News for 26 February 2013

All the news for Tuesday 26 February 2013


Valencia World League action starts with a bang

Ireland survives Czechs; Italy nips Belarus in shootout


Italy celebrates its dramatic shootout win against Belarus

Reminder: All games from Valencia are being streamed live at: www.fhcv.tv

You can also enjoy behind-the scenes coverage on the FIH You Tube Page

Ireland – Czech Republic 4-1 (2-1 halftime)

Ireland entered the Hockey World League Round 2 tournament as the top-ranked team in the FIH World Ranking weighing in at #15. But today’s meeting against lowest-ranked #37 Czech Republic was anything but a cakewalk for the Irish, who held a slim 2-1 lead at the half,  but powered home a 4-1 victory.

The Czechs took the surprising 1-0 lead just five minutes into action when Monika Kostalova took advantage of an Irish defensive miscue to take the lead. Ireland had several penalty corners following the goal, but it wasn’t until the 17th minute that the Irish found the equalizer when Lisa Jacob finally converted one of the short corner chances. Aine Connery gave Ireland its first lead of the game just as time expired at the half-time break.

Ireland came out fired up in the second half as Audrey O’Flynn quickly turned the lead into a 3-1 advantage with a penalty corner shot just two minutes in the second stanza. From there, Ireland dominated the action and left nothing to chance, keeping the Czechs far away from being a scoring threat. Nicola Gray ultimately sealed the win late in the game with a 4-1 goal, but it must be said that O’Flynn’s earlier marker was the true final blow for the Czechs.

Ireland will look to improve a bit against Belarus tomorrow, while the Czechs take on host Spain.

Italy – Belarus 2-2 (2-1 halftime, 3-1 shootout)

With a mere four World Ranking points separating Italy and Belarus, chances were good that today’s Hockey World League meeting would be a barn burner and it indeed lived up to expectations as Italy out-distanced Belarus 3-1 in a shootout to take two points from the meeting.

Italy looked to be in pole position in the first half as they held the lead throughout nearly the entire 35 minutes. Alissia Padalino gave the Italians the early 1-0 lead 16 minutes into action and Guiuliana Ruggieri double the advantage with five minutes left  in the half.

But Belarus quickly sparked to life, netting a goal in the last minute of the first half and following up with the equalizer in the first minute of the second half. .Yukiya Mikheichyk was the first-half hero, while teammate Natilla Stsifutkina scored the 2-2 equalizer.

Belarus clearly had the momentum, but could not score the go-ahead goal as the teams engaged in a see-saw battle in the next 35 minutes. With the score deadlocked at two when the final hooter sounded, it was time for a shootout. Italy proved that they had the softer scoring touch in the shoot-out, easily topping Belarus, 3-1.

Belarus will look to rebound against host Spain tomorrow, while Italy can enjoy a day off in the five-team round robin.

FIH site



Electric Ireland Irish Women begin with win at World League 2

The Electric Ireland Irish Women's team got off to a winning start vs. Czech Republic at World League 2 today in Valencia despite losing an early goal in warm conditions in Spain. Darren Smith's side fell behind in the 5th minute when a defensive mix up resulted in the ball somehow finding its way into the Ireland goal. It wasn't the start the Green Army would have wanted but credit to the side led by Captain Alex Speers, they were up for a fight today and worked hard to get themselves back into contention in the important opening game.

Ireland forced a couple of penalty corners over the next 10 minutes which sadly didn't come off for the Green Army and Captain Alex Speers was unlucky to see her shot slide wide of the goal following a one on one with the Czech goalie. Ireland's equaliser finally came off the back of their third penalty corner with Hermes Lisa Jacob finishing off a rebound following a good save from the Czechs.

The Green Army struck again before half time to turn the tide in their favour when Corinthian player Aine Connery trapped a crossed ball into the circle and expertly finished to give Ireland a 2-1 lead.  The goal coming just before the half time hooter was exactly what the Green Army needed.

The 2nd half began with Ireland showing renewed energy and they quickly raced into a two goal lead when Audrey O'Flynn converted a penalty corner within 2 minutes of the restart to extend the lead to 3-1. Ireland controlled possession in the main from here on in and while their play didn't result in vast amounts of clear cut chances the Green Army never looked in danger of conceding a 2nd goal to the Czech's that would have made the game a tense affair. Towards the finish, Ireland managed to add a 4th goal through UCD's Nicola Gray following good work from Emma Smyth to win the penalty corner.

