A THREE-WEEK finals series for women, no central venues hosting gala days, a September finish date - they are three of the proposals up for discussion for Premier League Hockey clubs.
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After Hockey NSW set a July 18 return to play target from the coronavirus shutdown, Premier League Hockey clubs were asked for their input on whether they planned to participate in 2020 and if so, what a sort of draw they would like to see.
PLH secretary Michelle Stevenson said all participating women's clubs - including Lithgow outfit Panthers - are keen to see competition offering a premiership trophy go ahead.
She is still awaiting feedback from all of the men's clubs, but expects they will favour the same option.
"At this stage the executives are looking at a proposed format of one full round and then three finals weekends - semi-finals, final, grand final - for the women. That needs to go to the clubs to vote on," Stevenson said.
"With the men there are still ongoing discussions as we are still waiting to hear from some of the teams.
"I have put out a proposed draw to the the men which has them finishing the same time as the women ... things are still up for discussion."
PLH clubs will meet via an online meeting early next week to further examine those proposed draws, but Stevenson said officials need to be mindful that a July 18 resumption is still only a target, not a confirmed date.
She also pointed out social distancing and health and safety measures will need to be considered.
"If they push us back a week, then we are back in the whole 'Do we retain semis for women?' At this stage the general feeling is we finish in September, we don't want to go any longer," she said.
"But if Hockey NSW even put it back two weeks, then we'd have to look at everything again.
"At this stage we've ruled out gala days because we don't know about social distancing and the number of people we'll be allowed to have at places. We are trying to keep it as round games and spreading it around the area as best we can.
"We'd have a problem even if they said 50 people were allowed [at a venue]. If that was in place we can't have two games overlapping because that's 40 odd players plus umpires - we could be up to 50 without even a technical being there.
"So we have to be careful and keep watching that.
"I think all it will come down to now, if we don't have a really big spike, is how many people we allow in and how we are going to combat cleanliness issues at centres - it is still a big call for volunteers running everything."
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At this stage Stevenson said the 15-minute quarters format for matches is likely to be retained, but that player qualification requirements will need altering.
"The women are only playing seven games so we might say two games qualify you because that's nearly a third of the competition, or we could say as long as you play one game," she said.
"With the men if we have two rounds, we could give them a little bit longer to qualify."
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