A girl manages to get into trouble twice on the Hockey Field.

By Joanna Jones

INTRODUCTION

At school I was always highly competitive, both academically and at sports; perhaps particularly sports, and most particularly hockey. In both the lower and upper sixth I was in the hockey first team, until a couple of incidents proved my undoing. In both cases (I am even now somewhat ashamed to admit) my competitiveness went too far, leading to lessons that I still remember all too clearly now, many years later.

By way of background the school was a reasonably good boarding institution where the teaching was excellent. Sporting activities were strongly encouraged and the school prided itself on the various teams it had. Discipline was fairly strict. The Head and Housemasters/mistresses could cane, and other teachers used the slipper. While not excessive I doubt any girl avoided the odd slippering during a term in the junior years, and probably nearly all had experienced the cane at some point in their career. For sixth formers, there was relatively little corporal punishment, but the counter to this was if you did go too far, you would not get away leniently.

The first of the two incidents occurred during an away game and the second at a home match. I will recount them accordingly.

THE AWAY MATCH

Three–nil down at half time! We were being hammered by Our Lady, Foxenholm, a private school originally set up by some order of nuns or another. Their headmistress was ‘Sister Eve’ and I could see her in her habit next to our own Head who had decided to come to the match. I was particularly frustrated as each of the goals (as well as a good number of other chances) had been either scored or set up by their winger, Judy Harris, and I was supposed to be the defender dealing with her. That however, was proving impossible; she seemed to slip past me with ease. I could see why she was being selected for the English junior teams.

I sat there at half time while our coach, Miss Kelly, told me to keep calm and concentrate on the ball, not the player. Although calmness was not my forte at that particular moment I resolved to take the advice.

It did not last long. Within five minutes of the restart Judy deftly wrong footed me, slipped the ball past and, before I could react, crossed it in front of the goal from where their forward struck it into the bottom corner.

Four-nil, a defeat was turning into a rout. I could see my team mates looking at me, their frustration clear. I resolved there and then that Judy was not going to get past me again.

It was about five minutes later that my nemesis approached once again. Her speed and control were amazing. I saw her line herself and stick to push the ball outside to pass me and concentrating as hard as I could on the ball I prepared to tackle.

How did she do that? With some sort of reverse flick I was totally wrong footed as she cut inside towards goal. Frustration boiling over I swung my stick and while the ball was long gone I caught Ms Harris around the ankle bringing her to the red asphalt with a scream. I was running around her to get the ball when the whistle went.

The game stopped. I suddenly became aware that Judy was not getting up but lay on the ground writhing and in clear pain. Obviously I had done something more than trip her up.

However, I was not going to find out more. After a brief, very uncomfortable ‘explanation’ from one of the umpires I found myself sent off for deliberate dangerous play, trudging to the changing rooms with my stick trailing behind me.

Sitting in the changing room alone I cursed my stupidity. Eventually after a few minutes, and having little else to do I stripped, showered and changed into my school tracksuit. I still had to wait about quarter of an hour before the end of the match.

However, it was not my team-mates that came in first but Miss Temples, our Head, who looked at me angrily when I jumped up as she entered the otherwise empty changing room.

She didn’t waste any time in getting to the point: “You are a disgrace!” She said coldly. Carnchapel’s reputation is for sportsmanship, not unbridled cheating. You nearly broke the girl’s ankle! Fortunately it looks like it’s just sprained, but that hasn’t stopped their matron taking her to the local hospital for a check up.”

“I am relieved that it seems okay miss.” I replied.

“Okay!? A sprain is okay?” She asked me angrily.

“I’m sorry. It was an accident…”

“Don’t lie girl! You deliberately swung your stick at her legs. I am utterly ashamed of you! As for being sorry, I assure you, you soon will be! You are banned from representing the school till Christmas and I am going to cane you, six of my very best. In fact I will go and ask Sister Eve if I can borrow one and make an example of you here and now. I assure you that your bus journey home will be most uncomfortable.”

‘Very,’ I thought as I gulped audibly; the seats on the school bus were hard and the ride bouncy. I felt sick at the prospect of a caning, the first in two years. However, Miss Temples was not finished with me.

“Stand up.” She ordered. “You can face the wall outside the changing rooms as an example to the rest of the girls, and to show our hosts how dimly I view this.”

I soon found myself outside the doors to the two changing rooms with my hands on my head. Then for good measure, and ignoring my complaint, she yanked down my thick cotton green tracksuit bottoms letting them fall in a pool around my ankles. My white knickers that I had changed into were now displayed.

