Neston Sports

Junior Hockey Policy

The policy’s aim is to ensure that our young members are given every opportunity to reach their full potential whatever level that may be (international, regional, county, social or otherwise).

We accept a responsibility and ensure it is the number one priority to promote the welfare of young people and protect them from harm, in partnership with The Hockey Family.

This policy states:

1. Neston HC will take a long-term view of the development of all its young players in line with the principles of Long Term Athlete Development adopted within England Hockey’s Single System.

2. Age Groups:

    1. Badgers - this is based on school years with eligibility for children from years 11,10,9, or below.
    2. Beavers - this is based on school years with eligibility for children from years 8, 7, 6, or below. By exception - Children in Yr 9 can play if it assists their personal development.
    3. Girls U14 - this is based on school years with eligibility for children from years, 9, 8, or below.
    4. U12s- this is based on school years with eligibility for children from years 7, 6 or below.
    5. U10s - this is based on school years with eligibility for children from years 5, 4 or below.

3. Beavers and Badgers teams can be mixed, since girls are eligible to play, or all boys (but no adults). Within these guidelines there is a degree of flexibility to include over age players who would be out of their depth at the next level. Ultimately it is for the manager/coach to exercise his/her discretion over selection and make up of the side and to communicate with the opposition manager/coach in advance of a fixture.

4. Children progress at different rates and the club does not want a child to be playing out of their depths, nor does the club want a child to be held back if they are technically and physically able. The club will undertake on-going assessments (which meet EHB requirements) for Beavers, Girls U14’s and Badgers to enable us to make the best decision for each young player.

5. The club will enforce that a player must have reached the age of 13 to be eligible to be selected to play competitive adult league hockey.

6. The club will enforce the Slazenger EHL regulation stating that a player must have reached the age of 15 to be eligible to be registered to play in the EHL.

7. Young players will not be called upon to play in adult only competition until it is in the best interest of the young player. If an adult team is short and the only option is a young player who is not ready, physically, mentally or socially, then the adult team will play short.

8. The club will abide by England Hockey recommendations regarding player eligibility and competition rules.

9. The club will abide by the England Hockey centralised calendar and the priority this provides to ensure that young players at each stage of their development are given the opportunity to play and train at the right level for them without being overplayed. Playing in more than one age group will be disallowed.

10. For young players eligible to be involved in adult teams, careful consideration will be given to ensure that the distance travelled is proportional to the likely pitch time for the young player. As a guide, it is suggested that players who will play less than half a game should not travel for longer than 60 minutes.

11. All selection will be made in line with the principles outlined in the EH Equity Policy and EH Safeguarding and Protecting Young People in Hockey Policy adopted by this club.

12. As much as practically possible, peer group teams will ensure that each member of the squad is given as equal as possible an amount of pitch time per match or per event to ensure every individual has the opportunity to develop. Winning is important but is a short-term gain.

13. At the end of each season, all juniors under 17, are allocated to an adult team for the following season, that the adult captains and junior coordinator decide is best for that junior to develop their potential best. This is based on

    1. The junior’s performance during the season just gone
    2. The adults in the new team
    3. The standard of hockey played in the new team’s division

This is reviewed over summer inter-club and pre season games.

14. When a young player is promoted, they are done so with development in mind and so must spend a minimum of 3 games in that team where possible. The captains from both old team and new team must explain what they want from the younger player during these 3 games. In exceptional circumstances where there is an opportunity for a young player to experience a higher level of hockey for a game or two this can be agreed at selection as long as this is seen to be in the best interests of the young player and that they are informed of the circumstances and expectations by both captains.

15. After this 3 game period, the young player must take back what they have learnt from their time in the higher team back to the team below, where the chance is allowable, to carry on their development for at least 2 games before being considered to come back into the higher team. Specific feedback should be give to the player. It is important that both the player and the player’s parents are informed of this.

16. Should it be in the best interest for the junior to move down a side, the captain must explain to the younger player what they want to see them work on during a minimum of a 2 game period.

17. A junior’s progression is reviewed once a month by the club captain and the junior coordinator, to make sure no one is forgotten about, and targets are set to the adult captains for development of their juniors.

18. All sides are development sides with the development of all players including juniors a priority. The selection of the juniors will be made by the badgers managers, coach and the development team captain; the progress of the juniors will be closely monitor and reviewed on a 6 weekly basis to decide whether they should move up/down or remain in the same side.

Although this is a junior development policy the principles also apply to adults.

Neston Hockey Club with the support of England Hockey believe all young people have the right to enjoy their hockey in a safe and secure environment.

Complaints Procedure

Please e-mail or ring our Club Chair Person Colin Leeman or our Child Protection Officer, Andy Crick or any Club Officer on the Contact Page:

Colin Leeman - 07740 051718

Andy Crick - 07960 267662

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