After a successful 2022-23 season, England Hockey welcomes 16 new teams into the Men’s and Vitality Women’s England Hockey League (EHL). The league allocations for the 2023-24 season are now confirmed.
In the Men’s Premier Division, Cardiff and Met take their place in the top flight for the first time joined by Southgate who are promoted after eight season’s absence. In the Women’s Premier Division, Bowdon return after relegation in 2019-20 and Isca and Exeter University will be making their debut.
Brooklands MU and Exeter University are relegated to Men’s Division One North and Division One South respectively. Of the women’s teams relegated to Division One, Buckingham go North and Holcombe South.
Men’s Midlands Conference winners Harborne, and North Conference winners Leeds are promoted to Division One North. East winners, Richmond and West winners, Havant join Division One South.
Women’s Division One sees Olton and West Warwicks return to Division One North after a season’s absence along with Wakefield. Conference West winners Team Bath Buccaneers and East winners Barnes take their place in Division One South for the first time.
Of the sixteen new teams joining the Conferences all bar one qualify as winners of their respective area leagues. The exception being Teddington who were second in the London Area League Premier Division.
London Wayfarers 2nd XI, who were winners, were not eligible for promotion as their 1st XI team are already in the EHL at Conference level and league regulations do not permit two teams from the same club to play at the same level.
The promoted clubs are below:
Vitality Women’s England Hockey League (Conferences)
Bowdon 2nd XI (North West), Clifton Robinsons 2nd XI (West), Fareham (South Central), Newcastle University (Yorkshire & North East), Old Georgians (South East), Old Loughtonians (East), Repton (Midlands), Teddington (London)
Men’s England Hockey League (Conferences)
Banbury (South Central), Cheltenham (West), Ipswich (East), Lindum (Yorkshire & North East), Old Georgians 2nd XI (South East), Oxton (North West), Stourport (Midlands), Wimbledon 2nd XI (London)
Clifton Robinsons 2nd XI and Old Loughtonians women and Cheltenham, Ipswich, Oxton and Stourport men are making a return to the EHL whereas it is a new challenge for the other promoted teams.
The allocations of the four Conferences and Division One North and South for 2023-24 season has now been determined.
The full leagues are available now
The make-up of the Divisions is determined by a number of factors including the following:
- The need to divide Division One into two Divisions and the Conferences into four Divisions all of 10 teams
- The overall geographic spread of teams – this means that on occasions clubs that are close to each other may not play in the same Division. Also, that Men’s and Women’s teams from the same club may play in different geographic Divisions
- Travel times as well as geographic proximity
- The overall impact on the combined travel for all the teams in a particular Division
- At Conference level minimising the number of Divisions teams from the same Area participate in; to avoid the possibility of a large number of teams being relegated to an Area League
- Not switching teams between different Divisions each season unless the factors above demonstrate it is clearly required
Fixtures for the league will be available at the end of June.