REGARDING EUROHOCKEY LEAGUE AND CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS 2020/21
On the 9th of April 2020, the 2019/2020 EYHL season was declared null and void by the Hockey Ireland Board due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This was based on the recommendation of a Competitions Working Group that included the Hockey Ireland Competitions Committee and representation from each of the four provinces. This group, after extensive consultation and consideration, presented a series of recommendations to the Hockey Ireland Board regarding all hockey competitions on the island of Ireland. The Competitions Committee also recommended the representatives for the 2020/2021 European Hockey competitions – the EuroHockey League and EuroHockey Club Championship. It was recommended that the four teams selected to represent Ireland in 2019/2020 season should remain the representatives for 2020/2021.
This recommendation was reviewed by the Hockey Ireland Board at a meeting on 6th May. The Board approved the Competitions Committee recommendation and resolved that the four clubs representing Ireland in the European Hockey competitions in 2021 are:
- Pegasus Hockey Club Women will retain their position as the representative in the Euro Hockey League Final
- Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club Men retain their position as the representative for the Euro Hockey League
- Loreto Hockey Club Women retain their position as the representative for the EuroHockey Club Trophy
- Lisnagarvey Hockey Club’s Men retain their position for the EuroHockey Club Trophy II
This Board decision was appealed by Lisnagarvey Hockey Club under the Hockey Ireland Bye Laws. An independent Appeal Panel met on Monday 29th June and ruled that the appeal should be upheld. This panel determined that Lisnagarvey Hockey Club should be awarded first place in the nomination for European Competitions for the 2020/2021 season, making them the representative for Ireland in the EuroHockey League.
While accepting the decision of the Appeal Panel, it is Hockey Ireland’s position that the committee focussed on Lisnagarvey Hockey Club’s appeal without any, or insufficient, regard to the consequences of such a change to the broader Hockey Ireland decision. The outcome of the appeal impacts on the decisions, regarding club selections and their ranking, for all of the respective European Hockey Competitions in 2020/2021.
Upon receipt of the Appeal Panel decision, Hockey Ireland considered all available options open to it and decided to refer the Appeal Panel’s decision to Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland as allowed for within the Hockey Ireland Bye Laws. Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland is an independent specialised dispute resolution service for Irish Sport offering both a mediation and arbitration facility. As Hockey Ireland’s designate appeal body, a request to Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland for mediation/arbitration is the final solution to an appeal when all processes within Hockey Ireland have been exhausted.
Hockey Ireland has received appeals from other Clubs since the Appeal Panel’s decision was announced. However, due to the complexity of this issue and the potential implications of any Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland ruling on the matter, Hockey Ireland has contacted the other appealing clubs to look into pausing their appeal processes until a ruling is received from Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland.
Hockey Ireland will fully engage with the Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland mediation/arbitration process.