The European Hockey Federation have announced their updated schedule for the coming year and a timeline of when further announcements will be made to account for the ongoing pandemic.
The Junior men’s and women’s championships – in which Ireland will be competing for the first time – have been moved to new dates in December.
For the Under-21 men, they are bound for Portugal for the Championship II for a one-pool group of seven teams – Belarus, Croatia, Denmark, hosts Portugal, Ukraine and Wales alongside Ireland – from December 10 to 12, 2021.
The women’s Under-21s compete in Croatia in a five-team event alongside the host nation, Italy, Slovakia and Sweden.
The seniors are scheduled for action a month later with the women’s reward for promotion last year being a Championship II competition in Ourense, Spain. They are grouped with Poland, Scotland and Lithuania while Switzerland, Belgium, Croatia and Spain are in the other group. It runs from January 21 to 23, 2022.
The men are in a six-team group which – if no team withdraws – has two promotion places on offer. The other teams are Denmark, Scotland, Wales, Cyprus and Lithuania and takes place from January 14 to 16, 2022.
On the club front, a decision over the Euro Hockey League’s men’s FINAL12 and women’s FINAL8 will be made in the coming weeks with Three Rock Rovers and Pegasus, respectively, awaiting finalised details. The ABN AMRO EHL Under-14 competition has been formally cancelled.
Loreto’s EuroHockey Club Trophy tournament in Boom, Belgium and Lisnagarvey’s Club Trophy II event in the Czech Republic will not be held at Easter. Talks are ongoing with the host reschedule to a weekend in September or early October.
Explaining the decisions, EHF President Marijke Fleuren said the hope is to still get these competitions played should situations allow.
“Paramount to our decisions is the safety of our players, support staff, officials, volunteers and fans. However, as 2021 goes on we are still hopeful to deliver, along with our hosts, as many EuroHockey events as possible.
“As you can see, we have had to make the decision to move our tournaments planned for Easter to the early part of next season. We understand this may not be ideal but are sure you recognise the challenges the pandemic has thrown us. Our goal is to provide a meaningful competition calendar and we will continue to engage with clubs and hosts to ensure this happens as best we can.
“We are very sorry that the Euro Hockey League U14 (boys and girls) has had to be cancelled, we are extremely hopeful that our young players will once again be able to take up their place on the EHL stage in 2022.”
Senior Men’s Indoor Championship III (January 14-16, 2022), Nicosia, Cyprus
One pool: Denmark, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Cyprus, Lithuania
Senior Women’s Indoor Championship II (January 21-23, 2022), Ourense, Spain
Pool A: Poland, Scotland, Lithuania, Ireland
Pool B: Switzerland, Belgium, Croatia, Spain
Junior Men’s Indoor Championship II (December 10-12, 2021), Pavilhão Rota dos Móveis, Portugal
One pool: Belarus, Croatia, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Ukraine, Wales
Junior Women’s Indoor Championship II (December 17-19, 2021), Sveti Ivan Zelina, Croatia
One pool: Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Sweden