FAQ: How do I join Scottish Thistles Masters Hockey Club ("STMHC" or "Thistles")?

Please see the Join Us page by clicking here.


FAQ:  What is the distinction between Thistles and Scottish Masters Hockey (SMH)?

Thistles membership allows you to play in numerous Spirit of Masters (SoM) competitive tournaments, festivals and friendlies in Scotland, across the UK and all over the world.  In these events you represent Scottish Thistles.  Thistles membership is in addition to and does not interfere with your normal playing club or being selected by SMH to play for Scotland.  Your nationality is irrelevant to playing for Thistles, you may also be a member of other Spirit of Masters clubs (e.g. England LX, Alliance).  Even where SoM events are governed by World Masters Hockey (e.g. World and European SoM Cups) all that matters is that you are a member of Thistles plus you are not playing for any other SoM organisation in that WMH event.

SMH membership allows you to attend selection to try out to play for Scotland as part of the official international team.  For this you must fulfull one of the FIH criteria, in brief: a) Born in Scotland; or b) Parent or grandparent born in Scotland; or c) Married to or in a civil partnership with a Scot as defined in (a) or (b); or d) Have the FIH defined period of continuous residency in Scotland.


FAQ: How do I get to play in an event?

Click on the link sent to you by email or here on the website in the Diary or news page.  The Diary for the event shows either a Pre-Registration poll or a detailed form to complete.  Pre-registering your name does not commit you to attend but allows us to plan based on event popularity; so pre-registering is a great help.  You are also welcome to email the Secretary to register your interest.

Once an Event Coordinator is appointed you will be contacted by email with further details.  Note: until you accept the invitation from the Event Coordinator there is no financial commitment to the event but once you join the squad you are on the hook for the event playing costs (see procedures for more details).

What if I'm trying out for Scotland?  Sign up for the Thistles event regardless.  We are always proud when a Thistle become a Scotland player.  You are elevated with our best wishes and no financial penalty.  Why sign up?  It allows us to judge popularity for the event and should your elevation to the "big team" not happen then you have a great Thistles event to look forward to.


FAQ:   What is the difference between Open and Selected events?

In the past Thistles used to select the full International team and provide social teams for festivals.   Festival hockey is still going strong and these, for us, are Open events.  However based on the huge demand for competitive masters hockey outside of full International a new concept, Spirit of Masters, was launched for competing internationally.  The standard in these events is very high and Thistles have responded by sending selected teams.  All events are advertised and all are welcome to apply with the distinction being:

Open:  May be streamed by age group but is open on a first come first served basis to those who wish to play.  Excellent examples are: Lille (France), Dragons (Wales), Dundee (our own event) and Octoberfest (England LX) plus many other one off fixtures.

Selected:  Needs to be streamed by age group with the Event Coordinator in conjuction with others able to select the squad. Examples are Tilburg (Holland) and World/European SoM Cup.


FAQ:    How do I attend training/open days?

Turn up!  Actually it helps immensely to know in advance who is attending and to be informed when no longer attending.  Click Diary (on the menu bar above) and find the event.  There will be a poll asking you to add your name and email address.  There is also a click here to withdraw which uses the email address you supplied.

Bring your own hockey playing equipment plus a white and a blue shirt for the team games.  We ask everyone to be changed and ready on the pitch 10-15 minutes before the start.  Use this time for personal warm-up, stretching and socialising.  Bring the training fee (sometimes free), water and your own decision on food.

An open day is usually short format matches for the enjoyment of playing with members who you know or should get to know and socialising between games.


FAQ:    I've been selected for an event; what now?

You should receive an event email from the Event Coordinator.  This will ask you to:

a)    Pay the advised non-refundable deposit into the STMHC bank account.  Note: The Treasurer will pay the entry fees on your behalf and should you wish to withdraw the deposit will not be refunded unless either a suitable replacement is found or the event itself is cancelled.

Account name     SMLXHC Account 1

Sort Code : 83-00-50

Account Number : 10000980


IBAN : GB37RBOS83005010000980

b)    Medical Travel Insurance.  If the event is outwith the U.K. you will be required to have medical travel insurance and to have verified that it covers playing "organised amateur competitive field hockey".  For inside the UK this is optional.  For the STMHC policy on this click here.

c)    Medical Details. For ALL events (training or matches whether in Scotland, UK or outwith) we require to be able to access a full disclosure of your current medical matters.  This information is strictly confidential and will only be accessed is case of emergency.  To ensure confidentiality you download our form, print and complete, seal in an envelope with your name on the outside and given to the Event Coordinator and collected afterwards if not needed still sealed.  For the STMHC Medical form click here.  Note: we also accept the SMH equivalent form.

d)    Book yourself into the advised hotel.  The advised hotel is not compulsory but is good for team coordination, travel to and from the pitches and for socialising.  Should you wish to arrange your own accommodation then keep the Event Coordinator advised.

e)    Book your own travel to and from the Event location.  Often the Event Coordinator will advise what others are doing so that you can coordinate with them.

f)    Keep fit, keep well, turn up and enjoy.


