next season.  A further new Manager for EML will be needed, and SMe agreed to make enquiries.   Provisional arrangements for divisional coverage next season in EML are for RN to take on Prem A and B, Pritpal Sagoo to take on Div 1, 2N and 2S, DB to add 6NE, and NH to add 6SW.  There would also be new allocations in the SE quadrant, yet to be decided.  No changes are envisaged in the EWL. 
RN and TW are to retire in 2011.  RP and NL have agreed to stand as Chairman and East League Secretary respectively.  Handover details to be planned during the coming season.

2.3.       Structure of 6NW: club views were summarised by BH.  Agreed that the division into 6NW(N) and 6NW(S) be continued next season;  agreed that the promotion structure for this and next season will be 1 up from each of these two divisions and 2 down from 5NW.

2.4.       League dates for next season agreed as:
EML:  25 Sept - 4 Dec, 15 Jan- 26 Mar
EWL: 18 Sept – 4 Dec,  15 Jan – 12 Feb, 5 Mar- 2 Apr

3.       Finance

3.1.       League fines for Blueharts, Shefford and Sandy, and Bishops Stortford are being chased.  Five clubs have been fined for failing to return trophies on time.  TW to write to Old De Ferrians regarding persistent late return of trophies and bad condition of same when eventually received. 

4.       Umpiring

4.1.       Nothing to report.

5.       Discipline

5.1.       EML: Ford 1 vs. Luton Town 1:  Ford appealed against the voiding of this match by the League. The East Appeals Panel allowed the appeal and required that the match be played.  No date could be found for the match before the league deadline, and the issue is now closed.

5.2.       EWL:  Southend 1 - Waltham Forest 1:  RP had awarded the match to Waltham Forest under rule 4.5, specifically for failing to correctly inform the opposition of a weather cancellation before travelling. Southend had appealed to the League Committee under rule 7.4.1 then to the East Appeals Panel under rule 7.4.2.  Both appeals failed.

5.3.       EML:  Ford 1 had fielded a national league player in a match against Southend, for which offence the League Manager had awarded the game 0-3.  This was not appealed. 
Under rule 3.5 the Committee may impose additional penalties for fielding an ineligible player.  The case was discussed at length, and the Committee agreed that in view of the seriousness of the offence, the strongest possible penalty short of expulsion should be applied.  Accordingly Ford 1 are subjected to a penalty relegation this season, and Ford HC are to be warned that any similar incident in future will lead to instant expulsion of the Club from the League.  Ford 1 will be required to participate in the league next season under player registration conditions.
Penalty relegations are usually applied after completion of current season tables, so Ford 1 will remain in Div 2S instead of being promoted.  TW to write to the Club.

5.4.       EML: Disrepute offence:  Wisbech Town.  Noted that the club had been fined by the CDA for spectator abuse of a visiting team.

5.5.       EML: Disrepute offence:  Blueharts.  Noted that an action was in progress by the CDA  for an alleged attempt to hit the ball at or near a spectator.

5.6.       Cards to date:  EML 1247Y, 41R;  EWL: 161Y 2R.  
Yellow cards are higher than last season by about 10% in both leagues.

6.       Rule change proposals for the AGM (Appended)

6.1.       Rule 4.2: Playing Surfaces: to be amended to allow FIH approved 3G pitches for matches in only the lowest two divisions of a quadrant in the EML, and not at all in the EWL.  This follows an assessment of the first FIH 3G pitch in East, at Meridian School, Royston.

6.2.       Rule 7.2: Penalties applied by the League Management Committee: to be amended to remove any ambiguities relative to the EH Disrepute Procedures.

6.3.       Rule 7.4: Appeals:  Processes to be simplified to avoid double appeals and to speed up appeals, taking the appeals process for the national league as a model.  These changes are supported by the East Appeals Chairman.

6.4.       Rule 4.5 Postponements:  A proposal from Harleston HC to extend automatic postponements to all East and EH Competitions, present and future, was discussed at length.  The conclusive argument against the proposal was the lack of sufficient Saturday slip dates to accommodate any significant increase in postponed league matches, which  would mean greater use of Sunday slips - and as Sunday teams are rarely representative of Saturday teams, the competitive integrity of the Leagues would be severely compromised.  Reducing divisional sizes to shorten the league season and free more Saturdays for slips is a possible option, but would not be acceptable to the overwhelming majority of clubs who do not participate in other competitions, as they would lose playing opportunities and match day revenues.  The disruption to the opposition team when a match is postponed is an important consideration.
The Committee noted that talented players can be subjected to selection pressure when competitions clash, and that league postponements could ease that - but that is not the only route to stopping such pressure.
It was agreed that the Harleston HC proposal should not be added to the composite rule change proposal for the AGM.  The reasoning behind this decision will as usual be published along with the composite proposal for comment by all clubs. 

