Subbuteo Hockey, which was launched in 1981, was in an unashamed bid to attract a female customer base. The set came with two teams of female hockey players, one in white shirts with blue skirts, the other with white shirts and red skirts. The pitch was the same size as for football and rugby, although obviously the markings were different. Both goals and balls were smaller than their football equivalents. The game was not a commercial success and by 1983 it had ceased production. One major problem was the sticks carried by the players, which were easily breakable, and made flicking unpredictable owing to the uneven weight distribution they caused. Nevertheless, the game was very attractive to look at, and is now an avidly sought after collectors’ item.
The only Lincoln Flickers subbuteo hockey competition held to date was the 2012 St Trinian’s Cup, which attracted just two participants: John Devaney (Moston Mermaids) and Mick Brien (Branston Belles). Both players found controlling the ball with any surety extremely difficult. The results of the three match series were as follows:
Mermaids 3 Belles 1
Mermaids 5 Belles 2
Mermaids 4 Belles 0
Goal, player and ball
If there’s sufficient interest, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have another competition at some stage in the future. Playing it is certainly an interesting experience, and given the lack of an offside rule in hockey nowadays there could be plenty of goals.