South Hockey – Changes to Schools Events

7 Aug

To: County Contacts and Schools in the South

– County Contact for onward distribution to all their schools
– Schools involved in 2013/14 South events
Over the past few years we have received a number of comments on the structure of the South events. One that seems to occur quite regularly is that only one school advances from each group, which means those teams drawn against the strongest teams do not get through to the finals when weaker teams may do so.

For 2014-15 we are proposing to run a pilot for both the boys and the girls. We recognise that the demands from the boys’ and girls’ schools are different and are planning to pilot more ideas in the girls’ event than the boys’ event.

We have a new website at and will be increasingly using this. Over the summer holidays additional information will be added here as it becomes available. Other than schools in Surrey and girls’ schools in Berkshire who have a qualifying county tournament, if you have not yet got details about next winter’s indoor then the entry forms are on the website.

If there will be a new contact at your school from September please let me know either their details or a suitable interim contact.


We are looking at increasing the participants to 18. The number of qualifiers will be based on both the strength of the teams in any county and the number of entries that they have. For 2014-15 we are proposing:

·1 for Middlesex

·2 for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, London, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex

·3 extra places to be awarded based on overall previous results (the formula is still under discussion, though it has been decided to restrict it to one extra place per county)

Middlesex have been re-introduced as a county as the travelling between the two edges of the London grouping proved to be too long for what was meant to be a local event.

There will be two groups of 4 and two groups of 5. The length of game in the group of 5 will be reduced to provide for the same amount of hockey overall.

Following the group stage there will be cross-over games between a group winner and a runner-up from a different group. The group winner will be given choice of pitch.

The four winners from the cross-over games go forward to finals day which will be a round robin format.

Boys U14 & U16

Again Middlesex have flagged up travelling difficulties for what is a county round. This year they will hold their own tournament. If either the winner or runner-up wishes to try and qualify for the South round then they will subsequently have to enter the Berkshire event. The top two from this event will qualify for the South.

The qualification round will be four groups of four the top two will go forward to a cross-over quarter-final. Group winners will be given choice of pitch and drawn against a runner-up. If there are issues with the weather then it may be necessary to withdraw the quarter-finals to enable the event to complete before the Easter holidays.

Finals Day will stay as a knockout.

It was felt that the shorter match time required to facilitate a round robin would be unpopular with the boys’ coaches.

Our intention is to see if we can run the finals starting at 15:00 or 16:00. Pitches may be harder to get at this time of day as they will start to impinge on evening bookings.

Boys U18

At the moment we are not expecting to run a boys U18 event but will review this decision once the closing date for the school knockout has passed. If we feel that a South event is required it is likely to be a single day event. There will be no qualification from this event to the national tournament.


It is acknowledged that in school events where strength of the age group can vary significantly from year to year that no seeding system will be perfect. However, it is felt beneficial to the competition to try and separate those schools which are likely to be the strongest.

In both events seeding will be used to try to split the four best teams in to separate groups. In addition in the boys’ events the top two teams will be kept apart in the semi-finals.

The formula to determine the seeds is currently under discussion by the Schools Sub-Committee. It will allow more than one school per county to be seeded.


The ‘cross-over’ date is the date we have allocated for the cross-over games. However, if schools agree then they may play at any point up to the ‘play-by’ date.

[table caption=”GIRLS” width=”530″ colwidth=”50|120|120|120|120″ colalign=”center|center|center|center|center”]
,Heats,Cross-over,Play by,Finals
U14,Wed 12 Nov,Tue 18 Nov,Fri 21 Nov,Thu 27 Nov
U16,Wed 05 Nov,Mon 10 Nov,Wed 19 Nov,Tue 25 Nov
U18,Thu 06 Nov,Thu 13 Nov,Wed 19 Nov,Tue 25 Nov

[table caption=”BOYS” width=”530″ colwidth=”50|120|120|120|120″ colalign=”center|center|center|center|center”]
,Heats,Cross-over,Play by,Finals
U14,Thu 05 Mar,Thu 12 Mar,Fri 13 Mar,w/c 16 Mar
U16,Tue 03 Mar,Wed 11 Mar,Fri 13 Mar,w/c 16 Mar

Tony Hilton

Comments are closed.