Category Archives: General

Our AGM will take place on Monday 25th June at 7pm

The Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday June 25th at 7.00pm. This will be held at the Academy Room, Hertfordshire Sports Village, De Havilland Campus, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield AL10 9EU.

If you are unable to attend, please forward any apologies for absence to Stuart Wonfor at 116 Watton Road, Ware, SG12 0AY or email Copies of the minutes of last year’s meeting and the audited accounts will be available at the meeting.

A nomination form with a list of all committee and non-committee posts is also attached to this post. To make a nomination, please make sure that the member is willing to stand for election and then either complete the nomination form and forward it to Stuart Wonfor, or e-mail with the details (as on the nomination form).

If you need any further information, please get in touch with any member of the current committee (contact details on the Contacts page of the website).

Please be aware we still have KEY committee roles vacant, these include Facilities Manager & Men’s Club Captain. Your club relies on a steady stream of dedicated volunteers to ensure that we operate as a club and continue you to provide the hockey that you all love to play

The AGM is your chance to support your club and committee and raise any concerns you have with how you feel your club is run.

See you on the 25th June.

AGM Agenda 25th June 2018

Nomination form 18-19

Inspiration at WGCHC #WomeninHockey

The ladies section of Welwyn Garden City Hockey Club would struggle to function without Sue Owen, in fact, Sue is the club. Sue has been a member of the club since she was 13 and is still here over 40 years later. During her time at the club she has coached a Sunday morning youth team (on grass!), played various positions on pitch and in goal and currently also manages the Five Counties Ladies League.

Sue selflessly dedicates hours and hours week in week out, liaising with captains for team selection and notifications, logistics, coaching and is an ever willing umpire and I would describe her as the glue that keeps it all together.

It is difficult to pinpoint one single example to demonstrate why Sue is so wonderful and if I stated them all, you would be reading this all day but to choose one, I will give is the dedication she showed this weekend. This Saturday, Sue was present at every single ladies game all of which took place in different locations. She also offered to play for the Ladies 2s due to them only having 11 players despite carrying a long suffering injury. This shows just how much Sue will always put the club above herself.

Not only does Sue hold the club together on a Saturday but alongside her daughter Lizzie, she has also stepped in to coach the Ladies 1st team after they were without a coach after the end of last season. Using her expertise both as a player and a coach has ensured that the team have had a successful start to the season, winning their first two games.

Welwyn is lucky to have Sue as part of the club and I know I am not alone in saying that Sue is an inspiration to both young and more experienced players and is a joy to play with and for. To quote Anna Geaves, who was invited by Sue to attend training at 15, without the effort of Sue organising kit, matches and getting young players to games, many youngsters would not have had the opportunity to get involved in hockey and missed out on the sport altogether.

In addition to the inspiration Sue provides to the club, she has also inspired her two daughters Lucy and Lizzie Owen to take up the sport and Lizzie mentions that their childhood was spent at the side of the hockey pitch which was amazing. Lizzie has been part of the club as a youngster, has held the role of Ladies Club Captain and despite carrying her own injury is now working with Sue to coach the Ladies 1st team and inspired by Lizzie and Sue, Lucy has returned to hockey after several years away from the game. A recent game I played with Lucy and Sue saw a goal from Sue assisted by Lucy with Lizzie giving tips to Lucy from the side-line – a true example of a great mother and daughter (s) story within hockey.

New Rules Feb 2016

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced changes to the Rules of Hockey, specifically rule 13.2 which relates to the taking of an attacking free hit within 5 metres of the attacking circle.

The changed rules are as follows:

• 13.2.c: when a free hit is awarded to the attack within the 23 metres area, all players other than the player taking the free hit must be at least 5 metres from the ball, except as specifically indicated below for attacking free hits awarded within 5 metres of the circle.

• 13.2.f: from a free hit awarded to the attack within the 23 metres area, the ball must not be played into the circle until it has travelled at least 5 metres or has been touched by a player of the defending team.

Further details and explanations can be found on the FIH website

These changes came into effect in the international game on 16th February 2016. England Hockey has considered the implications of these changes from a number of perspectives and, in line with the desire for consistency in rules across the game, has decided to implement them at all levels of the 11-a-side game in England from Friday 26th February.

For the remainder of the 2015-2016 season and to support this implementation at short notice, pre-match both umpires, both coaches and both captains must confirm with each other that this rule change will be applied and communicate this to the team members.  This will avoid confusion should any player be unaware of the change.

David Ellcock, Chair of Selectors for NPUA – the national level umpiring association in England – said:

“This rule change has been introduced to avoid unfair and potentially dangerous play for all attacking free hits within the 23m area. Umpires should note that:

1. The management of the set piece has not changed essentially. All players must still be at least 5m away from the free hit, except for the player taking it. Defenders who were within 5m of the place where the foul occurred may still stay within 5m, provided that they are within the circle and do not interfere with play before the ball has travelled 5m, or the stick of a player, other than the hit taker, has legitimately touched the ball.

2. However, please note that if there has been a stoppage in time between the awarding of the free hit and the re-start in play, then all players, including defenders in the circle, must be at least 5m away.

