WHAT should the 2021 Premier League Hockey season look like?
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
That is the question being posed to players across the Central West as officials seek to revive the men's competition and continue to provide an avenue within the region to participate in high-quality hockey.
It is being done via survey formulated by the PLH committee members and Hockey New South Wales participation operations manager Kate Pulbrook.
"We generally allow the associations to survey their participants or members however they see fit ... but volunteers have been exhausted this year, so we're doing anything we can to take that load off them and to support them," Pulbrook said.
"The idea is we're supporting them to be able to facilitate a competition that's so important for the region.
"We know the women's competition is successful, we've got teams in there and it's going really, really well. My biggest concern is where the men's competition is at, we need to get them back out on to the field."
While there was a time when multiple men's outfits from Bathurst, Orange, Lithgow, Parkes and Dubbo competed, numbers had dwindled in recent seasons. Only two clubs - not enough for a competition - expressed an interest to play in 2020.
A Dubbo men's side hasn't taken to the field since 2016.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in that, Pulbrook wants to see the men's competition not only return, but build towards the sort of participation levels there were in the past.
That is why gathering the opinions of members within the region via the survey is something Pulbrook feels is important.
"At the end of the day the committee is essentially helping to govern and co-ordinate the competition, but the members are the ones who have to take responsibility and put in teams," she said.
"That's why we've gone out to the members and we've gone out to members aged 12 years and above because this is going to be a long term plan to get the men's competition back to where it needs to be.
"Anyone who is 12 could want to play Premier League in the next four to five years, so we are surveying them to capture their thoughts. We need to be mindful that they are coming through and they need a place to play.
"By giving them a survey, giving them ownership, by giving them a bit of a say in what the future could be - whether it's a long season, short season, playing on a different day - by getting that feedback ... it will allow people to step up and help the competition."
To fill out the survey, go to hockeynsw.com.au/surveys/1880/
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.