England Hockey League season declared null and void
The Vitality England Hockey League 2020/21 season has been declared null and void.
There will be no promotions or relegations within the women’s or men’s competitions this year, with the league structure now set for a revamp.
The sport’s governing body said less than 40 per cent of teams were in favour of continuing the season.
Doncaster’s men and women both currently play in Conference North, the third tier of the English game.
The men had played just three games, winning one and losing two, while the women had played four games, winning two and losing two.
England Hockey said: “After a year of considerable disruption, delay and frustration England Hockey, in consultation with participating clubs, has taken the decision to curtail the Vitality Women’s and Men’s England Hockey Leagues for this season.
"Despite the government announcements allowing a Return to Play the likely continuing restrictions on car sharing as well as the amount of preparation time and number of matches to be played has been a significant consideration in the decision for all involved.
“Over the course of the season clubs have been consulted on options for continuing the season when the circumstances have allowed.
"In the early New Year the vast majority of clubs were in favour of concluding a shorter season, where teams play each other once, however consultation in the last week has indicated otherwise.
"The view was not unanimous but less than 40% of teams were in favour of continuing the season and on this basis it is not considered viable to continue.
"The implications of this are that the 2020-21 will be declared null and void and there will be no promotions or relegations within the England Hockey Leagues this year.
"With the changes in the adult hockey structure nationally an extra England Hockey League Conference Division will be formed. The Regional Leagues are currently considering and communicating their approaches to finding the candidates for joining the division in line with guidance we have shared.
“Obviously the situation is disappointing for everyone involved but the main aim is to allow clubs and teams to be ready to return for next season and be able to make the necessary preparations.”