Hockey duel

Six measures to improve fun and play (in hockey)

Measures to improve fun?

One of the Clubcoordinators that is using SuperCoach Online pointed me to the “Zes Spelplezierbevorderende maatregelen” or six measures to improve fun in playing hockey. Yes, his daughter is playing hockey.

I shared his interested and we discussed some, I found it on the website of the Dutch hockey union website and translated them below, let us have a look!

What is important?

With Dutch Hockey, the most important things with the youngest teams are these values: fun, security and education. When it becomes obvious during a game that the level between the teams is too big, these measures to promote fun playing the game are deployed.

It is the responsibility of the coaches to understand when the differences between teams becomes too big that the fun in the game needs to be safe guarded by implementing extra measures!

This difference can be determined by:

  • The rate between time in attack vs. time in defense. I.e. when one team has a lot of possession compared to the other team and this other team is hardly getting any time playing with the ball.
  • The number of goals scored during the game. As a guideline you can us a difference of three goals as a sign that the plying strength is too big (remember, we are talking about hockey).

Coaches do not have to think about the measures. They have several options to choose from and have to select the one most suited to the situation in the game.

It is important that coaches of both teams talk about these options and their willingness to implement them before the game. Combine the options for both the stronger and weaker team!

Options for the winning team

  • The referee will apply the rules of the game more strictly, this will challenge the stronger team;
  • The stronger team changes the positions of the player. For example: players who score a lot get a position in the defense;
  • Every player of the stronger team may, when he gets in possession, touch the ball only three times. This will improve playing together, the split-vision (look-up during /after taking on the hockey ball) and running for position;

Options for the losing team

  • The referee will coach the weaker team (technical and/or tactical). The weaker team gets stronger.
  • The weaker team brings on an extra player. This will increase the time on the ball for weaker team and position more open rather then only in front of the goal;

Reflection on rugby?

Okay, some interesting points – good to think about this and how they might fit on a rugby situation. There of course differences between hockey and rugby but they both are a evasive teamsport with differences between individual players and teams.

  • The referee will apply the rules of the game more strictly, this will challenge the stronger team;
  • Yes, this can work in rugby, not sure if it will challenge or frustrate the stronger team though;
  • The stronger team changes the positions of the player
  • Especially for the younger teams this will not work, the dominate player will present itself a take possession of the ball. For older teams you can switch dominate players to a front five position or to the outside of the team. His role will change and it will be a good learning opportunity;
  • Every player of the stronger team may, when he gets in possession, touch the ball only three times. This will improve playing together, the split-vision (look-up during /after taking on the hockey ball) and running for position;
  • We had a three-passes-before-scoring rule in Dutch rugby, but it resulted in the dominate player quickly passing the ball back and forth before defenders came up and then do their individual thing;

 

  • The referee will coach the weaker team (technical and/or tactical). The weaker team gets stronger.
  • First, as a coach I try to stay away from the technical things during the match, I believe it will distract from the tactical. But we want to move away from too much coaching anyway, so why try to quick fix during one game?
  • The weaker team brings on an extra player. This will increase the time on the ball for weaker team and position them only in front of the goal;
  • I can see this work, an extra defender, less space to attack;

What we do in rugby

  • Swap players between teams. Young players will not like this at first, so you need to explain there is no challenge / learning when it is all too easy;
  • Get the stronger players of the field. This means you have to think about your substitution plan. If the dominant player is taking of too much, consider moving him up one age group;

What do you think?

  • Some interesting ideas, not sure if they would work in rugby;
  • Of course, we should look at our training schedule and long term development to solve this problem;
  • Be extremely careful to take away the fun in scoring tries;