2019 – EHF Executive Board Minutes, 13th / 14th December 2019

Posted On 25/05/2020

Minutes 13th & 14th December 2019, Brussels, Belgium  
MEETING Executive Board 
ATTENDEES Marijke Fleuren, Carola Meyer, Walter Kapounek, Inez Cooper, Patrick Keusters, Peter Elders, Simon Mason, Magdalena Nazaret, Sabina Zampetti, Pamela Michaelis, Angus Kirkland    Ophélie Duquesne, EHF Administration Manager   
APOLOGIES Mika Rihtila 
Agenda topics 
 President’s Welcome, Marijke Fleuren 
 The President welcomed everyone to the meeting, especially Magda and Sabina who were attending their first meeting in the EHF Office in Brussels. 
On the other side, she mentioned it would be the last Board meeting of Ophélie.  
Since the last meeting in Bulgaria, Marijke Fleuren had a busy schedule. She visited  Barcelona for a successful EHL KO16 and Dublin to attend the Women Olympic Qualifiers matches, played on a temporary pitch in a rugby stadium. Despite the pouring rain, it was a fabulous event with a great result for the Irish team, qualifying for Tokyo 2020. A good occasion to also meet the Irish Board of Directors and to meet with Sport Ireland.
For sure all the 14 qualification matches with so many  European teams involved have been extremely successful in terms of exposure for hockey.  In the second half of November, she visited Finland where she attended a big conference about new leaders organized by the IOC.
She finished her travels back in Barcelona to discuss the contract for EHL, at the end of November. Regarding the EquallyAmazing project: a lot of our partners and other institutions are interested in the presentation.
In the meantime, lots of projects are still ongoing at the EHF as the Swing project or other European projects, led by Tom Pedersen-Smith. 
Each member of the Board took time to update everyone on their involvement in interesting hockey projects in their own countries. It is certainly impressive how each of them is not simply talking the talk but indeed walking the walk for hockey.   
For instance, in Italy, Sabina Zampetti organized some more meetings for the female leadership group. The plan is by June have at least an ambassador in every clubs in Italy.   In France, the situation is a bit more tricky as the President stepped down after many years of good work at the Federation. There will be elections in the new year. 
Pamela Michaelis attended her first Board meeting at the federation as a guest. She also attended some meetings with Siobhan Madeley for the Communications and Commercial Committee.  
In Ireland, Inez Cooper has put the focus on the women leadership group.  In Austria, everything is going in the right direction.
Walter Kapounek did extensive work to help on the new EHC format.  
In Germany, Carola Meyer was very happy about the Olympic Qualifiers and ticket sales. She will organize in January a women forum in her country.  
In England Hockey, a new CEO has been appointed to replace Sally Munday. The federation is working on a new league format to adjust the different regions.
Simon Mason is personally working with the Master’s World Cup committee in Nottingham and will be commentating in Tokyo.  
In the Netherlands, the results of the Olympic Qualifiers were really interesting, in a fully packed stadium. The Equally Amazing subject is more and more on the agenda at the KNHB. Peter Elders attended the Euro ParaHockey Forum on the day before, which was a big success. On a personal point of view, he is a bit worried about the succession plan for top umpires at FIH.   Patrick Keusters went to Barcelona to watch the EHL KO16.
In Belgium, there were 2 big disappointments in the last months: the non-qualification of the women’s team for Tokyo and the fact that the men’s World Cup won’t be organized in Belgium in 2022.  
Magda Nazaret had an interesting first experience as an EHF board member. She went to Germany for the qualifiers events, which were perfectly organized.  She is hoping to organize the first female forum very soon. The Polish federation is currently doing some big work in promoting hockey in the whole country.  
   Minutes of Last Meeting  
DISCUSSION The minutes of the last Executive Board meeting, which took place in Sofia on the 20th & 21st September 2019, were reviewed and Angus went through all the action points and updated the Board on them. The Minutes were then approved.  
   Matters Arising   
DISCUSSION All items were covered by the agenda.    
 Communications & Commercial Report, Siobhan Madeley / Simon  Mason 
DISCUSSION Communications  Siobhan Madeley presented to the Board on the very successful summer in terms of press operations. She also updated the Board on the performance of the different social media channels for 2019. We have reached our targets for almost all channels, apart from Facebook, which is not very popular anymore for certain ages groups. What we have not achieved on Facebook, we have achieved on other channels. Video had the biggest engagement.   She presented some content planned for the new year in terms of communications. The committee had a Skype meeting this year and will meet for the next meeting in March.   She was very happy with the success of the press attaché introduced for the EHC in Antwerp, it helped a lot for the post-game interviews of busy games.  Some events (Minsk, Berlin, Kazan, EHL, …) have already confirmed that they will stream some matches on the EHTV platform.   We will start to post some #WednesdayWisdom from 2020 onwards. It will be a digital piece to redirect to whole the info we have on the website.    
