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West Transition March Update

Following the AGM Resolution vote at last year’s England Hockey AGM, the Structure Fit for the Future transition work is gaining momentum across the West region.  The West Transition Group at their monthly meeting last week, decided that Counties and clubs needed to be better informed of the progress made to date in each of the functional areas – Adult Competitions, Junior Competitions, Officiating, Discipline and Masters.  It is vital that the West continue to engage with the Counties and clubs, keeping them informed on the progress made towards the changes for season 2021/22.

See the letter below: 

A Structure Fit for the Future Club Update -March 2021

Detailed information will be available in the public forum in the next few weeks. Please remember these will raise many valid questions and concerns that the Transition Group are committed to answering in a public forum as and when the final versions of anything are available. To avoid placing further time constraints on our volunteers we will not be responding to any requests for detailed information until the FINAL version of anything is available to all.

To avoid any confusion please do not seek clarification from existing West HA Committees as they may not be in possession of the latest information. We would urge all to be patient while huge amounts of work are continuing unabated behind the scenes. Regular updates will be issued to give more detail in the weeks to come.

All Transition Committees are now finalising the make-ups that will be in place for next season. Expressions of interest are being sought.

If you have any queries please email them to hockeywestuksecretary@gmail.com and you can view the questions and replies when available by following this link: FAQs - A Structure Fit for the Future.

Governance

  • England Hockey Articles passed for adoption at the England Hockey AGM on 16th March, 172 votes for, 0 against and 7 abstentions. This gives EH the mandate to proceed with the changes proposed in the ‘Structure Fit for the Future’ proposals.
  • Area Articles are expected to be finalised in the next few weeks. West Hockey will then hold a Special General Meeting in accordance with the current Articles to adopt the new Articles. Following that the AGM will be set in accordance with the new Articles to permit Director and Committee Chairs to be elected in preparation for next season. Area Regulations are being drafted to support the new Articles.

IT

  • The new EH website is live. Development of new Area websites is now in progress. 
  • The new Competition Management System has been identified and a presentation has been attended by various members of the West Transition teams. Details of the functionality of this system will be made available to clubs as soon as possible.

Counties

  • Following two County / Sub Area engagement sessions, Counties are aware of what they will now be expected to deliver and most are confident that they will be able to do so without any major problems
  • Many counties will need to revise their Constitutions and are waiting for the template from EH which will ensure they will meet the new governance criteria necessary to be part of the new structure.
  • West have offered to support Avon with their restructure to include men’s teams under the new governance. Anyone within an Avon based club willingly to help with this transition please contact - hockeywestuksecretary@gmail.com

Adult Competitions & Leagues

  • The initial draft structure and an example of team placements has been shared with clubs from both England and Wales during a consultation event held on 24 March 2021 with the general feeling that the changes would have a positive effect for the new league. The documents are now with Clubs for further comment and responses will be reviewed as they are received, providing valuable feedback for the committee in finalising positions for teams.
  • On 29 March 2021, the area was represented at the new national area leagues meeting where ideas were shared and progress of each region reviewed. An update on the progress of the new Competition Management System was also provided by EH, with all signs being positive for this to be up and running for the forthcoming season. The system will look to bring the administration of the game to a new level, saving clubs time and effort whilst providing players with a modern user-friendly experience. The system will be in its infancy in season one and will grow with constant development over the coming years.

Officiating

  • It is being recommended from England Hockey that the correct term, from now on, is official, when talking about a member of the hockey family that is an umpire, umpire coach/assessor, technical official, match day official etc. We are one collective body.
  • Simultaneous to the passing of the EH AGM resolution, in mid-March, the Governance framework and constitution for the officiating body, was passed. From now, there is one Officiating body within England. This is called the England Hockey Officiating. This is a proprietary body, that is owned by the England Hockey Board, BUT all decisions on strategy etc. on officiating will be made by the National Officiating Working Group (OWG). For those that are interested in hearing more about the governance framework, an FAQ sheet is linked in HERE.
  • The West Officiating Transition Group is holding an Officials Engagement Evening, at 19:30, on the 7th April 2021. If you have not already received a link to the sign-up sheet, please contact your club or association officiating rep, or email hockeywestuksecretary@gmail.com for the link. This is for all officials, at all levels, within the West Area.
  • The next West Officiating Transition Group meeting is being held on the w/c 19th April. With the passing of the AGM articles, officiating body's constitution and the release of the governance framework FAQ's, the group is starting to decide on the officiating structure within the west, starting from next season (21/22), with particular focus on restructuring, and in some places creating, a strong, efficient, and effective support system for all club officials.
  • We look forward to seeing some of you at the West Officials Engagement evening. As of 30th March, we already have 150 signed up. Let us get even more!

Junior Competitions

  • County Junior Competition Coordinators are now members of the Transition Group and will act as the link with supporting communication to their respective clubs.
  • New Area Leagues (U14 & U16 and if demand U18) proposal has been circulated to clubs for expressions of interest, with a deadline of 31 March. Weekly club responses sent out to County reps to help a good response rate.
  • Club responses will be analysed at the next meeting.
  • Expressions of Interest currently been taken via the EH website for West Junior Competition Chair role, Junior Competition Organiser role & committee roles.

Discipline

  • National Discipline Panel has been reviewing the Code of Discipline to align to the new Areas.
  • In the future, there will be an Area Discipline Administrator (ADA) and pool of Assistant Area Discipline Administrators (AADA).
  • Role descriptions will be available shortly and it is hoped that there will be interest from the existing County Discipline Administrators as well as other volunteers.

Masters

  • A Masters Transition Committee is now being formed following the first National Masters Working Group meeting.

Keith Dingle

West HA President