Once more unto the beach

A unique sport played only at Rossall School was the focus of exhibition match designed to encourage a greater understanding of the game

Ross Hockey, a mix of hockey and rugby, has been played exclusively at Rossall School since the 19th century and was used as an alternative sporting activity when the pitches were too wet to play rugby.

Played on the beach in front of the school, the sport requires players to mark out the pitch in the sand with hockey-like sticks before beginning play.

The match, which was open to public spectators, was hosted by former pupils who played the game during their time at the school. Within each team there was a mix of current pupils (boys and girls) and Old Rossallians. Originally named ‘the blue team’ and ‘the red team’, after 60 minutes of competitive play the ‘reds’ were victorious winning 5-0. Commentator Henry Shepherd kept the crowds on the beach entertained with his comical description of play.

Elaine Purves, Head of School, said: “Sport has always played an important part in life at Rossall. There are very few other schools in the country that have a sport which is exclusive to them, so it’s important that we uphold the tradition of Ross Hockey.

“The exhibition match was a great way for students, staff and former pupils to expand their knowledge of the game, and a unique opportunity to showcase this unique game to the local community.”


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