Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Indoor hockey in England can’t neglect this accessible, exciting format for much longer

How do you solve a problem like indoor and can the national governing body work with partners who have made the version a success, asks Ross Bone

The Super 6s finals are all done and dusted for another season with East Grinstead picking up the women’s title and Wimbledon capturing their first men’s crown. And yet, despite the size of the achievement from both teams I am once again left with a sense of what might have been. 

Not in terms of what happened on the court – any national title is an outstanding accolade and should be celebrated as such. What leaves me disappointed is the opportunity our domestic game continues to miss with regards indoor hockey. No matter how much I think about it, I cannot wrap my head around our reluctance to embrace this version of our game.  

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  1. At grass root levels an (longer) indoor season would require a longer winter break. That would mean extending the outdoor season and that would cause problems for many clubs who traditionally share post match facilities and players with cricket clubs. Not an issue our continental neighbours face.

    Pity as I really miss playing indoor, having played it during my years overseas.

  2. Yes, yes, yes. That’s yes to indoor being under appreciated, yes to EH having the ability to do much more and yes to handing the reins to indoorhockeyuk. It is VERY rare that I have had a player who has been given a taste of the indoor game and a taste of indoor tournaments who has not wanted more of it. I could go on about how the indoor game will make you a better outdoor player, but to be honest it shouldn’t need to make that argument. The indoor game stands on its own two feet. The game is faster. Players are more involved (including keepers). More goals are scored. It rewards players with high technical levels. It produces exceptionally exciting tournaments in short spaces of time. And it is weather proof and more conducive to players and spectators throughout most of out traditional hockey season. The lack of emphasis and opportunities to experience the game is sad for players and sad for the sport. Action is well overdue which is why I fervently hope that players will flock to the fabulous indoorhockeyuk events. If the governing body will not serve the best interests of the sport by promoting indoor then those of us who love the game will have to take it out of their hands.

  3. At the moment indoor hockey is only really aimed at 1st teams! I agreed IHUK could run several leagues across the country which could then feed into a finals weekend with different tiers!


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