I did not have long after she left to consider my predicament. The two teams soon trooped in; Our Lady in good spirits after a five-nil victory, our team more subdued of course. While my team-mates passed little comment, our opponents were clearly intrigued by my predicament and speculated on the outcome and how sore my bottom was soon going to be. Asking my friends what was likely to happen made it clear that the general consensus was a very painful caning was coming my way. This intrigued them as, apparently, Our Lady did not use the cane. My hopes rose that I might escape, at least until we got back to school. With a teacher also around, however, I could not contemplate participating in this conversation, even if I wanted to.

A few minutes later both Miss Temples and Sister Eve appeared.

“Turn around.” Miss Temples ordered, and then continued: “Apparently at Our Lady the cane is not used.”

I was relieved but did my best not to show it. It may only be temporary, but at least I could escape to my dorm-room after my deferred punishment rather than suffering the journey home.

However, my relief was short lived as Miss Temples continued. “Instead they use this. It is an Irish strap, which she assures me can be most effective,” as she produced a thick piece of leather.

I looked at it in trepidation. It was about a foot and a half long, and I guess was two inches wide. It seemed to be made of a number of pieces of leather stitched together. A “strap” it may have been, but it was a pretty firm and clearly heavy strip of leather that was at least half an inch thick. From the way Miss Temples was brandishing it, it was clear its next victim was going to be me.

“Sister Eve has kindly let me borrow it to deal with your behaviour. We could not decide if two or three strokes should roughly equate to a stroke of the cane so we decided fifteen should probably equate to the six of the best I intended to give you. This I hope should ensure you remember that fair play is what I insist upon from my girls. She has also lent me the use of the gymnasium so, after you.”

After kicking my shoes off I found myself pushed by Miss Temples through a door opened by Sister Eve, who gave me a wicked smile. I felt sick; it was at that point I really realised that this was going to no picnic.

The gymnasium was more or less empty apart from a couple of long school gym benches made of wood. It looked like any other school gym I suppose, with wall bars along one side, and some ropes to a rail on the ceiling tied up on the same far side as the wall bars. A large double door at the end presumably led to the equipment storeroom.

There were two other doors, which were both ajar and judging by noise led to the two changing rooms. Sister Eve set off towards them and started to close the first when Miss Temples interrupted her.

“Why don’t you leave them,” she called. “I am sure it would be some consolation to Judy to hear from her friends that her attacker has been suitably dealt with, and for my girls it will be good to remind them of the importance of fair play!”

Sister Eve paused, nodded, and then pushed each door so it was open wide. She then came across to where I was standing next to my Headteacher. Her expression made it clear that she was going to enjoy my punishment and that it was in her view exactly what I deserved.

As I stood in the gymnasium with my tracksuit trousers still round my ankles I was getting really worried. It was clear Miss Temples intended to make an example of me; unconsciously I had begun to rub my rear end in nervous anticipation. The rest of my body was beginning to tingle with nerves at the prospect of what was coming.

“Hands by your side girl,” ordered Miss Temples. “And help me move this bench away from the wall.”

I found myself shuffling my feet across the floor as the bench was moved about ten feet in from the wall. Next I found myself sitting on it as I removed my tracksuit bottoms completely. All too soon I was standing again but bent over, one hand either side of the bench with my feet astride it near one end. My legs were locked straight as ordered. I felt very vulnerable as I waited with only the limited protection of a single layer of thin cotton over my buttocks. To say I felt in a near panic would be an understatement. Vaguely I was aware that the noise from the changing rooms had stopped. I glanced over to my right and saw the faces of both team-mates and opponents peering out through the respective doors. At the same moment I felt the strap touch my bottom as Miss Temples lined up the first stroke. My face snapped forward, looking down along the length of the bench.

Determined not to show cowardice I gritted my teeth and gripped the bench sides as tightly as I could.

SLAP! The first whack hit my bottom with a loud noise. I gasped as the pain set in, and gripped tighter. It was worse than I expected, much, much worse than a school ‘slipper’.

I gasped and grunted as Miss Temples slowly and methodically whacked my backside. After six stinging blows my bottom was in agony; the concept of 15 being equivalent to six of the best with the cane was a bad joke. Unlike a caning the hard leather strap is soon hitting already punished areas, and that multiplies the pain in a different way. The caning I had got two years ago had been four strokes. This seemed far worse after about six whacks and I had another nine to go!

As the seventh SLAP! echoed round the gymnasium I screamed with the pain as the lowest part of my bottom took another bruising stroke.

