RULES   2015-16 and subsequent seasons


Issue date 29 May 2015

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a. The League shall mean the league formed by these rules and it shall be called "The Mercian Home Counties Colts’ Hockey League".

b. The League Committee shall mean the committee created by these rules to administer the League.

c. Club shall mean the organising body for any team whether from a Hockey Club or a School.

d. Divisions shall mean the split of the teams in the League between age groups and level of ability.


The League’s objective is to provide worthwhile and competitive hockey for players at all levels of ability.

The League shall reflect the wishes of its member clubs.


a. The control of the League shall be vested in the League Committee.

b. The League Committee shall have sole power of amending these rules.

c. The League Committee shall consist of a President, a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and Divisional Secretaries who shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting.

d. The League Committee shall be empowered to divide the League into Divisions Areas for different age groups and levels of ability if and when the membership of the League makes this advisable.

e. Matters raised in the League Committee shall be decided by majority vote, but should voting be equal on any matter, the Chairman of the League Committee shall have a second vote.

f. All decisions of the League Committee shall be binding on the Clubs in the League, but shall be subject to appeal. The League Committee may delegate its right to hear appeals to a committee of three persons nominated by it.

g. The AGM shall decide after the election of the officers of the League Committee the number of Four members of the League Committee that shall form a quorum for the transaction of business.

h. At least seven days’ notice of meetings of the League Committee shall be given to members.


a. All matches shall be played in accordance with the current Rules of Hockey.

The League is concerned about the potential danger arising applying some of the rules of hockey: for example playing with the stick above the shoulder and potentially dangerous shots on goal.  The managers, coaches and umpires are required to make the safety and wellbeing of all the players, including the goalkeeper, their first priority.

b. All matches should be played on a Sunday unless otherwise agreed between the two teams or on such a day as may be approved by the Divisional Secretary.

c. Each team playing in this competition must be under the care of a responsible adult at all matches.


a. Each team should play wherever possible with a suitably experienced fully kitted goalkeeper.

b. If a team in the development or challenge divisions is unable to find a suitably experienced fully kitted goalkeeper for a match, the manager should inform the opposition well in advance. The two teams may then agree to find such a goalkeeper - perhaps using an older goalkeeper or borrowing a goalkeeper from the

c. If a team in the development or challenge divisions is still without a goalkeeper the two teams may agree to play the match perhaps with agreed restrictions.

d. At all times the team managers should make the safety and wellbeing of all the players, including the goalkeeper, their first priority.


The teams in an age group may be split into any or all of the following levels:-






The League Committee shall decide by 1 August for each level in each age group:-

the number of teams in each Division;

fixture dates which in principle shall avoid Single System dates and for the Premier and Regional Divisions EHB cup dates;

the maximum goal difference to be recorded in the result of any match;

the method for producing the Divisional table;

the rules for promotion and relegation where applicable.


The Divisional Secretary shall inform the clubs in each Division of these decisions for the season.  As a general principle, except in the Premier Divisions, the League will set a maximum goal difference to discourage matches that are too one sided.  The maximum may be different for different Divisions.

a. Each Divisional Secretary shall arrange all matches for the Division and enter them on Fixtures Live by 1st August in each year.

b. A fixture may be postponed due to adverse weather or ground conditions, or any other justifiable reason acceptable to the Divisional Secretary.  The home team has the sole right to determine whether the weather or ground conditions make play impossible and shall give notice of such postponement immediately to the opposing team and umpires and, thereafter, to the Divisional Secretary.

c. All matches shall be played on the due date.  There are very few spare Sundays available for rearranged fixtures. The League wants teams to play matches.  A match may be rearranged for another date with the agreement of BOTH clubs and the Divisional Secretary.  The Divisional Secretary may remove ALL the results of any team that has not fulfilled its fixtures (unless there is a reasonable excuse) in order to produce the divisional table.

d. Any Club running a team in more than one age group must have sufficient players and officials to enable teams to play simultaneously if required. No postponements will be permitted if this condition cannot be met.  A Club may enter more than one team in an age group.  These teams should use essentially separate squads of players and the Divisional Secretary may require additional information from Clubs entering more than one team in an age group.

e. A match may be abandoned once it has been commenced by the unanimous decision of the umpires.

f. Every match shall be played on an artificial turf pitch.

g. The home team manager must contact the opposition ten days before the game and confirm venue and starting time.  When arranging the starting time for a match the home team is expected to take into account the distance the opposition has to travel.

h. The home team will be expected to provide refreshment for an away team which has to travel a long distance especially in the Premier Divisions. This is also encouraged in the other Divisions.  However, the manager of the away team must liaise with the home team over the numbers in his team and their willingness to stay.

i. If an away cancels a match it will be expected to compensate the home team for any pitch hire costs especially if the cancellation is at short notice.

