On 4th September, MHF would have their Extra Ordinary Meeting (EGM) which is being called to make amendments to the MHF constitution. Not having the full details, yet from the grapevine the information emerging seems to relate to the rights of the President to appoint the Secretary and Treasurer of MHF. Effectively it means that both these posts would not be contestable in the future if the amendments are successfully approved.
There were talks before the last Council Meeting which agreed to forward the amendments for the EGM, that some of the Affiliates were not happy with the proposed changes. With his "royal touch" the TM did the "magic" of putting the Affiliates at peace of mind as to why such appointments were deemed necessary. I also believe that the appointments of Chairman of Coaching Committee and also for Development would be amended thereby incorporating them into the Management Committee.
All these amendments make sense if we subscribe to the believe that "the bug stops" with the President ie he is ultimately responsible. So if we vote the President then it is only right he be given the mandate to appoint the key officials too. Some may argue that there is no "check and balance". I think that is a bit "dumb founded" as the MHF constitution provides for at least 5 Affiliates together to summon a EGM on resolutions they believe need to be debated and voted upon. This could also include a motion of "no confidence", if they believe that the responsible people are not doing their job properly.
This brings me to the rumour that some Affiliates in conjunction with this EGM may propose that the period for Office Bearers to hold office should be extended to 4 years from the current 2 years. There is wisdom in such a proposal as it coincides with the 4 year cycle of the World Cup, Olympic Games and Asian Games, which are the premier tournaments. This provides an uninterrupted objective basis to judge the President and his team on how they performed in the administration of hockey for the specified period. Obviously, the "downside" is we provide a continuous opportunity for the President and his team to allow the slide to continue if they are unable to arrest the decline. Fortunately,the constitution provides a pathway for an EGM to make changes in the administration if such a situation does arise. Fundamentally, there is room to redress such scenarios but we hope it does not come to such a situation.
All in all, the proposed amendments seem to set MHF in the right direction. However, as a "MHF Watcher", i believe the proposed changes are not comprehensive enough to overhaul the system, which is antiquated. The current approach seems to be a "piecemeal" and therefore the process to see changes may be time related. One area that is not addressed is the question of "full' affiliation rights. This seems confined to rules that came from "time in memory" and therefore has been confined to States and to the Armed Forces and Police. Looking at modern hockey it seems to omit the clubs and universities where most of the national players are emerging. This means that we are running hockey on an old system while hockey itself has modernised and is supposed to be manned by people who encompass technologies and corporate principles. These are the very people that are missing in the MHF administration because the MHF constitution does not "open" its doors for clubs and universities that could make the difference.
The other area that needs attention is the right of MHF to be informed of the activities of its Affiliates and the consequences if the Affiliates fail to perform. Currently there is an inequitable position where active and inactive Affiliates have the same powers, thereby not discriminating between them. This itself is totally unfair as inactive Affiliates which, i believe, are of significant number in MHF, can decide MHF's future. How ironical? There has to be a system of "benefit and burden" rule imposed to ensure that only active Affiliates are allowed to participate in the decision making process of MHF.
What is important is MHF must have a "living" constitution that provides dynamism to the affairs of MHF. This can only happen if a broad spectrum of people can come and participate in MHF and the only way this can happen is MHF has an "open door" policy to its membership for active hockey clubs and universities. Someday it has to come, and the sooner the better.
Maybe the TM may have his wisdom as to why he is approaching issues of constitutional changes in a conservative manner rather than a radical fashion. As a President he has the prerogative and he probably knows what should be done at the appropriate time. Lets go with him on this and time would probably bring the results that we are looking for.