Commercial  Jokko started to work for the EHF in the summer, he has put a lot of energy to look for new partners. He secured some small amounts over the summer and extended some deals. Grays was very happy of the collaboration at EHC.   Dakka partnered with the EHF and were present on the umpire shirts at EHC and they will continue in the future. Jokko has also secured RSI for 2 years.   Jokko and Angus had positive meetings with Decathlon. They will now be discussing the contract in the next phase. Decathlon is looking for credibility, which EHF can offer. They want to move quickly.   They also had a meeting with Posix, they offer softwares, a bit like gps. They will be working with EHL, players will be wearing trackers and we will get some data in real time. On that matter, there is a question of GDPR to share this info with the whole world.  
DECISION The Board approved that we keep Jokko on Board for the future. 
Competitions Committee Indoor Report  Walter Kapounek/David Voskamp 
DISCUSSION Walter Kapounek gave some update about the Junior Championships in 2021, there is nothing new in particular.   2 things were discussed in more detail:   New rules: we had a webinar recently and we noticed that no NA  uses fully the new rules in the national leagues. Teams have been informed. TD will insist during the briefing also.  The committee is looking into blow-up halls for new opportunities for European events.     
 Competitions Committee Outdoor Report, Walter Kapounek / David Voskamp  
DISCUSSION Walter Kapounek gave an update on the U18 event of 2020. Everything is settled. There were some questions about the event in Kazan but Russia is not banned for European events so it will go on as normal. Teams and hosts of events where a Russian team is participating have been informed that the events will take place.   Clubs events for 2020 are also set.   Regarding U21 invitational events in 2020, 3 top nations have decided not to participate. In the men’s events, there is a top event with 8 teams and 2-second division events with 4 teams.   For the women, there is a top event with 6 teams, we won’t promote the team to make it 8 teams events, it would cost too much money to the NA’s concerned.   In 2023, FIH will organize a Hockey 5’s World Cup which means we will need a qualifier in Europe, according to the number of entries. The FIH has the intention to bring the Hockey 5’s to the World Games in 2025, it will be a pathway to eventually get into the Olympics in addition to the current format.  
The FIH has also set up a new competition, the Intercontinental Cup, which is good for Europe as more teams will play top international matches.    
Qualifying events for EHC:   We will use the ranking of the previous championships to determine the pools based on the snake system. The match schedule is based on the world ranking. It will be either 4 or 2 pools (if under 16 teams entering) depending on the number of teams entering. If 2 pools, top 2 will qualify for the Championships, if 4 pools top 1 qualifies.   If a team wants to enter the championship but didn’t play the qualifiers, they will start at the bottom. With the new system, there will be no promotion and relegation.  From 2023, we will determine only one year in advance who is qualified for which European event. With these events, it means that each team will have an event to play every year.     
To qualify for the World Cup/Olympics:  Based on the world ranking after the Olympics/World Cup, the FIH will determine the numbers of spots going to each CF for the World Cup/Olympics qualifiers. And after the European Championships, we will know which teams will fill in these spots.   The CF winners and hosts will directly qualify for Olympics/World Cup. The winners of the home/away games from the qualifiers will also qualify for the World Cup/Olympics.    
Format EHC:  Following a full discussion on a paper from the Competitions Committee Outdoor the Board agreed not to extend the number of teams as it’s not sustainable.  
DECISION The Board decided to stay with a 6 teams’ event for the invitational U21 event for the women and not promote any teams from the second division.   The Board approved the format of the qualifying events for the EHC.   The Board decided not to extend the number of teams for the EHC.  
   Euro Hockey League, Angus Kirkland 
DISCUSSION The host for the KO8 will be announced the following week. The match schedule is finalized. Tickets sales will also be launched then.   EHL is closing in on a new partner, for EHL and U14, it will be announced in the new year.   In the future, we will look into giving the organisation to federations for KO16 because now the participants are only known in July when the national leagues are finished, which is a very short notice for a host.  
     Development Projects Report, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Peter Elders 
DISCUSSION Tom Pedersen-Smith gave a summary of what we did this year and what we will do in the new year.   Equally Amazing was not only marketing campaign, but we are really implementing in the NA’s.   Regarding facilities, we have sent a letter to FIH to find solutions more sustainable, with less costs, … for the future.   We are still doing some give and get projects. For instance, Belgium gave some playing kits for Slovenia and Greece as they changed sponsors.    On ParaHockey, there are some terms that we should use and some that we shouldn’t. It will help us get the funding.   Erasmus+: we have launched a number of projects;  
   Education Committee – Umpires, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper  
DISCUSSION One of the areas we have focused on is the program for U4E and the consistency of content. We are working on that.   FIH upgrades are being sorted. The whole process of upgrades has stopped with the new FIH committee. And the list was not updated anymore since then. The process of being upgraded is now a CF process, that goes through FIH afterwards.  
