Facilities & Strategy 2009 - 2013
This document outlines Hockey Wales's facility development requirements for the period 2009 - 2013. The requirements have been formulated following a detailed audit of existing provision and represents a realistic view of what is required to enable the WHU achieve its four year participation, performance and profile targets.
Current Position (2009)
The current levels of hockey facility provision (HW Approved) in Wales are as follows:
- Sand-filled, full-size, Artificial Turf Pitches (ATPs): 46
- Sand-dressed, full-size ATPs: 10
- Watered, unfilled, full-size ATPs: 4
- All international competition venues, national and regional academy training venues to be flood lit, full sized, water based, hockey only facilities.
- All other talent ID pathway venues to be hockey specific flood lit, full sized, playing surfaces, water or sand dressed or sand based.
- All surfaces on which regional league hockey is played to be hockey specific as above but not necessarily dedicated to hockey.
- Surfaces for local leagues and recreational hockey only to be 3G with less than 40cm pile or other sand based, sand dressed surface.
- All hockey Clubs in Wales to have access to a synthetic hockey surface for at least one flood lit training session per week and pitch time at the week-end on a full sized surface to support home matches, preferably but not exclusively without the need for floodlights.
- All hockey clubs to have access to a surface that is centrally placed for their catchment of members
- All schools in Wales who wish to play hockey to have access to a synthetic hockey surface on site.
A number of issues that need to be addressed in working towards those aims.
Those issues include the:
- Ageing condition of many pitches;
- Lack of funding set aside by facility providers for maintenance and replacement;
- Replacement of existing full size redgra pitches with 3/4 size ATPs;
- Lack of consultation by facility providers with WHU over new facility location and need;
- Over-use of many ATPs at peak hours;
- Lack of provision within certain geographical areas of Wales;
- Need to increase the number of water based / sand dressed pitches to provide for proposed National and Regional Excellence Centres and for the ability to host European and other international events.
- Potential for replacement of existing surfaces with synthetic pile unsuitable for competitive hockey
Replacement of existing full size redgra pitches with FULL size ATPs:
- HW will not support a project that replaces a full size redgra / ash / ATP pitch with a 3/4 size ATP as this is to the detriment of the development of the sport. The recommendation to any facility developer will be to replace full size areas with full size ATPs.
Replacement of existing pitches less than Full size:
- Similarly, HW will not support a project that replaces a less than full size redgra / ash / existing ATP pitch with anything other than a full sized ATP.
Hockey Wales's 3G Pitch Policy (Oct 2009):
From 1st October 2009 Hockey Wales (HW) will permit the use of some long pile turf pitches for some competitive hockey.
- HW recognises that with appropriate maintenance, some (FIH approved) long pile turf is preferable as a playing surface to grass or poorly maintained synthetic turf pitches. HW also acknowledges that with appropriate levels of maintenance, some long pile turf is appropriate for young players being introduced to hockey in schools and in community programmes / activities.
- However, for the long pile turf pitches to be used for hockey, the pile must be less than 40mm
From the 1st October 2009 HW introduced a system of pitch categorisation. The categories identify the full sized pitches that are suitable for playing hockey at one of three levels. The following categories only will apply:
HW Category 1
Water based and sand-dressed surfaces approved within the FIH Global/National parameters.
HW Category 2
Sand-filled (sand-based) surfaces within the FIH National parameter.
HW Category 3
Long pile (3G) surfaces that are categorised by FIH as satisfying their 'National' performance parameter (ie pile less than 40mm). The certification shall be based on on-site testing.
- HW will from 1st October 2009 permit the use of WHU Category 1 surfaces for all levels of competition inclusive of international training and matches.
- HW will from 1st October 2009 permit the use of WHU Category 2 surfaces forall levels of competition excepting international training and matches.
- HW will from 1st October 2009 permit the use of WHU Category 3 surfaces for local and regional league competition, however it should be noted that the playing surface is characterised by a slower surface speed, poor and sometimes unpredictable levels of consistency and modern hockey skills are much more difficult to execute.
- It is strongly recommended that Welsh Premier Division fixtures are played on Category 1 pitches.
- Category 3 pitches cannot be used for any HW Knock-Out Competition, international training and matches, BUCS league matches or Talent Identification Pathway activities including Performance Development Centres and Regional Academies.
Facility Requirements (2009 - 2013)
National and Regional Facilities (All to FIH Specifications)
- A need to refurbish the existing water based ATP at Sophia Gardens for 2010-11 domestic season.
- The need to make provision for adequate spectator accommodation for the pitches at Swansea
- The need to consider the provision of a further water based or sand dresses pitch in both mid and north west Wales.
- The need to develop second water based facility in the Cardiff area to compliment the facility at WIS and provide the potential to host major European and world events.
Local Facilities (To WHU Specification)
- The need to construct new ATPs in Ceredigion, Denbigh and South Powys;
- The need to work with Local Authorities, Sport Wales and otherfacility providers to provide guidance on specifications, repair, maintenance and replacement policies.
Whilst hockey continues to be played on a number of differing surfaces, it is acknowledged that where at all possible ATPs (Artificial Turf Pitches) should be utilised. It is a condition of many leagues and competitions that matches should be played on such surfaces and it is recommended that clubs check with the individual competition coordinator,
Hockey Wales has the benefit of a number of water-based pitches as follows:
- National & South East Wales Regional Centre
Sport Wales National Centre, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff CF11 9SW
- South West Wales Regional Centre
King George V Playing Fields, Cwm Farm Lane, Sketty, Swansea
Contact 01792- 01792-513552
- North Wales Regional Centre
Glyndwr University, Plas Coch Campus, Wrexham, LL11 2AW
For details of other ATPs within Wales please contact the Sports Development Unit in the appropriate Unitary Authority or Hockey Wales.