2 Years into LEC - Thoughts?

edited January 2019 in Hockey in Victoria

We're now two years into LEC having taken effect with first three now four extra teams in PL. What's everyone's thoughts? Mine haven't changed much:

LEC already proven to have been a waste of time and look terrible. Bastardised VL1 - I think it's a reasonable call to say that PEGS and Yarra will be having a relatively cruisy year, and with an expanded premier league I think no matter the year the top four in VL1 aren't cut out for top flight hockey in Victoria. In all honesty I don't think the bottom two PL teams are either. No fault of the clubs, it's HV.

LEC brings clubs into PL who aren't ready for it yet, and it doesn't do much to help them. HV have essentially moved the division between these two leagues a few rungs up the ladder into Premier League. Who's it helping? Even with a grace period, Yarra have still fallen back into VL1. Both 2017 and 2018 ladder statistics (attached screenshots) show the bottom four PL teams with consistent, drastically worse numbers than the rest of the competition. Not just the points, take a look at those goal differences. I know the ladder isn't the be all and end all, but it's a numbers representation of a fact I think many of us understand already - these teams aren't ready.

So - now we have a top four in VL1 that doesn't really represent the top of our second division hockey, and a little bit of dead weight at the tail end of PL, it sucks for both leagues, it sucks for the four teams in the weird middle zone. Furthermore, after feedback following the 2018 PL season, HV have decided to shorten the PL season by a game. On one hand, this is good news, it was at 22 for a period, a lot, but on the other, the league is now too big for its allocated time. There's some crazy system in place for who gets to play who twice and who only once. This wouldn't have been a problem if HV didn't decide to try and fix what wasn't broken.

Two proper years in, and what a farce. With a complete lack of foresight, proper consultation with clubs, listening to supporters and teams, we've ended up with two great leagues worse off than they have been in years. Hockey Victoria's brazen determination to forge forward with changes that nobody really likes and haven't really been thought through has lead us to this. I could rant about HV and the LEC all day (before I even got into anything regarding things they've done to other leagues and juniors) but the fact is if we want any proper change it's time for that lot to go - they've consistently shown themselves to ignore fan feedback and in cases even lie to affiliate members in an effort to push their agenda. It's time for a change in the makeup of our association.


  • lemon
    Spot on. It’s a joke and a waste of time. Pegs are a great club when ranked with current VL1 teams but I think they’d agree themselves they are far from PL standard. It’ll make it that much worse if Yarra dominate the league this year as there will just be a yo yo of 4 or so clubs coming up and down from PL to VL1 after their year safety.
    Now VL1 will be even weaker with the addition of CV? It’s basically a bottom of the ladder VL1 competition at best. It’d be a much better overall competition if it was 10 teams in each league, make PL have 2 teams go down and up each season
  • vicleagueHS
    edited January 2019
    Some stats from us...

    All promoted clubs (MUHC aside) since 2015 - Casey, Brunswick, Yarra, TEM and Mentone have managed the following results...
    158 gp
    12 wins
    15 draws
    131 losses
    **10.76% of possible points the could of been earnt
    178 goals scored (1.26 gpGm)
    649 goals against (4.11 gapGm)
    -471 gd or an average losing margin of 2.48 gpGm

    **Promoted team results**
    2015 Casey 5pts -74
    2016 MUHC 6pts -71
    2017 Yarra 8pts -41
    Mentone 5pts -60
    TEM 5pts -69
    2018 Brunswick 5pts -74

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  • Max

    Nice stats vicleagueHS!
    Those numbers are indication, not that the LEC is failing, but rather that HV are admitting too many clubs into PL. I hope HV are looking at these results because they are an abomination and it is delegitimising the standard of the competition. But that is a different conversation....
    I'm not a huge fan of the LEC system as it stands, but I do believe that clubs below PL should aspire to recruit/train up more officials/coaches and juniors and upgrade facilities ASAP for the betterment of the game overall.
    Should clubs have their hands forced to achieve such goals to stay in/be promoted to PL, more time will tell. Is LEC the right way to go about it? I'm not sure.

    Does anyone have any opinions/thoughts on how HV could establish and enforce an LEC type system to ensure equitable outcomes??

  • Jemma

    Looking back even longer is interesting. it shows that that things can change quickly, or not.

    Essendon's junior program has been significant and has shown very impressive results in the last 3-5 years,. Essendon were 10th in 2014, and 10th in 2018 in PL. Is it too soon to see the result of the junior program for clubs like Essendon or is there more to it.
    MCC has moved significantly from 9th to 5th with few junior teams, MUHC has had a meteoric rise up the ladder, with no juniors. Southern's move up the ladder has been the exception, based on a strong junior program. Even Waverley with their strong cohort of ex-juniors has not moved up from 2014.

    The idea of LEC is to encourage clubs to grow their junior programs, while clubs can succeed just taking juniors from other clubs - the exodus from Franktson to Powerhouse being case in point, what does a junior program achieve for a club?