FAQ:    How do we stay informed during the match/event?

The Event Coordinator will advise on this - most commonly by a WhatsApp group.  If you cannot use the chosen method please ensure the Event Coordinator is aware and perhaps buddy with someone who is using the chosen method.


FAQ:    What is our playing kit?

Standard playing kit is dark "Blue - Blue - Blue".  Change colour playing kit is "White - White - Red" though this is often mixed with the blue kit.

--- SHIRT/VEST:  Our own logo dark blue Thistles branded shirt/vest with your number added (see Shirts with Numbers FAQs below).  Change: same in white.

--- SHORTS/SKORT: Our logo dark blue Canterbury shorts/skort.  Change: Canterbury brand white shorts/skort (see shorts note below).

--- SOCKS:  At present we use dark blue plain Canterbury Team Playing socks.   Change:  red Canterbury Team Playing socks.

Honesty moments:

Shirts:  We only want members to play in the new "Scottish Thistles Masters HC" logo shirts.  All previous shirts have been retired.

Shorts:  Whilst Thistles branded shorts are now available, for a couple of seasons we shall be okay with members using the former Scottish Hockey branded dark blue Canterbury shorts.  White shorts are a pain; WMH ask us to take them then never ask us to play in the them, so for the moment any plain white shorts will be fine.

Socks:  Canterbury are thinking of no longer making these socks (!).  So any plain (makers logo only) dark blue will do for the moment.  For red socks most Scottish based players have red socks for their Saturday club and provided they are plain (makers logo only) these will do fine.

NOTE:  You are not allowed to play in the new Scottish Hockey New Balance kit - wrong colour, wrong club.


FAQ: Sourcing Thistles Shirts with Numbers and other playing kit

All matters regarding numbers, shirts and other playing kit has been taken on by committee member Chris Heeps.  Your introductory email will provide contact details for him or go via the Secretary and deal directly with Chris thereafter.

NEWLY JOINED:  To ensure we all have the new shirts a heavily subsidised price of £20 for both the colours is available to new members.  Make contact to be allocated a shirt number that you will keep for your Thistles playing journey; ensure you include this number in the details when ordering.

SHIRTS/VESTS are not kept in stock.  Chris arranges ordering a new batch and normally there is a six week lead time.  Once available the shirts can be collected at an event or sent to you for around £5.  If the event date is close and you need to borrow a shirt/vest please advise the Event Coordinator and what size.  For a PDF image of shirt/vest sizes click here.  Note: All the old shirts (the various LX logos) are now retired.

Honesty moment: I am a forty chest with a little bit of a dad-bod tum.  There is no stretch in the shirt material and my Thistles size 42 fits fine yet is loose enough to play in.

SHORTS, SKORTS and SOCKS please email Chris to confirm the current situation.  We are using PSL (who were Glasgow based) and in summer 2024 they will establish an online shop for us for everything except the shirts.


FAQ: Tracksuits and Other Non-playing Kit

Thistles branded tracksuits, rain jackets, hockey bags etc will be offered for purchase from the PSL shop.  The Secretary will email when these are available to order.


FAQ: Match Reports - Where do I find the match reports from events?

Match reports are stored on the Archive page (see menu at the top of all pages).  For a short period reports are also easily accessed via News and also via Diary using the back arrow to access previous events.


FAQ: Event Photos - I have photos...

We like photos whether of the team, players in action or socialising.  Send them in any normal format to either your Event Coordinator who will forward them to the relevant person for inclusion or the Secretary.  Advise if you want us to include a specific caption or comment.


FAQ: Match Report - How do I submit one?

We like match reports and can accept reports whether in a more formal or a more personal style.  Send the words and the images to the Event Coordinator and he will forward them to the relevant person.  However please heed the following advice:

- No fancy layouts.  Our web publishing software cannot accept them.

- Send photos separate individual files e.g. jpeg.  The web publishing software handles them as individual files separate from the text.

- That said you can spend ages making a beautiful publishable document however we can only include it as a PDF or an image.


FAQ: Old Website - I want to search the old website for events and news prior to 2021

The old website (www.scotlandlx.org.uk) has now been incorporated as a sub-section of this new website and accessible under the Archive page.


FAQ:  Email addresses - role @ our website address

All the new web addresses e.g. Secretary@ the website address of scottishthistleshockey.org are up and running, yet still we learn.  Almost all mail is now arriving with members but can you please check your spam folders from time to time.  If in doubt then send an email to ask.  Mailchimp is still an option but with improvements to the mail settings we are mostly using our Thistles email addresses.