Every Sport for Everyone
Key Stage 1
Beginner - Movement
It is important that the players are familiar with holding the hockey stick and are able to move a ball around while holding the stick. This section develops these basic skills.
Demonstrate to the players how to hold a hockey stick and how to move a ball on the ground with the stick. Give each player a ball and a stick. Ask the players to move within the area using the stick to move the ball along and encourage them to keep the ball close.
Place a small mat for each player in an area. The players will then move around the area, controlling the movement of the ball with their stick. The players will have to avoid each other and the mats. Then, when you blow the whistle, the players must move their ball onto a mat using their stick. The player who does not get their ball onto the mat quickly enough is out. Remove a mat each time and the player who is standing on the last mat at the end is the winner.
Intermediate - Ground Passing
It is essential that hockey players can pass the ball to a teammate by striking it along the ground to the other player. This skill requires hand–eye co-ordination.
Put the players into pairs with a stick each and a ball between two. Place the players a small distance apart initially. Ask them to practice hitting the ball along the ground to the other player. If necessary, the players can stop the ball with their stick first before striking it back.
Game: Through the Gate
This game develops the player’s ability to pass the ball accurately to a teammate. Put the players into pairs of similar ability level. Then set out two cones at an appropriate width apart between the two players. The players will need to pass the ball between the cone gate. After the players have made five successful passes through the cone gate, ask them to take three steps back each and repeat the game.
Advanced - Shooting
Players have been using the skills to move the ball and pass the ball along the ground. Now the players have the opportunity to move the ball along the ground and shoot at a target.
Divide the players into two teams and set out two rows of cones. Each team will start behind each set of cones. The players will have to dribble through the sets of cones, then shoot the ball into the net. The players must make their way through their set of cones, weaving in and out of them while controlling the ball. The player who scores into the net first is the winner. The players must wait for you to blow the whistle before starting. Each player tries to score before the other team to earn their team a point. You could also give each player a number. It is important that the players are listening when you call out a number so they know it is their turn to go and battle against the other player to try and earn their team a point
Key Stage 2
Beginner - Ball Control
In hockey, it is important that players are confident in moving with the hockey ball.
Demonstrate to the players how to hold a hockey stick and how to move a ball on the ground with the stick. Give each player a ball and a stick. Mark out several smaller areas within the main area using cones. Ask the players to move within the main area but not in the smaller marked out areas. When you shout out a number, the players must dribble the ball into one of the marked out areas. Ensure the number you called out corresponds to the number of players in each area.
Game: Tidy the Toxic Factory (Using a Hockey Stick)
Scatter different colours of small balls over the area. Place buckets (matching the colour of the balls) in the corners of the area. Give each player a stick. Explain to the group that they are workers in the toxic factory and they need to get rid of the toxic waste, but they cannot touch the waste. Therefore, they must use the sticks to carry the toxic waste. Then explain that when the whistle blows, the players must run around the area and collect each ball and place it in the correct bucket. When the floor has been cleared, the activity is over. If the players are capable, you can show them how to lift the ball using the ‘jab’ lift.
Intermediate - Shooting
To score in hockey, it is important that the players can accurately shoot into a net.
Ask the players to dribble a ball each in a marked out area. Place a goal outside the area for them to shoot into. Initially, have no goalkeeper in nets. Give each player in the area a number. When you call out the number of the player, they must dribble out of the area and shoot towards the net.
Game: Two vs. Two
Divide the players into two teams. Give each player in each team a number. Mark out an area with a goal at each end. Call out two numbers and then the two players from each team, corresponding to the numbers called out, will run out into the area and wait for you to release the ball. The players will have to pass to each other and make their way towards their opponent’s goal. Make a rule that there must be at least one pass before the team is allowed to shoot. Introduce a goalkeeper into each net to make it more difficult.
Advanced - Game
Players have now gained the basic skills to play a simplified game of hockey called Quicksticks.