  • Max

    One way to make junior development more important is to introduce player points in 1st XI PL club games.
    Various local cricket leagues use this system and it has had a positive effect and reduced player drain to some extent.
    The above is reasonably complex but to simplify it you could allow each club to submit a team list that does not exceed x amount of points.
    Long time servants of the club (including juniors), lets say 5 or more years - are worth 0 points while its the new recruits that start accumulating points.
    Juniors that are recruited from other clubs after u14s are worth a bucketload for example.

    I dont have the answer, and the above is all pie in the sky but its one convoluted way to make junior development more important as clubs will be forced to grow their own.
    If a junior from club A does want to goto club B in PL then they will have to choose a club that has space in points allocation (ie most likely a Brunswick or a Mentone etc) thus spreading the talent across the league rather than it being concentrated on the big clubs such as Cam, Don etc...

  • RobH

    I am from one of the larger clubs and wanted to introduce a points system 6 years ago as a way to curb player payments - as a sport I don't think we can sustain it, the sport is expensive enough with our fields and player payments has played havoc in some of the local footy competitions.
    It basically looked like

    10 points international
    8 points Kiwi
    5 points senior player changing from another club
    3 points for above being at same club for 5 years
    1 point for above being at same club for 10 years
    3 points for 16-18 y/o player - reducing to 1 point after being at same club for 3 years
    1 point for junior into seniors

    10 extra points for finals
    Max 2 x 10 point players per team
    4 players move from same club to another 7 points each reducing same as 5/10 years at one club

    Max 55 points per week
    I didn't check this year but 6 years ago most clubs fitted within the above - obvious exception would be the TEM-STKPH scenario!

  • Jemma

    There is merit.

    So a 20yo who has been at the club for 8 or 10 years, where do they fit on the points?

    I would love to see where the finals teams for the top 8 in 2018 fitted in

  • RobH

    A 20 y/o who has been at the club for 8-10 years would be 1 point
    A 20 y/o who has only played hockey for 5 years at only the one club would be 1 point

  • Max
    Any system that promotes building from within rather than poaching young talent from elsewhere is a win in my books.
  • hvmember
    edited February 2019

    I like the idea of a player point system. It rewards clubs for long term, home grown work and development, and discourages purchasing of players which I think is a lazy, instant gratification attitude that is never going to win you a premiership. Look at CHC and SUHC, both have won flags after sustained periods (10yr +) of whole-of-club effort, juniors through high performance. But I digress, I could rant about that all day long.

    Re points, I would postulate that Camberwell's premier league list would fall significantly below 55 points through the whole season as outlined in RobH's post above, Greensborough too. St. Kilda however would be carrying a massive amount of weight, I'd imagine MUHC might be as well. SO I'm not sure that it's really a question of does this help big clubs or small clubs, more of does this help clubs who are trying to develop talent internally and "grow the game" as HV like to harp on about so much.

  • hvmember
    edited July 2019
    I mean no disrepect to these clubs as it is entirely HV’s fault and not theirs, and I know it’s not the end of the season yet, but fuck me, can we finally call time on this experiment? History repeats itself again

    (See goal difference in bottom four teams in attached screenshot, apologies system wouldn’t let me post as a proper photo on my phone)
  • vicleagueHS

    Agreed @hvmember. VLHS have just started crunching some stats and will be posting a piece in the coming weeks (give or take) about our view on the situation...

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  • Grizzly

    It was always going to be a long term thing.

    Clubs cant be expected to become solid PL teams in the space of two or three years.

    Its going to take time to build the foundation and talent pool

  • hockey
    @Grizzly but that will never happen. As we’ve seen already the better players in the side will leave their club, move to a “better” PL club to continue playing PL.
    Yarra dropped down and lost players and will probably have a few more leave at the end of this season when the don’t get promoted. Brunswick have already had many players leave and if they go back to VL1 they will probably have more again. If Mentone get relegated, all the players that moved there to play PL will move on to another low level club. And the cycle will go on
  • vicleagueHS
    Just to put it in perspective, attached is a rundown of how each promoted club since 2014 (sans MUHC) has performed in PL. It does not make for happy reading.

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  • Stickball
    You have to consider what it must have cost MUHC per win, and how many of those wins came against the other promoted teams?
  • vicleagueHS

    MUHC have played 76% of their PL games against the "top 12" (58 of 76).
    They have accumulated (against the "top12")
    11 of their 25 wins (44%)
    41 of their 41 losses (100%)
    6 of their 10 draws (60%)
    .. or 39 out of 85 total points (46%)

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  • Jemma

    What are the two different sets of numbers, other than not having MUHC?

  • Muppet
    Bit rough on Casey. They only got one season in Prem before the league expanded and teams were given two years. Now look where they are!
  • Hockey1

    My understanding is that HV will be revamping the Comp for next year with all present teams remaining - in fact there will be an expansion to 50 teams and a renaming each level will be revamped as well. It is rumoured that apromotion and relegation system will continue to take place. This new Comp will also be renamed To encompass all possible teams from country areas. The new Comp will split the 50 teams into 5 levels SL1 SL2 SL3 SL4 SL5 each Comp will have ten teams and 2 teams will go up and down each year.

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