Important update on implementing EH STEP 4 Return to Play at THC

Important update on implementing EH STEP 4 Return to Play at THC

By Shelagh Everett
9 August
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All THC members & parents need to read and act on this update to ensure we can jointly get everyone back playing hockey in a safe way

Following England Hockey's Announcement to move from Step 2 to Step 4 Return to Play, and our own THC 'All Change for Hockey' Update we have reviewed the in-depth EH guidance and requirements and how we can apply them to THC / TSC and get ourselves up and running across the Club as soon as possible.

We all need to get involved and do our bit to make Step 4 happen – and, in a way meets what EH needs do to demonstrate to Government that hockey is operating the approved process. We also need to make it as streamlined as possible to run at THC so that we can people back on the pitches playing in a safe way as quickly as possible.

This update cover the following areas:
- What you need to do to play / step foot on the pitches
- What the Club will be doing differently
- What the key changes are
- What happens next

What you need to do so you can enjoy Step 4 hockey ? (players, parents, umpires, coaches)
We’re all in this together so to make hockey work for everyone we all have a role to play – here’s a summary of what we need you to do to help make Step 4 work for everyone:
a) EH Participation Agreement - Everyone involved, or who wants to be involved, in hockey at THC MUST complete the new online EH Participation Agreement. This means ALL Players (Parents to complete for under 18’s), Umpires, and Coaches. The good news is you only need to do this once for the season unless things change!

No one can train or play without having completed this form and it must be completed at least 48 hours before any training sessions or matches you would like to attend. It can take at least 24 hours for your form to be processed by EH and we can’t let you play without this. So click on the link, read what you're signing up to and complete the basis personal info asap.

b) Follow the new processes we are putting in place for all training sessions and matches once you have completed the EH Participation Agreement and follow social distancing before and after play and government guidance on travel. More details will follow as we reach each phase of play.

c) Accept and follow the EH Guidance and our updated THC Operating Rules for Step 4 Return to Play. This includes pre-booking sessions and completing the attendance register before entering the pitch for each session. Full details will be shared linked to our August hockey schedule. Accept and follow all TSC Operating Rules for the wider site.

d) Self-Assess for Covid Symptoms before you come to any club sessions or matches. If you display any Covid symptoms after playing let our THC Covid Officer know immediately and you test positive.

e) Update, or set up, your Pitchero profile so you can keep update to with important THC Step 4 updates and information, and download the Pitchero App, set your settings to receive notifications to stay up to date and in touch!

f) Come prepared and changed (in kit!) to all sessions. Label, Name and Clean all personal kit items and bring your own hand sanitiser to all sessions

What the Club will be doing differently – so you can play Step 4 hockey
Building on what we’ve been doing during Step 2, THC will need to do a number of things differently so that everyone can get involved and enjoy Step 4 hockey!

a) New Step 4 Covid Team and roles so we can meet all the Step 4 requirements. Andrew Foster (Fozzy) has been appointed as our EH Covid Officer and will join the Hockey Committee. Fozzy will be working with a small team across the Mens, Women and Academy to put the Step 4 requirements into practice for training, fitness and all matches. Fozzy and team will work with captains to set up the process for matches over the next few weeks.

b) Confirming that all player and officials involved in training or matches have completed the EH Participation Agreement and those that haven’t will not be selected for games or able to train or book or play in any Club sessions.

c) A booking process will be set up for all sessions to record player numbers and attendance. One of the Step 4 Covid Team will do a register before each session and players must check in before entering the Pitch area. Attendance data must be sent to EH within 24 hours of each session and links to Track and Trace requirements.

d) Coaches and or captains will do a Step 4 Covid briefing at the start of each session / match. Coaches and captains will be making sure all equipment, kit and balls are managed in line with the EH Guidance,

e) Ensuring the THC Operating Rules and Risk Assessments are updated and approved by TSC Limited, implemented and shared on a dedicated area on the website ‘Step 4 Return to Hockey (add in link) where all the information and booking forms will be hosted. Updated versions will be loaded on the website later this week.

f) Setting up new processes to enable us to play friendlies within the limitations of 30 people per match (including umpires etc) and match day requirements (home and away)

What the key changes – so we can all enjoy Step 4 hockey?
Over the next 4 – 6 weeks we will be rolling out the new Step 4 arrangements to take us from August Training sessions and Club Hockey, to friendlies through ultimately to Step 5 league hockey as planned from 19th September. The processes will be improved and refined as we go – so keep in touch with updates and news.

a) Training – In August will be limited to Men’s and Women’s 1’s and 2’s and a consistent booking in and attendance system will be put in place and communicated to players via Coaches and or Captains. Full Club training will commence on Tuesday 1st September

b) Club ‘Play’ Sessions will be offered to all other Club Players (M3-7 and L3-5) who have submitted the Participation Agreement duringg August. Subject to numbers one pitch will be allocated to women and one to men 18:00 – 18.55 and 19.05 to 20.00 on Thursdays in August to plays internal 7’s games (two pitches per pitch). These sessions replace August ‘Club Training’. If there is a big demand for these sessions and they work we will look allocate pitch time at a weekend where possible for additional sessions.

