Does Romburg hockey club need an extra stadium?

Leiden, 7 March 2021, 6:12 pm by editors

Roomburgerpark will take place on 15, 16 and 17 March. Leiden residents can vote for or against the proposal to redevelop the park. Every week, Sleutelstad verifies the claims about the plan. In this fact check: What about Roomburg hockey club membership numbers, is this extra field required?

The new multi-functional artificial turf stadium to be built is an important part of the discussion surrounding the Roomburgerpark plan. Roomburg hockey club has been waiting for an extra stadium for years and Leiden municipality acknowledges the need to expand the club. Opponents of the plan say the LHC Roomburg does not need additional space on its own, and thus find it unacceptable for greenery to give way to plastic in the garden. How green the garden is or not yet transformed after redevelopment is part of the subsequent validation. This time the need to grow Leiden Hockey Club is in check.

This is what the proponents say
LHC Roomburg has been working with the municipality for years to create an additional hockey field. The maximum capacity of the association, which has more than 1,300 members, has been reached through three of its own areas, a training site at Corvalle Sporting Trigon and an additional competition stadium at the University Sports Center.

For years, the club had to turn down new young members. With a view of an additional field at Roomburgerpark, additional members have been hired in recent years. As a result, the teams are now crowded, sometimes with twenty members instead of fourteen or fifteen players. There is also very little space for you to play all the matches on site. As a result, ten teams have to play their home matches at Bio Science Park and home matches are played regularly with opponents.

The club notes that the number of members is still growing, but it is shrinking due to the lack of space. Young people can also see growth every year. A large portion of the youngsters live near LHC Roomburg.

This is what the opponents say
Opponents of the plan argue that the extra space is not necessary. They refer, among other things, to Annual Plan 2021 From the Dutch Hockey Federation (KNHB). It can be read that the number of hockey players has been decreasing nationwide since the 2017-2018 season, especially among the youth. They also point to four other hockey clubs in the region: Alecto (Leiderdorp), Forescate (Voorschoten), LOHC (Oegstgeest) and Thor (Leiden) Student League. According to opponents, there is enough space in these clubs to accommodate excess LHC Roomburg and all clubs are located within 15 minutes by bike. They also believe that “playing for the club you prefer first is not necessarily necessary”.

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The opponents themselves on the basis of the National Hockey Association numbers conclude that hockey will not grow in the future and therefore an additional court is not necessary in the future.

What does the hockey association say?
The Netherlands Hockey Federation is already writing that the number of members has decreased nationwide since the 2017-2018 season and that this decrease can be seen in the number of young players. However, the fact that the sport would not grow in the future was not reflected in the documents. The union itself is focused on growth. In 2021 we want to break this trend and stabilize at least the total number of members. It appears that the number of members will stabilize in 2020 and a slight increase in the reception of the team’s tasks is expected. “

Conclusion: The number of members nationwide has decreased. The Dutch Hockey Association aims to increase the number of members again and has written a business plan for this.

Is Romburg hockey club growing?
According to the Hockey Association, the number of members for each association has decreased nationally since the 2017-2018 season. This is due to the decrease in the number of young associates since the 2014-2015 season. Direction is different in LHC Roomburg. In the 2017-2018 season, the club had 1,288 members, in 2020-2021 there would be 1,328. The number of young members is also continuing to grow. From 778 in the 2014-2015 season to 861 in the 2020-2021 season.

Conclusion: The total number of members and the number of young members in LHC Roomburg is increasing and thus is diverging from the national trend.

How many fields does LHC Roomburg need?
On the basis of the mathematical models of the Hockey League, a calculation was made in 2017 of how many stadiums the LHC Roomburg would need at that time, what was the expected growth and how many stadiums this belonged to. The table below shows three categories: “50% Saturday” where the field requirements are based on the assumption that exactly half of the teams will play both home and away, and “60% Saturday” where the margin is built up because in practice it is often not the case that exactly half of the teams are playing At Home and “Sundays” where the field career appears on Sundays (quieter).

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The table shows that Roomburg with the current number of members in three fields does not have enough for the matches taking place on Saturday.

The logical question is why there is no longer playing on Sunday, since there is still room there. This is due to the rules and guidelines that apply to the sport. Saturday’s match in the league cannot be decided on Sunday only. For example, youth teams must be scheduled for the Sunday before 11 AM and the opponent must agree to move to Sunday. As a result, it is not possible to make up for the shortfall on the field on Saturday one-on-one with more matches on Sunday.

Also, consider the difference between sand fields (7 matches per day) and increasingly emerging water fields (6 matches per day possible). Since the accounts, two of Roomburg’s sand fields have been replaced by more modern water fields. As a result, two fewer matches can be scheduled each Saturday and thus more “space” is needed. The newly planned field is also a sand field.

Remarkably, expectations in 2018 were still in line with reality, but expectations for 2021 are now projected (1597 members expected, 1,328 members). Not surprisingly in and of itself, Roomburg itself does not have the number of hockey pitches required for this growth. But it also means that the club does not need the expected 5+ fields at the moment.

Abstract: The number of fields corresponding to the current number of members is more than 4 fields. So LHC Roomburg needs an additional field for the current number of members.

Is there room in the clubs in the area?
The latest available numbers from the Hockey League are for 2017. Accordingly, it appears that there will be a surplus of stadiums in the area on Sunday. As explained above, it simply cannot compensate for the lack of space for Saturday on Sundays.

Key City has made inquiries with clubs in the region to inquire if there is room for more Leiden youth hockey players:

  • Alecto at Leiderdorp (17 minutes by bike) has had to deal with a slight member decline in recent years, partly due to Leiderdorp’s aging. Especially with younger guys and the streak of boys, there is room for growth within the association.
  • Forescate in Voorschoten (16 min cycling) indicates that it has reached its maximum capacity of the number of fields. There is no longer a place for young members and the association works with waiting lists. Forescate emphasizes the importance of sport in your own environment. Accommodating athletes elsewhere in the region creates unnecessary travel movements (often by car as well), which is not beneficial for the environment and safety.
  • LOHC indicated in Oegstgeest (20 minutes of cycling) that it does not see itself as a party to the discussion nor does it feel the need to respond to this in terms of content.
  • Thor (17 minutes by bike) is a student association without youth members. Roomburg is already using the field at the University Sports Center.
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Conclusion: Alecto has room for Leiden’s younger members. LOHC may contain space. Forescate and Thor have no place for additional Leiden Youth members.

What happens if a field is added or not?
Ten teams from LHC Roomburg are currently playing their home games at the University Sports Center, where the Thor Student Union is also playing. For Roomburg, this was always a stopgap solution until its 4th Domain materialized. In practice, this is an undesirable situation for the club as it entails many difficulties.

Aside from the fact that the young members have to travel across town for more than fifteen minutes to get to the stadium, the opponents are often in the wrong place. Roomburg doesn’t want to keep playing here. If no additional field is added then these teams will be phased out. This means that 170 members can no longer play in Roomburg.

If an additional field is achieved, there will be room for two more teams of fifteen players each, in addition to the ten teams currently playing at the University Sports Center. This can then accept thirty additional members.

Conclusion: Whether or not achieve an additional hockey court in Roomburg provides 200 young members who can play field hockey at Leiden.

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