Governing body cancels all national tournaments

Hockey has been whacked across the sideline.

Hockey New Zealand and its 32 member associations have reached a unanimous decision to cancel all national tournaments for the 2020 season.

Hockey New Zealand chief executive Ian Francis said
that although all involved
were deeply saddened to lose the national tournament season, the decision was made in the best interests of com-
munity hockey.

“Our associations strongly believe that when hockey is able to be resumed this year, we need to get as many people as possible back on the turf and competing against one another." he said.

"Their focus needs to be on enabling people to participate in their local programmes and competitions, and Hockey New Zealand fully supports this position.”

"This will help rebuild the wellbeing of our people within hockey and the broader sporting community," he said.

The under-13 girls Collier Trophy was to be held in Dunedin in October, but is now cancelled.

Otago Hockey general manager Andy McLean said it was a shame but understandable in the circumstances.

The seven-day tournament would have attracted more than 350 people to the city .

"That’s 26 to 30 teams that won’t be here and so that is a significant [economic] impact," McLean said.

"It is a regrettable outcome from this situation."

McLean said there was good news regarding the development of the third hockey turf at King’s High School.

A preferred contractor has been identified and the board has reconfirmed its desire to press ahead despite the widespread disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"From the association’s point of view, it is obviously unsettling times and we have taken the opportunity to revisit where that project sits.

"But despite the challenges, the board has confirmed its commitment to that project."

Hockey New Zealand has not reached a decision about the 2020 Secondary Schools Sports tournaments but was in discussions with School Sports New Zealand, and would provide an update when possible.

Community hockey is due to restart on May 2.

Hockey New Zealand is monitoring the Covid-19 situation and will update the hockey community of any changes.

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