Thames Valley Minis

In 2014/15 a number of clubs in Berkshire and on its borders will be hosting monthly tournaments at Under 8, Under 10 and Under 12 level. These are designed to support the development of young players by allowing them to put into practice the skills they learn on the training ground, and have fun playing against other local clubs. This is the eighth season of the Thames Valley Minis.

These tournaments are by invitation only. For further details please contact Nick Hooper at Reading HC (see Contacts)

Dates & Venues

2014-15 U8 U10A U10A/B U10B
12 Oct Wokingham
Slough Bracknell Reading
16 Nov Henley Maidenhead


Slough Newbury & Thatcham
7 Dec Maidenhead


Marlow Sonning
1 Feb Phoenix & Ranelagh


1 Mar Reading
Slough Wokingham
2014-15 U12A U12A U12B U12B
12 Oct Newbury & Thatcham
Marlow Maidenhead


16 Nov Reading
Phoenix & Ranelagh
7 Dec Henley Bracknell Reading
1 Feb Wokingham
Marlow Bracknell Newbury & Thatcham
1 Mar Maidenhead


Henley Bracknell

Tournaments are generally held on the first Sunday of the month (except October/November). Note there are no January tournaments.

Tournaments start promptly at 9.30am unless otherwise indicated here or advised by hosts/club coaches. Occasionally pitch availability dictates a later start but this is to be avoided where possible. Depending on the number of matches scheduled they take between 1 and 2 hours. The exact times for each tournament will be sent out by host clubs a week or so in advance.


Club Contact e-mail Telephone
Bracknell Libby Mound 07746785045

Mini Manager/U10

Trish Heggie
U10 Coach Caz Shaw
U12 Coach Cleo Lyn
U12 Coach Ian Recher
U8 Coach Dan Herbert
U8/U10 Coach Jim Thompson 07748 062783
U12 Coach Michael Salmon
U12 Coach Jo Rees
U8/U10 Coach Bernard Tyler 07884 475051
Newbury & Thatcham Agnes Carlisle 07775 504421
Phoenix & Ranelagh Andy Haynes 07799 718285

Mini Manager

Nick Hooper 07970 662434
U12 Fixtures Deborah Ginja
U8 Coach Damon Hill
U10 Coach Brian Cox
Slough Max Salvadori 07944278666
Nadia Amin 07944807792
Sonning Nick Digby 07766 634295
Wind. & South Bucks Emma Rhodes
Wokingham Jenny Barlow
U12 Jenny Jones
U10 Tony Simpson
U8 Katelijn Van Nes


Bracknell HC

Birch Hill Recreation Ground, Ringmead, Birch Hill, Bracknell, RG12 7AQ

Henley HC

353 Reading Road, Henley on Thames, RG9 4HE

Maidenhead HC

Altwood School, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4PU

Braywick Sports Centre, Braywick Road, Maidenhead, SL6 1BN

Marlow HC

Marlow Sports Club, Pound Lane, Marlow, SL7 2AH,+marlow&hl=en&cid=13123989950443285050

Newbury HC

Henwick Lane, Thatcham, RG18 3BN

Phoenix & Ranelagh HC

Sportspark, Reading University Satnav: please use RG6 6UR

Reading HC

Reading HC, Sonning Lane, Sonning, RG4 6ST

Sonning HC

Royal County of Berkshire Sports & Social Club, Sonning Lane, Sonning RG4 6ST

Wokingham HC

Cantley Fields, Twyford Road, Wokingham, RG40 5QG

What to bring

  • Hockey stick
  • Shin pads
  • Mouthguard (recommended)
  • Plenty to drink
  • Snacks
  • Something warm to put on between matches
  • Reading Colts: please see Club Kit

Tournament objectives

  • Emphasis on fun and safety – winning is secondary
  • Support development of players – put skills from training ground into practice
  • Straightforward planning and organisation for clubs
  • Logistically easy for parents
  • Standard format so tournaments are easy to run
  • Players graded by age and ability

