Summary of Central Conference AGM. 14th August 2021.
Home & Away games vs Day League Meets
Emergency Goalie Rule
Forfeited games penalty
League format (beyond this season)
Sheffield Steelers (All)
All items were decided by majority vote during an approximately 3 hour long 'Teams' call on Saturday 14 August at 12.00pm. Many of the decisions were based on us trying to ensure that the league progresses as smoothly as possible, and that as many games are played, despite current and possible future Covid constraints.
It was agreed to hold Home & Away fixtures this season, instead of arranging day-long league meets. Although the latter makes scheduling games easier, there are issues with availability at major venues (Simply Skate, Concord etc) because of capacity limits (Venue Covid rules) and availability (venues don’t have any available dates for full day bookings, as bookings have gone through the roof!). BHUK has secured some of the remaining days for tournaments. Roller hockey is taking precedence at Simply Skate. If it is possible to schedule more than one game at a venue (e.g. Hull play x2 Nottingham teams whilst visiting), then this is also OK.
Games will be 12 minutes in duration and not 15 minutes. They will also be on a stop / start clock, and not a continuous clock. Again, difficulties in booking slots longer than 1.5 hours at some venues has led to this decision. I have purchased a remote controlled time clock / scoreboard for the club (scores and count-down clock only). We will need to arrange a time keeper(s) on the day, as well as a referee.
All teams will be permitted to use an emergency netminder, in case of cancellation, illness etc. It will also be permitted to use goalies from divisions higher or lower than ours, or recruit a non-registered goalie to play. The only caveat is that this rule should be an exception only and that there will be a gentleman’s agreement not to abuse this rule (i.e. Not using a top division goalie repeatedly for tough games).
Refereeing. It was proposed that referees will be offered a larger financial award for reffing than the current £20. They will also be offered fuel / car running costs for reffing at venues further afield. Rob Pacey is also forming a more structured format to incentivise teams to put forward refs from their teams, which will include online and 1-2-1 training sessions. However, league registration fees will increase to help fund this (no details provided as yet, but increase will be relatively small). Home teams will be responsible for providing a referee, but can draft in other refs if their own allocated ref can’t attend. The abuse of an official penalty should be actively enforced, as one of the reasons that reffing is unpopular can be the stick they get for what is essentially a voluntary service (albeit there is a modest remuneration). This is the ref’s decision only, but Captains, Coaches and Managers should instill the importance of respecting officials during the games, for this reason.
Venue Standards. This item was deferred to a future meeting, as the fact that we’re playing home and away games means that there will naturally be more variation in the hall types used to host games. As a minimum, each zone should be reasonably distributed, i.e. avoid having a very narrow neutral zone. Teams should also purchase floor tape to help mark zones and face-off spots. Note: I have purchased some floor tape for the team, which is better that the insulation tape we used for our recent inter-Vikings game.
The age limit will remain at 16. Everyone agreed that allowing younger players to compete could open us up to all kinds of litigation, as injury could easily occur with younger / smaller players clashing during the heat of play.
There will be three tiers to penalties if teams forfeit games without a very good reason. A good reason would be that several player’s get ‘pinged’ before a game, so there will be some leniency, especially in terms of Covid, as long as a valid evidence can be provided. Forfeiting 1 game will result in Losing the £50 bond. 2 games results in losing game bond and voting rights at AGM. 3 games or more can result in expulsion from the league. There will also be a rule that if a club secures a hall booking, which they can’t get a refund if a game is cancelled within 1 week, then the team that cancels shall be expected to pay the hall fees for the home team.
The league format was deferred until a later time in the month to review, as the meeting was already approaching 3 hours. The discussion will centre around how many teams there will be in each Central Conference division, and how many divisions there should be. Obviously any decision will need to be made well in advance of a new season, as promotion and relegation decisions could be adversely impacted.
The squad limit for the league will be 22.
Vikings will enter 1 team this season, but the plan is to recruit enough players for 2 teams in the future. It is estimated we will need 36 – 40 players to make 2 teams viable – so keep inviting guests and getting potential players interested!
The season will formally start on the 3rd September, but teams are encouraged to start arranging fixtures asap (starting with more awkward fixtures, such as ‘away’ at Hull and Manchester first!).