6.5.       Rule 4.5:  Postponements: Agreed that the part of the rule fining clubs £20 for not rearranging fixtures promptly was not practical and should be removed during the general rule rewrite (TW)

7.       AGM and Presentation Day:   
Trophies return, purchase, engraving:  in progress (SMa, SMe,RN)
Pennants:  in progress (PS)
Certificates: awaiting final league tables (TW)
VIP and Sponsor invitations:  done
Programme: in hand (RM)

AGM agenda & papers:  to be done (TW)
Invitations to league winners
to be done (League Managers)

8.       Meeting venues
Southgate Adelaide HC have offered facilities for an AGM, with 2011 a possibility as we will need to be in the south of the region.  Bishops Stortford have offered facilities for committee meetings, and the Committee agreed that this could be a suitable location for next year.  Bishops Stortford could also host the AGM when next we need to be in the north of the region.  TW / NL to follow up as appropriate.

9.       Future meetings:  AGM 6th June at Letchworth HC

10.    Robert Southgate
The Chairman thanked Robert for the twenty years of service given to the League and the Committee, and particularly his wise guidance and support for the three top divisions of the Men’s League throughout many seasons.  This year’s AGM will be Rob’s last official appearance for the League, and no doubt Club representatives will wish to take that opportunity to add their personal thanks.




…. Pitches: All matches in all divisions must be played on astro pitches of a standard approved for hockey by EH, except that approved 3G pitches may only be used for matches in the lowest two divisions of any quadrant of the EML and not at all in the EWL. 
[adds 3G limitation]

delete: In the event of a match being postponed, the two teams must within two weeks of the League Manager agreeing the postponement agree a revised date and venue.  If the match is not rearranged within those two weeks, both clubs will be fined £20. 


The League Management Committee may take action against any club, team, player, or other individual persistently or seriously breaking the rules of the Leagues, bringing the Leagues into disrepute, or acting in any way contrary to the interests of the Leagues.  Penalties may include fines, the deduction of points, the reversal of results, the suspension of players from East League hockey, the relegation of teams, or the expulsion of teams or clubs from the League.  The Committee will also use its authorities under this rule to support recommendations made by any relevant Disciplinary Body under the provisions of any regulation included in the EH Code of Ethics.  [removes reference to league penalties for non-league offences;  adds support for CDA disrepute outcomes]

7.4 Appeals
A club may appeal against a decision or penalty set by the League by sending an Appeal Notice to the East Leagues Secretary not later than 7 days after the appellant was notified of the decision or penalty to be appealed against. There must be annexed to the Appeal Notice copies of all documents, including the written statements of any witnesses, that the Appellant intends to rely on in the Appeal.  A deposit of £100 must be sent to the East League Secretary within 7 days of the date of the sending of the appeal.
7.4.1:  Appeals against a decision or penalty set by a League Manager or League Secretary will be heard as soon as possible by the League Appeals Panel comprising three League Managers not involved in the decision being appealed.  The Committee at its own discretion may hold a written or an oral hearing. The decision of the Appeals Committee shall be final.
7.4.2:  Appeals against a decision or penalty set by the League Management Committee will be heard by the East Regional HA Appeals Committee under its established procedures. The decision of the East Appeals Committee shall be final.
[shorter deadline to raise appeal;  appeal must include documentary basis; no double appeal to both LMC and ERHA Appeal Panels]

 ….  If a club participates in an East Senior or Junior competition or is representing the East in an EH National Qualifier or Final of a competition, whether outdoor or indoor, senior or junior, the affected team may postpone the East League Fixture on the same date if that team contains a significant number of regular players.   Any postponement should be requested to the League Manager responsible for the Division in which the team plays giving as much notice as possible. The cancellation must then also be notified to the other Club, the League Results coordinator, and the relevant Umpiring Pool Secretary.
[intended to support coaches and players in the future who spend a lot of time and commitment taking part in East and England Hockey competitions.  Not agreed for reasons set out in minute 6.4]