News for 13 February 2013

All the news for Wednesday 13 February 2013

How Wrestling Lost to Field Hockey and Modern Pentathlon

By Matthew Futterman

Wrestling faces an uphill climb for survival on the highest level after the International Olympic Committee’s executive board voted it the sport to eliminate from its core of 25 sports for the 2020 Olympic Games. Despite more than a century of history in the modern Olympics and roots that go back over 2,000 years, wrestling ultimately couldn’t beat out modern pentathlon and field hockey in the race to avoid the chopping block. Wrestling will face the executive board once again in May as it tries to beat out six other candidate sports to become the 28th competition at the 2020 Games.

Here’s how the IOC reports the voting went, as the 14 executive board members were asked which sport they would like to see eliminated from the core of the Olympic program.

Round 1
Wrestling: 5
Modern Pentathlon: 5
Field hockey: 2
Canoeing: 1
Taekwondo: 1

Round 2
Wrestling: 7
Modern Pentathlon: 4
Canoeing: 1
Field hockey: 1
Taekwondo: 1

Round 2 (Tie-break for the three third-place sports, with the lowest vote tally guaranteeing survival)
Field hockey: 6
Taekwondo: 5
Canoeing: 3

Round 3
Wrestling: 6
Modern Pentathlon: 5
Field hockey: 3
Taekwondo: 0

Round 4
Wrestling: 8
Field hockey: 3
Modern Pentathlon: 3

Story link

The Wall Street Journal Daily Fix

Why We Need Post Collegiate Play in America

By Rachel Dawson

What Does It Feel Like to Play?

I stood in a small middle school gymnasium casually grasping my field hockey stick. Sixty 3rd – 5th graders sat in front of me, curious, excited, and surprisingly well behaved. Few of them knew anything about field hockey. Their questions made me laugh. Do you live in a mansion? Do you get nervous before games? Did you have a flat screen TV in London? Did you win a medal? Did you meet Ryan Lochte? Gabby Douglas? Most of the kids asked the typical “Olympic” questions, except for one little girl.

Her hand raised tentatively in the air. I gazed toward it where oval glasses framed shy curious eyes. I smiled, nodding permission. She glanced from side to side. She was timid and unsure, so I nodded and smiled again. She opened her mouth. Her voice was meek. The rest of the kids craned their heads toward her. The question whispered through the air.

‘What’s it feel like to play?’ Silence filled the room. I held her gaze as a train of thoughts rolled through my mind. Was she asking about field hockey, or sports in general? Was she asking what ‘people’ felt when they played field hockey? Did she want to know what it felt like to hold the stick, hit the ball, score a goal, or win a game - or was she asking me what I felt when I played?

I fumbled for words.

“When I play I feel alive. There’s something about having the stick in my hand, and feeling it click against the ball that makes me feel free. There’s nothing like it. Like…hmmmm…have you ever painted? Or wrote? Or played music? Or done something where you lose track of time because you are so focused on what you are doing that you don’t even know what you are doing or feeling. Well, when I play, it sort of feels like that, like nothing matters, like time doesn’t exist. Like it’s me out there, exploring, learning, competing. The real, unfiltered, imperfectly perfect me.”

Sixty awkward, antsy glances met my words. So, I told them the truth - if they wanted to know what it felt like to play, they had to try it for themselves. I handed out the strange looking sticks and they played the hour clumsily away.

Over the next few days, the question stuck with me. I mulled it over, asked friends, sisters, and teammates “What’s it feel like to Play?” I realized I hadn’t played a game, or organized practice, in over 3 months (a long span for me). I longed to remember what it felt like to play.

The Faulty Logic of Why We Play in America

We spend a huge part our young lives playing. Most of us start out more like those third graders than we’d like to admit. We were clumsy and confused, unsure of the rules or the reasons, but we were curious and bold, and we liked to run, so we decided to explore field hockey. There was something we liked about it. It was a challenge, and with time, we got better, and the game started to make sense. The stick eventually became less awkward, and our feet grew accustomed to the rhythm of the game. We bobbed, we swayed, we jabbed, we shimmied, and sometimes, when necessary, we laid down a mean block. We found moments of joy in competition as we danced intuitively on the field. 

