UK Hockey League

It’s been proposed to start a UK Unicycle Hockey league for some time now. Below are a propsed set of rules drawn up from discussion at the SWUM hockey tournament yesterday, and previous discussions at other events. It is proposed to run the league until BUC in April 2007 using the rules below and then to review the rules at BUC and start the league “properly” after BUC.

If you have any comments please reply to this thread, I realise there may be disagreement about some of the rules, lets start from here and work out the problems as we go along.


UK Unicycle Hockey League - Proposed rules


The League year runs from BUC to BUC.

The League is separate from the BUC tournament. The BUC tournament winners get the UUU Hockey sheild. The league champions get the UUU Cup (when this has been bought).

Every Club should attempt to host one league tournament per year.

Clubs may not host more than one league tournament per year.


Games will be played using IUF Hockey rules ( except where established UK practice is different.

Games will be played with a tennis ball


The format of each tournament will be a series of groups leading to a final. Tournament organisers must endeavour to make the draw for the groups as fair as possible so as not to give any team an advantage.

At the end of the tournament teams will be ranked from winner through to last runner up. Points will be allocated from the bottom of the ranking starting with 1 point for the lowest placed team, 2 for second lowest etc.

For a tournament with 4 teams the points would be as follows

1st Place - Team A - 4 points
2nd Place - Team B - 3 points
3rd Place - Team C - 2 points
4th Place - Team D - 1 points

This scoring system rewards all teams with 1 point for turning up plus 1 point for each team beaten.

Points will be totalled up over the year and the winner of the league will be the club team with the greatest number of points.

Initially points from all tournaments will count towards the total for each club team for the year, however if this leads to big gaps between teams this may be changed to the best X results for each club team where X is less than the number of tournaments played in that year.

Club Teams

A club team can contain any number of players, but only 5 of those players may be on the pitch at a time

A club may enter as many teams as they like, however these teams must be separate entities, no player may play for more than club team in any season.

Each player may only play for one club any season, if a player moves club during the year they must either play for their old club until the next BUC or they may play in scratch teams until the next BUC.

Scratch Teams

To encourage participation by smaller clubs and individuals each tournament will allow entries by scratch teams formed from players from more than one club.

A scratch team may only play together for one tournament. If more than 3 players from a scratch team play together at more than one tournament then they will be treated as a club team and will be subject to club team rules.

Scratch players will compete for the scratch player of the year award. This will run in parallel with the Club team competition.

At each tournament players from each scratch team will be awarded the number of points their team recieve in the ranking, so in the example above if Team C were a scratch team each member would get 2 points.

At the end of the year the player with the greatest number of points will be awarded scratch player of the year.

Hey Paul.

Sounds good.

so shall we start a league table for this season just to get the feel for it or not, if so shall we start from swum one, give us something to go by

Results from SWUM will be on the UUU website just as soon as we’ve got it set up properly :thinking: . We’ll record the results from now to BUC as a test, then start for real after BUC.


I think it is worth specifying a dead tennis ball.

This is the one proposal that really bothers me. The reason for playing hockey (for me at least) is that it’s fun. It’s much more fun, and more satisfying, to play for a regular team. You’re proposing to take that away from anyone who happens to move. OK, they might still be able to play for their old club, but are they as likely to make the team for a club that they no longer regularly train with? They should be able to play for the club that they regularly train with IMO.

I also feel that if a team is only able to field 4 players for a distant tournament then they should be able to borrow a player, particularly if it’s a player who used to play for them.

Can we assume that regular teams will be awarded the same number of points for being ranked above a scratch team as they would have been awarded if it had been a regular team? Assuming we can assume it, I think it should be made explicit.

I think the appropriate place for this discussion is the uk_unicyclists mailing list, BTW, to include those players who don’t read rsu.

Looks like its shaping up well Paul. I’ll see if we can host something here in Southampton before BUC. Not convinced the timescale will work out, but I can try.


My view on the first part, as it is only three months till BUC this rule will be OK for now - where it should be discussed further. One solution would be to allow transfers in the first 6 months of a season - although it should have supporting evidence e.g. moved nearer to another team would be a fair reason to change team. What should be avoided is someone who trains with two distant teams e.g. Lunis and EMU’s (Spencer!) from playing for both teams during the season. His choice will be dictated by which team he plays for first.

The second situation is likely to occur, especially for any smaller or new team travelling long distances. Either they could be forced to play as a 4 player team or the rules written that a scratch player can play 1 match for any official team without losing scratch status?


Having thought about it, I’d like to mention some things that may affect decisions:

I am at university at the moment, thus I practice as a university team and compete as a university team. However during the summer and other holidays I will be closer to Oxford or the Emu’s, and the other team members will be spread around the country. Thus I might train with a different team during part of the year, and therefore be judged to be an asset to two teams simultaneously. Can one person be a full time member of one team, and a possible sub for another team in the same tournament? Obviously I think that being in 2 teams can’t possibly work, but if e.g the Emu’s needed a sub and I had practiced with them and was available, I’d like to think that was maybe a possibility.

Also, if there were a tournament where the Emu’s were playing and Southampton weren’t, I’d like to think I wouldn’t be excluded from the Emu’s team just because I’ve played with Southampton in another tournament, and I would then have to play as a scratch player. If this is the case, would my ‘team’ Southampton’s points count towards my ‘player’ scratch points? Or would I be playing in 2 leagues: Southampton in the ‘Team’ league and myself in any Tournament where Southampton cannot attend?

