Scottish Masters LX Hockey Club 2020

With the Covid-19 pandemic causing major disruption to sport, hockey was not spared. Only one planned international fixture went ahead as planned, Scotland Over 70 going down to England in Durham in March. Scottish Thistles managed one and a half fixtures, the full fixture being a trip to Carlisle in January. The Jacques Lévy tournament in Lille in March was cancelled with the teams in the city but Thistles managed to play in a a scratch tournament before the stadium was closed. All other events planned for 2020 were cancelled or postponed. On the administrative front, it was a busy year, culminating in late November with the setting up of Scottish Masters Hockey, which will take over responsibility for running all Scottish international hockey from 2021 onwards.

2020 World Cup Tokyo, Japan 5-15 November

2020 Tokyo Masters Hockey World Cup

The Masters World Cup competition for 60+ was due to take place in Tokyo from 5 to 15 November 2020 at two different venues: at the Oi Olympic Hockey Field, where there will be three water based Poligrass pitches, and at the Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports ground, where the 1964 Olympics were held, and where there is now one sand dressed pitch (renewed in 2017). Scotland was to be represented by our Over 60 international side, and two Scottish Thistles sides were entered in the parallel, Spirit of Masters tournament. Newsletter 1 (PDF)

The tournament was initially postponed for a year but World Masters Hockey announced in November 2020 that all three 2020 World Cups had been cancelled, with the original hosts being offered the chance to hold the 2022 World Cups.

Other International Events

In the UK, internationals were due to take place in March (Over 70 only v England, Durham), May (Four Nations, London) and August (Celtic Cup, Glasgow). All of these except the Durham fixture were cancelled.

Scottish Thistles Events

Scottish Thistles had fixtures in January (Carlisle), March (Lille), April (Tilburg) May (Four Nations, London), June (Cockermouth), July (Bra and Swansea), August (hosting the Four Nations Spirit of Masters tournament in Dundee), September (Durham), October (Bedford, TBC) and November (World Cup Spirit of Masters, Tokyo). Only the first took place, the Lille event being cancelled with the teams in Lille.

Whole Club Events

Two whole club events for all players and guests in mixed age groups were planned for September in Edinburgh and December in Glasgow but once again these were cancelled.

2020 Calendar

Thistles in Carlisle

Scottish Thistles played a double header in Carlisle against North of England LX on Sunday 19 January, the Over 60 side going down 2-0 while the older side came out 2-1 winners with two goals from Steve Laux. reports

2020 AGM

Following the 2020 AGM held on 8 March, the new committee is as follows:

Bernie Morrison President
Mike McInally Club Captain
John Hay Secretary
Jim Chisholm Treasurer
John Lees and Stuart Stephen Ordinary Committee Members

The subscription was kept unchanged at £20 (players who are not members of another Scottish hockey club must pay a Scottish Hockey registration fee of £40• in addition). *subsequently reduced by Scottish Hockey to £20 for season 2020-21 only


Over 70s go down in Durham

Scotland Over 70 gave a good account of themselves against England in Durham on Tuesday 10 March, holding their opponents to 0-0 until added on time at the end of the first quarter, England being unable to increase their lead until the third period when an unlucky break of the ball led to their scoring a second. The Scots gave as good as they got in the fourth quarter but England did what England do and ran in another two goals to finish 4-0 winners. report

Over 60 Squad for Four Nations

The Scotland Over 60 squad for the Four Nations tournament at Southgate on 22-24 May 2020 (now cancelled) was selected in March:

Derek Bell, John Bennett, Paul Docherty, Gurdial Duhre, Bennie Gibson, Murray Graham (GK), Ali Hay, Derek Johnstone, Alan Kerr, John Lees, Colin MacBeth, Gordon McKenzie (C), Arthur Robertson, David Rowlands, Neil Sharp, Stephen Springthorpe, Ronnie Stott (GK), Billy Taylor. Reserves: Donny Hay, Niall Sturrock.

Gordon McKenzie, Bennie Gibson and a Vice Captain (to be appointed) were to form the management team for this event.

Scottish Thistles Team Co-ordinators

With an increasing number of Over 70 and the possibility of Over 75 fixtures, Duncan Mitchell and Sandy Weir took on the roles of Over 70 and Over 75 team co-ordinators for Scottish Thistles matches. Stuart Stephen and Graham Conkie were the Over 60 and Over 65 Thistles co-ordinators.

Over 70 International Team Co-ordinator

Peter Gordon stepped up to take over the role of Over 70 Team Co-ordinator from Roy Crichton.

Masters Hockey in Scotland

In April 2020, the Scottish Masters Hockey working group issued its first communique giving information on progress towards setting up a single Scottish Masters Hockey organisation to manage all international Masters Hockey, from 35 upwards for men and women.The group hoped to have the new organisation in place before the end of 2020.

Tournament Cancellations

Inevitably the organisers of the ISVHT 2020 tournament scheduled for 24-26 April in Tilburg, Netherlands, in which two Scottish Thistles teams were due to play, had to cancel the tournament. England Hockey subsequently announced the cancellation of the Four Nations Tournament, including the Spirit of Masters Over 60 tournament, at Southgate on 22-24 May. We were forced to cancel the Celtic Cup,which we had planned to host at Clydesdale in August. All training was cancelled until further notice.

