Thursday, June 13, 2024

Coach wants more recognition of mismatches at junior hockey level

A coaching director has raised his concerns over the “damaging” effect of mismatch results which could be detrimental to hockey and keeping youth in the game.

Pete Beard, a former development officer at England Hockey, says there should be more education for coaches when scores in junior hockey get out of hand.

“Participation is my default and that is where I take a lot of value from sport,” said Beard, coaching director at Havant HC. 

“The current setup may be damaging and turning people off. Not just hockey but sport in general. Some of those extreme results, people don’t realise how damaging it is to young people if it’s not packaged well.

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  1. At the yougest levels in Spain, we play four quarters per match. Each quarter is either won, drawn or lost. Whoever scores the most goals in a quarter wins that quarter and is awarded 1 goal. If a quater is drawn, neither team is awarded a goal. At the end of the day, the worst result a team can suffer is a 4-0 defeat. However, if they can survive just one quarter without conceeding a goal, this reduces to 3-0 and (the weaker team) feel like they have achieved something.

  2. I agree entirely. There no greater demotivator than a child going into School on a Monday morning and having to tell their friends that they were beaten 21-nil on Saturday.
    When umpiring junior matches I never let the score go to more than 5-0 but I was sometimes hard pressed to find reasons to disallow goals.
    These type of matches do not benefit either side. It better for the coach to revert to a spell of keeping possession rather than racking up goals against a ‘soft’ opposition.

  3. There is work to do getting clubs to enter competitions at the right level. Just this season I’ve watched a junior Tier 2 team get demolished by opposition who should clearly have been in Tier 1

    I’ve also seen a junior team get demolished in the Plate by an opposition who conceded their Cup first round game in order to go further in the Plate. EH should change the rules so that if you don’t play your first round match, you aren’t in the Plate, you are out of the competition altogether

    Last season I went with a Tier 3 team to a club that had players in their team that would easily be Tier 1 standard, there is no way they should have been entered in Tier 3

    In summary, clubs need to be honest about the strength of their squad when they enter competitions. I also think EH need to police entries, big clubs with a strong track record in junior hockey should be entering Tier 1

  4. Agree completely William Heywood and my teams have been some of the ones being demolished this season. I know there is not a perfect solution and colts teams can vary in strength year on year but it cannot be left to the club to make 100% of the tiering decision. Past performance, past behaviour and the playing level of the club in general should all be taken into account. For example, Premier Division clubs should really be questioned if they are not playing their top colts teams in Tier 1.


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