Schools U18 Cups 2013-14

Girls school championships 2011 winners

In 2011-12 England Hockey undertook a survey to ascertain views on the possibility of running a two term league for schools at the Under 18 age group. This was in line with the principles of the Single System. It recognised that a number of schools only play hockey in one term but, by that age, it would be beneficial to the sport and players if there was a greater emphasis on specialising in individual sports. The proposal did not receive sufficient support from schools. Out of the survey England Hockey set up a working group to ensure there is a  forum to consider the format of the competitions with direct involvement of participating schools, details of this group are here.

The group have considered the outdoor Schools Competitions and have made a proposal for a change to the format of the Schools U18 outdoor competition as a pilot scheme for 2013-14. This is included below and there is an adjoining survey for schools to offer their views on this. See link at the foot of the story to undertake this.

The proposal is to change the U18 competition to a knockout format and/or the final stages of the U16 & U18 to a knockout format. This would be as a pilot scheme in 2013-14 season.

In doing so it recognises the following.

  • Whilst the Single System principle is for league based competitions this is to ensure teams have regular fixtures and it should be noted that the vast majority of teams participating in the competitions already have a number of existing regular fixtures.
  • The U18 Club competition is a knockout competition
  • There is pressure on schools to allow pupils out of schools for a full day’s activity for existing county/regional rounds; or two days for the U16 and U18 national finals
  • There are pressures  on county and regional associations to find sufficient personnel to organise school competition activity.
  • Because of time constraints in terms of organisation some stages of the competitions are run using a number of shortened matches on a single day of activity.
  • The format used is successfully in other sports and would be potentially attractive to sponsors 
  • The short survey will also ask for consideration for either or both of the final stages of U16 competition & U18 competition (if there is not support to run the whole competition as a knockout) being organised on a national basis, ie Preliminary Round, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals & Final for 13-14. This is based on the principles as above but with just the 10 qualifying teams (ie 2 per region) participating.

Further details of the operation of the new format are as follows

  • There will be an open entry to the competition which will be centrally organised by the England Hockey Competitions department. An entry fee will be payable.
  • Entry will take place during the Summer term in 2013 for the Girls’ competition and Summer and early part of the Autumn term for the Boys’ competition
  • The early round draws of the Girls’ competition will be made prior to the end of the Summer term and the Boys’ competition prior to half term in the Autumn term.
  • The competition will run on a knockout basis.
  • Early round losers (those losing a tie in R1 or R2) will be eligible to participate in a parallel Pplate competition.
  • Ties will be drawn locally in the earlier rounds leading to a national draw from the quarter finals onwards in the Cup competitions, semi finals in the Plate competition.
  • Where possible there will be an attempt to even out the respective number of teams’ home or away ties.
  • It is anticipated that the maximum number of rounds required for the competition would be 9 including the final for Girls’ and 8 for Boys’. Ties will take place every two/three weeks.
  • Successful teams from previous seasons – for the pilot those teams who reach the last eight in regional competitions in 2012-13 - will be seeded to avoid each other in early rounds.
  • All matches will be 35 mins each way with matches decided by a penalty stroke barrage if level at the end of full time.
  • Each team will be responsible for providing a Level 1 Umpire. Away teams can agree to home teams sourcing umpires through their local umpiring association. Umpires will be appointed centrally to the finals
  • There will be scheduled dates for matches and these must be used or an earlier date if agreed by both teams and the England Hockey competitions department.
  • Matches must be played on midweek dates. Teams are encouraged to play these outside of school hours. In early rounds where ties are likely to be more local this should be possible.
  • The number of rounds is obviously dependent on the number of entrants. It is anticipated that the Girl’s Girls’ competition would run through the Autumn term and early in the Spring term to end, as it currently does, around the end of February. The Boy’s Boys’ competition would run through the Spring term however it might need to start with one round at the end of the Autumn term and conclude at the beginning of the Summer term if numbers dictate.
  • The finals of the competitions will be played at a neutral, major hockey venue as organised by England Hockey Competitions Department.

To give your views on this proposal please complete the short on-line survey.