ENCOURAGING: Ipswich Hockey will hold a season, with the parameters to be finalised in the weeks ahead as more information comes to hand. Pictured: Easts Adam Mantell looks to find teammate Steve Bayliss as Wests stalwart Greg Walker eyes a steal in the 2017 preliminary final.

Picture: David Nielsen
ENCOURAGING: Ipswich Hockey will hold a season, with the parameters to be finalised in the weeks ahead as more information comes to hand. Pictured: Easts Adam Mantell looks to find teammate Steve Bayliss as Wests stalwart Greg Walker eyes a steal in the 2017 preliminary final. Picture: David Nielsen

Light at end of the tunnel at last

IPSWICH Hockey is nearing a return to play following Federal and State Government announcements paving the way for the resumption of training and community sport.

At this stage training in groups of 10 will be permitted from June 15.

Ipswich Hockey Association president Robert McLeod said although sessions would be non-contact, it would allow players to commence physical conditioning and skills training in groups.

He said while many players had been undertaking their own training, it would be a welcome relief to be back on the turf.

"Everyone is quite excited," he said.

"We can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel."

McLeod said the Ipswich Association would receive correspondence this week regarding the Hockey Australia Return to Play Framework.

He said he expected it to contain plans for how hockey would move through the three stages outlined by the AIS and State Government, as well as the health and safety precautions each association must implement to proceed.

"We'll get past this week, then we'll hold an executive meeting, and meet with the clubs and take it from there," he said.

McLeod said logistics of the season still needed to be worked out and there were a number of issues on which clubs needed to be consulted.

He said the views of players would also be collected by a survey and taken into consideration when preparing draws.

"We're going to have a season but we need to determine the parameters," he said.

"How many rounds do they want. How many catch-up games do they want.

"Do they want to play for points. Are they prepared to pay full fees or do they want to pay half fees."

All going to plan, stage three restrictions will be eased on Friday, July 10, allowing 100 people to gather and community sport to begin. Ipswich will strive to get going the following week, with the competition anticipated to wrap up in late September or the first week of October, so it does not eat into the indoor hockey season.

McLeod said while there was potential to hold four games on Friday nights and remain under the 100 people limit, Saturdays would be problematic as countless teams converged on the six-field venue.

"Even though our complex is quite large, we will need to look at how we restrict the numbers," he said.

"It may be that we don't allow grandparent and friends to watch.

"It may be that we only allow a parent and a junior to attend."

McLeod urged players and supporters to continue to be patient and reaffirmed there was light at the end of the tunnel.

"We know it's coming," he said.

"We know we will actually get on the field. We'll know more in a fortnight after we get hold of all the advice from Hockey Queensland and the results from the player survey.

"Keep working on your own personal fitness and health.

"Take care and stay well."

All information is subject to change according to any Federal and State Government directives.



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