Get Inspired: How to get into hockey

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Harry Potter star Emma Watson gets back to hockey

How do I start?

  • Play Hockey is a good place to start for those who are new to the game or interested in coming back to it after years away. Simply type in your postcode to locate your nearest club.
  • As this year is the Hockey Women's World Cup many clubs have lots more fun activity to get involved with over the summer to really make it Your World Cup.
  • In England and Wales, Back To Hockey is a campaign offering people of all ages either a complete introduction to the game, or a return to hockey if you've had a break from it.
  • The Scotland and Northern Ireland hockey associations will also direct you to clubs in your area.

But what is hockey?

  • Hockey is in some ways like football. It's an 11 a-side team game, where the aim is to score a goal in the opposing team's net.
  • Each player passes a small hard ball around the pitch with a hooked stick.
  • A match is 70 minutes, with two halves, and the winner is the team which scores the most goals.

Is it for me?

  • There are different variations of the game, so hockey is for everyone, regardless of age, ability or gender. There's also a real social side, with a culture of team bonding off the field.
  • It is very common to have two or more generations of a family in one team.
  • It is the country's most gender-equal sport.
  • After Team GB women won Gold in Rio, 10,000 people picked up a stick at their local hockey club.

What to expect when I start?

  • Hockey clubs are welcoming to beginners and are likely to help out with equipment and advice.
  • You don't have to be an expert in fitness, it is accessible for every level of fitness, ability and body shape.
  • The sport can be mentally stimulating, will improve your fitness and your hand-eye co-ordination.
  • For children, matches can be smaller-sided, played on any surface, and use larger, lighter and safer balls.
  • Or you could always look for a club like Bromsgrove that offer walking hockey sessions.
  • Flyerz' hockey in England have a 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.
  • There are also a range of disability options in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

To get you in the mood ...

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Sussex gets the ball rolling for deaf players

Are you inspired to try hockey? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast 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.

All clubs need a chair, secretary and treasurer to help things run smoothly as well as officials, coaches and judges. Whatever role you're interested in, Join In has opportunities to volunteer in your area.