3. Also, the practice of a player taking a free hit by touching the ball for a team mate who was 5m away to run onto and then drive into the circle is now a foul. If this occurs, a free hit to the defence should be awarded.”

If you’re an umpire and have any questions regarding the rule change, please contact,422C1,3UGAU1,EOU06,1

England Hockey 2015 Rules Guidance

Copied directly from EH rules guidance.


In late 2014, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced some changes to the Rules of Hockey. These changes included the incorporation of the previous FIH Tournament Regulations that related to: a) breaking early at a penalty corner; b) the two-minute green card; and c) the use of the stick above the shoulder. All the changes are outlined on pages 5-7 of the FIH Rules Book.

 The changes came into effect at International level from 1st January 2015 and were implemented in the National Leagues on 31st January 2015. With effect from 1st July 2015, all of the new rules will be played throughout the 11-a-side game in England, at all age groups.

The new rules have proved to be both successful and popular at international and national league level. They improve the flow of the game, as they result in fewer interruptions, and they help umpires with game management. It is also very good news that the game of hockey across the country will be played to the same rules.

The notes below represent guidance on the new rules, but please recognise that they are guidance and not a set of hard and fast principles that must be adhered to at all times. Finally, be aware that sometimes, when new rules are introduced, umpires, players and coaches get over-concerned by all the possible implications of the changes, which can, on occasion, lead to loss of focus and, perhaps, missing other things relating to the unchanged rules that are more important.


New Rule:

  • If the attacker taking the penalty corner injection feints at playing the ball they should be sent beyond the centre-line and should be replaced by another attacker.
  • If a defender, other than the GK, crosses the line before the injector has played the ball then they must go beyond the centre-line and cannot be replaced by another defender.
  • If the GK, or player with GK privileges (a “kicking back”), crosses the line before the injector has played the ball then the defending team must defend the PC with one fewer player.
  • If an attacker enters the circle before the injector has played the ball then they should be sent beyond the centre-line.

Rationale for the change: The new rule has proved to be hugely successful in prompting a significant reduction in the number of early breaks, by both attackers and defenders.

Guidance for umpires:

Having awarded a penalty corner, umpires should allow the injection only after the attackers are all outside the circle and the defenders are either beyond the centre-line or behind the back-line.

  1. If an attacker or defender then enters the circle before the ball is injected, umpires should blow their whistle and signal a reset penalty corner.
  2. Umpires should send the offending player to the centre-line, unless it is the goalkeeper or “kicking back” that steps out early. In that case, the team should choose a defender to go to the centre-line.
  3. An attacker at the top of the circle who infringes and is sent to the centre-line may be replaced.
  4. If the injector ‘dummies’ and that causes defenders to step out early, then the injector must be sent to the centre-line and another attacker must then inject.
  5. If, during the playing of a penalty corner, another penalty corner results (without the ball having travelled more than 5 metres outside the circle) any player originally sent to the centre-line must remain there for the retaken penalty corner.
  6. If a defender steps out early at the retaken penalty corner, then that defender must be sent to the centre-line (reducing the number of defenders on the backline by an additional player).
  7. If, during the playing of a penalty corner, another penalty corner results (with the ball having travelled more than 5 metres outside the circle) any player originally sent to the centre-line may return for the newly awarded penalty corner.
  8. A penalty corner is considered as re-taken until any of the conditions for its completion are met, which are detailed in Rule 13.5 (for penalty corners in normal time) and Rule 13.6 (for penalty corners at half-time and full-time).
  9. Players may therefore return from the centre-line when: a) the ball goes more than 5 metres from the circle; or b) the ball goes out of play, unless it is deliberately played over the backline by a defender; or c) a penalty, other than a penalty corner, is awarded.

Please visit this section of the England Hockey Rules education site to see videos of this rule in practice.


New Rule: When an offending player is awarded a green card, he/she will be required to leave the field of play for a period of two minutes.

Rationale for the change: The introduction of the two-minute green card provides an additional management aid to umpires, which has proved very effective in offering an intermediate penalty between a verbal caution and a yellow card.

Guidance for umpires:

 A green card should still be awarded for any offence for which it would have been awarded under the previous rules i.e. a green card should not now be reserved for more serious offences just because it carries with it a two-minute suspension.

  1. A verbal warning can still be given for those offences that an umpire feels require some intervention but not a temporary suspension.
  2. An offence that was deserving of a yellow card under the previous rules should still be penalised with a yellow card under the new rules. A yellow card should not be replaced by a green card now that the latter carries a suspension.
  3. Umpires should blow their whistle and stop time before awarding a green card. Umpires should then record the time of the suspension and the number of the offending player.
  4. The game should not be restarted until such time as the offending player has left the pitch, unless the regulations of the competition in which the game is being played specifically allow for the game to be restarted earlier. This will usually be where there is a technical table to assist with managing the carded players.
  5. After two minutes of playing time, the offending player may be invited back onto the pitch. There does not have to be a stoppage in play before this can happen, nor does the player have to be returned at exactly two minutes, a delay of a few seconds is acceptable. The player must not be returned during a penalty corner – i.e. from its award until such time as the penalty corner is complete, as per either rule 13.5 (for penalty corners in normal time) or rule 13.6 (for penalty corners at half-time or full-time).
  6. If the player being returned is a GK, this must be done at a break in play, though the clock need not necessarily be stopped.
  7. Unlike with a yellow card, umpires cannot increase the period of suspension for a green card beyond two minutes. If a suspended player commits any further offence between the award of the green card and the end of the suspension, s/he will need to be awarded a yellow card to extend the period of suspension. (NB. The player must also be suspended for five minutes from the point at which the yellow card is shown in that situation, not for five minutes from when the original green card was shown.)
  8. This process is identical to that used previously when a yellow card was shown, in every respect other than the inability to increase length of the suspension.