Miss Temples paused for a second and said: “I hope this is getting through to you.”

With tears now starting I ignored the rhetorical question and gripped tighter as with an almighty SLAP the eighth stroke piled further agony on. I was biting my lip hard to try not to screech again.

However the battle was one I was losing. The ninth whack across the centre of my bottom was too much and I found myself crying out loud as the pain hit home. My bottom was now a mass of fire. It was difficult to think the pain could get any worse.

WHACK! The tenth one was a vicious one low and unlike the others hit only the near left buttock, low down. It was agonising and totally caught me out. Before thinking what I was doing I stood up gripping my bottom, in tears and oblivious to anything but the pain I was in.

“How dare you!” Exclaimed the Head. “Stop snivelling like a first year and take your punishment properly. One extra stroke for disobedience. Now get back in position now!”

Reluctantly I bent over again and immediately the head whacked the strap down on the exact same spot in the same way. What was agony before was excruciating now as I lost my grip once more, and stood begging for a lenience that of course never came.

Miss Temples was not impressed. “Not only are you a cheat, but a coward.” I heard through my tears. “Sister, would you hold her down please.”

I found myself lying along the bench with one leg either side and my upper body pinned down by black fabric as Sister Eve held me in place. All I remember about this was pleading “no please” as I was roughly repositioned.

Worse was to come as I was told that instead of the five remaining it was now doubled to ten.

Miss Temples gave me the first five allotted whacks from one side then the second five from the other. I remember little other than bawling and screaming as my bottom was put through agonies that were way beyond anything the cane had given me before.

Finally it was over. I was stood up and put into the corner of the gym until, about ten minutes later, it was time to go.

After apologising to the Sister I was on the bus tentatively sitting down on the seat. However, Miss Temples had still not finished with me. I received another telling off as the bus made its way down the drive, which led me to spending the entire journey home sitting in the middle of the back row with my trousers back down around my ankles and my hands on my head. Miss Temples regularly looked down the aisle from her seat at the front to ensure I was maintaining the required pose. The humiliation and discomfort meant there were many more tears before we got to Carnchapel where I was glad to be sent directly to the solace of my dorm-room.

Inspecting the damage before going to bed showed a black and blue mess of bruises as a result of the twenty one strokes I got, which took an awful long time to disappear.

Years later I met a girl from Our Lady, who told me that the normal maximum was twelve and Sister Eve normally limited herself to around eight strokes for a severe strapping. It seems as if she decided to take a bit of revenge for me injuring her star player. Unsurprisingly it was probably the worst punishment I ever received at school, although the one I got later that school year would be a close second.

THE HOME MATCH

After my strapping, it was some time before I was sitting comfortably again and even longer before the marks disappeared. It also was a while before friends and teachers alike got tired of referring to the incident. The fact that I’d not managed to stay down for my punishment was a particular embarrassment to me, but there was nothing I could do about that after the event.

Miss Temples was as good as her word and I missed the remainder of the matches in the autumn term, although I was allowed to train with the team again in December.

In the New Year, the coach made it clear she was delighted to see me back, and light-heartedly reminded me to not get into any further trouble both for the team’s and my bottom’s sake. She clearly thought it was a one off. I do remember her final comment though, which was to tell me that if I did manage to get myself banned she would give me something to remind me of her displeasure in addition to whatever the Head deemed fit to give me.

I resolved never to go over the top again, but of course it was not to be!

It was in late March, a couple of weeks before the Easter break that the second ‘uncomfortable’ (for me at least) incident occurred.

It was a home game against a strong team who, like ourselves, still had an outside chance of the championship. As a result it was a ‘must win’ game for both sides.

The first half had been a tense affair and goal-less, but two goals, one each, at the beginning of the second half had led both teams to play more openly. Midway through the half we got a breakaway chance and unusually for me (as basically a defender) I was up with the attack. Julie, our winger, crossed the ball into the middle I stopped it about 20 yards out and decided to shoot for goal. I gave it an almighty whack and watched jubilantly as the ball sailed into the top corner of the net. In my delight at scoring my first goal for the school I never heard the scream of the defender, and assumed the whistle was for the goal. However, it was for me having, in my excitement, raised my stick well above the permitted shoulder height, inadvertently hitting the defender in the face, who now had blood pouring from her nose.

The goal was disallowed and I was warned about my behaviour. To my eternal shame, instead of accepting this I gave vent to my fury at ‘my goal’ being disallowed, and rather than accepting and apologising to the girl I’d hit accidentally, I thumped my stick in the ground, and told the umpire (rather colourfully) what I thought of her decision.