We thought we’d dance joyfully on forever. We believed that the game would always be ours.  Yet, somewhere along the way, a faulty logic crept in.  The world fooled us into thinking that the only thing that mattered about playing was being the best, winning, and earning a college scholarship. Once we’d achieved all those things, or failed to achieve them, the game had nothing left for us. It said, sorry, but you may play no more. 

The By Gone Days of Play

When I asked Xan Funk, my college teammate at the University of North Carolina and current coach at Sidwell Middle School in Washington DC, “What does it feel like to play,” she said:

“Playing is a thrill, it allows you to glimpse so many emotions that are tied into the preparation, competition, and love for the sport. You feel so many different things in a game; its like more emotion than you’d show in a week or month or who knows how long. I think musicians feel the same about their songs and performing.”

Yet unlike musicians, play is something we can’t do forever. Not because our bodies won’t let us, but because after college at the ripe age of 22, there is nowhere for us to play (unless of course, you are good enough to play for the National Team or flexible enough to move overseas). The fact is, no easy or clear pathway exists in America to keep field hockey a natural part of an athlete’s life. With very few adult clubs, and limited well-organized regional or national leagues, every year countless graduates from the over 200 NCAA Field Hockey Programs are forced to play no more. 

So in this land of limited field hockey opportunity, young people increasingly drift away from the sport.  They invest in their new careers and filter their love of play into new more convenient pursuits – they run marathons, join cross-fit, play squash. Because sadly, the field hockey community they grew up in doesn’t grow up with them. Eventually, they lose touch with the game, and the bygone days of field hockey play amount to little more than a beautiful yet dimming sense of nostalgia.

Call To Action

We need to act. Not later, when the time seems right, but now. Change is possible if we act progressively, positively, and with united passion. It will be difficult. Field Hockey in America faces some very daunting challenges. Our sport infrastructure is not set up to accommodate post-collegiate play. The current non-league, non-regionalized, show-case-centric club competition model hampers local growth and development. As a national sport community, we must systematically approach this challenge, and ask ourselves how can we get regional club leagues off the ground that enhance the mission of pre-existing national events, while allowing for the long-term development of post-collegiate play.

How do we inspire the lost generations of hockey players to re-enter the “play-force?” How do we create value for the post-collegiate market segment? How do we create high quality, convenient opportunities to play? How do we increase outreach and give them both visibility and a voice? Most importantly, are we willing to do what it takes?

The truth is, I am, because pretty soon, I’ll be one of those “lost players.” I love playing. I love competing. It’s fun.  But I won’t play on the National Team forever, and when the time comes to hang up the red, white, and blue, I don’t want to have to hang up my stick too.

Until then, I’m not sure I can look another third-grader in the eye, give ‘em a stick and ask them to give themselves to the sport knowing that one day not too far down the road when they are 22, and vulnerable and lost, the sport will cast them aside, and tell ‘em they can’t play anymore. And it won’t be their choice, it’ll be because there’s no where for them to play.

The joy of play shouldn’t be taken away from anyone. Playing is good for the soul, no matter how old you are.

I Asked Some People – What’s It Feel Like to Play - Here are their answers.


Lauren Crandall, 2x Olympian, USA Women’s National Team Captain, Wake Forest University

“Fun, invigorating, free.”

Hannah Dawson, University of Michigan 2012


Katelyn Falgowski, 2x Olympian, University of North Carolina, 2011

“Exciting. I feel like a child. Like, there’s just pure enjoyment in it.”

Meghan Dawson, University of North Carolina 2011

“I don’t know if I can even articulate it.”

Jesse Gey, University of North Carolina, 2008

“I feel free and alive. It’s like nothing else in life matters. And more importantly, I feel One with God. When I play for Him, I feel the ultimate joy.”

Lauren Pfieffer, USA Women’s National Team Member, University of Iowa, 2009

Please Note: All the above answers were given with a child-like giddiness rooted in the indescribably powerful experience of play.

USFHA media release

After the close call at the IOC Executive Board Meeting perhaps we can add - To keep Hockey in the Olympics to the list

World League Round 2 heads to India

All games from Delhi to be televised and streamed live

In less than a week, the Hockey World League moves to New Delhi, India for the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 tournament from February 18-23. Fresh on the heels of the successful Hockey India League, six men’s and six women’s teams will take to field to earn a berth to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in June.

Adding to the excitement is the announcement that Ten Sports will be televising all of the matches from both tournaments across the Sub Continent. For those outside the region, all games will be streamed live on In addition there will be daily highlights packages and feature stories available on the FIH website.

