Women's Hockey in Great Britain

International Hockey

Here is a link that provides the results of all games played by the Great Britain Women's National team.

Great Britain currently competes in the qualification for the Pool B (Division I) World Championship. Before the World Championship was divided into two divisions, Great Britain competed in the European Championship. Great Britain placed eighth at the 1996 European B Championship in Slovakia, seventh at the 1995 European B Championship in Denmark, and fourth at the 1993 European B Championship in the Ukraine.

More detailed information about Great Britain's results at the European B Championships is provided below. Here is a link to the 1995 roster, the 1996 roster, the 1998 roster, and the 2000 roster.

The remainder of this page contains information on women's hockey within Great Britain.

Information from the English Ice Hockey Association (EIHA)

General Women's Hockey Info

The biggest problem the sport has here is the lack of players. In the whole country there were only 338 female players registered to play hockey in Great Britain during the 1994-95 season. There are currently no Scottish teams and only one Welsh team. The second biggest problem would be the poor ice time the teams are allocated for training.

The National league only began in the 80's. Since then the dominant team has been the now defunct Oxford City Rockets. They were champions for 5 consecutive seasons before folding due to a lack of players. They were champions in 1991. Third were Streatham Strikers and fourth the Dundee Royals. The Dundee Royals have folded subsequently due to a lack of players. Streatham still has a women's team, but it is now a recreational team. Both Steatham and Oxford had a few key players tempted away by the new Guildford team and folded. Oxford City Zodiacs keep the flame alive in Oxford but women's hockey is no more at the other two. At least one other championship winning team, Peterborough Ravens, have also since died. There are currently rumours that one of last years top teams are about to lose two or three key players, we shall see.

A dedicated few really do keep the sport alive in this country and they deserve a lot of respect for their effort. Sadly though until the organisation improves there is little chance of the sport really growing. One time last year a friend of mine was due to guest for Solihull, about 2.5 hours drive, in a 6.00 face off. At 1.00 they were unable to tell her when face off would be, 6.00pm or 11.00pm!

The poor ice times which are allocated to the women's teams is definitely a problem which hinders the sport. You would be considered lucky if you had an icetime of 7:30 am! With honourable exceptions, womens teams here tend to get approx 11:00pm-1:00am! The worst I have heard of was Streatham who used to get those times on Friday nights. Bye bye social life. Netminders are able to ice with any teams they like, so can often get extra time. The U14's (under 14's) normally play with the junior boys team but at 14 can no longer play with boys and must switch to women's hockey.

The best chance for the sport comes in the opening of new, by GB standards, super rinks at Manchester and Newcastle. This is what happened at Sheffield. Their mens team once got gates of 300 tops, now they can get 9000. As hockey got a high profile women started wanting to play and Sheffield Shadows were born. They now have a waiting list of players wanting to join. We need this to happen in the other cities really if the sport is really to ever establish itself as a respectable sport for women to play.

December 1999 Upate

Girls can now play junior hockey (ability allowing!) until they retire!! Females are eligible to play an age group down with the boys, so an U12 (under 12) girl can play U10, and so on. This means that a 30 (?) year old woman can play an age group down, which would be with the U19 team!!

Social History of Women's Hockey

Womens hockey in Great Britain was initially an upper class sport. The only participants were upper class ladies who learnt to play whilst at finishing school in Switzerland! There were only a handful of teams in the country. The social base changed after world war two when skating boomed in GB however there were still only a handful of teams. The players now tended to be local ladies as opposed to the upper classes. The majority of players today are working or middle class. National leagues began here in the early 80's. Believe it or not the sport is currently quite strong in GB (in terms of players, teams, etc -- not ability) compared to its historical position. It has still got a long way to go though.

University Hockey in the UK

There are two varsity hockey teams that compete in the United Kingdom. These teams are the Oxford University and the Cambridge University. At the end of the season, these two teams play a championship game to determine varsity supremacy in the UK. On March 9th, 1997 Oxford University defeated Cambridge University by a score of 7-3 at Stevenage to claim the 1997 championship. Further details about this game are provided on Nonie Dodwell's page.

British Women's Leagues

Some of the information in this section was provided by the England Ice Hockey Association (EIHA) on their women's hockey page. The remainder was provided by Franco Beffa (francobeffa@bluewin.ch) of Switzerland.

League Structure

League Results

Great Britain Player Profiles

If anyone has information about other women hockey players in Great Britain, please email it to me and I'll include it here.

Emma Bowles, goalie

Emma Bowles was the GB keeper during the late 80s and early 90s. She was the first women to dress for a top men's team. Emma Bowles played one period for Oxford (vs Solihull) in 1981. Oxford had forgotten to tell their team there was a game and Emma was at the rink due to a women's match. The first keeper gave up exhausted after two periods as Oxford lost 50-0. Emma played the third period.

Emma played for the Oxford women's team when they won their six consecutive titles, though I'm not sure if she played in the first two seasons. Last season she won another championship with Sunderland.

Gill Barton, goalie

Results Links

Related Links

Men's Hockey Links:

National Federation

This page is maintained by © 1998 Andria Hunter (andria@whockey.com).

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