Get Inspired: How to get into Hockey

Alex Danson competing for England in the Commonwealth Games
Fast Answers
Why get into hockey?You'll get a satisfying thrill when you unleash a meaty 'thwack' of the ball - and make a load of friends too.
Who is it for?There are variations of the game for everyone, regardless of age, ability or gender.
Is there a cheap option?Hockey clubs are supportive of beginners, and are likely to help out with equipment and advice.
What if I want a proper workout?Stooping down, swishing a stick, stop-start running - it's demanding!
Can I take it to another level?There are clubs all over looking for new members. From there you can join leagues and competitions at regional and national levels.
Is there a disability option?People of most abilities and disabilities can play; there are a range of inclusive adaptations.
Is there a family option?Some parents and their kids play for different teams at the same club.
So how do I take part?Go to our Activity Finder to get into hockey near you.

Field hockey is a sport that many have played in its most simple guise at school, but relatively few take further.

However, if you're looking for a team that sport that requires dexterity, skill and massive amounts of cardiovascular fitness, then it could be the sport for you.

Whether you are new to the game or are interested in coming back to it after years away, there are schemes for any level of participation, with Play Hockey a great first port of call for those interested.

Aspire to be like: Kate Richardson-Walsh

Aspire to be Great Britain's most capped hockey player Kate Richardson-Walsh

Kate Richardson-Walsh praised the inclusive attitude of hockey, after she married team-mate Helen Richardson-Walsh in 2013.

Back to Hockey

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Getting back into hockey

Hockey is physically taxing and mentally stimulating, plus, once hooked players tend to make hockey friends for life.

In England and Wales, Back To Hockey is a campaign offering women and men of all ages either a complete introduction to the game, or a return to hockey if you've had a break from it.

If you are keen to get back into the game in Scotland and Northern Ireland, contact the hockey associations in your area who will be happy to help.

Juniors

Rob Moore of Team GB watches children playing hockey
Rob Moore of Team GB watches children playing hockey

Kids love to mess around with sticks, so of course kids love hockey, and there are many schemes across the UK designed to introduce more young people to the game.

For younger children matches can be smaller-sided, played on any surface, and use larger, lighter and - here's the key - safer balls.

In England, Quicksticks is for ages seven-11. For teenagers, there is also In2hockey. Scottish Hockey also runs a series of Youth Camps in school holidays, as does Ulster Hockey.

Masters

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Robert Adams: Oldest hockey player

The hockey bug is hard to shake, as evidenced by a buoyant veterans' scene in the UK.

The social element has much to do with it, and there are well-organised leagues in five-year categories from the age of 40 up to over 70s (Grand Masters!). There are even opportunities to play Masters hockey internationally.

Explore opportunities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Disability

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Sussex gets the ball rolling for deaf players

All of the hockey associations across Britain are working hard to ensure that a growing number of clubs and organisations create opportunities for disabled players.

England Hockey, for example, has set up a comprehensive range of specific sessions for the visually impaired or blind, those who are deaf or hearing impaired, people in wheelchairs, those with learning disabilities, and people with ADHD, Aspergers or Autism.

All come under the umbrella of 'Flyerz' hockey.' There are also a range of options in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Coaching and volunteering

Women getting coached at hockey

There are a wealth of opportunities across the UK to coach hockey, and don't forget: you don't need to be a supremely skilled player to be a great coach! Enthusiasm and passion are what's important.

Contact your national association to get involved, or try SportsCoachUK.

National associations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales greatly value the contribution of volunteers.

And in England, volunteers are now called 'Hockey Makers'. With an exciting few years ahead, hosting a men's World Cup qualifier in June 2017 followed by the Women's World Cup in 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park there are plenty of opportunities to get involved on the big stage.

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into hockey near you.

2. From anywhere in the UK, find your local club.

3. Share your story and inspire others!

Are you inspired to try hockey? Or maybe you are an expert sticksperson already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the activity by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired, visiting us on Facebook or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.