On the men’s side, the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 will be the first-ever time that the national team of Bangladesh hits the airwaves. #40 Bangladesh enters the tournament as one of the Cinderella entries joined by #71 Fiji and #36 Oman. The tournament is sure to be an exciting experience for both teams.

At the other end of the spectrum is 15th-ranked Ireland and #11 India who are set to duke it out for the tournament title and the berth to the next round. China is the dark horse of the group and has the potential to play the role of spoiler, entering as the 18th-ranked team in the FIH World Ranking.

The women’s competition is also essentially a two-team race with ninth-ranked Japan entering as the big favorite followed by 12th-ranked India. Japan enters the event level as the highest-possible ranked team in Round 2, with the cutoff for an automatic spot in the Semi-Final being the top eight teams in the FIH World Ranking.

Russia, Malaysia and Kazakhstan are all sure to be quite competitive weighing in between #20 and #33 in the FIH World Ranking. Rounding out the women’s pool is #59 Fiji.

Click here to view the official Hero Hockey World League Round 2 men's tournament page

Click here to view the official Hero Hockey World League Round 2 women's tournament page

FIH site

Time now for Hockey World League

Principal Correspondent

Close on the heels of the inaugural Hockey India League (HIL), India is ready to host another event, Round 2 of the Hockey World League (HWL), which will serve as a qualifying competition for next year’s World Cup to be held at The Hague, The Netherlands.

This new event, floated by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for men and women, will be held over a two-year cycle. For the first cycle, which started in August last and would continue till February 2014, the event would be the qualifier for the World Cup and over the next two-year period it would become the qualifying competition for the Olympics.

Several teams, which took part in Round 1, have qualified for the next round, while the sides ranked between ninth and 16th in the world get the chance to directly play in Round 2. Eight teams from four Round 2 events (to be played on single pool round robin format) will be eligible to participate in Round 3 (which will have two pools of four teams each followed by the classification matches).

The eight top ranked sides in the world will get a bye to play in the two third round events, which will serve as the semifinals.

The best six finishers in the semifinals will make it to the World Cup or the Olympics. The host nation and five continental champions will complete the remaining slots.

The top eight teams from the HWL semifinals will be eligible to take part in the final (which will follow the format of Round 3).

Some of the teams which have come through Round 1 will be seen in action during the Round 2 competition for men and women to be held here from February 18 to 24.

Teams like Ireland, Bangladesh, Oman and Fiji have qualified from the first round of the men’s competition. India, ranked 11th, and China have made it directly.

Among the women’s teams, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Fiji have advanced from the opening round. India, ranked 12th, and Japan (9th) are the sides to get a bye.

Even as some teams arrived on Tuesday, the Indian women’s side began its preparations under the watchful eyes of coach Neil Hawgood.

Hawgood said in an event involving lesser known teams, the host had to focus on improving its own game. “We are moving in the right direction. We can worry about ourselves than others.”

Hawgood said the players needed to work on various aspects of their game in order to improve the performance.

Meanwhile, Indian men’s team coach Michael Nobbs allowed the players to recover from the fatigue of the gruelling HIL. However, the coach along with two other support staff took time out to put drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh, who was not part of the HIL, through some fitness drills.

The visiting teams will start their training here from Wednesday.

The Hindu

Sunil, Rao still awaiting Army nod for World League

NEW DELHI: Striker S V Sunil and goal-keeper P T Rao are yet to get clearance from their employer to represent the national team in the Hockey World League Round 2 starting February 18 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

Both Sunil and Rao are from the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) as they are on the payroll of the Indian Army.

According to a source in Hockey India, the letters seeking permission for both the players to play in the tournament are lying unattended somewhere in the Army Headquarters.

"We have sent letters to the SSCB seeking their clearance just after their selection in the Indian team on February 5. The SSCB, then forwarded the letters to the Army Headquarters, where it is lying pending," the source said.

"I don't know why they are sitting on it as the tournament is just round the corner and it is the players who are suffering because of this uncertainty. They have been selected to play for the national team and not for any professional league," he said.

"Sunil is a key player in the forwardline and Rao is our second goal-keeper. I don't understand why the Army is stopping them from playing in the Hockey World League 2, which is a qualifying event for the 2014 World Cup in the Netherlands," the source added.

