2019 – EHF Executive Board Minutes, 21/22 March 2019

Posted On 25/05/2020

Executive Board Meeting 
Minutes 21st & 22nd March 2019, EHF Office, Brussels Belgium  
MEETING Executive Board 
ATTENDEES Marijke Fleuren, Mika Rihtila, Carola Meyer, Walter Kapounek, Inez Cooper, Patrick Keusters, Peter Elders, Simon Mason, Leonardas Caikauskas, David Serrahima, Angus Kirkland    Ophélie Duquesne, EHF Administration Manager   
APOLOGIES Pamela Michaelis 
Agenda topics 
 President’s Welcome, Marijke Fleuren
 The President welcomed everybody to the first Executive Board meeting of 2019.  This year will be an important year as we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the EHF. We have asked a well-known Spanish artist Rosa Serra to create a birthday present for all our members. Rosa Serra will also be present at the General Assembly.   Marijke Fleuren was delighted to announce that Jorge Alcover received an Olympic order at the NOC quarters in Madrid. She also mentioned that he is doing a great job for the Spanish Federation with regard to the Pro League.  The Pro League calendar for next year is not easy to compile, there needs to be a change in schedule to prevent an overload on the calendars of the different National Federations. Their connections with clubs are on stake. All the participating NA’s have a meeting in Philadelphia at the end of March to review the first months of the Pro League and to discuss the future and the format. Thierry Weil, CEO of FIH, has worked hard to get the Pro League going. Now they can discuss the things with facts and figures on the table.   In Europe, we had a lot of indoor hockey in the last months with the U21 nations events in January and the Club events in February. All events were well organized, with a lot of participants. This year, we had more participants than in previous years and less withdrawals.  A good sign to all our hard-working hockey people.   The President visited Victory, in Belgium, who was awarded the best big Club of the Year Award 2018. Victory is an impressing club in a lovely environment. Really a special club with a lot of attention to all people involved (ParaHockey, youth, coaches).   Special attention in the office to realise the EuroHockey Female Leadership Forum that will take place after our Board meeting. 28 women from 22 countries will attend. We expect to get a lot of results out of it. Extra inspiration gave Mr. Bach to the hockey and to us during his visit to the FIH Executive Board, complementing our strategy regarding women in sport.   Hard work also on the different Erasmus+ projects.    Apologies for absence from Pamela Michaelis.  
   Minutes of Last Meeting  
The minutes of the last Executive Board meeting, which took place in Brussels on 21st December 2018, were reviewed and Angus went through all the action points and updated the Board on them. The Minutes were then approved.  
   Matters Arising   
All items were covered by the agenda.   
 Communications & Commercial Report, Siobhan Madeley / Simon Mason / David Serrahima 
DISCUSSION Siobhán Madeley reported on the performances of all our channels for 2018 and presented the new targets for 2019.   
Streaming   We will stream some of our clubs’ events in May and June. We get some income from the advertising of eurohockeytv but it is low.  The FIH has launched its streaming platform also. It can be an opportunity for cooperation as we are in a strong position but for the moment, we are in the middle of a 5-year deal with Sport Radar.    
Licence  Simon Mason presented a project of a potential licence scheme.   The Board agreed that Simon could do some work over this, with the help of Patrick Keusters for legal aspects if needed.    Commercial   The Grays contract has started in January with Indoor. We had some teething problems at the start, but we are now over that. Importantly, all officials are very pleased with the clothing.   We have had some extensive discussions with CC grass (Chinese manufacturer) but it’s too early in their start in the European market for them.   We will follow up with some other connections as well.   We did some research on the Sportbusiness platform and produced a target list of companies. We will try to look weekly at it and put some structure to follow up with these companies. But it is not an easy job and it’s time-consuming. We might look at some external help if the next weeks if we don’t have the resources internally. We will discuss the next steps in May.  
 Competitions Committee Indoor Report, Walter Kapounek / David Voskamp 
DISCUSSION We had a good indoor season in general in 2019. We had more participating teams and less withdrawals than previous years.     Angus Kirkland and the EHF have been approached by Fernando Bernardo with a first proposal to organize an indoor league the same way as the HIL is working. It would be organized over a weekend with franchised teams. Lots of aspects (venue, officials, organisation committee, etc.) still need to be taken into account.  
 Competitions Committee Outdoor Report, Walter Kapounek / David Voskamp 
DISCUSSION The committee was composed with a large number of people at the start, but some people had to leave the committee for different reasons. The situation is exceptional that a lot of people had to leave in the same period. If this would happen again in the future, the Board would look at each replacement case by case. The Board agreed that as the committee members are appointed for a 2 year cycle, if someone drops very early in the 2 years period, they could be replaced but the general decision is that there is no automatic replacement as we make a choice on a person and not a national association.     We have lots of tournaments in 2019. Everything is going well. The Junior Championship Women in Valencia is special because we have 9 teams for the girls, and it is a qualification event for next the next World Cup (6 European teams qualified). The reserve team for the WC is the champion of championship II. LIT withdrew from Alanya. We have one reserve, which is ITA but they withdrew last year from the same event.   The Board agreed to allow ITA to take the spot as reserve, but we have reminded them about the fine.     Regarding U16, RUS have entered back in.      The Board discussed the proposal of the committee regarding potential hosts for the EuroHockey Youth Championships for 2020. The question of the visa to enter Russia was raised but It was agreed that it shouldn’t be a problem for the teams. Teams can look into a visa for sport’s teams. All hosts were approved and published in a separate bulletin.     The Board also approved the following  to move the withdrawal deadline later for outdoor clubs for next years.  to extend the window to play outside Europe from Nov 15th through March 14th to leave the age limit at 15 years to not change the rule regarding the branding of Red Bull     The window to play the U21 invitational event in 2020 has been agreed.     The format of hockey at the 2022 Youth Olympic Games has not been decided yet. We will have to decide which U16 event will be the qualification tournament for Europe.   We could think of adding an additional U16 event to play 11 a side but top nations are happy the way it is now and wouldn’t enter even if we add an U16 event. Developing countries wouldn’t be able to enter both competitions for financial reasons.     The committee will look deeper into a proposal for a new format of the championships as these will be more important in the future for Olympic and World Cup qualification. We need to know the new format before we go out for bids for the 2023 Championships.     The new points system for club events has been approved by the Board. It will facilitate the new EHL reality.  
DECISION The Board agreed that as the committee members are appointed for a 2 year cycle, if someone drops very early in the 2 years period, he could be replaced but the general decision is that there is no replacement as we make a choice on a person and not a national association.     The Board agreed to allow ITA to take the spot as reserve for the Junior Championship Women in Valencia.     The Board also approved the following  to move later the withdrawal deadline for outdoor clubs for next years.  to extend the window to play outside Europe  to leave the age limit at 15 years to not change the rule regarding the branding of Red Bull     The window to play the U21 invitational event in 2020 has been agreed too.  
       Euro Hockey League, Angus Kirkland 
DISCUSSION We are preparing for KO16 and Final4 in Eindhoven at Easter.  Ticket sales are going slower than usual, but Angus is confident we will hit the target if the results are reasonably favourable.    EHL had a Board meeting on the 4th April, where they will conclude the EHF bv for EHL.    There are some discussions over Barcelona, as we would normally have 2 rounds left planned there but there are some financial questions for the future, mainly due to the change of format of the EHL.   
     Development Projects Report , Tom Pedersen-Smith / Peter Elders 
DISCUSSION Tom Pedersen-Smith is leading 3 Eramsus+ projects with some of our NA’s:     Czech, Ukraine and KNHB: 65.000 € over the program, which is about good governance and volunteers. How to make the governance of these organisations to a high level? With KNHB as an example.     Czech and we are a partner together with Austria, Poland, Den Bosch. The project is about innovation with coaches (60.000€ over the program).    Swing: supporting women in leadership positions (not only in hockey). We are one of the 10 partners (400.000€ project over 36 months). We have to find mentors in the business world to help women in leadership positions in sport. We are looking for 5 women in the European hockey world to be mentors for 3 years. It is an extremely challenging project. Marijke Fleuren is delighted and proud of what Tom is doing in the projects. It is lots of work.    The committee had a nice meeting in February. Comparing to the group that started a year and a half ago, there were some big changes with regards to the involvement of the people. The committee has also changed its way of working – Tom now sends the papers before the meeting so everybody is prepared. Also, they discuss the same subjects in smaller sub-groups to give the opportunity to everybody to give its opinion and gets more input from the different people.     Since the introduction of the water-based pitch in hockey, there has been no evolution of hockey in eastern countries. As Europe, we don’t see the expected growth in numbers. It remains too expensive for them. We need to think on long-term solutions. The development committee together with the Facilities committee will think about some solutions for the future. This has also to be discussed with FIH as they will be investing time and money in the next years to elaborate a new dry pitch.     SNG   Slovenia, Russia, Greece and Malta need a coaching pathway.   Finland is interested in umpire’s education (long term).  

