Do your kids want to play an exciting, super-fast team sport that doesn't require them to be extra brawny? Field hockey should fit the bill!
Hockey is a team sport where players compete to score a ball or puck into their opponent's goal by hitting it with a stick. Generally, there are 11 players per team but there are variants such as 5-a-side and 6-a-side with smaller teams.
The game originated in England and was brought to Australia in the 1800s by British naval officers. It is commonly played as a school sport in the winter months across the country. Hockey is predominantly a winter sport and the season begins officially in May, with registration usually around February or March. However, summer competitions exist your local hockey clubs will provide details.
A video of Hockey for Kids
Information on Hockey for Kids in Australia
Is hockey right for your kids?
Learning to play hockey has a number of benefits for children including:
- Improved fitness
- Development of team skills
- Chance to make new friends
- Teaches discipline through following rules
- Builds confidence and self esteem
How to get your kids started at hockey
Most Australian primary schools offer field hockey as part of their sports programme. Additionally there are a number of private clubs that provide a chance for kids to learn and compete in league matches. The Australian Hockey League is Australia's premier field hockey body who organizes competitions for all ages from 5 years old. They also offer coaching programmes and lessons.
Ice hockey is another form of the game which is growing in popularity in Australia. This form of the game is played on ice rinks by players wearing ice skates and has a reputation for being quite a lot more physical than field hockey. It has its own separate league (The Australian Ice Hockey Federation) and organized tournaments. Other forms of this sport are roller hockey, which uses rollerblades to emulate the flow of ice-hockey and indoor hockey, which is similar to field hockey, but has a smaller field and is even faster.
To get started, your child will need:
- A hockey stick
- Specially designed boots (running shoes will be fine at first)
- Protective gear such as shin pads
- Comfortable clothing to run around in
Programme fees vary from around $25 - $120 per term, depending on the club. As hockey is a winter sport it's best to enrol your child at the end of summer to ensure they get a spot.
Make sure your child has the right size stick for their height. There are a number of online sizing charts, which can guide you in the right direction and ensure they're wearing sunscreen and a hat if the weather is sunny.
Don't miss these hockey stars and events!
The Australian Hockey League finals are held in August and are the main event of the year. Jenny Morris and Jamie Dwyer are both famous Australian hockey players.
Are your kids interested in hockey? Try the ActiveActivities directory for a list of kids' hockey clubs near you!