Junior Competitions Review

U18 Reading

The core objective of our review was to increase participation in Junior Competitions by providing more relevant competition opportunities in both club and school environments.  

We are excited about the prospect of delivering more, better experiences for our young players through a revised competition programme.

As part of this review, England Hockey sought feedback from schools, clubs and competition organisers to help to shape the future offer in England.  We had 230 responses to the Schools’ survey, 231 responses to the Junior Clubs’ survey and 55 responses from junior competition organisers.  Respondents were asked to consider a proposed new model, shaped by focus groups, for Junior Competitions. 

The Board of England Hockey considered the findings of the surveys at its meeting on 17 May 2016 and approved the following key principles to underpin the development of a revised Junior Competitions Framework:-

  • Provide a competitions framework to support the development of young players from beginners to elite that will increase and widen participation.
  • Offer a a tiered competition programme to give better playing experiences for more young players. Tiered competitions are where different levels of competition are set up to meet the needs and standard of teams/players.
  • Provide a competitions framework with regular fixtures utilising junior leagues where these exist and stimulating them where they do not.
  • Provide a competitions framework where travel distances are commensurate with the level of competition.
  • Develop and apply regulations that are appropriate to the tier of competition, particularly relating to player eligibility and players playing in different competitions and age groups.
  • Reflect new opportunities and a changing sport and hockey competition landscape, e.g. small sided games and festivals
  • Reach out to new markets and raise awareness of the new opportunities.

To support the future delivery of a revised Junior Competitions Framework the Board also approved the following measures:-

  • Access to an online competition and results management system
  • Development of a central entry portal
  • centralised marketing campaign to include marketing templates etc
  • Resource to support the delivery of local and area competitions activity

A time-limited Junior Competitions Framework Group will now be established to help shape the detail of the new Framework with a view to launching the new Junior Competitions offer in spring 2017.  There will be no changes to the structure and Junior Competitions offer for the 2016-2017 season and we look forward to many clubs and schools taking part, some of which will experience playing in the Finals at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

For further details about how to enter Competitions for 2016-2017 season, and start your #RoadtoLeeValley, click here.