Tuesday, June 16, 2009

IHA to launch nationwide indoor competition

The IHA has announced it will launch two new indoor hockey club competitions – the National Mens Indoor Trophy and the National Womens Indoor Trophy - for the 2009/10 season.

For the winner of each competition lies the major carrot of representing Ireland at the European Indoor Club Championships in 2011.

Both competitions will be structured as a National Indoor Finals event, played over the weekend of February 6 and 7, 2010, consisting of 8 teams. Qualification for the final's weekend will take place through regional qualification tournaments.

The format of the regional qualification tournaments will be determined by the IHA Indoor Committee once entries from participating clubs have been confirmed. Due to the final's dates, the Indoor Committee anticipate that the regional qualification tournaments would take place between November/December 2009 and January 2010.

The competitions are open to all IHA affiliated clubs in Ireland and those interested in participating are requested to notify the IHA office by emailing katie.roche@hockey.ie before June 30.

To cover the expected cost of hall hire, equipment etc, the entry fee for the competition will be between €400 and €500 per team.


Anonymous said...

Great to see this initiative. Many of the world's leading countries have been taking indoor hockey more seriously as it is a great way to develop transferrable stick skills.

Indoor hockey has great development potential too as it is easier to establish in schools due to the smaller number of players and many schools have a good gym.
The same logic applies to ladies only clubs who are thinking of starting/re-establishing a mens section or new clubs in areas that don't already play hockey.

As an aside it would be great to see a few mixed social summer hockey tournaments, ladies only clubs could be invited to enter teams and in time it might lead to something. I think we need to look at ways of increasing participation.

Anonymous said...

Well said!!

Anonymous said...

Not sure how this will work, but in my opiion it will only work if we have a complete ban on out door playing in December, Jan and Feb so that the teams can prepare properly. I have a notion that the branches will have league matches on these weekends and the better players will already be committed to training 3 times a week with the club for out door, never mind for Ireland.
The call on amature players is incredable at the moment.
Plus think of the cost, hiring these venues costs a bomb and it will be the players who ultimately pay.
This season i have heard that club players have spent over €1,000 to play the sport and that is not even at the highest level, to increase the time spent playing sport will in the long run burn our best players.
Before they do this the IHA needs a properly structured home and away IHL, ISC, with a built in midseason break to play indoor in.
I can think of two clubs in Munster who will struggle to get any interest in playing even more games due to the players and the clubs financial positions.

Queso said...

Definitely agree that the IHA and constituent branches have to blanket book these weekends for indoor hockey only.... as per the arguements put forward above

Anonymous said...

This is increasingly sounding like people would prefer to have the few months off season in the winter rather than the summer. With the bad winter we just had resulting in all those postponements and an increased interest in indoor, are we inevitably heading towards making outdoor hockey a summer sport and indoor a winter one?

Anonymous said...

No we are not. Summer hockey would be a disaster on many fronts.
1. European Competition does not suit it
2. Hockey is an amateur sport and summer is a time when families go on holidays, students go off for 3 months and learn a bit about life and school kids head off to various places to further themselves (exchanges, gaeltacht etc)
3. May and June are exam time would be poor for hockey players in Leaving Cert or University.
4. Many hockey players have commitments to summer sports such as G.A.A. Cricket, Tennis and would not want to play summer
5. The universities would have to drop out. Thats good enough reaon initself

There are many other reasons for keeping the structure of the season the way it is. I have nothing against indoor by the way.

Anonymous said...

I wrote the comment at 10.48 and completely agree with you. Do we then just have to face up to the fact that there just aren't enough players in this country to support a major expansion in indoor hockey which coincides with the outdoor season? I like the idea of indoor, raising skill levels and all that but are there enough hours in the week or players in the provinces to do it properly?

Anonymous said...

I can understand the IHA’s motivations as both Ulster and Leinster are underrepresented every year at the national finals in Dublin. Regional tournaments seek to solve this problem

In Germany and other European countries they are effectively forced to play imdoor hockey due to the weather and players are not expected to both train for and play indoor and outdoor at the same time. Which I feel makes unrealistic demands on the players if they plan to play at high level.

In Ireland I’m not sure if it’s practical to stop competition during the winter due to hall rental costs and availability both for training and matches.

One solution is to play indoor hockey during the summer obviously this does not suit european competiton schedules but nevertheless it would allow the game to develop in Ireland. The numbers playing would also be smaller requiring less hall time and reducing costs.

Smaller sided games are definitely a viable method of increasing player participation and stick skills at schools level in particular. I see no reason why hockey sixes for instance could not be added to the annual developmental schools blitz. Schools such as Blackrock and others that have hockey players but possibly not enough for a full team could enter these types of tournaments and in time progress to the full 11 a side game.


Anonymous said...

Why not make the indoor hockey for the lower divisions only thus avoiding burn out for division one players? In fairness, I think they are in enough leagues/cups etc. Most other divisions finish at the end March/beginning April.
It would give the rest of the country's hockey players (the majority surprisingly!) a chance to play a bit more!

Anonymous said...

My experience of lower division hockey is that by March people are happy enough to have their Saturdays back having played for 3 separate teams each week for the preceeding 5 months. I sense there maybe a solicitor posting here who sees a chance of some marital breakdown business as husband/wife comes back after a long outdoor season and 3 Galtrim Cup matches and announces that they are away to play a bit of indoor against Pembroke 5ths in the basketball arena.

I have listed 5 reasons why summer hockey will not work. Do we need 25 reasons why lower division summer hockey might not work either.

As the Iguana in the Budweiser ad said "let it go Louis"