Incidentally, Sunil and Rao were among the six players who had to go through the same ordeal before the start of the just-concluded Hockey India League.

The Army Sports Control Board (ASCB) took strong exception to the duo's participation in the HIL without permission and even ordered a disciplinary action to be initiated against them.

While Sunil represented Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the HIL, Rao played for Mumbai Magicians franchise.

Both Sunil and Rao are yet to report for the preparatory camp for the Hockey World League Round 2 which started yesterday at the National Stadium here.

"We haven't joined the camp yet. We are waiting for the clearance from ASCB. We expect something to happen by tomorrow but can't say anything," a player said on condition of anonymity.

SSCB officials, however, were unavailable for comment.

The Times of India

Hockey reps set to fly


THE Fiji hockey team is preparing to present its i tatau to the Minister for Youth and Sports, Commander Viliame Naupoto, in the next hour.

The men's and women's hockey teams will present this to the commander at his residence.

They are preparing to leave the country tomorrow morning for Round 2 of the Hockey World League (HWL) in India.

Their first game is against India.

The Fiji Times

Grateful Mas hopes to make impact in the World League

Big break: Goalkeeper Mas Huzaimah Mohd Aziz has been selected for the national side.

KUALA LUMPUR: Goalkeeper Mas Huzaimah Mohd Aziz has earned the big break she’s been craving for when she was named for round two of the World League in New Delhi from Feb 18-24.

The other teams in the women’s hockey competition are Japan (world No. 9), India (No. 12), Russia (No. 20), Kazakhstan (No. 33) and Fiji (No. 59).

The World League was introduced last year for teams to earn a place in next year’s Women’s World Cup.

National coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli said that Mas was chosen for her impressive performance in the Junior Asia Cup in Bangkok last June.

“She also showed her true potential in training and will replace reserve goalkeeper Siti Noor (Hafiza Zainordin),” said Nasihin.

The first choice goalkeeper is 25-year-old Farah Ayuni Yahya, who has 45 international caps.

The 22-year-old Perak-born Mas was ecstatic to be selected after failing to make the team for the first round of the World League in Kuantan last September.

Malaysia emerged champions in the Kuantan competition, which featured Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

“Although Ayuni will be the first choice, I hope to get a chance to play in the World League,” said Mas.

“I’m eager to earn my first international cap and help Malaysia qualify for the semi-finals.”

The national team will leave for New Delhi tomorrow and play in a friendly against Russia on Friday before opening their campaign against the same team on Monday.

The top two teams will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held in Rotterdam in June.

Nasihin expects strong challenges from favourites Japan, hosts India and Russia. Malaysia will find it hard to beat Japan and India while Russia are also expected to be tough customers.

“We hope to defy the odds and make the cut for the next round,” said Nasihin, who has been the national coach since 2011.

The Star of Malaysia

Smith names World League 2 Squad

Electric Ireland Irish Women's coach Darren Smith has named his 18 players to travel to the World League 2 tournament in Valencia, Spain later this month following a 9 day training camp last week which culminated yesterday in the Green Army claiming their first victory under the new Coach with a 1-0 victory over Spain.

Ireland will travel to Valencia on Thursday 21st February 2013 ahead of their opening encounter with Czech Republic on Monday 25th February 2013 before facing Belarus the following day. The Green Army will face hosts Spain for the 4th time in a month on 2nd March 2013 before finishing off their World League 2 campaign v Italy on 3rd March 2013.

Speaking to following the squad announcement, Electric Ireland Irish Women's Coach Darren Smith said ‘I'm very excited about the squad we have been able to select to participate in the World League 2. After 3 Matches and 7 training sessions the group improved significantly and we were especially happy with the progress over the test matches vs. Spain. 9 days like this is a perfect opportunity to get to know each other.

