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Sussex Hockey – Girls Development League Rules

Sussex Hockey – Girls Development League 2017 – 18

Each team will play each other team within their Group on a home and away basis.


The following Rules will be enforced beyond those of normal hockey;-

  • The team shall be made up of a minimum of 9 girls age between 11 and 16 (School Year 7 – 11) using 1stSeptember 2017 as the Key date.2adults may be allowed on the pitch at a time. Girls younger than 11 (on the day) may play at the discretion of their club, but clubs are asked to consider player safety at all times.
  • Adults are not allowed to score.
  • Adults are not allowed within the opposing D.
  • Adults are therefore not allowed to be involved in attacking short corners, and should be behind the 25 line.
  • Only 1 adult may defend a penalty corner. If an adult keeper is playing then that counts as the adult.
  • Masks must be worn by defenders in penalty corners.
  • No team will have more than a 5 goal difference recorded in any one match; i.e. 5-0, 6-1.  If the score line gets to this stage then the stronger team should take steps to weaken their team by taking off adults and or rearranging their positions to make the game fairer for both sides.
  • GOALKEEPERS – Adopting ruling under Southern Counties HA to whom we are affiliated… All junior matches (up to U18) played in the South MUST have fully kitted Goalkeepers at all times

If a Goalkeeper receives a green or yellow card suspension, they will remainon pitch and that suspension will be served by the Captain(or Captain’s deputy if not on pitch at the time).

If a Goalkeeper receives a red card suspension, they must leavethe pitch, and a maximum of five minutes will be allowed to organise a replacement fully kitted goalkeeper. That team will then have to withdraw a field player as only ten players can remain because of the goalkeeper’s suspension.

(If a team has a second fully kitted goalkeeper ready for play ‘pitchside’, the switch can be made at any stoppage of play, but any penalty imposed will still have to be served).

If unable to arrange a suitable replacement, the match will have to be abandoned and the matter referred to the GDL Organiser to decide the outcome of the match

  • New ‘RULES of HOCKEY’ changes for 2015-16 – Please make you are all familiar with the rule changes regarding breaking at a penalty corner, the two minute suspension for a Green card and the use of a stick above the shoulder as well as the changes to long corners and free hits awarded within the 23m area.

Match Report Sheets

  • Match reports sheets should be completed by both teams prior to the start of the game.
  • All players including subs must be listed on the form and have a number corresponding to the one on their shirt.
  • The ages of each players must be indicated on the match report.
  • A team in the Development League may play up to 2field players or a goalkeeper and 1field players who may have already played in any Sussex league games on the same day.  It is to be understood by these players that they are playing in a supporting role to aid the development league.
  • Adults need to be clearly identified on the team sheet with an ‘A’ at the start of the match.
  • Any U16 player that is acting as an ‘adult/facilitator’ on the pitch needs to be marked on the team sheet with a ‘JF’ (Junior Facilitator) at the start of the match. JF players include juniors that play regularly in an adult league or are JRPC players (See note below)

NOTE –  Spirited guidelines

  • The juniors are on the pitch to develop as players. Therefore playing a team of “County” standard players(or higher) in their usual positions might not be seen as developmental. If a girl is regularly playing matches in adult open league hockey, it is hoped she will only play development league hockey when really necessary, or acting as an adult. It is not advisable for a girl in this age range to play two full league games in a day.


  • Please note new system for entering results on Fixture live as a captain.  Texting in no longer works.
  • -log into FixturesLive (if you tick the box to be remembered, you will not have to enter email + password etc. again)
  • Go to the Club Member area
  • Go to the Enter Results page – you will see your match listed there: enter your result
  • If a game has to be postponed for then the home team must inform Sally Vans Agnew immediatelygiving the reason for the postponement – 07801 011430
  • The home team must ensure that match reports are correctly completed and sent to Sally Vans Agnewto arrive no later than the Wednesday following each match. 
  • League results and tables will be available to view on the Sussex Hockey website –  (Via link to Fixtures Live)

The rules are designed to be simple to apply for an umpire and it is hoped this will encourage adults to play the game by guiding the juniors on the pitch not controlling too many aspects of the game.

Spirited Guidelines

Beyond the rules, it is felt that some spirited guidelines are beneficial to encourage the game to be played in the correct way:

Adults and Junior Facilitators –

  • Adults and Junior facilitatorsshould not monopolise the game. This includes such acts as not firing the ball in as hard as they can on attacking set plays or crosses.
  • Although 2adults are allowed on the pitch, if possible it is hoped that 2adults playing would not be to the detriment of the juniors. It is hoped that the maximum amount of pitch time will be offered to the junior players where possible. If a club cannot get a team out without adhering to this rule, they should contact the opposition as soon as possible to ensure that a game under mutually agreed conditions is played.
  • Adults are on the pitch to help develop the juniors. Players of 1stxi (and 2ndxi for larger clubs) standard should not be used.  In any event players who regularly play and appear on match sheets for leagues higher than Sussex Ladies Premier should not play in this league.  Regularly in this case means more than three appearances on a league match form for a higher league in one season.

Goal keepers

  • Although the position of goal keeper is a specialist one, it is hoped that all teams will try and play a junior keeper during the season where possible. Note the specific GDL rules adopted re Goalkeepers (under Rules above)

Umpires – 

  • Clubs are encouraged to provide the most competent umpire they can for a game. This is an umpire who can apply the rules correctly but understands the development nature of the league and adapts to this accordingly.
  • However clubs should also encourage the use of Young Umpires who have undertaken the Foundation Award and have been recommended to take their Level 1 training. In these circumstances an experienced umpire/mentor should be present.

 League Discipline

  • Each team, by its entry into the League, is deemed to have consented to the rules of the League and to have agreed to abide by the decisions of the League sub-committee, whose decisions are final.
  • The League Secretary reserves the right to investigate any possible infringement of the League Rules and take any necessary action in consultation with the League sub-committee.  Any decision made by the Ladies League Secretary is final.
  • In the event of any misconduct by a club or team affecting the operation of the league, the League Secretary may take any action deemed necessary including the application of an appropriate fine/penalty of up to £50, in consultation with the League Sub-committee.
  • The League sub-committee will determine what penalty or penalties, which may include suspension or disqualification, will be imposed.
  • Any suspendedteam may be re-admitted to its original division following the period of suspension.  Any disqualifiedteam may apply to rejoin the League in the lowest division.
  • Fines incurred during a season will be invoiced at the start of the following season with the new affiliation fees.

England HockeyRegulations for the Enforcement of Discipline

  • All persons participating in the League are reminded that the above remains in force. 
  • It is the responsibility of the clubs to ensure that good manners and courtesy prevail towards the opposition, umpires and other officials before, during and after the game.

Complaints and Appeals

  • Any complaints or appeals must be made in writingto the Ladies League Secretary.


Girls Development League Secretary 2017-18

Sally Vans Agnew

Tel: 01444 244751

Mob: 07801 011430