7.     RESULTS

Results of all matches or their postponement must be advised by BOTH TEAMS to the Divisional Secretary by 20:00 on the scheduled by e-mail.


In the event of any two Clubs having the same or similar playing colours meeting in a match, the away team shall change its colours unless otherwise agreed.

9.     UMPIRES

a. Each Club will appoint an umpire for a match.  Each Club shall ensure that the umpire is suitably qualified or experienced for the match.

b. The League encourages Clubs the appointment of suitably qualified or experienced junior umpires.  Clubs must ensure that there is an appropriate adult who can provide support whenever there is a junior umpire.


Clubs wishing to join the League shall complete a registration form and send it to the Secretary by 1st July prior to the start of the season.  Clubs are encouraged to enter teams into the appropriate Division.  The League Committee will decide which teams to place in each Division taking into account Clubs’ wishes and the results from the previous year.


a. A Club must be affiliated to its County HA and to England Hockey.

b. Each player taking part in the League must be a bona fide member of his Club.

c. A player, having already played in a League match for one Club, may not play in a League match for another Club in the same season without first obtaining written consent from both Clubs and the agreement of the Divisional Secretary. Without this agreement the second Club will be deemed not to have fulfilled its fixture.

d. Players shall all be under 14, 16 or 18 according to the Division in which they are playing by 1 September of the season.

e. The League Committee has the right to refuse the registration of any player if it so wish or to rescind the player’s registration.

f. The League Committee shall be empowered to instruct a Club to produce documentary evidence of player’s dates of birth in the event of a dispute.

g. If a team plays an ineligible player it may be deemed not to have fulfilled the match in question or may otherwise be dealt with at the discretion of the League Committee.


a. All question of eligibility, qualification of players, or interpretation of the rules shall be referred to the League Committee.

b. All player discipline will be handled by the Club in the first instance. In the event of further action being required then the matter will be referred to the League Committee.

c. Disputes between Clubs will be referred to the League Committee via the Secretary.

d. Protests must be lodged, in writing, within seven days of the match, or the occurrence to which they refer, to the Secretary. No objections or protests shall be withdrawn except by leave of the League Committee.

e. Any protests or appeals under this clause must be heard within one month of their being lodged, by the League Committee, who must forward its decision to all parties within seven days of hearing such an appeal.

13.     FINANCE

All Clubs belonging to the league shall pay a subscription, the amount of which will be determined at the Annual General Meeting of the League.


a. All formal communications from Clubs to the League must be addressed to the Secretary, who shall conduct the relevant correspondence of the League.

b. Statements about the League for publication including the internet may only be made by the Secretary.

c. Teams are encouraged to publish reports of their matches. However these may not contain criticism of the umpires or the opposition.


The League Committee may deem a particular game not to have been fulfilled by a Club or expel any Club from the League for a period up to three years for the breach of any rule.


Each Club by its entry into the League shall be deemed to have given its consent to the rules of the League and to any amendments which may, from time to time, be adopted in proper form and shall be deemed to have agreed to abide by the decision of the League Committee subject to the right to appeal specified in Rule 12.


Results of all matches will be published on Fixtures Live by the Divisional Secretaries in the week following the scheduled match date.


The date of the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals will be published on Fixtures Live.


a. Extra time of 10 minutes each-way shall be played.

b. In the event of a tie at the end of extra time, the result shall be decided by the following sequence:

·         i) Five members of each team will be nominated to each take one penalty stroke against the opposing goal-keeper. The teams will alternate and all five strokes must be taken – if the teams are still tied, then

·         ii) Sudden death penalty strokes, with five nominated players from each team, until a conclusion is reached.


The rules for the semi-finals and finals will be distributed to all teams before the commencement of the tournament. In summary the rules are:-



25 minutes each way. No extra time. 5 penalty strokes followed by sudden death if necessary.



25 minutes each way. If necessary, extra time of 10 minutes each way (golden goal) followed by penalty strokes as above.

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