Smith continued ‘Shirley McCay returned from an extended break from the squad where she spent some time travelling overseas. Although Shirley worked hard and played well in the Saturday match the tournament in Valencia has come a little too early for her to be fully prepared. This will be a tough tournament and we are excited about the challenge ahead. Spain are a quality team and we expect a tough battle against Czech Republic, Belarus and Italy. The biggest challenge will be getting this group to its full potential and all of us will work hard to fulfil this'

Ireland Squad

1. Niamh Atcheler (UCD)
2. Aine Connery (Corinthian)
3. Nicci Daly (Loreto/Holcombe HC, England)
4. Nikki Evans (UCD)
5. Emma Gray (Hermes)
6. Nicola Gray (UCD)
7. Michelle Harvey (Pegasus)
8. Lisa Jacob (Hermes)
9. Sinead McCarthy (Hermes)
10. Katie Mullan (UCD)
11. Anna O'Flanagan (UCD)
12. Audrey O'Flynn (Hermes)
13. Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins)
14. Pamela Smithwick (Old Alex)
15. Emma Smyth (Railway Union)
16. Alex Speers (C) (Railway Union)
17. Nikki Symmons (Loreto)
18. Chloe Watkins (UCD)

World League 2 Fixtures - Spain (All times local)

25/02/2012 Ireland v Czech Republic (10:30am)
26/02/2012 Ireland v Belarus (11:00am)
02/03/2012 Ireland v Spain (1:00pm)
03/03/2012 Ireland v Italy (11:00am)

Irish Hockey Association media release

Young Amir makes his mark


KUALA LUMPUR: Youngster Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi (pic) has made quite an impression in the two hockey Test matches against Ireland that he stands a good chance of featuring in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh next month.

National assistant coach S. Arul Selvaraj said that the forward showed maturity in his performances.

“I’m impressed with his game. He has good ball control and didn’t lose the ball in the two friendlies,” said Arul, who took charge of the team in the second friendly as national coach Paul Revington was down with the flu.

“Amir has shown that he can blend into the national squad ... he has a good chance of earning a spot in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup squad.”

The 22-year-old Perak-born Amir featured in the Junior Asia Cup which Malaysia won in Malacca last May.

The Tenaga Nasional player, who has been with the national training squad since last year, failed to earn a place in the Champions Challenge I in Argentina and the Asian Champions Trophy in Doha last November and December respectively.

Malaysia won the first two of the three-Test series 4-2 and 3-0 respectively. The third Test will be held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil today (7pm).

And Arul is expecting another good performance from his men.

“They must be more aware tactically and the defenders must not get caught off guard by the Irish counter attacks,” said the former international.

“Our players must also make full use of their chances.”

All the 21 players, except for goalkeeper Khairulnizam Ibrahim, have played in the two friendlies.

There are 30 players in the national training squad and the final 18 for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, scheduled for March 9-17, will be named after the two friendlies against New Zealand early next month.

The Star of Malaysia

Pakistan start preparations for Azlan Shah Cup

LAHORE: Five probables out of the 25 called up for the training camp of the Pakistan hockey team for the Azlan Shan Cup were absent as it started at the Johar Town Hockey Stadium here on Monday.

Head coach Akhtar Rasool told Dawn that Rizwan Senior and Rashid Mahmood did not inform the team management that they would not be able to attend the camp on Monday.

“They should’ve informed us about their availability or non-availability for the camp. If they were going away to feature in a league, they should’ve told us before the camp started,” Akhtar said.

On the other three absentees, Akhtar said: “Shakeel Abbasi is injured but would join the camp on Tuesday along with fellow stalwart Waseem Ahmed while Fareed Ahmed is down with fever.”

The former Olympian informed that the camp would be shifted from Johar Town to National Hockey Stadium, which now sports a blue turf, on Tuesday.

Akhtar said Pakistan’s recent performances which included victory at the Asian Champions Trophy and a third-placed finish at the FIH Champions Trophy has raised the morale of the team ahead of the Azlan Shah Cup which starts from March 9.

“The winning graph has gone up and we’d like to continue the winning spree at the Azlan Shah Cup,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain said the team was working at overcoming their deficiencies for the tournament in Malaysia.

“Our focus is to improve our defence and our short-corner conversion because all the top teams are taking part in the event,” Mohammad Imran said.


Youthful men's side named for Azlan Shah

Pictured: Nick Ross, courtesy of Photosport

Black Sticks Men’s head coach Colin Batch has selected an exciting young side to compete at the Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia next month.

Cory Bennett (North Harbour) and Nick Ross (Midlands) are set to make their Black Sticks debuts while Isaac Staples (Canterbury) has been included in the side after an impressive showing at a recent national training camp.

Classy defender Dean Couzins will again captain the New Zealand side, which edged Argentina 1-0 to win last year’s Azlan Shah final.

