COVID-19 & Back to Hockey Guidelines

Update - 29.03.21

What we're doing

Your committees have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that we can return to the pitch as quickly and safely as possible.

At this point in time, our conversations are ongoing with Lee Valley and Mile End to understand when our venues will reopen. We're yet to receive confirmation of when we'll be able to resume using these facilities but we hope that it won't be too long after 29 March.

What's happening with the Winter League?

For all men's and women's teams, the Winter League has been brought to a close. On 2 March, the East Region announced that all leagues from Men's Premier B down and Women's Div 1 down were concluded for the year.

On 26 March, England Hockey announced that, following a survey of clubs, there was limited appetite to see the 20/21 Season to its end, and as a result, the 20/21 Season is null and void.

For all leagues that have been brought to close early, there will be no promotion or relegation.

What's happening with training?

Due to difficulties in securing access to our venues at this current time, there's no plan to resume training in April/May/June.

We'll keep this under review and look to resume training at an appropriate time to ensure teams are in tip top form ready for 21/22 Winter Leagues in the Autumn.

So when can I play hockey?

We're in conversation with Lee Valley, Mile End and other clubs to understand what Summer Leagues or other competitions are planned. We expect there'll be opportunities for everyone to get back on the pitch shortly after Easter and we’ll provide details of those plans as soon as they're finalised.

A Lee Valley Summer League should be starting from Saturday 10 April. Your club captains are liaising with captains at the moment to organise entering teams so keep your eyes peeled for messages from your captains, and look out for further communications from the Playing Committee.

As normal, we are planning to hold Summer Social Hockey on Saturday afternoons at Mile End. Further details on that will be released once we have further detail from Mile End on when reopening.

Should any other clubs reach out to current captains or members seeking friendlies do let the playing committee know.

Over the Spring/Summer we will working hard to ensure that everyone gets the opportunity to play no matter their experience level.

What can I do?

We're glad you asked! First of all, we ask that all ELHC club members review the club COVID-19 guidance to remind yourself of the behaviours required when we do get back on the pitch. Our understanding is that the England Hockey COVID Secure requirements have not substantially changed from the autumn - so the set up and requirements should be familiar to everyone.

A huge thank you to everyone for your patience as we await the longed-for confirmation of our safe return to hockey.

Please check out Roadmap for Return to Play on the England Hockey Website.

You can find all the latest information from England Hockey and its response to the COVID-19 pandemic online, here.

COVID-19 Working Group

Last year, ELHC established a COVID-19 Working Group . The group keeps the club updated regularly , sharing what the next steps are and what players can expect when we all return.

Previous updates and important documents can be found below:

Updated 18.08.20 - Andy Cumine is appointed as the ELHC COVID Officer

Andy can be contacted on

Updated 16.08.20East London Hockey Club Return to Hockey Guidelines for Members

East London Hockey Club Return to Hockey Guidelines for Members - Full Document. 

ELHC Risk Assessment Document - East London Hockey Club Risk Assesssment Document for Hockey Sessions during COVID Pandemic

Attending Training and Local Matches (Stage 4)

Following the successful trial of hockey training under England Hockey Stage 2 guidelines the club is working to get everyone back to playing the game we love as soon as we safely can under the new Stage 4 guidelines.

Through the pilot we have developed an approach to implementing the England Hockey guidelines for getting back on the pitch which must be followed by all participants. If you have any questions relating to the contents of these guidelines, please contact

Those who fail to follow the guidelines will be asked to leave the session.

Prior to training and matches/Before you leave

  • Before taking part in any hockey activity you must complete an England Hockey participant agreement providing details for contact tracing and confirming you understand the safety requirements that must be followed. You can find the form to do that on the England Hockey website.
  • We have a maximum capacity per session of a single group of 30 or two separate groups of 20. Once you have completed the participant agreement you will be sent a Clubbuzz invitation for each session.
  • If a session is oversubscribed, we will operate a first come first served policy so try to respond as early as possible.
  • The Clubbuzz invite will ask you to confirm you have undertaken a COVID-19 self-assessment and have no reason to believe you are infected. Do not come to training if you feel unwell in any way. Do not come to training if you are required to self-isolate, for example you have been contacted by NHS Track and Trace or another member of your household has symptoms or is required to isolate. See the latest information from the government on when you are required to self-isolate and for how long here and what to do if you are contacted by NHS Track and Trace here.
  • The changing rooms at both LV and ME are closed so come in kit and ready to play. You must bring your own personal equipment (stick, pads, gumshield and where required facemasks) and not share it with anyone outside your household.
  • Please bring your own hand sanitiser so you can wash your hands before entering and after leaving the pitch.

Travel to and from training or Match

Arriving at the pitch

  • If you need to enter the buildings at either venue to use the toilet or register a vehicle at Lee Valley you must wear a facemask at all times whilst inside.
  • On arrival remain a minimum of 10m from the astroturf gate until all participants from the previous session have vacated the area. At Mile End the area around the gate is a bottleneck so we recommend waiting near the running track fence. You must maintain 2m of social distance whilst waiting.
  • Our coaches and captains will take an attendance register for contract tracking purposes and brief you on what is expected. If you have not completed the EH participant agreement and accepted a Clubbuzz invite confirming you have completed a COVID-19 self-assessment you will not be allowed to participate.
  • Each training session will be provided with an individual set of equipment for use only by that group which will not be reused for 72 hours, unless otherwise cleaned by appropriate antibacterial / disinfectant products. Only coaches may touch the equipment with their hands. Please do not touch the goalposts or other pitch equipment with your hands.

Conduct during the training session or match.

  • You must maintain social distancing when not in play. During discussions, team talks and drill descriptions you must remain 2m from other participants.
  • You must not make physical contact with other participants outside of play (i.e. there should be no goal celebrations, post-match handshakes etc).
  • Set-pieces such as penalty corners, free hits, etc should be taken as promptly as possible to minimise periods of limited social distance.
  • In the event of an injury do not gather around the player, attract the coach’s attention and let them deal with the situation.
  • There is an additional risk of infection in close proximity situations where people are shouting or conversing loudly. If possible, players should avoid shouting or raising their voices when facing each other during, before and after games.
  • Please be mindful of those around you and remember others may feel less confident / comfortable at the session than you.

At the end of the session

  • At the end of your session leave the astro promptly and move at least 10m from the gate as quickly as possible. Please be aware of others who may be attending the session after yours and maintain social distancing wherever possible.
  • The showers at LV and ME are not open so you will not be able to shower at the pitch.

To note

  • Should you develop symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell) in the days following a session, follow the latest government guidance on what to do, and contact the club COVID officer so the necessary steps can be taken.
  • In line with section 11 of the Club’s constitution all members must abide by these guidelines. Failure to do so will result in sanctions defined through the club disciplinary process which could include suspension from hockey activities and expulsion from the club in sufficiently serious cases.

By following the guidelines we can all get back to the sport that we love. Thank you.

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Contact us today if you are interested in finding out more about our club either as a player, official, coach or volunteer.

Get in touch


Roger Lilleystone


Charlotte Burge


Carney Battenti


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