Ireland were efficient in the remainder of game and potentially could have extended the lead further through two additional penalty corners but in the end, must be satisfied to run out 4-1 winners despite the early scare.

Speaking to hockey.ie following the game, Electric Ireland Irish Women's Coach Darren Smith said "Our win was a reasonable start for us. The Czech team played as we expected, looking to exploit any counter attack opportunity. We need to be tighter defensively against Belarus, and be sharper and more creative offensively"

Darren Smith's side are back in action tomorrow where they will face Belarus at 10am Irish time. Live streaming of the game is available at http://www.fhcv.tv with live twitter updates at http://www.twitter.com/IrishHockey

World League 2 - Valencia, Spain

Ireland 4 (Jacob, Connery, O'Flynn, N. Gray)
Czech Republic 1

Electric Ireland Irish Women Starting XI: Smithwick, Speers, Jacob, O'Flanagan, Smyth, Watkins, Symmons, N Gray, Atcheler, O'Flynn, Sargent

Irish Hockey Association media release



SA hockey men beat Chile in World League warm-up in Rio

JONATHAN COOK in Rio de Janeiro



Tim Drummond set up Julian Hykes for goal number 1 in Rio on Monday. Photo: STANISLAS BROCHIER

The South Africa men’s hockey team had the lion’s share of the first half but were unable to break the deadlock against Chile by half-time before running away with a 3-0 win after a productive second half in this World League Round 2 warm-up match at the Deodoro in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Monday night (SA time).

The field goals were scored by Julian Hykes in the 40th minute, Pierre de Voux in the 51st and Clint Panther in the 58th.

SA head coach Charlie Pereira rested top keeper Rassie Pieterse, giving Gowan Jones a start, as well as defender Matt Guise-Brown, while midfield dynamo Austin Smith was thrust straight into action after flying in Monday morning from club commitments in The Netherlands and striker Lloyd Norris-Jones was due to arrive from the same country late Monday night.

World number 25 Chile, who ran WLR2 favourites and number 10-ranked Argentina close in a 3-2 defeat in a South American regional final recently, began well but in the third minute Taine Paton got in a reverse-stick shot after Craig Haley’s set-up, the good work having started down the right by Ollie Whiteley.

SA’s first PC came and went as De Voux and Hykes began putting it together upfront and in the 10th minute Miguel da Graca broke free but shot past the far post. Six minutes later Jonty Robinson’s neat skills in midfield initiated an attack and Da Graca forced SA’s second PC, Smith’s drag-flick bringing a glove save to the keeper’s left.

SA appealed for a penalty stroke soon after but to no avail.

Robinson and Hykes worked a move but Da Graca’s shot flew past the wrong side of the far post again. In the 25th, Hykes and Robinson combined for Paton to let slip a reverse-stick shot to induce a goalkeeper save while at the other end SA stopper Jones finally got in on the act seconds before the half-time whistle to leave the score -0- at the break.

Early in the second half, Smith and Haley brought a double save from the keeper before Tim Drummond showed presence of mind in a tight spot to set up Julian Hykes for a simple tap-in (1-0) after 40 minutes.

De Voux finished well to make it 2-0 in the 51st minute and three minutes later Jones made a great save low to his right from Chile’s first penalty corner. Then in the 58th Clint Panther made the game safe at 3-0 after excellent SA build-up play.

There were some good moments in defence, too, for SA with Jethro Eustice in particular making a key tackle that prevented a possible goal.

Captain Rhett Halkett’s SA team open their WLR2 campaign against Brazil at 2 pm (SA time) Wednesday.

The top two teams at the conclusion of the Rio round-robin tournament will qualify for one of the two World League men’s semi-finals events, which will take place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands from June 13 to 23, and in Johor Bahru, Malaysia from June 29-July 7.

Those countries that qualify for the World League semi-finals in The Netherlands and Malaysia will be divided into each eight-team tournament on the basis of their world rankings and the top four in each semi-final event will go through to the eight-team WL finals event  early next year.