Just some ideas, maybe.


I think that we may have a problem with this - EMU are likely to bring two teams to some tournaments when people can get to them, however this rule seems to mean that once someone has played for EMU2 they are no longer able to play for EMU1 - we will always be fielding EMU1 as the strongest possible team we can, but if one of the first choice EMU1 players is unavailable / injured then we would need to promote someone else from the club to the first team, likewise if a player improves over the year they should be able to get into the EMU1 team. It seems a bit unfair if people can’t play for teams within the club and it could lead to the scenario where we would come to a tournament with 5 EMU’s but would be unable to field a team due to the ellegibility rules which can’t be right. A change to the rules to get round this would definitely be welcome


I’d like to think we can be pretty flexible with the rules to start with and see how it goes. It’s unlikely to make any difference to the top few teams.

I think we can be quite relaxed about people switching teams. Why not just leave it to the discretion of the tournament organisers/the outraged masses if anyone abuses the system. People will occasionally move or have legitimate excuses for switching teams. It seems easier given the number of people involved to just let it happen. If people who are good enough to make a difference switch teams on a regular basis or with no good reason, they can be told to pick a team and stick to it.

Might be worth recording the people on each team at each tournament incase any disputes arise though. Might also be worth remembering that it’s only unicycle hockey.


No, my choice would be dictated by the team with the best t-shirt :smiley:

Seriously though, it does seem to be a bit of an awkward rule. Whilst I would probably always play for an EMU team if there is one (or two) entered, it would be nice to support the Lunis rather than a scratch team if there’s not any EMUs there.

(Oh, and I should be there this Thursday at the Westway, so see you there)


Without being too rude to Spence, I think the rule is less intended to avoid you playing for emus or lunis, more to avoid cherry picking of really good players and people taking the piss.

For example if only Roland from Emus got to a tournament, it’d be pretty unfair if he was allowed to play on a league team that wasn’t emus.

I do think A and B teams should be allowed to share players, otherwise no-one will bother entering multiple teams.

As for the dead tennis ball, I reckon that’s just too hard to define. It should just say it’s a tennis ball in the rules, and you have to work out the bounce on the day. Just have a bag of balls and use one that people are happy with.


Re: UK Hockey League

i think it is also worth noting, that just because you move and
practice with a different team, doesn’t mean you have leave that team.
Eg. Just because Spencer has moved from being a regular EMU player to a
regular Luni and HHC (Hackney Hoki Coki (i’m spelling it the SA (South
Afican) way)). Doesn’t mean he can’t be a member of team EMU. the Teams
shouldn’t have to be location based.

Also It would be a great shame if the likes of Bald Stu and Steve
coligan, and Roger Davies have to be in scratch teams becuase they
don’t have a ‘Local’ team to play for. So they could be a non
area-specific team, with names such as…
“UK allstars”
“Team old but nice”
and other possibley more abusive names :o)

Thanks for all your comments guys, I had a feeling that the “play for one team only” rule might be contentious!

I take Rolands point about players playing for different teams within a club. It seems reasonable to let people switch between their clubs A and B teams if everyone is happy with that.

I put the rule about playing for one club per year in to discourage people taking the piss by switching clubs as and when it suits them. Obviously there are circumstances where this rule can (and should) be bent, but in general I think it’s reasonable to say “pick a club for the season and stick with it”. I’ll be practising with both Cambridge (eventually) and Lunis but I’ll only play in the league for Cambridge (or scratch teams).

I agree with Andy that teams need not be location based, there’s nothing to stop a group of players from all over the country forming a team, the guys from Manchester could team up with a few EMUs to make a pretty good team for example.

It is only Unicycle hockey, we don’t want it to get overly complicated or serious, but it’s worth having some restrictions to keep things fair.

Keep the comments coming,


IUF rules state: “In some areas a “dead” tennis ball that reaches 30 to 50 percent of its original height after bouncing onto concrete is used.”

So it shouldn’t be necessary to make it explicit, because it’s already in the IUF rules, I just think it’s worthwhile to mention it to make sure no-one tries to make us play with a new tennis ball!

I think a person should be able to play for a clubs A or B team interchangeabley. They can in other sports leagues such as cricket.

borrowing a player… tricky one, should be someone who would otherwise be playing for a scratch team I surpose. Can be very tricky for the home side when they lose players at 5pm who have to go to saturday jobs.

how much bounce is allowed in the ball is covered by IUF rules. so just stating tennis ball should be OK - IF all teams actully take time to read and understand the IUF rules, I’m not convinced all did before saturday.

Where should a tournament organsier send all the data to? and should they send
placings & names of players for each team. OR scores from all games as well.

The tournament organiser should send the data to me (for the moment) hopefully I’ll get a results system up and running on the UUU website in a week or two, and maybe in time organisers will be able to stick their own results in.

Please send whatever you have, ideally who played for who, the scores from all the games, and the points for each team or player.


Re: UK Hockey League

oh on the subject of points for teams / players.

may be fun to record the points for ALL players, not just the scratch
players, so at the end of the season you will end up with a MVP (Most
Valued Player).

just an idea.


It’s a good idea.

I’m hoping to be able to produce all sorts of stats once I’ve got a database up and running.