AMATEUR Hockey is primed to get underway after the state government’s announcement on Sunday, June 14 about the further easing of lockdown restrictions.
Before the announcement, the Geelong Hockey Association (GHA) proposed holding its first match of the season on July 18.
The GHA’s plan was to shorten the season to 10 rounds, finishing on September 20. The GHA also asked clubs to canvas members about the prospect of holding extra weeks for finals.
The state government’s announcement over-18-year-old sports competitions can begin July 20 may alter the schedule, but it is still highly likely the season will progress.
Hockey Victoria stated on its website last week that it “anticipated (a) start window of 11 July – 3 August”.
They also suggested it was a matter of when rather than if matches begin.
“As more information becomes available from the relevant authorities we will announce a more concrete commencement of competitions date.”
Hockey Victoria will be able to announce a start date when they have a Return to Play plan signed off by Sport and Recreation Victoria.
With a 2020 season all but inevitable, Torquay Tornadoes Hockey Club are preparing to return to the field.
Despite the unique circumstances, the club is set to field a team in every division this season.
Club president Andrew Crowley said the Tornadoes were ready to go.
“We’re commencing training this week and expecting an announcement soon on a start date.”
Crowley said plenty of safety measures would be in place for the club’s return to training.
“We’ve got a full Return to Play plan, which is based on all the government regulations. We’re allowed to train of groups up to 20 at the moment, and 20 each end (of the field), coaches are the only ones allowed to touch equipment, and everybody has to register before they come to training.”
“Hockey is not a contact sport, so we can train normally apart from social distancing. We’re starting with seniors this week to get used to the new systems, and then we will introduce junior training next week.”