Hockey is one of the most gender equitable team sports and is fun, fast, safe and exciting. There are generally three formats of hockey delivered in secondary schools and the most appropriate format depends on the age and stage of the player, along with the facilities at the school.
The In2Hockey format of the game has been designed specifically for those players aged 10 – 14 years, to give the best and most appropriate age related experience of the game. It can be introduced as a 6-a-side game without goalkeepers, or played as a 7-a-side game with goalkeepers. The 6-a-side version can be played on various surfaces and uses adapted equipment and simplified rules to make this possible.
Overall, In2Hockey aims to develop hockey skills and techniques and to provide a gradual progression into the 11-a-side game.
Small sided hockey is hockey’s version of 5-a-side football, with flexibility on the number of players in a team. With only a few simple rules that are easy to understand, and no need for goalkeepers, the game is quick to set up and play.
It aims to provide a more relaxed offering, and give players a fun and social hockey experience where they have more touches of the ball and more opportunities to learn, develop and practise their skills.
Small sided hockey is ideal for delivery both in and out of curriculum, as both the size of the playing space and the number of players in a team is flexible. Also, players of mixed experience and gender can easily play together and still have a great experience.
If your school doesn’t currently offer small sided hockey, you can speak to them to see if they will consider it. To help, check out our delivering small sided hockey page.
11-a-side is the traditional version of hockey, with goalkeepers and full rules. This is the version of the game favoured by schools with suitable facilities and established hockey delivery.
Competition Opportunities in Schools
A variety of competition formats are available to suit the level of the school and the players taking part.
The School Games is a programme designed to keep competitive sport at the heart of schools. At intra school level the formats can be to play some small sided matches or to try some hockey skills challenges within school as part of a hockey or school games themed festival. Further hockey specific School Games information can be found here.
Junior Hockey Opportunities in Clubs
Many schools have links to their local hockey clubs to support students to want to play hockey out side of school. Hockey Clubs are accessible and welcoming environments providing a range of traditional, informal and social hockey opportunities to fit your aspirations, experience and lifestyle. With hundreds of clubs across the country that provide a fun, social and welcoming experience, you can use our Find a Club page to search for local clubs. As every club is unique, we recommend following up with them to discuss suitable options.
The Player Pathway
The Player Pathway provides an environment that helps all junior players realise their hockey potential. From Development Centres where players begin to stretch themselves beyond school and club hockey to perhaps going on to represent England or Great Britain at junior or senior level, there is a pathway for all ages. Schools and teachers can nominate their players to attend Development or Academy Centres.