Divide the group into teams of four players. This will ensure the players will have more opportunities to run with the ball and more chances to pass the ball. Use an area of appropriate size for the hockey pitch, depending on the group’s ability. Use a larger or softer ball and smaller sticks if necessary. You could give smaller sticks, such as Quicksticks hockey sticks, to players who find the game difficult. These sticks have coloured markings to help the players position their hands. Encourage the goalkeepers to change positions so that everyone has a turn in nets. If some players are having difficulty with moving with the ball on the stick, then allow a player to move without being tackled (but they must pass after a certain length of time). If some players are more able, then limit how far they can travel before passing and shooting. Ensure the time set for each half is suitable for the age and ability of the players.
Key Stage 3
Hockey can be a difficult sport for players to grasp as it requires good hand–eye co-ordination. Players should start by playing small-sided games until they develop the skills necessary to take part in a full-sided game. Smaller games may be more suitable as they will ensure the players receive more touches of the ball and allow them to practice the skills with more time. It is important that goalkeepers are wearing the correct safety equipment to protect them.
Inclusion and Accessibility
While we would like all pupils to be included in Physical Education along with the others in their class, this is not always possible when it comes to playing the full version of the sport.
If a pupil has physical disabilities that mean they cannot safely take part in the game along with the other pupils in their class, then this pupil should be given the opportunity to take part in other physical activity. For example, a class could be split into groups, with some pupils practising the drills and others playing the game. The smaller group could practise the skills needed for the sport, or for the disabled version of the sport, alongside the rest of the class. These smaller groups would work in rotation, giving everyone an opportunity to play the sport and practise their skills.
Alternatively, some pupils may prefer to do a physical activity that they are particularly interested in, for example practising the drills needed for a sport they play outside of school.
- Divide the group into teams of two or three players so that they will have more touches of the ball and more space in the area. Then gradually increase the size of the pitch and the number of players in each team.
- Use an area of appropriate size for the hockey pitch, depending on the group’s ability.
- Use Quicksticks equipment to help players who are finding the sport difficult.
- Encourage the goalkeepers to change positions so that everyone has a turn in nets.
- Ensure the time set for each half is suitable for the age and ability of the players.
- If players are having difficulty with some aspects of the game, call a timeout and give them a demonstration.
- Ensure all players are included in the play and ensure a coach is on the field to help with any players who are finding it difficult to grasp certain concepts of the game.
- Make all players aware of the importance of player safety and that the hockey sticks must be kept below waist height.
Make it Inclusive!
- Use a flat, hard playing surface.
- Ensure the adult to player ratio is appropriate so that every player has a chance to be involved.
- Divide players with difficulties evenly between teams.
- Remind players that there is a mixture of abilities on the court and it is important not to run into each other.
- Allow wheelchair users and those with difficulties and impairments more time.
- Make sure that tackling is restricted to appropriate players and make a rule that others can only hold onto the ball for a certain length of time.
- Ensure inclusion by introducing the rule that every player must touch the ball before the team can score.
- Reduce the size of the pitch for players with mobility difficulties.
- Widen the nets, if necessary.
- Use a hockey stick with a shorter handle and larger foot to make it easier to control the ball, e.g. Quicksticks.
- Use a softer or lighter ball instead of a hockey ball.
- If several wheelchair users are playing, they may need to use a bigger ball.
Hard of Hearing or Deaf
- Demonstrate the game using a sign language familiar to the player.
- Use a visual sign to show that game time has started or stopped, e.g. a flag or "time out" sign.
Sight Impaired or Blind
- For players with minor visual impairments use a brightly coloured ball that contrasts with the playing surface.
- Ensure that team bibs clearly contrast with each other.
- Make sure that cones and equipment marking the boundaries of the playing area are brightly coloured and clearly contrast with the playing surface itself.
- Use an audible ball (ball that makes a sound) with players who have a serious visual impairment.
- Allow the player to use a hockey stick with a shorter handle and larger foot to help them to control the ball.
- Allow an adult or ‘seeing’ player to guide them around the pitch using directions or a hand on their shoulder.