• General Questions
  • What do I do if the FAQ section doesn’t cover my question?

    The FAQ section is evolving and whilst we aim to cover most questions, there will be occasions where something is required that we haven't considered for FAQ.

    If you have a specific question you can submit a new one here Suggestion Box.

  • What happens to training and/or matches in adverse weather conditions?

    Hockey is played in most weather conditions as long as it is safe to do so. We do occasionally need to cancel/postpone sessions if the conditions are not safe. Should there be a need to cancel a session, the Club will post a notice on the Website and also add to the Twitter and Facebook feeds. Check the website and social media if there is any doubt.

  • What are the basic rules of hockey?

    Hockey is a stick and ball game with origins dating back thousands of years. It is traditionally played on grass, but more often it is played on synthetic surfaces. Two teams compete using 'hooked' sticks to hit, push, pass and dribble a small, hard ball with one aim in mind - to score a goal by getting the ball past the goalkeeper.

    There are 11 players on the pitch with up to five substitutes on the side-line. Players can substitute virtually at any time and any number of times.
    Player positions
    Every team has a goalkeeper - although, rarely, a team will play only with field players to put more players into attack. The other 10 players are called 'field players', and are in three categories - attackers, midfielders and defenders.

    Stick handling
    Hockey players must be able to control, pass, push, stop and hit the ball with a hockey stick. This is known as stick work, or stick handling. Keeping the ball under close control is called dribbling. The head of a hockey stick has a rounded side (the right side) and a flat side (the left side). It is only with the flat, left-hand side of the stick and the edges of that side which can be used to play the ball.

    No feet!
    Field players are not allowed to use their feet (or any other parts of their bodies) to control the ball. Only the goalkeeper is allowed to use hands, feet, etc. to stop or propel the ball when defending in his or her own circle.

    Ball in the air
    In general play, the ball cannot be raised into the air when hit. It can though be raised by using a scooping or long pushing action of the stick. A player will be penalised if they lift the ball in a way which is dangerous to another player. When the ball is in the air, a player must not hit it, however they may receive/control it at any height as long as it is safe to do so and not create danger. Many shots are raised because it is an effective way of scoring goals.

    Field Goals
    Field goals may only be scored from within the 'circle', which is actually a roughly semi-circular area in front of the opponents' goal. If an attacker hits the ball from outside the 'circle' and it goes into the goal without being touched by a stick on the way, it does not count. If an attacker hits the ball from outside the 'circle' and it goes into the goal having touched a defender within the circle, then the goal counts as an "own goal"

    Penalty Corner
    If a defending team breaks certain rules, the other team can be awarded a 'penalty corner'. Normally this happens when a team breaks a rule within their own 'shooting circle', but these can also be awarded when a defender is guilty of a particularly bad foul in the defending quarter of the field. For a penalty corner, play is stopped to allow the teams to take their positions. One attacker stands with the ball on the back-line. This player will 'push out' the ball to other attackers waiting to take a shot. The other attackers wait at the top of the shooting circle to get the ball. Up to five defenders (including the goalkeeper) position themselves behind the back-line to defend. The rest must stay behind the half way line until the 'push out' is taken. The ball is 'pushed out' to one of the attackers. Before a shot can be taken, the ball must first travel outside the circle. The receiver then usually pushes it back into the circle for a shot either by themself or another attacker. If the first shot is a hit (as opposed to other types of shots, like a 'flick' or a 'scoop'), the ball must enter the goal no higher than than 460mm. It is easy to tell if the ball is at that height because the board at the back of the goal is the same height. If the first shot is a 'scoop' or a 'flick' (shots that are lifted into the air with a long scooping or pushing action of the stick) then the ball can cross the goal-line at any height. Once the attacker on the back-line begins to push the ball out, the defenders on the back line may move into the circle.

    Penalty Strokes
    A penalty stroke may be awarded for a number of reasons, the most common being an offence by a defender in the circle that prevented a goal. In a penalty stroke, a shot is taken by one player and defended only by the goalkeeper. The shot is taken from 6.4 meters directly in front of the goal. All other players must stand outside the circle, about 23 metres away. Match time is stopped during a penalty stroke.

    Free Hits
    For general offences, a free hit is given against the team which fouled. Common fouls are obstructing an opponent from playing the ball, interfering with the stick or body when tackling, kicking the ball and playing the ball dangerously. For a free hit, opponents are given the ball where the offence took place. The ball is initially stationary and play will often be re-started by passing the ball to a teammate nearby while all opponents are 5 metres away. However, the player taking the free hit can also begin to dribble the ball him/herself.

    Duration of a match
    A regulation hockey match lasts 70 minutes - which is broken into two halves of 35 minutes each with a break of 5 to 10 minutes. The team with the most goals at the end of the 70 minutes is the winner. It is also possible for a match to end in a draw. But in some matches - such as a championship game - there must be a winner. In those cases, a match which is tied, it goes into extra time (the first team to score wins), and if necessary, to a shootout.