   Education Committee – Umpires, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper  
DISCUSSION It’s a busy period for the three working groups.   Paul Box-Grainger and Tom Perdersen-Smith worked hard on the consistency of the different U4E groups.   We are delivering people to a high standard.  
 Education Committee – Officials, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper 
DISCUSSION We had a TO seminar in February in Vienna.   The group is working well with the Appointments Committee and did a lot of their preparation work for the Breda tournament during the last meeting.   We will have a TD seminar in Antwerp.  
   Education Committee – Coaches, Tom Pedersen-Smith / Inez Cooper 
DISCUSSION The coaching group just came back from TCP in Terrassa. The key things are educating trainers at a consistent level and making sure they do things in a good way. It is paying off now with the hard work of the committee.   Coach Logic is up and running for the online assessment centre. Mentors and coaches can interact on the platform. We have made a step-in professionalism with that program. The partnership is free for EHF because we helped them develop the platform. They can now sell it to other organisations.   
   Hon Treasurer’s Report, Mika Rithila 
DISCUSSION Mika Rithila presented the accounts for 2018. Since the last meeting we have been busy setting up an EHF BV in the Netherlands.  The EHL dividend was not paid in the 2018 period so has impacted our figures however the figures remain ahead of the approved budget.  The dividend for the 2017/18 season will be reflected in this years’ accounts.    Mika will give a presentation in more details about the EHF b.v. to the Board in the next meeting.  Marijke Fleuren complimented Ophélie Duquesne for her work with Mika on the finance.  
     FIH Report, Walter Kapounek / Marijke Fleuren 
DISCUSSION The withdrawal of Pakistan for the Pro League has been taken to the disciplinary commission.   The regulations for sanctioning events have changed.  Work is ongoing in putting nominations forward for the FIH Committees. 
     Director Generals Report, Angus Kirkland 
DISCUSSION Theme meeting: Board evaluation  Angus outlined that after a year and a half it was a good moment to reflect on how we are operating as a Board.  The Board members gave feedback.   Key points/summary: a combination of doing and thinking, not enough thinking during meetings nearer to members, invite members to Board meetings and go abroad focus on decisions and not discussions   
Theme meeting: Committee structure   Angus Kirkland presented a new potential committee structure that would only take place after the next elections. Coaches would be in a separate committee; umpires and officials would merge with appointments (the co-chairs would be the appointments chair and one Board member); international relations would be integrated in the commercial and communications committee; facilities to merge into Development; legal into the finance committee (+risk management).   The Board agreed those changes.    
EHF representatives/NA overview  As EHF Board, we aim to capturing more information from our NA’s when we meet them. This will need some discipline to report to the staff after any discussions with a NA.   
Athletes committee  The ToR have been updated. The letter has been sent out to look for nominations. There will 1 member from the FIH Athletes Committee and 4 elected before the GA in Antwerp. The chair will be appointed and approved by the Board. Athletes will be elected for 2 years but we might overlap to have some voted for 2 years and others for 4 years.   Election process: there will be an online system at U21 and senior events this summer, where players can vote on their own device. This is the most democratic and time-efficient voting system.    
Director General report  EHC meeting   The ticket sales are going well: 8000 hospitality tickets and 18000 normal tickets sold. The men’s final is sold out.   A lot of the installations and pitch equipment can be tested during the Pro League matches. The discussions with the broadcasters are still ongoing. We can consider putting a paid streaming on EHTV for some NA’s if needed.   The opening ceremony will start around 7.45pm on the first Friday evening. We will have the Youth Leadership presentations the day before the GA to test all the equipment of the room.    We will celebrate the EHF 50th anniversary at lunch during the GA with a sit-down meal and a cake (at the Ramada).    
CF meeting  
The Hockey Series Finals will no longer exist from next year on (the continental championships will be more important). There is room for Europe to make something more structured in the in-between years of the championships.   