Batch has taken the opportunity to give several up and coming players valuable experience ahead of key tournaments later this year.

“We are coming off an extremely positive training camp with a number of new players performing well who certainly deserve their place in the team.” he said.

“The camp was a really encouraging gauge of where everyone is at and I am impressed with the quality of young talent we have coming through. Tournament experience is a crucial part of developing future success and Azlan Shah will be another step forward in that plan.”

Debutant Nick Ross, who has come into the side from the National Development Squad, said he was excited about being named to play for the Black Sticks. He continues a family tradition, with father Dave a former Black Stick and sister Courtney currently in the Junior Black Sticks wider squad.

“Colin told me after the last session at training camp that I’d made the side. It was a bit of a surprise but I was really happy when he told me,” the 22-year-old midfielder said.

“I’ve worked pretty hard all summer and it was a goal of mine to be selected for the Azlan Shah team. I can’t wait to make my debut and start collecting some caps in what I hope will be a long career.

“I’d love to be able to go well at Azlan Shah and consolidate a spot with my long term goal to play at the Rio Olympics in 2016.”

Veterans Phil Burrows, Shea McAleese, Nick Haig, Richard Petherick and Brad Shaw all impressed at the week-long training camp but are being rested for New Zealand’s first tournament of 2013. This also allows players to compete for their European club sides.

Simon Child, Nick Wilson and Steven Edwards declared themselves unavailable for selection due to European club commitments with Rotterdam HC.

The Black Sticks open their Azlan Shah account against Pakistan on Saturday March 9th with Australia, India, Korea and Malaysia also taking part in the tournament.

Black Sticks Men’s Team
22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
9th – 17th March 2013, Ipoh, Malaysia


Shirt #

Player Name






Cory Bennett

North Harbour





Marcus Child






James Coughlan

North Harbour





Dean Couzins (c)






Andy Hayward






Blair Hilton






Hugo Inglis






Stephen Jenness






Devon Manchester






Hamish McGregor






Shay Neal






Arun Panchia






Kane Russell






Alex Shaw






Blair Tarrant






Nick Ross






Jacob Smith






Isaac Staples





Hockey New Zealand Media release

Bryce Collins named Black Sticks Assistant Coach

Photo courtesy of Photosport

Former national player Bryce Collins has been named as the new assistant coach for the Black Sticks Men.

With 10 years coaching experience, Collins was previously high performance manager at North Harbour Hockey Association and is the current National Under-18 Men’s coach and National Under-21 Men’s selector. He also worked alongside Mark Hager and the Black Sticks Women in 2009 and 2010.

“The two key things that attracted me to the job was firstly the opportunity to work alongside Colin [Batch] – that was a real draw card. He has a fantastic team approach and has achieved top results in previous roles.

“Secondly, the high performance programme is really strong - there is a clear direction and I think it’s an exciting time for hockey in New Zealand,” says Collins.

Head coach Colin Batch invited Collins to be part of the team at last year’s FIH Champions Trophy in Melbourne as well as during the recent national training camp held at North Harbour.

“To spend this time with the team and get to know them has been invaluable and I have learned a lot already,” says Collins.

Currently the National Under-18 coach, Collins has been a key part of Hockey New Zealand’s Future Black Sticks programme and can see there is real talent coming through. 

“The Future Black Sticks programme has become a key component of the national programme. We can now identify players from the age of 16 and accelerate their learning so that when they enter the national squads, the expectation of what is required to be an elite athlete is clear,” says Collins.

Collins says it is a transitional period for the team as new players are introduced to the squad at the start of an Olympic cycle.

“It is definitely a new phase. We are building a team and a culture that will be results driven and so there will be some big learnings for players early on,” says Collins.

High performance manager Toni Cumpston says to have a former Black Stick who has been involved in both our Regional Talent Programme and Future Black Sticks Programme will be really beneficial.

“To have Bryce working full time in the national programme will be fantastic – we are really looking forward to him joining the team,” says Cumpston.

The first tournament is the Sultan Azlan Shah in Malaysia in March and having attended twice as a player and once as a video analyst, Collins is no stranger to this competition.

“It will be great to fully immerse myself in this role and contribute to the overall future success of the team.”

Collins officially starts in his new role from the first week of March. 

