2020 will be an exciting season for Hockey in Taranaki with changes to the competition structure and some tight contests for the coming months.
After a thorough season review, the Taranaki Hockey Club council has decided to reduce the current competition format from 16 to 13 weeks, to allow for a further competition, the North Taranaki versus South Taranaki League.
This second part of the season was trialled for one game in 2019 with great success. It has been extended to three weeks and will encompass both men's and women's games in premiership and championship grades.
The North versus South League has teams vying for their region to win the overall winners trophy.
The regular club season promises to be a tight affair in both the men's and the women's Premiership grades.
Hāwera, last year's winners, will be looking to keep the title again this year in the Premier Women's competition, but results at the Taranaki Lightning 5s hosted in Stratford in February, suggest they'll have a battle on their hands.
All three other teams in the premiership, Stratford, Northern and Old Girls, played out some entertaining hockey in some close matches over the tournament earlier this month.
In the Premier Men's competition, New Plymouth Boys High school again look the team to beat having for the second time won the men's competition at the Lightning 5s against some solid competition from across the North Island.
Looking to upset things again though, will be Hāwera, a surprise entry into the 2019 final. Stratford, however, will also be looking to add to their impressive competition winning tally, the most by any hockey club in the country.
The first games of the season will be played on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March at either the TET Multi-sport Centre in Stratford or on the Webster Field turf in New Plymouth.