An exciting new version of hockey will arrive in West Norfolk next week as the sport’s national governing body looks to get people back into the game.

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Rush Hockey rules at a glance

• Teams are either 4 or 5-a-side with squad sizes made up of up to 7 players

• The game involves no deliberate:

– Use of feet

– Using the back of the stick

– Stick tackling

– Contact with other players

• Neither the stick or the ball should be raised above knee height

• Players can shoot from anywhere

• After a goal is scored, play is restarted from the centre of the pitch

• A sideline ball is taken from the point of exit. The ball can either be passed to a team member or taken into play yourself (known as a self pass)

• When a rule is broken the ball will be awarded to the opposing team where it can either be passed to a team member or taken into play yourself

‘Rush Hockey’ taster sessions will start at Lynnsport on Wednesday with King’s Lynn-based Pelicans helping England Hockey’s drive to raise the profile of the increasingly-popular sport.

The new, flexible, small-sided game – for players from 14 years and over – can be played indoors or outdoors in mixed or single gender teams.

It is played with a standard hockey stick, but has unique goals and balls and has less rules to make it faster and fun. Matches are also self-umpired.

Pelicans chairman Mark Mills said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen to help bring this game to West Norfolk.

“It’s a great way of bringing hockey back to people who haven’t perhaps played it since school or who haven’t picked up a stick for years. It’s an easier and more relaxed version of the game.

“We’ve got these four taster sessions to give everybody, young and old, the chance to get involved. There’s great interest in it around the club too.”

The first four taster sessions will be taken on by England Hockey representatives before Pelicans take over.

They hope to organise a league and tournaments and aim to continue running the game long into the winter.

Mills said: “The Olympics will make a big difference to the exposure of hockey, especially with GB ladies’ coach Danny Kerry coming from Norfolk.

“Rush Hockey will only help raise the profile of the sport in this area. We want everybody to get involved and I think it will go well as it’s new.

“I’m excited about it taking off this summer and if it goes really well there’s plenty of scope to move it indoors and play it all year round.”

Rolling substitutions, matches consisting of 10-minute quarters, no goalkeepers and a larger lighter ball are all designed to make the sport less daunting for those returning to the game.

The first free taster session is at Lynnsport astroturf (7-9pm) on Wednesday, April 18. For more information contact Mills on 01553 764758 or e-mail mark@italsed.com

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