England Hockey and BUCS work in partnership with an aim to deliver the best possible experience of hockey within the higher education sector. In order to do so a joint "Strategy for Hockey within Universities" has been created which aims to create more, better, happier players.
There are several delivery options for Higher Education Institutions, along with a wide range of support and development opportunities available.
Most Universities Clubs' offer a wide-ranging hockey programme. Along with competing in BUCS many clubs also compete in local weekend hockey, along with offering an Intramural programme.
England Hockey now runs tiered Competitions which aim to provide appropriate and meaningful competition opportunities for all universities at all levels. To find out more please see the competitions section of our website here.
More info on BUCS competitions can be found here.
An ever-growing number of institutions are offering alternative ways for students to play hockey with small sided versions of the game becoming increasingly popular.
Small sided hockey is hockey’s version of 5-a-side football, with no set rules about the number of players in a team. Team sizes and playing space can be adapted to suit the number of players and the size of the playing area you have available. It is generally best for teams to be made up of between 4-8 players, so it provides players with an enjoyable experience of the game, more touches of the ball and more opportunities to develop and practice their skills.
It is a great way to deliver hockey to those who are new to the sport or wanting an informal experience. It can be played indoors or outdoors, using a bigger, lighter ball, which new players find easier to control and less intimidating than traditional hockey balls. With a few simple rules that are easy to pick up and no need for goalkeepers the game is quick to set up and play.
There is also a more formalised 6-a-side version aims to be authentic to the 11-a-side version of the game and sees three games being run at any one time on a single artificial grass pitch.
As part of our Club Community links programme we are always keen to try and link local HE Institutions to their nearest hockey club to try and ensure sustainable and ongoing opportunities for players whilst they are at or when they leave university.
Club-Community links can work in several ways but always tend to be characterised by the following:
- Effective communications -club and university in regular contact, i.e. between at least one designated person from both the university and club
- Structured activity -opportunities for students to participate, e.g. coaching sessions, competitions, leadership opportunities at events etc. This can either be in a community and/or university
- Participation – students participating in club sport, either as an athlete/player or leader - as a result of the link
How could your university benefit from a link with a local hockey club?
- Increased opportunities for your students
- Raise the university profile in the community
- Share facilities and equipment
- Access expert coaches delivering in university to work with student clubs
- Healthier & more physically active students –improving standards across the university
- Increase awareness of exit routes for players, coaches and volunteers
- Access CPD for staff – training courses & more ideas by working with quality clubs and coaches
Your local Relationship Manager can help facilitate these conversations.
There are CPD opportunities for staff and students for all levels of hockey experience.
- The Hockey Hub provides a wide range of general online training for free and is packed full of useful hockey resources, including videos, ideas for your sessions, leadership content and more!
- Coaching workshops which will help to give you the support, knowledge and confidence to help you deliver fun and engaging hockey sessions. Workshops are tailored to focus on the players you will be working with and for more information on what is most suitable for you based on your role is available here.
- Becoming an umpire is an exciting way to be involved in hockey. Learn more about the resources and support available here.
England Hockey offers hockey clubs an affiliation package designed to allow the sport to thrive both on and off the field.
All university clubs must affiliate to England Hockey and more information on the benefits and process is available here.