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Big finish for small-sided hockey

Press release issued: 3 June 2016

The University hockey clubs took part in a pilot event as part of the BUCS small-sided hockey project on Wednesday 1st June, celebrating the end of exams, the end of the hockey season and having lots of fun playing the sport they love with their friends.

Over 80 students took the opportunity to refresh themselves after the exam period by taking part in a 6-a-side hockey tournament.  The collegiality between the University of Bristol Ladies Hockey Club and University of Bristol Men's Hockey Club was clear to see and the love of their sport even more so as for a few hours of the afternoon all thoughts of deadlines, exams and the like we're left on the sideline. 

The event was testing a new format for the sport, aimed at getting more people playing, more regularly and supported by British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS).  The BUCS Small Sided Hockey project, funded by Sport England and delivered in partnership with England Hockey, is a new initiative designed to increase retention and participation of University students in competitive hockey of all levels. The game is designed to be as true to the normal rules of 11-a-side hockey as possible, but with some unique attacking twists to promote a high-scoring and fast version of the game. The format is also designed to make the most out of available facilities, with multiple matches being played on a single pitch, thereby maximising the number of players that can compete in each session.

Greg Sturge from BUCS helped set-up the event with Sport, Exercise and Health and the two hockey clubs and the University's head hockey coach Lee Ible did a fantastic job leading the organisation of the tournament.   The aim for 2016-17 is to introduce regular small-sided hockey as part of the University's programme, playing midweek under lights.