The FIH presented a plan for a new world ranking system. They looked at other sports to make all the matches more meaningful. The test matches will get ranking points too. This will favour the teams playing more matches. But it also means that more members will have ranking points with this system, so it will encourage other NA’s to play hockey.  

FIH.live is up and going  

FIH will do a test in Tokyo for the Olympics with 4-team tournaments on the 17th August 2019. 

There were some changes in the committees at FIH (chairs were appointed at the last FIH EB meeting). There will be a rotation between the chairs of the different committees.

International Federation for Sports Officials (IFSO) 

AK and MF attended the inaugural meeting which established IFSO on March 8th. MF is appointed to the Board of this new organisation. They will be the voice to talk to IOC on behalf of officials.   

Poland report  

The Board received a summary of the report and visit to Poland.  This covered their current political situation, ideas for future competitions, relationship with the FIH and EHF, their main challenges and where we can help.  


There were two main issues since the last meeting – one with a player and one with Italy otherwise all disciplinary matters are working well   


the theme around ‘My Hockey’  We will be sharing the floor with our NA’s. The speakers will make small presentations of 5-8 minutes about their hockey.  

Election Board members:

president, treasurer, 2 women ordinary members, 1 ordinary member (men or women).  We will encourage people from the EHFL Forum to be put forward for the Board and the committees.   
 DECISION The Board agreed to change the committee structure.   
   Appointments Committee Report, Angus Kirkland  
DISCUSSION The Committee tried to put in place a second window for nominations, but it didn’t make any difference. They would like to go back to one window, nearer the tournament.   The Board is not in favour to change it back.     The new feedback form for UM has caused some issues but they have been resolved in the background in the meantime.  
 Any Other Business  
DISCUSSION The Board members suggested to have the strategic plan on the agenda for the next meeting.   It was a good and open meeting.   Marijke Fleuren will report to the Board after the EHFL Forum.  

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