Inter-school hockey is not a football match, and the result of that was a second warning and an automatic sending off. I was now furious. It was probably only Julie, who was also captain, who stopped me from doing something even more foolish. As I started to give the umpire a further piece of my mind she pulled me away and pointedly told me that I was in enough trouble, and indicated I should look at Miss Temples, who was now down at the touchline, with an expression that even from a distance portended nothing good for me.

Julie’s pointed comments were the metaphorical equivalent of having a bucket of cold water poured on me and I turned to slowly walk off.

Having seen Miss Temples’ face I was sorely tempted to leave the pitch on the other side and take a circuitous route to the changing rooms, but my head told me that I’d better go straight off and face the music.

She was waiting for me as I stepped off the pitch, and was furious. Before anybody spoke there was a SLAP! as her palm struck my cheek. I gasped as I’d never seen her do something like that before. I looked to Miss Kelly, our coach, but she just turned away, disappointment etched on her face. It was at that point I really realised how much trouble I was in.

“Wait for me in the changing room,” Miss Temples hissed at me. “But don’t get changed.” Then as an afterthought she said: “You might as well take your boots off though.”

I trudged off to the changing room, took off my boots, and sat down to contemplate my position. The strapping I had got before Christmas, and the promise that I would get worse if there was a repeat, were all I could think of as I played subconsciously with my stick between my legs.

It was less than five minutes before Miss Temples appeared. She said very little but for the second time that year I found myself in a school gymnasium for a punishment; this time with my nose against the wall in a corner and my hands on my head. It was still cold and unheated, and I shivered as I stood there not daring to turn round, although I am pretty sure I was alone for the next fifteen minutes or so. Eventually I heard the teams come back and the noises in the changing room. It was clear that we had lost, I found out later by three goals to one. However, the only thought on my mind was what Miss Temples had lined up for me, as I waited in my corner.

It was at least half an hour of further shivering, during which our opponents had changed and left, before I heard my team-mates, escorted by Miss Kelly, troop in. I heard some of them being ordered to move the upper part of the gym vaulting box into the middle of the floor. I had a pretty good idea why. It was a favourite item for the gym teacher to use for a slippering.

Miss Temples arrived not long after. I was told to turn around and was not surprised to see a vicious looking cane in her right hand. My class mates were all in their school tracksuits waiting, sitting on a couple of gym benches along one side.

I won’t go into the detail of the lecture she gave, suffice to say most of it was lost on me. My attention was on what was in her right hand, and my thoughts on what was going to happen when she stopped talking. The main points were that I had let the school down badly again, that ‘my win at all costs’ rather than ‘play the game first’ attitude was nothing less than appalling. Then she got to the bit I feared, the punishment I was to get. First, as expected, I was banned from ever representing the school again. She then said I was a disgrace to the team and told me to strip the uniform off and give it to Miss Kelly, given that I would never be needing it again.

I started by peeling down the socks, from which the shin guards fell out. Miss Kelly was on hand to take the socks from me and she picked the guards from the floor. She did not respond to my muttered thanks. Nervously I undid the button on the purple wraparound skirt and passed the item over. Finally I pulled the white top over my head and stood only clad in magenta knickers and my bra.

I gasped when Miss Temples pointed with her cane and said coldly: “Those pants are part of the uniform too.”

That was true. Standard kit for sports was navy blue. However, I just stood there in disbelief at the prospect of taking them off.

“I suggest you get on with it, before I ask Miss Kelly to do it for you!” Miss Temples’ patience was clearly running low.

Ever so reluctantly I removed them and passed them to the hockey coach. It was of minimal comfort to me that at least the bra was my own. However, it was of more comfort that I was passed my own underwear, a pair of white knickers, to be punished in. Thanking the school’s one layer of clothing rule, I slipped them on, momentarily wondering what I would see later in my dorm when I expected I would be carefully peeling them away from a very tender bottom.

Within a couple of minutes I was on the gym box, legs hanging down astride just touching the floor, my hands were gripping firmly on the edges of the box in front of me.

Miss Temples took the opportunity to lecture my, now former, team-mates about it being fine to play to win, but above all the need to play fairly and be a credit to school Her final statement was that if they forgot then they too could very well find themselves waiting for eight of the cane like I was at the moment.