New Rule: Players can play the ball when the ball is above shoulder height, provided that they do so in a controlled manner and in a way that does not create or lead to danger.

Rationale for the change: To add another dimension and set of skills to the game, and to remove the need for umpires to make marginal judgements about the height of the stick with sometimes far-reaching consequences.

 Guidance for umpires:

 This rule does not give players ‘carte blanche’ to swing wildly at the ball when it is in the air. Any attempt to play the ball must be safe and must not potentially endanger other players.

  1. When an aerial pass has been made, umpires should focus on the ‘landing area’. Player movement should give umpires an indication of where the ball should fall so there is no need to watch its flight.
  2. If a player makes a successful attempt to play a raised ball while it is in the air, then that player’s opponents must stay clear and allow that player 5m in which to receive the ball, and control it on the ground.
  3. If the sticks of two opposing players are raised close together to receive an aerial pass, then umpires should blow their whistle and award a free hit to the team whose player did not raise the ball.
  4. If the sticks of two opposing players are raised (but some metres apart), then the receiver is the player the ball will reach first. In this case, opposing players must let the ball be controlled on the ground before any approach is made.

Please visit this section of the England Hockey Rules education site to see videos of this rule in practice.


New Rule: A free hit awarded within 5 metres of the edge of the circle can be taken from the point of the offence. The ball still has to travel at least 5 metres before it can be played into the circle, or alternatively has to be touched by another player of either team, other than by the player taking the free hit.

Rationale for the change: Previously having to take the ball back to the 5m dotted line was seen as a real disadvantage to the attacking team (as it allowed the defence to re-organise) and it disrupted the flow of the game.

Guidance to umpires:

Free hits can now be taken from the point of infringement, even if that is within 5m of the circle (the dotted line). However, the ball must travel 5m, or be touched by another player, before it can enter the circle.

  1. Just as anywhere else in the 23, the free hit may be taken immediately, even though other players are not 5m away. Those players must not interfere with play.
  2. Defenders who are not 5m away, but inside the circle, are not required to retreat 5m – the attacker who self passes is not entitled to dribble into the circle (until the ball has gone 5m), and so they are not interfering with play. Defenders may also shadow around the inside of the circle a player who takes a self-pass, provided that they do not play or attempt to play the ball or influence play until it has either travelled at least 5m or alternatively has been touched by another player of either team who can legitimately play the ball.
  3. However, defenders who are more than 5m away may not encroach in an attempt to form a sort of “defensive wall”.
  4. Umpires should be aware that, if the ball is touched, another player can then dribble into the circle, in which case a set defender inside the circle could, depending upon their subsequent actions, be interfering with play.
  5. Other than indicated above, any playing of the ball, attempting to play the ball or interference by a defender or an attacker who was not 5m from the ball, should be penalised accordingly. In such circumstances, the correct penalty will usually be a PC to the attacking team.

Please visit this section of the England Hockey Rules education site to see a video of this rule in practice.


New Rule: Play will be re-started by the attacking team with the ball on the 23 metres line and in line with where it crossed the back-line.

Rationale for the change: To open up angles and options for the attacking team and to prevent the ball getting ‘stuck’ in the corner amongst a crowd of players.

Guidance for umpires:

 The re-start must be taken from on the 23m line. This means that the re-start is within the 23 and therefore may not be played directly into the circle until it has travelled 5m or been touched by another player.

  1. Players may ‘try it on’ by taking the hit just outside the 23. If the ball is not placed exactly on the 23m line, umpires should make it clear to players that play must continue as if the ball were inside the 23.
  2. Umpires should be flexible and only penalise if the ‘wrong spot’ for the ‘corner’ is chosen either to gain an unfair advantage or for reasons that go against the aim and spirit of the rule.
  3. The signal for the new restart remains unchanged – i.e. the umpire should point to the corner mark. A secondary signal can then be used to show the location of the restart on the 23m line if necessary. NB: You will find that players quickly become familiar with the new rule and thus a secondary signal becomes unnecessary, unless the player is obviously preparing to take the restart from the wrong place.

Please visit this section of the England Hockey Rules education site to see videos of this rule in practice.

‘UP 10’ RULE

Please note that the rule that allowed an umpire to progress a free hit by up to 10 metres has been deleted. The rule is now redundant owing to the new free hit rules and the ability to self-pass, while any other misconduct can be managed using other rules or personal penalties.