    Each match is controlled by two umpires. Each umpire controls half of the pitch and works cooperatively in the middle part of the pitch. For bad or repeated offences by players, an umpire can show them a card. A green card is a warning. A yellow card means the player is suspended from the game for a minimum of 5 minutes or the time the umpire decides depending on the nature of the offence. A red card is for a very serious offence and means the player is suspended for the remainder of the match. If a player is suspended temporarily or permanently, their team plays with fewer players. At world level competitions where the facilities are available, a team playing or the umpires themselves can refer a decision to the video umpire who can use slow motion replays to advise the umpires on the pitch of the correct decision.

  • Where can I obtain the full rules of hockey?

    Hockey is governed by International Hockey Federation. The latest rulebook can be downloaded from their website here

  • Who organises the club and who should I contact for information?

    BHC is a very friendly club, run and organised by a committed group of volunteers. A list of the key members of the club can be found on the website here

  • When does Senior Training take place?

    Senior training times can be found on the website here

  • Where does training take place?

    Training take place on the astroturf at North Oxfordshire Academy - please see the link below for a map and directions:

    About Banbury Hockey Club: How to find us

  • Is parking available at the Club?

    Yes, you can park beside the Hockey pitches during training times, but please be beware of hockey balls coming over the fence and that any damage to cars is not our responsibility.

  • My Son/Daughters friend is already a member. How do I join?

    We welcome new members at any time during the season.

    If you would like to attend a training session appropriate for your child so they can take part before joining - please see Club Training for details.

    We recommend that you child has mouth guard and shin pads in addition to clothing suitable for the weather conditions.

    We also recommend that you are around for the first session in case your child has trouble settling in. Once they are settled, we will ask you to fill out a membership form. Alternatively you can contact us about membership from our membership page.

  • Junior Section
  • What age does my child have to be to take part?

    We take children from 6 years upwards.

  • Will my child be grouped with children of a similar age?

    All children are divided into groups of children of a similar age and/or ability to ensure they get the appropriate level of coaching and care, and ensuring they make new friends.

  • Can my child come along to try hockey before I commit to a full set of sessions?

    We offer taster sessions, whereby children can come along to see if they enjoy hockey. Payment is only required should you child decide to continue after the taster session.

  • How fit does my child have to be?

    We aim to be as inclusive as possible with an ‘open to all children’ policy. Children should be reasonably fit and healthy. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s fitness or physical abilities, or if they think they need extra support, then please advise one of the coaches at you designated session.

  • What previous experience does my child need to have?

    We aim to be as inclusive as possible with an ‘open to all children’ policy. Children should be reasonably fit and healthy. Coaching is provided at all levels from Beginners to more experienced players. If your Child is very experienced, we may chose to move them up to a different session time that is more suitable for them.

  • What if my child is nervous before attending a session?

    We understand that it can be daunting for a child to take part in a new activity, especially in unfamiliar surroundings. We try to buddy up new starters with a child of the same sex and similar age to encourage friendly participation.

  • What should I wear and bring to training?

    We encourage all members to buy at least a club shirt and socks once they are playing regularly but when you start all you need are:

    • Trainers with a good tread, shin pads and we recommend a mouth guard which are available at all sports shops or online.
    • You should wear clothing suitable for the weather conditions - shorts and t-shirt in warm weather or tracksuit bottoms and sweatshirt in cold weather
    • A waterproof, in the event of rain and a warm hat in cold weather
    • Bring a water bottle to remain hydrated during the session
    • Bring a stick if you have one - we have a selection available for the session if not.
  • Do I need my own stick?

    Most people prefer to have their own stick but we do have a selection of sticks available for beginners to get started.

  • What should I do before my first session?

    Call or email one of the club contacts to let us know you are coming.

    We will arrange for someone to meet you to go through some basic information and introduce you to one of the coaches. We will arrange to "buddy up" your child with someone in the same age group who will help them to settle in.

    We advise you to stay to watch and be on hand should your child be a little nervous.

    We will give you the membership forms for you complete or take away.

    Once your child has become a member and is happy and settled you can leave them during the training session, returning in good time for the end of the session.

  • How do I get more involved with the club?

    As we are run by volunteers, we are always looking for more people to get involved to share some of the roles.

    The easiest way is to talk to your child's coach at the start or end of a session and make them aware of any specific skills you may bring.

    Alternatively you can contact us by filling out the contact form on the volunteer page.

  • Membership
  • How do I join and how much does it cost?

    Please see our membership page for more information and pricing.

    Alternatively if you come to visit us at the club, you will be given an application form and this should be returned to your coach no later than your "next/second" training session.

    You can order club shirts and other items when you join

  • Why do I need to register for membership?

    England Hockey requires all clubs to maintain a register of Club members each year.

    By moving to an online system, each individual member can now update their own details (address, phone number, email, etc).

    This ensures that we have accurate details within the system for communication and subscription purposes.

    Any member not registered will not be eligible to play for the senior teams.