Time to ditch the skirts?

Should women players be able to choose whether they wear a skirt or shorts?

The Vancouver Women’s Field Hockey Association were recently forced to vote on this following an incident where player Kaity Cooper defied the existing skirt rule and wore shorts instead. Report on vote

The  Association has since ruled that each team can choose to wear shorts or skirts — but whatever they decide, all team members must wear the same outfit.

Kaity Cooper

Kaity Cooper from her Twitter profile. Follow her blog at F is for Feminist blog

She reports being ordered off the pitch and being threatened with suspension. The governing hockey association will be voting next week on whether players can wear shorts instead of skirts.

“My teammates and I were really shocked,” she told CBC News. She wants players to have a choice, because shorts are more comfortable.

In a report of the incident written by Kaity herself Click here, the social justice lawyer says she finds it surprising that in a progressive city like Vancouver the rule is wear a Lycra miniskirt or don’t play.

She writes: “We think it’s time for change. On February 18, 2015 the League will vote (for the fourth time in the last few years) on whether women in Vancouver will get the option to play field hockey in shorts. Help us by sharing our story. #MySportMyChoice,” she says.

Click here for Vancouver news report

Follow Kaity Cooper onTwitter

Drag flicking – masterclass with one of the best in the world, Holland’s Mink Van der Weerden technique

Dutch hockey player Mink Van der Weerden does the business when it comes to drag flicking. Ross Bone, writing in The Telegraph, said: “In the men’s game, the names of the world class drag flickers roll off the tongue: Mink van der Weerden of the Netherlands, England’s Ashley Jackson and Tom Boon of Belgium to name just a few.”Telegraph.co.uk

Luckily, for those studying the art of the drag flick, Mink Van der Weerden gives a master class for Living Hockey that’s available to watch on YouTube. I think this is most useful for looking at the run up to a drag flick because he shows how far your feet should be away from the ball by placing two feet. It’s also interesting in that he explains that you have to hold off early in the shot, keeping your stick up and he then shows the exact point at which the power and flicking begin. Well worth a watch – or 10!

I’ve also taken a screen grab from the video compilation of his goals at the top of this post, which may also be helpful in illustrating just how wide his stance is during a drag flick. Viewed like this it almost looks like gymnastics!

mink goal 5


Just for good measure, here’s a link to a compilation of clips about drag flicking. Just in case you have time on your hands! Drag flicking videos

Better ways to coach children

On Friday I attended one of the new England Hockey coaching courses Engaging Games for Children led by Stuart Armstrong.

England Hockey coaching programme

Stuart looked at a useful technique described as ‘cold calling’.

  • Use lots of questions when coaching kids, but instead of asking for hands up, directly ask for an answer from one specific child. ‘Annie, can you give me an answer?’
  • Identify different players to answer questions so that they all have to be mentally engaged at all times – don’t just ask for a show of hands and pick one who seems to know the answer.
  • If Annie doesn’t know. Say ‘Don’t worry Annie I’ll come back to you later.Can anyone help? ” So the child doesn’t feel uncomfortable, but still has to listen to the answer because you’ll be coming back to ask her again later. She will have to remain mentally engaged and there is no opt out.
  • If she can’t answer, look around for somebody else to help out. Or even ask the child who she would like to help her.
  • When you eventually get an answer, go back to Annie and check for learning.
  • Leave some thinking time before you ask the first person and don’t use it as a way of picking on children who you think might not be listening.
  • Look at the taxonomy of teaching books by Doug Lemov, Teach like a Champion.
  • Here’s some links to other websites that looks at cold calling kids and hand raising.
  • Questioning technique
  • Cold calling good technique
  • Hand raising alternatives
  • Cold calling – how to

Stuart Armstrong’s website http://www.thetalentequation.co.uk/