Tournament structure Guidelines

  • Tournaments will be held one Sunday per month
  • Under 8, Under 10 A and B, and Under 12 A and B – each group at a different venue. Two venues each for U10B and U12B and U12A.
  • Clubs should end sides to the relevant level tournament not just where is most convenient. B tournaments are fine for beginners, A ones are not. Equally experienced players should not be going to B tournaments.
  • If U8 tournaments have a range of abilities then fixtures should be made to have “2 tournaments at a single venue”. Please advise hosts on abilities.
  • Tournaments held on Sunday mornings with preferred start time 9.30am – due to pitch availability, start times may vary from 9.00am to 11.30am.
  • Mixed teams, with a minimum of two girls in each team.
  • Matches should all be 8-10 minutes (no half-time) with 1 minute changeover but is at the discretion of the individual tournaments to make sure that the kids play the maximum amount of hockey. For U12 tournaments the ideal number is 8 teams at any venue – more than 10 is too many. Teams should not be resting more often than every other game.
  • 4-6 matches per teams.
  • Tournaments should not last longer than 2½ hours and should preferably be no more than 1½ hours.
  • U8 play on half ¼ pitch. U10 on 1/3 or ½ pitch and U12 play on ½ pitch.
  • Normal weight balls at U12 and U10. At U8 lighter balls can be used as it makes little difference.
  • No recording of results or winners.

Tournament rules

  1. Mini Hockey rules, to be interpreted sympathetically according to the age and ability of teams. The two new Mandatory Experimental Laws are mandatory at all levels of hockey from 1st September and will be applied until further notice.
  2. Usually 7-a-side, but 8-a-side with prior agreement of both coaches. Reducing to 6-a-side is at the sole discretion of the team with 7 players. 8-a-side is not discouraged, particularly in cold weather and at B tournaments, to keep everyone involved. U8 should be 5 or 6 a side.
  3. Age qualification (Under8/10/12) is at 1st September in with EH age groups for clubs.
  4. Team coaches will umpire (unless host club can provide umpires).
  5. If a circle is not marked out, cones will be laid on the side lines 10 yards from goal line to mark a rectangular scoring area.
  6. The use of goalkeepers is encouraged, particularly at U12, but it remains non-compulsory. Goalkeepers are usually more than happy to guest for other clubs between their own games.
  7. Short corners will be awarded in U12 and U10 A level matches only if the defending team has a goalkeepers. If there is no goalkeeper, then an indirect free hit from 10 yards out in line with where the offence was committed.
  8. If there is a goalkeeper but no D is marked, an imaginary one works fine, to encourage teams to learn the skills and routines needed.
  9. If a team leads by 3 goals one of its players will be retired. The full team may be restored if the scores are levelled (not if the trailing team scores once).


  • Reading HC website will be used to post dates, times, venues and host club organisers.
  • Host clubs may invite other sides to join their tournaments (space allowing and not to the detriment of regular participants).
  • Hosts need to know well in advance how many teams are coming from each club. A minimum of one week’s notice is needed and it is not fair to call a few days before a tournament to change the number of teams (up or down). “We’re not sure how many teams we are bringing” is never an option.
  • Host clubs publish match schedule 5 days in advance.
  • The two clubs hosting B tournaments on the same date should work together to ensure roughly even numbers at each venue. “We don’t want to travel to Newbury” is not an option.
  • The relevant age group should be specified in the header of all e-mail about tournaments.
  • Photography rules will be the responsibility of the host club. The guideline is that if a professional photographer has been invited to cover the event this presents parents with a good alternative to using their own cameras and they should be asked to refrain. If no photographer is present, the host club should provide a registration sheet for parents who are using cameras just as schools do. Parents who do not want their child to be photographed by professional photographers should make this known at the start and ensure the child is clearly identifiable throughout the tournament, eg with a sticker. This is simpler than identifying the other 99 children.
  • It is the responsibility of the host club to ensure that a qualified first-aider is present. This may be from the club’s own membership or from a visiting club but it is up to the host club to check who is coming.
  • All costs associated with hosting tournaments, such as pitch hire, are the responsibility of the host club.
  • Clubs sending one coach for three or four teams causes problems, for example teams not being ready for games to start or no-one quite sure who should be on the pitch or in what colour shirts. Clubs should try to appoint enthusiastic parents to “manage” each team, hockey experience not required.
  • In the event of ice or snow on the morning of a tournament, while the host will make every effort to contact visiting clubs, it is the responsibility of the visiting clubs to contact the host to find out whether or not the tournament will go ahead. If in doubt please assume a tournament is going ahead.