Unihockey in the Netherlands

Note: This article has been translated into German and was published in 'unicorns aktuell' dated juni'97.

In the early eighties, I think it was in 1983, a couple of students of the University of Twente in Enschede visit the MASS sport tournament in Karlstad in Sweden. There they learned how to play Innebandy. In the same year they founded the Stretchers, a student MASS sportclub. The Stretchers are playing all sports, like football, volleyball, basketball etc. and ofcourse Unihoc. At first we didn't know the right name for that sport, so we called it Stockey. We are playing the mixed variant on a small field according the rules of the 'Deutsche Unihockey Bund' (DUB).

At a given moment we heard about a Unihoc-tournament in Braunschweig, so we visit that tournament. That was the start of a long tradition of Unihoc- tournaments. We've been to Clausthal, Goteborg, Duesseldorf, Halle, Magdeburg and Bremen. Our skills are not so good, this is mainly because we do not have a competition in the Netherlands. At the moment there are four (known to me) cities in the Netherlands where Unihoc teams are. Those are Enschede, Gouda, Amsterdam and since a half year Groningen. In Gouda, or in fact in Moordrecht a little village near Gouda, our club 'The Randstad Stockey Club' trains once per three weeks. Our teams for tournaments are called 'Krign Beaters' and 'TeamDel'.

I estimate that at the moment about 100 people in the Netherlands are playing Unihoc in real teams. In Groningen the representative of Unihoc equipment has begun to introduce the Sport at highschools. So maybe the Sport starts to grow.

The Stretchers in Enschede organize a tournament every year. Its called the ISSTT (International Student Stockey Tournament). This year it was the sevent edition. At this tournement the Dutch Championships take places. Last year the 'Krign Beaters' became Dutch Champion.

This is the history of Unihockey in the Netherlands in short. If there are any questions or invitations to tournaments please contact me.

Daan de Haas

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Comments ? Please email me at d.a.de.haas@inter.nl.net