For those not involved in 1’s and 2’s training (ie M3 – 7 and L3-5) the following process will apply:
o Everyone will be added to a new Pitchero Teams named Ladies Club Sess (Aug20) and Mens Club Sess (Aug29)
o Players wishing to play must to update their availability for that team against all the playing slots (shown as Fixtures.
o Players who have completed the EH Participation Form will be allocated (Selected) to a playing session and a Pitchero Team Invite sent to confirm. If we are over-subscribed players will be allocated as Reserves and invited if anyone drop out
o You must not come to the Club (No Turn Up and Play) if you have not been selected for a session – only attend if send a Pitchero team invite for the session / matches
• More details will be send out to all players to explain more about the format and booking.

c) Fitness Sessions – we have two new sessions starting w/c 10th August. Places limited to 29 per sessions. A news item on these sessions will be published shortly including booking details.
o Tuesday 18.45 – 19.45 (arrive at 18:40 to sign in) – open to all members
o Wednesday 10:00 – 11:00 (arrive by 9.55 to sign in) – aimed at those at home in the day and looking to return to fitness, non – member may attend

d) Friendlies – plans for matches will be developed over the next two weeks and tested on the first friendlies planned for 22nd August. We will also look to hold internal club games as well to give players more pitch time.

e) Return to Play (Play Zone) sessions (And GK sessions) will be ‘paused’ on Tuesday and Thursdays from w/c 10th August whilst we implement the immediate changes. We will up date later in the week about Return to Play options for Saturday 15th August and potential other options for Academy members to get pitch time in. But please give us a few days to set up the new arrangements and get things working properly.

f) 121, small group or masterclass Coaching sessions with Albert and Mark - will continue in the daytime mid-week and on Saturdays on a limited basis. We will be reviewing time slots over the next few days. Please continue to use the Coaching / Masterclass Booking Form sessions can be booked by seniors or academy players.

g) The ‘in season’ coaching schedule will commence on Tuesday 1st September with all senior teams training on a Tuesday, and the 1’s having a second session on a Thursday.

h) No changes to the Academy 'Pilot' Group Coaching - but parents must complete the EH Participation Agreement for U18 player involved.

i) We are reviewing potential implications for Academy training sessions and how we can work within the maximum limit of 30 participants (including coaches) on half a pitch. This may mean depending on numbers we have to tweak some training slots to meet the new requirements and restructure our normal registration day format due to social distancing.

What happens next
a) Player, umpires and coaches – get yourselves registered on the EH database asap by completing the Participation Agreement and sort all your kit, name stuff etc

b) We’ll be sharing details of the new EH Covid Support team working with Fozzy to get everything up and running and all our reporting to EH in place

c) Keep in touch with THC as more communication will come out over the next few days to set up the bookings for w/c 10th August

d) Update your availability for 1 and 2's training and on Pitchero for Club Sessions and follow the instructions provided depending on the session

e) Complete booking forms for Coaching with Albert and Mark and for Fitness sessions

f) Arrive at the Club no earlier than 10 minutes before your session to register / sign in BEFORE entering the pitch

Enjoy your hockey, stick to the new restrictions, please do as you are asked by coaches or captains and help us keep hockey safe for everyone.

Lets get hockey fully up and running in a safe way, help contain the Covid Virus by our behaviours and actions and hit the 'turf' ! We will be having to hit the ground running to get everything up and running so do stick with us whilst our volunteers put everything in place. Lets have some smiles when signing up and listening the briefings and adapting to the new disciplines needed on and off the pitch!

Keep your eyes pealed for more news throughout the week as we set up out the new processes. We'll be doing some FAQ's too late in the week.


If you haven't read our previous update All Change for Hockey - moving to Step 4 THC Update please have a read as it includes information on pitch slots and schedules


EH Step 4 Info Graphic


EH Step 4 - Getting Back n the Pitch - full guidance

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