Rossall Hockey or Ross Hockey is a unique form of Hockey played only at Rossall School, in Fleetwood, on the Fylde coast, Lancashire, England. The game is unique to Rossall School and is played on a mile-long stretch on Rossall beach next to the school during the Lent term when the tides are suitable for using the beach.
Conventional field Hockey and rugby union are Rossall's mainstream sports and Rossall Hockey contains elements of both. The playing pitch being marked out between the groynes by dragging the Hockey sticks in the sand before each match. It is a brutal beach game born of rugby but played with Hockey-like sticks by girls as well as boys at the school. Close control is all in Rossall Hockey, because failure to keep in contact with the ball results in a hand-over of possession. If a member of the stick-wielding ruck gets ahead of the ball, he must loop around, rugby- style, and tag on to the back. Scoring occurs only when the ball is pushed over the line by a player within the "D"
The game dates back to the 19th century when pitches were too wet for rugby.
Rossall School is a British, co-educational, independent school, near Fleetwood, Lancashire. Rossall was founded in 1844 by St. Vincent Beechey. Granted a royal charter on 21 October 1890. Set in a 161-acre (0.65 km2) estate next to Rossall Beach. It accepts students between the ages of 2 and 18. The school has specialist sporting, scientific and cultural facilities.
Rossall was the first school in the United Kingdom to form a Combined Cadet Force in February 1860 when the threat of a French / Irish Catholic invasion was at its height.
Rossall received the Queens colours on Tuesday 29 June 2010, to celebrate its 150th anniversary and to acknowledge its status as the oldest cadet corps in the UK.
Rossall School is one of only a few schools where coded sports (Rossall Hockey) have remained in use despite the dominance of other national codes in modern sport.
Rossall promotes relatively affordable private education in relation to the rest of the UK - 80% of those who attend the school are the first in their family to attend an independent school and a large number of scholarships and bursaries are available
Rossall Hockey was referenced in the first issue of the Rossallian in 1867, though its exact date of creation is not known.
Initially the rules of Ross Hockey were slightly different from those of today, with scoring occurring by a system of goals and rougeables. It is also known that there were no restrictions on the number of players in a game and sometimes the whole school used to play in one huge game
The official rules were drawn up in 1873 and two years later the first House Ross Hockey competition took place. The rules were amended again in 1900 to abolish rougeables. Emphasis has always been placed on the game being one of skill and dribbling - as well as one of brute force.
Modern Teams are nine a side.
The Rossall Stick is curved at the bottom, created from one piece of wood, used only by Rossall school and the Royal Navy for deck Hockey. In 1997 the game was nearly abandoned after over 130 years of history when the supplier of the sticks went bankrupt. Fortunately a replacement supplier was found in Eccles where they had made lacrosse sticks for many years. The new sticks are slightly less ornate than the traditional ones and also made of hickory rather than ash