Career highlights – Bryce Collins

2010-2013: High performance development manager, North Harbour Hockey Association.
2012-2013: National Under-21 Men’s selector
2011-2013: National Under-18 Men’s coach
2011-2012: NHL North Harbour Women’s head coach
2009-2010: Worked alongside Mark Hager (head coach) and Chris Leslie (assistant coach), Black Sticks Women
1997-2009: Black Stick, 65 test caps. Attended 2006 World Cup and 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Hockey players to learn new rules ahead of season

The FIH Rules Board has made a series of changes to their rules to make the game faster and safer.

Hockey New Zealand will be using the new rules in all its national tournaments and any home test series. It is also recommended that hockey Associations throughout the country implement these changes in their own competitions.

The changes and an explanation are written below:

The rule
5.1 If time expires just before an umpire would otherwise have made a decision, umpires are permitted to make that decision immediately after the end of the first period or the match.

If an incident arises immediately before the end of the first period (half) or the end of the match, which requires review by the umpires, the review may be conducted even though time has subsequently been completed and signalled. The review should take place immediately and action taken to revert to and correct the situation as appropriate.

The explanation
This rule deals with the current anomaly whereby a goal can currently be awarded after the full time whistle but a penalty corner or penalty stroke cannot.  Now, it is possible that the umpire may award a penalty corner or stroke immediately after the full time whistle if this was the appropriate penalty.

In addition, the second portion of the rule allows for a decision to be reviewed and possibly changed immediately after the full time or half time whistle, and allows time for the umpires to confer if necessary.

The rule
8.1 A goal is scored when:

a) the ball is played by an attacker, or touches the stick or body of a defender, within the circle.

b) after either of these actions, the ball does not travel outside the circle before passing completely over the goal-line and under the cross-bar.

The explanation
This wording defines the experimental ‘own goal’ rule. 

The rule
13.2 b  Opponents must be at least 5 metres from the ball.

If an opponent is within 5 metres of the ball, they must not interfere with the taking of the free hit or must not play or attempt to play the ball. If this player is not playing the ball, attempting to play the ball or influencing play, the free hit need not be delayed.

The explanation
This rule allows for quick free hits to continue without the need for repeat free hits. This rule can also be applied to free hits within the attacking 23 metre area.

13.2 e  The ball may be raised immediately (at a free hit) using a push, flick or scoop but must not be raised intentionally using a hit.

The explanation
Free hits can now be flicked intentionally in the air without moving the ball first. Note that deliberate hits in the air are still not permitted.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Grove Menzieshill target European promotion

Grove Menzieshill target Europe

Men’s National Indoor League Division 1 title holders Grove Menzieshill have promotion as their target when they compete in the NAVAX EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Vienna, Austria this weekend.

The tournament, which runs from 19-21 February, has the lure of promotion to the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Cup up for grabs and Head Coach Chris Anderson is quietly confident of his charge’s chances or securing one of these promotion places in the Austrian capital.

“Promotion is the team’s target but we expect every game to be tough. Our pool match against East Grinstead will be a particular challenge”, said Anderson.

“We must play the game to our strengths and work as team. We have a number of players with a lot of experience of playing at this level of European hockey. We can win but I will be just as happy with a top two finish and promotion for next season.”

Anderson’s side will face fixtures against English side East Grinstead, Portuguese outfit AD Lousada and HC Minsk from Belarus in the Pool B battle to reach the semi-finals spots.

Meanwhile, hosts NAVAX-AHTC Wien, Ukrainians Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa, Czech side Slavia Praha and HAHK Mladost from Croatia will contest Pool A.

The Dundonians head into this week’s European competition on a high, having successfully retained their National Indoor League Division 1 title and qualified for Europe next season following a win over Inverleith in the final of the National Indoor League play-offs in Perth last weekend.

Grove Menzieshill squad:

1 Andrew Ross
2 Kyle Moir
3 Andrew Suttie
4 Oliver Martin James
5 Ben Cromar
7 Ross McPherson
8 Michael Ross
9 Chris Wilson
10 SamTilston
11 Alasdair Irvine
13 Kenneth Watson
14 Euan Cuthill
16 Craig Falconer
21 Gavin Byers
22 Ross Stott
25 Allan Law

Please visit the NAVAX EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy website for more information on the competing teams and schedules.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Nairobi Simba sharpen their claws for battle

Reigning champions sign three players from Strathmore in bid to defend national title


Strathmore University player-coach Meshack Senge during their league clash with Nairobi Simba at Nairobi City Park Stadium on May 20 last year. Strathmore won 4-1. The university side has lost three players to champions Nairobi Simba. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO  NATION

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s Premier League champions Nairobi Simba Union have signed three Strathmore University players to bolster their attack in the new season.

