Thursday, May 26, 2022

Revealed: 3G pitches overtake hockey in stark 20-year decline

Figures also reveal that hockey pitch space is falling faster in more deprived areas as sport looks to increase diversity and inclusion

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Rod Gilmour
Rod Gilmour
The Hockey Paper's Editor. First covered international hockey at the 2010 Commonwealth Games - no better than a full house watching India play England - and has reported for the Daily Telegraph and other major newspapers ever since. Co-founded THP in 2016.

Exclusive: Data from Sport England’s facility database shows that hockey is rapidly disappearing pitch by pitch across the country, as well as from less affluent parts

The rise of 3G astroturf over the last 20 years is dwarfing the amount of hockey competitive pitches left in England, with the football-friendly surface having overtaken pitches compatible with our sport in the last two years.

According to analysis compiled by The Hockey Paper using Sport England’s Active Places Power database, there has been a worrying overall decline in the amount of hockey compatible pitch space in England.

The data has also revealed:

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  1. It’s hardly surprising. Local authorities have to provide pitches which are usable by as many people as possible and not just fit for hockey, so of course they will go for a multi-use facility. So it’s down to clubs and schools and not all have the ability to fund or raise funds for the spiraling costs of those.

    • 2G pitches are the most usable as they can be used for football and hockey as well as tennis and netball. 3G pitches are not suitable for most sports other than football.

      Local authorities have a duty to provide facilities for a full range of sports and full a full range of demographics. Given football is far more heavily dominated by white males between certain ages than sports like hockey, one has to ask how any planning for 3G makes it through the necessary impact assessments.

    • I completely agree with your comments Martin,we have a local council run hockey club pitch which is a 25yr old sand filled pitch not getting replaced and likely to become a 3G or 4G pitch.
      Our club has 1 sand dressed (with dynamic shock pad ) hockey pitch which is being used regularly by a local football club and also a junior football club as well as 12 hockey teams,our second pitch should be completed by November which is the same make up as the first one.
      We’re also looking at Walking hockey,football and Rugby and Flyerz hockey and I’m sure fitness groups would prefer running on a dynamic shock pad rather than tarmac roads.


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