Scottish Thistles withdrew from the proposed Midlands tour on 3 May and the Cockermouth tournament on 19-21 June. The tour to Jersey later that month was cancelled. The Bra tournament on 1-5 July was cancelled at the end of April. The Dragons Festival at the end of July and the Scottish Thistles Spirit of Masters Tournament in Dundee on 7-9 August were cancelled, and there were then no plans for any trips or tournaments for the rest of 2020.

Quadrangular Over 60 Tournament Mannheim

Scotland received an invitation to play in a quadrangular Over 60 international tournament in Mannheim, Germany from Friday 31 July until Sunday 2 August along with England, Germany and Netherlands, but had to decline the invitation because of Covid-19.

2020 World Cup Postponed

Following the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games, World Masters Hockey announced the postponement of all three 2020 Masters Hockey World Cups, which were expected to played in 2021 on or around the same dates as in 2020. It was subsequently confirmed that the Tokyo event for 60+ teams would take place on 7-17 November 2021in Tokyo. As a result, there would be no 2021 European Cup.

Coaching Opportunities with Scotland Over 60/65/70 Masters Squads

We are still looking to appoint coaches for each of the Scotland Masters Over 60, Over 65 and Over 70 squads from the recommencement of hockey in Scotland until the Masters World Cup in Tokyo in November 2021. Further details and contact information are on the Scottish Hockey website.

The Way Ahead - End of August 2020

We are being guided by Scottish Hockey and by Scottish Government rules on when we can restart training and playing matches. The advice from Scottish Hockey, updated on 24 August, meant that we were still strongly discouraged, if not prohibited, from bringing people from a distance to train or play, even if we could find a venue which would allow this.

As a result, we were forced to abandon plans to hold a club event in September, and all other planned tournaments in 2020 will either not take place or will take place without Scottish representation. We were exploring the possibility of organising local sessions in districts and were still hopeful that we could hold a full club event towards the end of October.

Plans for the reorganisation of Masters Hockey in Scotland were at an advanced stage: in brief Scottish Hockey will take over the management of all 35+ Masters Hockey for both men and women under the management of a Scottish Hockey Masters Group. The Club had proposed that it should continue to manage non-representative hockey and expand its membership eventually to include all 35+ hockey - that had still to be approved by Scottish Hockey.

Club President Bernie Morrison has set out a more detailed version of the above in a letter to members dated 28 August 2020.

Further Update on the Way Ahead - October 2020

There was a small chance that we might be able to return to some kind of training in November or December, October now having been ruled out. Club President Bernie Morrison provided more information in an email to members on 4 October 2020, including a reference to a poll about training. Encouraged by a positive response to the poll, particularly for local sessions, Scottish Thistles planned a Masters training session for all Masters age groups and both sexes on 1 November 2020 at Dalnacraig, Dundee. Unfortunately, Dundee was placed in Tier 3 under the new Covid regulations, and the session was cancelled.

Scottish Thistles News November 2020

Following the setting up Scottish Masters Hockey to administer all 35+ international hockey for men and women, non international Masters Hockey will be administered by what is currently Scottish Masters LX Hockey Club - this will morph into Scottish Thistles Masters Hockey Club (name to be confirmed) and will progressively add women, and men aged 35-55, starting with women and over 55 men.

The date of the 24th Jacques Lévy Superveterans Tournament in Lille has been moved to the weekend of 19-21 March 2021, one week later than originally set, and we have now received an official invitation, which we will accept for two teams assuming that conditions allow us to travel. We were allowed by World Masters Hockey to withdraw without penalty our entries for the Over 60 and Over 65 Spirit of Masters Trophy running alongside the rearranged 2020 World Cup in Tokyo - that tournament was subsequently cancelled..

Scottish Hockey Registration Fee

Scottish Hockey announced in November 2020 that the adult membership fee for season 2020-21 would be reduced by 50% (i.e. to £20). For those who are not currently members of another Scottish Hockey Club, the Treasurer will adjust the amount due in each member's 'member account'. Those who have already paid £40 will automatically receive a £20 refund in their account. Anyone who has not yet paid should pay £20 as soon as possible to the club account

Scottish Masters Hockey

Scottish Masters Hockey (a company limited by guarantee) was set up formally on 27 November 2020 to administer, on behalf of and with the support of Scottish Hockey, all international Masters hockey (men and women, all age groups from Over 35 upwards). Scottish Hockey press release

Cancellation of World Cups

On 30 November 2020, World Masters Hockey announced the cancellation of all three 2020 World Cups, which had been rescheduled for similar dates in 2021 at the original venues of Nottingham, Cape Town and, for 60+, Tokyo. The original hosts will have priority for the 2022 World Cups, assuming conditions allow these to take place.

Wim van Noortwijk (1941-2020)

Wim van Noortwijk 1941-2020

Willem Frederik van Noortwijk died peacefully on 29 November 2020 after a long campaign against cancer. Wim was WGMA President for the last six years until the formation of World Masters Hockey and was a familiar sight both on (with stick or whistle) and off the field at tournaments all over the world.