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Hockey NZ is striving “To be the World’s Best Hockey Nation”

As such change is critical – it is essential to survive and to stay relevant in a constantly changing environment. Hockey has often led the way with a rich tradition of innovation – no offsides, the auto pass and modified formats of the game, these have all helped us to continue our growth in playing numbers, and our achievements both nationally and internationally as the world of sport changes.

It is our people who are the driving force behind our success and the ability to realize our lofty vision. We are dynamic, creative and problem solvers.  As Hockey actively looks at these fresh ways of thinking around the next steps for the sport we love. The focus is on keeping the quality of the experience with hockey enjoyable, creating balance in sport participation and nurturing talent at the right pace. That’s because we believe that people, especially young people, who receive quality experiences in sport become sport lovers for life.

Sport plays an important role in our society, contributing to national identity and wellbeing, but our country is facing a problem – too many young people are walking away, especially in their teenage years.

This is harming the health of young New Zealanders. It’s also stopping many realizing their full potential.

Hockey New Zealand is joining forces with four other top sporting organisations (Rugby, Cricket, Netball, and Football) and are committing to bringing the fun and development focus back into sport. They are determined to lead a change and to create a positive experience for all young people playing sport.

We’re asking all those involved in the delivery of youth sport to remember this: young people play sport to have fun with their friends. If they stop having fun, they stop playing sport.

Focusing too early on just one sport, putting winning before skills development and making young people train like professionals – these are the problems, not the solutions. Success should be defined by enjoyment, effort and improvement. There should be opportunities for all young people to be involved, not just those perceived to be most talented.

Key principles of community hockey

The following principles should be applied by administrators, coaches, parents and teachers involved in leading, supporting or managing all hockey participation and development opportunities throughout New Zealand.

PARTICIPANT FOCUSSED Meet the needs of the individual

FUN Make Hockey fun and enjoyable for all involved

SAFE Ensure a safe, supportive and encouraging environment

INCLUSIVE  Provide equal and accessible opportunities for all who choose to engage with our sport regardless of ability, disability, race, religion, culture, age or gender

HOLISTIC  Provide holistic and appropriate development for all, including but not limited to; players, coaches, umpires, parents & whanau

WELLBEING Encourage healthy lifestyles and Hauora

Participation programmes are developed with ongoing participation as the priority by providing opportunities for participants to enjoy Hockey and fulfil their current and future goals.

With these principles in mind the game for U13 has moved to small game based. This does not mean the end of the game, but simply a chance for players to adjust to a new fast exciting game which will keep you engaged for an awesome hockey experience.

The benefits for spectators

  • Faster
  • More Skillful
  • Excitement
  • More goals

The game will be played

  • on a half field
  • 6 field players and a goal keeper.
  • 2 umpires per field

The transition

Nelson Hockey Association want to be proactive about the transition from small games to 11 A-side, which is what Year 9 and above (college/club) will be playing. To allow for this we will introduce in 2021 season a DIV.6 (6 a Side + GK) for the first 7 weeks of the season and then after the 2021July School Holidays will move up those players interested in continue playing hockey for the rest of the season into  DIV.5  for another 7 rounds  of 11 aside at the end of year.

Nelson Hockey are also aware of the challenge this is going to create around coaching and umpiring. We will support the coaches/parents with coaching for coaches nights and information packs to help the skill set.

With the dissolvement of Hatch Cup and Collier Trophy there will be no replacement tournaments/festivals created for the U13 space. We are however still committed to have our Top of the South games, which are scheduled for August and these games will be in the 6 aside format. This means we will still be having our Rep trials for the U13 Boys/Girls teams and development teams. We will also be holding more development/skills session under our 2024 NHA Player Development Program so that players can increase their skill base without the pressure of winning.

For more information

More information on these competition changes are here on the HNZ website

More information on these community changes are here on the HNZ website

More information on these Performance changes are here on the HNZ website

For now if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact either our NHA-RDM  Lauren Hutton at [email protected]

More information on Hockey New Zealand’s changes can be found here.

Supporting Information

Balance is Better – Click here

Changing Youth Sport (Alex Chiet – Sport NZ) – Click here

Sport NZ Talent Plan – Click here

Good Sports Programme (Aktive) – Click here

Hockey NZ – voice of the participant – Click here

Strategy Delivery Review Summary – Click here

Strategy Delivery Review Report – Click here

Hockey NZ – Voice of the Participant – Click here


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Contact our Office

Saxtons Field Hockey Stadium
125/139 Saxton Rd, Stoke, Nelson

Phone: 03 547 9988
Email: [email protected]

Contact our Head Team

Fabian Amor – NHA OPM
Phone: 027 655 8411
Email: [email protected]

Lauren Hutton – NHA RDM
Phone: 021 058 8604
Email: [email protected]

General Information

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