The rules of the East Leagues attempt to achieve three objectives: to ensure fair play in team selection and match arrangements; to comply with England Hockey requirements for leagues feeding into the national league; and to be more flexible with requirements at lower levels of the league where more emphasis is usually given to playing hockey than to winning titles. The rules apply to two very different leagues: an open Men's League of almost thirty divisions including all levels of hockey throughout the Region and a closed Women's League of far fewer divisions that sits above the Women's County Leagues. Many rules are therefore compromises between sometimes conflicting requirements. Other rules endeavour to control unfair practices that some teams and individuals have tried in the past - not every Club being as honourable as yours. The Rules are applied by the League Managers, either alone or as a Committee, and in all cases the spirit behind the rules is the guiding factor in decision making.
Rules can only be changed by a majority vote by the League AGM, with almost all of the voting rights being held by the Clubs. Votes are cast at the meeting and by post. We believe that the East Leagues are the most democratic in the country, as the only regional leagues where rule changes can only be introduced by the voted agreement of a majority of Clubs.
You can use the links on this page to see the complete rules for this season, a summary of the rule changes for this year, a summary of rule changes being considered for next year and guides to some individual rules that often cause Clubs difficulties in their observance. Please note that the Guides are not part of the Rules.