Competitive hockey to remain grounded after Midland Men’s League voided

AN EARLY end to the Midland Men’s Hockey League has been announced – dispelling the last remaining hopes of salvation for the 2020/21 season.

The curtain was brought down on the five remaining weeks of the campaign during a meeting between the league’s committee last week, with a shared belief between members it would not be possible for competitive hockey to take place before the end of March.

All teams across the 29 divisions in the Midland League system had only played a handful of games each, with the last competitive action for most taking place on October 31 prior to the second national lockdown.

As a result of the voided season – the second campaign in succession to be affected by the pandemic – no promotion or relegation will take place heading into what many will hope to be a full programme in 2021/22.

Nick Haynes, honorary secretary for the Midland Region Hockey Association, says there is hope for teams in the top tier Midlands Premier, which includes the likes of Rugby & East Warwicks and University of Warwick’s first teams.

“England Hockey is planning to increase the number of teams in the England Hockey League in the 2021/22 season”, he said.

“The committee will decide a process to identify two teams from the division as the new entries to represent the Midlands.

“Our guiding principle will be, if at all possible, to identify those two teams via the field of play.”

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