   Education Committee – Officials, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper 
DISCUSSION We will try to get TMS onto Breda so we can have a full experience for the judges.  We are rotating the conductors and bring in more people, to prepare succession.  
   Education Committee – Coaches Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper 
DISCUSSION Overall in the last months, a lot happened. We brought in the SNG program in Greece and Slovenia. We are doing this with some collaboration of FIH funding. It was a concern that SNG was a bit left behind but we could to see things happening now.   For other courses, we try to continually refresh and find new mentors. We went out for new applications and got 20 applicants as educators. It sends a real message that people want to be involved in something that is working very well.   In March, we will have a meeting on how to develop standard pathways to develop coaches in NA’s.  We had a good 2 years in the committee, the final challenge now is to get more women involved.  
   Hon Treasurer’s Report, Mika Rithila 
DISCUSSION On behalf of the Hon. Treasurer, Angus Kirkland presented the year-to-date figures and outlook for 2019 which is a bit ahead of budget.   During the next Board meeting, he will present the management figures for 2019 confirmed and an outlook for 2020. 
   Director Generals Report, Angus Kirkland 
DISCUSSION Strategic plan:  The Board is responsible for the strategic plan and the operations plan is for the staff.   We need a theme for our strategic plan (as we have around GA. The strategic plan needs to be understandable for nonnative English speakers, the native English speakers from the Board will review the vocabulary later. But the Board agrees on the meaning of the strategic plan.   The goals are especially useful in house to see where we are, in terms of exact numbers.   It was agreed that with the world is changing fast so 8 years is too long and we need to adapt quickly. We can change the plan before the term if needed.    
Committees:   We received nominations coming from a lot of different NA’s, which is very positive.   We changed the procedure a little bit this year, we have sent the nominations to all the chairs of the committee and they came back to the President with proposed names then they decided the end result together with the Board.   The Appointments and Education committee is divided into 3 groups.     
Discipline:  Lithuania withdrew late so they received a fine.
EHC2021:  We had a good debrief with Belgium at the end of November, the key was whether they want to host again or not. And the answer was yes.   We reviewed the event manual where KNHB bid against, and it will be signed in the new year. We have our first meeting end of January.  What about 2023? The event manual for 2021 will be pretty much the same for 2023.   In February we will be ready with the final event manual. Mid of February we will look for expression of interest and have the replies before the March meeting. Then we will discuss in the Board and the NA’s will submit their bids by June so we can visit venues over the summer and decide in September.    
Staff update:  Ophélie Duquesne is leaving the EHF early January and Jokko will stay on board.   We will have interviews early January for a new candidate to replace Ophélie. systems.    
CF meeting:  The financial situation of the FIH has been discussed and Thierry Weil confirmed funds for CF’s are not reduced. But he suggested that the TAP funding will be finished.   The EHF will meet with the European Pro League teams The qualifiers date will be agreed  in March for the Olympics and World Cup but the Pro League schedule is not settled yet.   The Intercontinental Cup will be introduced in 2021 then they will introduce relegation/promotion from 2022 with the Pro League.  The world ranking was released yesterday.  THE EHF  attended the world masters associations meeting, they are doing a tremendous amount of work.  
   Appointments Committee Report, Angus Kirkland 
DISCUSSION The Committee had a meeting in November. There are some concerns over the development of female umpires.   The indoor appointments are done.   Angus Kirkland will advise the FIH of the upgrades/downgrades. We have fewer appointments than expected for the Pro League this year because they didn’t inform us in time.   In the future, the Board will get the report from Magda, it will be easier when it’s done by a person who attended the meeting.   Marijke Fleuren thanked the committee for the hard work. 
 Any Other Business  
DISCUSSION We have a pass for the Olympics for the EHF that we can use, to share between the Board members.  The Board thanked Marijke Fleuren for her work and support during the year. They believe the next years will be even better for the EHF and hockey in general. We are in a sound place financially, profile wise, … we shouldn’t go for the easy pathway in the future, we have to believe in what we do and fight for it. We are doing our job the best way we can, we have to show by example.   Marijke Fleuren thanked Ophélie Duquesne for her worked over the last 2 years at the EHF and wished her good luck in her next challenge.  Marijke Fleuren thanked Angus and the staff for the enormous work, with the budget we have, it is incredible what we do.   She wished everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.   

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