World number 12 SA beat the USA 3-0 in a warm-up match last Saturday after leading by the same scoreline at half-time.

SA MATCHES (SA time)

Wed 27 Feb vs Brazil (2 pm)
Thurs 28 Feb vs USA (4 pm)
Sat 2 Mar vs Trinidad & Tobago (4 pm)
Sun 3 Mar vs Argentina (4 pm)
Tues 5 Mar vs Chile (2 pm)

SOUTH AFRICA MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM

Miguel da Graca, Clint Panther, Ricky West, Oliver Whiteley, Rassie Pieterse (all Southern Gauteng);
Lloyd Norris-Jones, Craig Haley, Ashlin Freddy, Austin Smith, Pierre de Voux (all Western Province);
Taine Paton, Tim Drummond, Gowan Jones (all KZN Coastal Raiders);
Jethro Eustice (KZN Inland);
Jonty Robinson, Rhett Halkett (capt), Matt Guise-Brown (all Northern Blues);
Julian Hykes (North West).

SA Hockey Association media release



SA Head Coach looks ahead to Brazil match

JONATHAN COOK in Rio de Janeiro


The South Africa men's hockey team head coach Charlie Pereira was satisfied with the 3-0 win over Chile in the World League Round 2 warm-up match at the Deodora in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Monday night (SA time) and can't wait for his charges to get to grips with Brazil in the opening WLR2 match at 2 pm (SA time) Wednesday.

"Yes, I was impressed with our structure, we are working hard at setting up a platform from which we can counter-attack, our shape was good and that's when you create lots of chances, like we did against Chile," Pereira said.

With the score 0-0 at half-time, though, and Chile having survived a number of shots on goal, Pereira was a touch uncomfortable.

"I had a word with the lads at half-time, said we had done the hard work but scored no goals and on a day like that the opposition can get one chance and win, but in the second half we did the business."

After the changeover SA scored action goals through Julian Hykes in the 40th minute, Pierre de Voux (DU-VO) in the 51st and Clint Panther in the 58th.

Pereira said the team would take a close look at the video of Brazil's friendly against the USA before digesting the footage of SA's match against Chile, while the rest of Tuesday's preparation would include team sessions.

"We will spend time looking at areas we can improve on."

The option of another training session was also possible.

"But I also want the lads to rest up as there are five Test matches in the next seven days and they need to stay fresh both mentally and physically."

Rio's sapping heat and humidity can be a real leveller and fitness on every level will be key, but the indications were clear Monday that the South African lads are ready.

SA Hockey Association media release



London legacy continues as hockey set to host Investec World League

England Hockey chosen by the FIH to host Investec World League Semi Final.



Hannah Macleod, Kate Walsh and Georgie Twigg look ahead to the Investec World League in London this June. (Photo: England Hockey)


England Hockey and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) are delighted to announce that London has been selected to host the women’s Investec Hockey World League Semi Final.

The event, a World Cup qualification tournament, will be staged as part of England Hockey’s ongoing commitment to fulfilling the legacy provided by the London 2012 Olympic Games. It will offer thousands of sports fans the opportunity to see world class hockey live in England again after watching the Great Britain women’s team win Olympic bronze at the Riverbank Arena.

Continuing their support of the women’s team, Investec will be the headline sponsor for the weeklong tournament, which will take place at the University of Westminster's Quintin Hogg Memorial Sports Ground in Chiswick, London from 22-30 June 2013.  The hosting of this event means that the next Investec London Cup will take place in 2014.

England Hockey Chief Executive, Sally Munday, is thrilled with the decision to award the tournament to England, “Following the success of hockey at the Olympic Games last summer we have seen unprecedented interest from people wanting to play and watch our sport. The Investec World League Semi Final provides the perfect opportunity for the British public to see many of our Olympians on home turf again after our women’s team captured the love of the nation last summer. As the only British team to win a medal at the London Games we are looking to continue the increase in publicity for women’s sport and our aspiration to inspire a generation.”

On announcing England as hosts, FIH President Leandro Negre said, “I am delighted that the Investec World League Semi Final tournament will be played in England. This is a great start to the London 2012 hockey legacy for the country. I would especially like to thank England Hockey for stepping in at short notice to host such an important FIH event.”