Team manager Kalpesh Solanki confirmed they had drafted midfielders Fidelis Okello and Brian Musasia ahead of the 2013 season that gets under way mid next month. The club has also lured Strathmore University defensive midfielder Emmanuel Kongin, who is making a return after almost two years from action.

“The players have been training with us since last year and we hope they will make an impact in the new season,” said Solanki.

At the same time, Strathmore coach, Meshak Senge, said he would lose more players to their rivals ahead of the new season. The 2011 champions Kenya Police have also confirmed losing five of their key players.

Nairobi Simba coach-cum-player Inderjit ‘Coolie’ Matharu attributed their success last season to new players, among them, former Strathmore strikers Davis Wanangwe and George Mutira. Besides the duo, Nairobi Simba also signed Pepela Haggai and Castro Kaluna from Strathmore.

“The players from Strathmore gave us the punch we much needed and it was great winning the title after a 14-year wait,” said Matharu. However, Matharu noted that the battle to retain the title will be tough.

“We’re focusing on fitness since most of the players are quite skilful.” The team is also gearing up for the Africa Club championships in December by virtue of being the national champions.

Matharu believes the home-and-away league format is the best as it will improve the standards. However, he wants KHU to consider provincial teams which may not have the funds to travel for away matches.

Without five key players

Kenya Police who won their maiden title in 2011, will be the most hit as they will be without five of their key players including goalkeepers James Kayeko and Duke Ombaji.

Kayeko has been moved to the air-wing department while Ombaji will be attending a promotion course. Midfielders Ezra Onyango, James Munyi and Nelson Ochieng will also be attending promotion courses.

Senge said last season ended relatively well for him after losing eight players but still managed to finish third, tying on points with second placed Kenya Police. “It wasn’t a bad return with such a huge loss but I believe we could have done much better,” said Senge. He admitted he would lose some key players ahead of the new season.

Daily Nation

The Top 100 Australian Sportswomen of All Time has opened voting for the Top 100 Australian Sportswomen of All Time. This was a process which allowed the public to nominate their favourite athletes. have asked Hockey Australia to promote the competition and called for the hockey community to get behind their favourite women athletes.

For hockey, the public have nominated 10 athletes who collectively possess an amazing history of success and leadership representing the Hockeyroos at the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, World Cup and Champions Trophy. The leading contenders will be announced throughout February and the awards presented to our athletes at the annual Sports Women's Ball on 27th February 2013.

The 10 hockey players includes: 3 x Olympic gold medallist Rechelle Hawkes, 2 x Olympic gold medallists Jacqueline Pereira, Liane Tooth & Alyson Annan, 1 x Olympic gold medallists Sharon Buchanan, Nova Peris and Nikki Hudson.

An amazing 6 of the 10 players captained their country during their playing career: Dianne Gorman, Evelyn Tazewell, Jacqueline Pereira, Rechelle Hawkes, Sharon Buchanan and Nikki Hudson.

The group of players includes 8 athletes who have received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM): Dianne Gorman, Jacqueline Pereira, Liane Tooth, Rechelle Hawkes, Sharon Buchanan, Alyson Annan, Nikki Hudson & Nova Peris.

Hockey Australia media release

Passing of Hockey NSW Life Members

James Hulme and Mick Anderson pass away

By Tessa Conboy (Hockey NSW)

It is with sadness that Hockey Australia report that Hockey NSW Life Members James Hulme and Mick Anderson have passed away.

James will be missed by his family and loved ones, and in the hockey community for his continuous involvement in developing and maintaining the sport in NSW.

His funeral will take place this Friday 15th February, 1:30pm at Frenchs Forrest Bush Cemetery.

Mick passed away on Sunday 10th February 2013 with his family and friends deeply saddened by this loss; his involvement in hockey across regional NSW and support in advocating hockey in country areas will be remembered.

His funeral will take place this Friday 15th February , 1:00pm at St Mary’s Church, Crookwell.

Hockey Australia pass on our condolences and sympathies to both James and Mick’s family and friends.

Hockey Australia media release