Junior Competition Changes 2022


From the HNZ Strategy review, it was found that the historical formats directly impacted player development, accessibility to the sport, and were contributing to early specialization. 

To ensure NHHA provides our junior athletes with age-appropriate formats in line with the Small Sticks modified games framework, the following format changes will be implemented for the 2022 winter competition. Yr. 5/6 Advance grade has a reduced field size, moving from half field to quarter field, and the Yr. 7/8 Intermediate 11-aside grade changes to a 7-aside competition played on a half field.

The below information will provide sports administrators, parents, and coaches with resources and information to support the change.


Supporting Resources

Balance is Better

Balance is Better is about creating quality experiences for all young people to keep them active and in the game.

Hockey New Zealand

Hockey New Zealand is actively looking at fresh ways to deliver the game to stay relevant in a constantly changing world.

Belgium Youth Hockey Structures

Belgium have done it.
Leading the world in Hockey.

Change is essential to survive, and hockey has often led the way with a rich tradition of innovation.

Hockey New Zealand

Talent Development Standpoint

North Harbour Hockey aliging both competitions and programmes.

HNZ Supportive letter

We believe that change is the driving force behind our ability to realise our full potential individually and as a sport.

Coaching Resources

Focusing on players developing concepts of play opposed to specific positions roles/responsibilities.

What are the Changes?

Primary Competition

Smaller games are better

Intermediate Competition

More touches on the ball

Other Resources

  • AKTIVE, Good Sports – Click here. About creating positive sporting experiences for children and young people.
    • Good Sports Spine – Click here. A tool to help parents, coaches, teachers and sport administrators understand how they have impacted children’s sport experiences.
  • Other NZ Hockey Associations leading the way:
  • AIMS Games – Click here