Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 10 June 8, 1938
Is the standard of men's hookey declining at Victoria? In 1929 the Hockey Club won the Senior A, Senior B, and Club Championships. That was the most successful season the club has ever had, and in no year since have good results been achieved. In 1930 we were runners-up for the Senior A Championship and two years ago victory came our way at the inter-College Tournament, but these were isolated triumphs. Feeling that there must be some good reason for the comparative lack of success of our teams during the last few years, "Salient" sought the opinion of the well-known umpire, Mr. R. H. Scott, who has been in close touch with Wellington hockey for the past 20 years, and his views are given below:.
—Lack of Understanding.
"There does not appear to be the tween players; and this does not apply to the forwards only, hut to forwards and backs alike.
"The same care is not being taken to see that all hits are as accurate as possible and of requisite strength. All strokes should be a model of accuracy and of necessary strength, with all attention focussed on your own players and on your opponents.
—The Push Stroke.
"It should be more apparent that the advantages of the 'push' stroke over a 'hit' shot are many. Apart from the artistic point of view, it definitely gives added strength and accuracy to a shot and gives the least possible delay in its execution.
—The Back Pass.
"Players seem to have forgotten that a back pass is a very effective way of freeing a player and of changing the direction of a game, although the execution and effectiveness of a back pass depend upon perfect understanding and anticipation between the two players giving and receiving it.
"The principle to be observed here is that, If there is no opening for forward play. It Is better to pass the ball back than to give it to an opponent, back such play can often be used to advantage in the circle, where so much over-keenness is now apparent.
—Keep Your Position.
"Most important of all to remember is that a good player is expected to play in his position. In the game of hockey no team work is possible unless this fact Is rigidly observed and non-observance can only lead to disorganised play."
A word of advice that Mr. Scott would give to the budding hockey player is that he should watch the Indians in action. They will be here again shortly, and no hockey player should miss the opportunity of studying the methods of the quick little men who. Olympiad after Olympiad, prove that they are in a class of their own as exponents of hockey.—L.B.S.