You might think May and June are the quiet months for the hockey season but if anything they seem busier than the winter months from my experience. Since the end of season dinner there have been many developments and I wanted to sum these up in one article and ensure everyone is up to speed.
Firstly, congratulations to all of our teams who finished top of their league and went to the YHA dinner on 18th May to collect their deserved trophies. Four league title wins normally secures 4 automatic promotions. Sadly, some devious forces come into play where rules, constitutions and other teams promotions and relegations conspire against you and this year after finally winning the Yorkshire Premier League after 2 years of being runners up, the reward for the ladies 2s is to stay in the same league yet again. Instead, Slazengers who finished a distant 8 points behind in 2nd place and were beaten 3-1 by the 2s in Marhc to secure the title were promoted instead.
So what could possibly happen to lead to this outcome? Well YHA and North HA and EH National leagues all have different rules and regulations. About 5 leagues above the Yorkshire Premier League, Wakefield Ladies 1s were relegated from the EH – National League North down into the North Premier League. In the North you are not allowed 2 teams from the same club in the same division so this meant Wakefield Ladies 2s who were in North Premier League had to be relegated to North League 1. This meant there were 13 teams in that division instead of the required 12 so one of the teams finishing 10th had to be relegated too (along with the 2 teams finishing 11th and 12th who had been automatically relegated).
With me so far? What does this have to do with our 2s a few leagues below still? Well the team in 10th in North league 1 was our Ladies 1s so they had to be demoted to North Div 2 South East, the very same league our 2s had earned the right to be promoted to. Out comes the rule book again from the North and “thou shalt not have 2 teams in the same division” then stifles the 2s promotion prospects and consigns them to yet another season in Yorkshire Premier League. Bizarrely, in Yorkshire you can have 2 or more teams in the same division and there are several examples of this throughout the leagues.
All in all, a disappointing outcome created by inconsistent rules and other clubs inability to survive in their leagues.
But every cloud has a silver lining and last weekend we were asked if our Mens 3s who had finished 3rd in Div 4 North last season would like to be promoted to Div 3 as one team had decided to voluntarily drop down a division due to lack of players to compete at the higher level. Naturally we have accepted this offer and the mens 3s promotion (even via the backdoor) means all of our top 4 mens teams gained promotion last season – an outstanding achievement across the club.
This week sees plenty of hockey related meetings that will impact on the section next season. Tonight Gabby and Ian head off to the Yorkshire fixtures meeting to sort out league games next season and do the impossible juggling act of allotting pitches and moving games around if we have been given 6 home games on one day. Their patience and wizardry skills to make this happen are legendary so good luck tonight guys.
With 2 teams in the North leagues next season, the same event for the North happens on Sunday at Wakefield and Bridget has kindly agreed to attend on our behalf.
Thursday night sees a meeting of the AWMA sections to discuss membership and subscription fees for AWMA next season following Sam Jackson’s recommendation agreed at our AGM to move to a monthly fee rather than an annual fee and weekly match fees.
This weekend sees the Adel Gala with a variety of activities at AWMA. On Friday night there is a cross section quiz so if anyone from the hockey section wants to organise a team please let me know asap so you can be entered (no hockey team to date doesn’t look good!). Sunday is the big day at the club with the gala, all sections promoting their clubs, stalls, BBQ etc. Again, anyone willing to volunteer to promote the hockey section please let me know asap. Fingers crossed for the weather like last year which was a hugely successful event and raised around £10,000 to improve the AWMA facilities.
Summer leagues continue to progress successfully – if you are not getting a game please let Gabby know before its too late.
And finally, we hope to be close to installing the new fencing ahead of the new season – a few hurdles to overcome still but a safer and more secure pitch should help protect the playing surface for longer… as well as stop more of those wayward undercut shots at the keeper in the warm up.