Eight! That was the first time the number had been mentioned. I suppose I’d been hoping for six, but as the strapping was a replacement for six last time, I should not have been shocked. However, one always hopes right up until the moment sentence is announced.

I gripped more tightly as I felt the cane touch my bottom, which was tingling in dread anticipation of what was going to happen. I was determined to take this punishment better than the strapping of before.

There was a brief hum and then CRACK as the first blow hit my rear. I bit my lip as the pain hit home and screwed my eyes shut and waited for the next.

CRACK. The second impact bit into my bottom. Despite my efforts, I gave a small gasp, that three foot senior cane was agony.

The third caused me to gasp again and the fourth right across the middle, in the same location as the first I think, causing me to audibly groan for the first time.

Halfway I thought as I waited for the fifth. CRACK! I gave a louder wail as the blow hit only my left buttock. I had never felt a stroke like that before. The tip I believe had impacted near the line of the cleft between my buttocks.

Despite my intentions tears were flowing freely down my cheeks, and I never was aware that our Head had swapped the cane to her left hand and had walked to the other side of me. The next stroke seared my right buttock only, forcing me to give full use of my lungs.

Another left handed blow, slightly higher and across both buttocks, cracked on the target giving me more unexpected agonies as the tip unusually hit my left rather than right side.

One to go. I was told later that Miss Temples, who walked round to use her normal right hand again, clearly put everything into it unleashing a stinging blow that cracked loudly somewhere on the lower third my bottom. I can only remember the utter agony of it, although I was told my resulting screech was earsplitting.

It was over so I thought. However, as I made to climb off the box I was stopped.

Miss Kelly said: “No, you can wait there for a while until everyone has gone.” Then in the hubbub of everyone leaving, she said quietly in my ear: “After all, I promised you something extra if you got sent off again, and you wouldn’t want me to break my word would you?”

I had forgotten about her promise and started to plead, but she just walked out of the gym with a final admonishment not to think about moving.

It seemed an age that I lay there on the box, clad only in bra and knickers with an agonised bottom, and waiting for yet more. However, eventually Miss Kelly returned.

She came round in front of me and brandished what was clearly the top foot and a half of a hockey stick in front of my reddened, tear-stained eyes.

“This stick was broken by a third year girl who slammed it into the ground in temper five or six years ago. That day there was a woodworking activity and I had this sawn and sanded out of the remnants. The girl concerned got six smacks with it and I assure you she was very sorry after.”

As she said this I looked in fear at the weapon she was brandishing in front of my nose.

“You know I had to fight very hard for Miss Temples not to ban you when you nearly broke that girl’s ankle. I gave her my personal assurance that it was a one off and you would learn from it.” As she said this she was walking around behind me.

“So, when you called the umpire an ‘effing idiot’ you not only let the school down but…”

SLAP

“Me…”

SLAP

“… also!”

I grunted then screeched again as the two blows hit my left buttock.

I felt her yank roughly on my knickers, pulling them upwards and effectively baring the lower half of my bottom, as she walked round the other side.

“I am totally…”

SLAP

“…ashamed…”

SLAP

“…of you! I stuck my neck out for you and you repaid me by behaving like spoiled brat!”

The pain of the four paddle strokes had restarted my tears, coupled with the knowledge of how I had let my coach down.

Miss Kelly had paused, but was still walking around behind me. She took a deep breath and then spoke more conversationally.

“You know the problem with caning a girl on the box like this is that the lowest part of the buttocks,” she pressed the length of stick against my left buttock as she said this: “Tends to go unpunished. I think a couple of whacks each side to finish, as long as you don’t move, will do.”

My pleas as I lay on the box were interrupted by a bang as the first hit the line where buttock meets thigh. I was still screaming when the second landed in the same place. After a brief pause two further equally agonising blows were administered to my right side, leaving me a well punished wreck.

I was left on the box for another few minutes while Miss Kelly put her stick away. Finally I was able to dismount and make my way back to the changing rooms, where I found my tracksuit had been taken by my team mates, still angry that they had lost, and blaming my sending off the two goals their opponents had scored at the end.

Thus my final humiliation was staggering along the school corridors half-naked to get back to my dorm-room, where fortunately my dorm-mates were relatively sympathetic, especially once they saw the bruised state my bottom had been left in by the joint efforts of the headmistress and hockey coach.

Once again it was quite some time before the effects of my punishment started to wear off, although at least this time I was told I’d taken it pretty bravely. As for Miss Temples, I kept carefully out of trouble for the remainder of my school career, knowing that I almost certainly was a marked girl as far as she was concerned.

The End