The Euro Hockey League (EHL) and European Hockey Federation have today announced their plans for the rest of the current season and a temporary new format for the 2020/21 season to adjust to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the hockey calendar.
“It remains our intention to complete the 2019/20 season of the EHL Men and Women’s FINAL8 at AH&BC Amsterdam from October 14 to 18, 2020”, explained EHL Chairman, Hans Erik Tuijt.
“Unfortunately, it is not possible for the ABN AMRO EHL U14 events for 2020 to go ahead.”
Currently, the EHL Men and Women’s FINAL8 for the 2020 season – originally set to be played at AH&BC Amsterdam at Easter – remains “on hold”.
It is hoped the event can go ahead in October at the same venue; this is subject to advice from the Dutch government which will determine whether it is organisationally and financially feasible to run the event.
It means, for the 2020/21 season, it will not be possible to play the regular EHL Men’s KO16 event in October. For this season only, three separate competitions will take place at Easter 2021: the EHL FINAL12, the EHL Cup and the EHL Women’s FINAL8.
Marijke Fleuren, President of the EHF and EHL Board member explained “As you can appreciate, the situation we find ourselves in at the moment is highly unusual,”
“For the 2020/21 season, we have no possibility to play the KO16 in October. So, for one season only, we had to find a solution.
“The EHL and EHF Boards have reviewed many different options, assessing the impact on all the various stakeholders – athletes, clubs, NAs, sponsors and, last but not least, the host club. This was done while also keeping in mind the integrity of the EHL, the importance of a valid ranking system and the financial feasibility for the EHL itself.
“Given all these circumstances we believe the below is the best solution for all stakeholders of the world’s best club hockey competition.”
The EHL Women’s FINAL8 will be played over a five-day period from Thursday, April 1 to Monday, April 5, 2021.
The EHL Men’s FINAL12 will run from Wednesday, March 31 to Monday, April 5 and will consist of 12 teams from nine different countries. This will include the number one ranked team from the top nine ranked nations – Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, England, Russia, France, Scotland and Ireland. They will be joined by the second-ranked teams from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The number one seed from the top four ranked nations will receive a bye to the FINAL8. The remaining eight sides will play in four knock-out matches for a chance to join them in the FINAL8; the losers will subsequently contest ranking matches for 9th and 11th place.
The EHL Cup will feature eight teams in a knock-out format, playing three matches in four days. This competition will feature the third-ranked sides from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, the second-ranked sides from Spain, England and Russia and the first ranked clubs from Belarus and Austria.
The EHL Cup gives each side the chance to earn their nation important ranking points (for positions 13 to 20) which will impact future participation in the EHL.
The following season, all things being equal, the EHL Men will revert back to the KO16 in October 2021 and the FINAL8 at Easter in 2022.
EHL season ranking explanation
Qualification for EHL 2020/21 is based on the Ranking Tables. The EHF has now published the EHL Ranking Tables Men and Women to include the following update from the 2019/20 season:
o Men: full points earned for the teams which participated in EHL KO16 (Oct 2019) and average points used for the teams who have not played in the FINAL8 and Trophy events.
o Women: nil points earned.
This means for the 2020-2021 season:
§ Germany, Netherlands and Belgium have 3 teams in EHL.
§ Spain, England and Russia have 2 teams in EHL.
§ France, Scotland, Ireland, Belarus and Austria have 1 team in EHL.
§ Netherlands and Germany have 2 teams in EHL.
§ Spain, England, Ireland and Belarus have 1 team in EHL.
In case the FINAL8 is played in October 2020, directly after, the ranking tables will be adjusted as follows:
o Men: EHL teams the full points and the Trophy teams the average points.
o Women: EHL teams the full points and the Trophy teams the average points.
The consequence of this is that there potentially can be some small ranking changes for:
o Men: in the top 5. This could affect the EHL events.
o Women: in the top 4. This could affect the EHL and the Trophy event.
** Click here to see full ranking tables: