This January North Kildare entered the Leinster Ladies indoor hockey league for the second year running.
It takes place over the course of a series of Sundays in January and this season we were delighted to make it as far as the semi finals, a fantastic achievement for the team and the club.
We asked Ladies 1st captain Neassa O'Malley to answer a few of our questions about it.
Coach: Rowland Rixon-Fuller
Eleanor Ryan-Doyle(visiting player from Weston)
Jane Salter (visiting player from Loreto, each team can have 2 visiting players)
For those who are not familiar with indoor hockey what are the differences between it and field hockey?
It’s inside therefore cosy and warm!!
You can’t lift the ball unless shooting on goal.
There are boards on each side of the court and you can use these to your advantage by bouncing the ball off them almost like an extra player!!
The ball has no dimples-nice and smooth!
There are 5 outfield players on a team and 1 keeper.
It’s a free against you if you try force the ball through a player.
The game is 15-20 mins aside depending on the competition.
The court is similar size to a handball court.
It’s a faster game than outdoor and exhausting!!
You are only allowed 3 points of your body on the ground at one time. For example 2 feet and 1 hand or 2 hands and 1 foot!
You can only push or flick the ball. No hitting/slapping the ball.
This was North Kildares second year entering the competition, did you find that there were any skills learnt that you could carry over to your outdoor season?
Yes there were many which were evident in our outdoor game thereafter. For example, ball control, close skills, defensive structures and skills and composure on the ball to name a few. We noticed our junior players escalated in outdoor after indoor league experience.
What was your favourite moment of this seasons competition?
My favourite moment was when we secured a semi-final spot against Railway for the first time. Last year we finished 2nd from the bottom so to progress from this to 4th position this year is a fantastic achievement for the team.
Currently the indoor hockey league is a lot shorter would you like to see it expand on a larger scale?
Absolutely, in other European countries they stop playing outdoor for 2-3 months over the winter and only play indoor which is evident in their outfield skills. There is a push from clubs in Ireland at present to have a longer indoor Leinster league for all levels and it is encouraging to see PSI Ireland beginning indoor with the younger age groups nationwide.
Is there anything in indoor hockey that you think could be brought into outdoor hockey?
Skills! With an extended indoor league for all levels then this would be inevitable for outfield games.
Results from Ladies Indoor Hockey League.
06/01/2018 North Kildare 2 vs 0 Avoca
14/01/2018 North Kildare 3 vs 1 Three Rock Rovers
14/01/2018 UCD 5 vs 2 North Kildare
21/01/2018 Railway Union 7 vs 0 North Kildare Semi Final