Development of Youth Hockey in Poland
During last five years development of Youth Hockey has significantly changed. Improvement have been made in such fields as:
- organisation of championships in youth categories;
- level of hockey in youth categories;
- plans for future;
We want to bring school children nearer to hockey and to encourage them to this sport. Our current situation is:
- 22 from 25 registered clubs have their youth sections;
- there are 54 active School Hockey Clubs.
Every year there are championships for youth categories (u14, u16, u18). All teams play in knock out championships in their district and the best two teams are promoted to play in the final tournament. In every category medals and diplomas are being awarded.
In the field of increasing the level of hockey in youth categories we have organized a Hockey Camp in youth category (u14) for boys and girls. Representations of each region are making teams. This Camp was made for integration of hockey society, both players and coaches.
Main rules of Camp:
- time of camp: 14 days during holidays
- place: attractive village, place in the forest, near lake, sport centre with swimming pool, with possibility to organize training exercises and with assurance of good rest.
- amount of participants(boys and girls) from seven DHF (District Hockey Federation) two teams, every team 20 people. Summing up, it is 280 people plus coaches and carers.
Organization of Camp:
- basic training, tactics, technique;
- medicine examinations with all day care
- championship during the camp (Summer Cup) between regional representations;
- tests with first selection to national teams u14;
Camp will be organized in a serial way. The camp improved interpersonal relations.
We also have plans for future and they are:
- Professional training of sport organizers;
- To organize games for school teams;
Firstly, we want that organize professional training of sport organizers in the field of:
- organization of championships;
- umpire assignment;
- fulfilling duty of fullback umpire;
- being technical delegate in national and international system;
Time of working in this direction is about four years for 25 people chosen by DHF. Training would last in two sessions in year (spring, autumn) in subjects:
- organization of regional championship and financial calculation;
- knowledge of UKFiS (Polish Sport Department) and PZHT constitutions;
- to work out preliminary for each sport championship and rules of accounting, financial rules;
- ways of getting finances and rules of financing by sport and council institutions;
- organization and service of championship bureau, fulfilling championship documents and preparing ending communicate;
- to fulfil duty of fullback umpire and technical delegate
- organization of trainings;
- basic rules;
Each session ends by a short test, the best three will get awards.
Second thing is organization of school-yard teams under the banners 'Hockey on every yard' and 'Every children play hockey'. Basic rules of this idea are:
- teams consisting of six players plus carer;
- age: from 7 up to 10 (boys, girls or mixed teams).
Teams are organized by players, youth sport organizers, junior players and they can call themselves as they want without the need of registering club. Next they inform DHF and they propose participation in a championship organized and supervised by DHF in a mini-hockey arrangement. Teams will get help from DHF and clubs in the field of specialist equipment (balls, sticks). PZHT will supply teams with propaganda and training materials.
Teams in the first year participate in inter-schools, city championship games according to youth program and next year in a regional championship. The tournament can be played both indoor and outdoor. After two years PZHT organize the national championship starting in such way serial championship every year.
Youth Hockey in Poland has significantly improved over the last five years. Much effort has been put to make hockey more popular among young people. But we are still doing what we can to increase the number of players and clubs, and to increase knowledge about this sport. We won’t stop because it always can be better.
Marcin Grochal, Youth Promoter Poland.