Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to the questions parents most frequently ask us - click on the question to see the answer. If you have any questions / concerns that aren't covered here, you can ask the coaches at training, or contacts us direct via the website.

Where are we based, and when are we there?
The training base for our junior section is the Astroturf pitch at King Edward VI Five Ways School Junior training takes place on Sunday mornings between 10.00 and 12.00. Sessions start each year early in September and run right through into July, our main summer break coinciding with the school summer holidays. We generally have a short break at Christmas as well. Training sessions take place in most weathers, and we now have an agreement with KEFW that allows us to use the Gym for training if the weather makes the astroturf unusable. If you are in doubt about whether a training session or match will take place then please contact the Junior Section Coordinator.

What age should I have reached to play league hockey?
England Hockey restricts U13s from participating in adult hockey leagues until they reach their 13th birthday. This restriction is not intended to apply to the practice of mixing junior and adult players in formalised matches where these are specifically organised to ensure that the primary purpose is the development of the junior players. i.e Badgers / fathoms, and no affiliation fee is currently payable to EHB for these teams. Consideration should be given, on an individual basis, to the inclusion of junior players in such matches to ensure that it is appropriate to do so. Factors considered might include physical and psychological maturity, age, playing ability and social skills.

What do we offer?
Our coaching sessions are split into groups by a mixture of ability and age. A good player is a good player at whatever age and should be given the chance to exercise their skills against players of equal standard. Talented players are currently given the opportunity to enhance their skills by referral to County Trials and specialist coaching sessions held within the Black Country. Throughout the playing season, September to April, we enter friendly tournaments and competitions at many ages from U-10 to U-16. Some of these are based within Worcestershire, some in the Black Country and some are the early rounds of National competitions. Whilst recognising that most children who join us want to play hockey, some want to further their knowledge of the rules of hockey by becoming officials. We have a number of qualified Junior Umpires within the club and will continue to run training courses for the Preliminary Umpires Award when we have suitable numbers of candidates. We have also started to train children who have passed through our juniors section to become coaches themselves.

Who works with the Children?
The club currently has more than 20 qualified and active coaches. All are members of the club and coach on a voluntary basis. Not all coaches are at each session but they are supplemented at times by willing parents who support the section. The majority of our coaches hold the English Hockey Association Level 1 award, but we also have more qualified coaches at level 2 and 3 and are actively increasing the number of coaches and the extent of their qualifications. Funding for this coach education has come from a mixture of club funds, The Black Country Consortium and the coaches themselves.

What are our Child Protection Policies?
We believe that coaching sessions should take place in an atmosphere of fun and friendship, however there are certain standards that must be upheld to ensure that the safety of the participants is maintained. Old Halesonians HC accepts that its main responsibility is for the well being and safety of those young players who are members of the club. This is done in the belief that by placing their welfare at the centre of our concerns we are providing a solid foundation for the development of our players for the future and for effective Child Protection practice. Old Halesonians HC adopts the Child Protection Guidelines for Good Practice issued by the English Hockey Association together with the guidance given by the National Coaching Foundation. In line with these practices the club have a Child Welfare Officer who willbe involved in all cases should any concern arise. All coaches are expected to adhere to the principles outlined by the above documents.

What do we expect from our Juniors?
What do we expect from Parents?
What can Parents & Juniors expect from us?
Coaches will... Respect the rights, dignity and worth of every person and treat everyone equally within the context of the game or training session Encourage and guide players to accept responsibility for their own behaviour and performance Consistently display high standards of behaviour and appearance Never physically or verbally abuse or neglect players and actively stop such behaviour between players Do not exert undue influence to obtain personal benefit or reward When travelling, Coaches will... Provide parents and players with precise details of the trip Have parents written permission for the child's involvement through a Consent Form Ensure in advance that there is sufficient transport and that there is a suitable ratio of adults to children Always endeavour to be the first at the meeting place and the last to leave Going Home... Parents or a nominated responsible adult must collect players (under 12) from the pitch and not allow them to walk to where cars are parked. If a child (under 12) wishes to make their own way home this must be confirmed in writing from a parent and arrangements must be safe and satisfactory to the club. In the event of a child not being picked up after a match or training session the coach will make contact with the parents. At the end of each session no child under the age of 14 will be left at the venue unattended.