Raymond van Niekerk, Investec, commented, “It is fantastic to be welcoming world class hockey back to London.  Women’s hockey has enjoyed a worthy boost following the success of the GB team at the Olympics and the Investec World League will help to maintain the popularity of hockey this summer.  It’s a great honour to extend our support to the event and we look forward to seeing the teams in action this June.”

Hockey was the third largest spectator sport at London 2012 with more than 630,000 people visiting the Riverbank Arena to watch the best teams in the world. Following the Games and a successful Hockey Nation campaign, an extra 30,000 adults picked up a stick during 2012, making hockey the biggest growing team sport last year.

Eight nations will compete at the Investec World League in London. Alongside England, Olympic silver medallists Argentina, Australia and China all gain automatic qualification to the tournament given their top eight ranking. The remaining four women’s teams will be decided following the completion of the World League Round 2 in Brazil in March.

England captain and three-times Olympian Kate Walsh is delighted with the opportunity the tournament will bring: “Having the Investec World League in London will be fantastic for players and spectators alike. The support during the Olympics was incredible and we are delighted to have gained a lot of new fans who will be able to come and watch us in action again. Home support can make all the difference to our performances and we can’t wait to recreate the Riverbank atmosphere all over again. Hosting this tournament really shows the legacy of London 2012 starting to take shape for our sport.”

Following the success of the Investec London Cup in 2011 and 2012, England Hockey is continuing its partnership with the University of Westminster to host the Investec World League.

Tickets for the Investec World League Semi Final will go on sale on Monday 4 March at 9:00am.

World League – the format

 

  • The world league is split into four rounds:
  • Round 1 – open to all national teams ranked 17th or lower.
  • Round 2 – 24 teams – 4 events – Round 1 qualifiers, teams ranked 9-16.
  • Round 3/Semi Finals – 16 teams – 2 events – Round 2 qualifiers and teams ranked 1-8.
  • Round 4/Finals – 8 teams – 1 event – Semi Final qualifiers and hosts.


More about the World League Semi Finals

  • The World League Semi Finals involves two women’s and men’s tournaments:
  • Semi Final 1 – men’s and women’s tournament: Rotterdam, Netherlands from 12-23 June 2013.
  • Semi Final 2 women’s tournament: London, England 22-30 June 2013
  • Semi Final 2 men’s tournament: Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 29 June – 7 July 2013
  • England’s men will compete in semi final 2 in Malaysia.
  • The decision to split the competition was made by the FIH following original hosts Germany’s recent decision to withdraw their commitment due to financial reasons.


Qualification for the World League

  • The top eight FIH ranked men’s and women’s teams automatically qualified for the World League Semi Finals and teams have been allocated to their respective tournaments Holland, England and Malaysia based on their World Ranking as at 1 January 2013.
  • The top eight women’s teams that have automatically qualified for the World League Semi Finals in Holland and England are: Argentina, Netherlands, Germany, China, England, Australia, New Zealand and Korea.
  • The top eight FIH ranked men’s teams that have automatically qualified for the World League Semi Finals in Holland and Malaysia are: Australia, Germany, Netherlands, England, Spain, Korea, New Zealand and Pakistan.


England Hockey Board Media release



Second test draw cheers improving Black Sticks

The New Zealand women's hockey team are a much happier side after today's 1-1 draw against world No2 Argentina in their second test in Rosario.

After yesterday's 4-1 opening loss, the Kiwis played a much tighter defensive game and showed more pressure in attack for longer periods. Stacey Michelsen captained the side and also scored the equaliser late in the first half.

"It was a much improved and more disciplined performance, particularly our penalty corner defence.

"We still missed some chances that would have won us the game, but hopefully we can really make the most of our opportunities [tomorrow]," said coach Mark Hager.

"We are a young side with a lot of new players. We had a good debrief this morning and there were a lot of learnings. It is pleasing to see there is definite improvement in the areas that we targeted and this showed in the scoreline," he said.

Argentina, known as Las Leonas, got ahead after Noel Barrionuevo scored a penalty stroke 15 minutes into the first half.

Michelsen took a cracking reverse stick shot which the goalkeeper initially saved and then Michelsen scored from the rebound.

The last time New Zealand drew against Argentina was in March last year during a home test series in Auckland.

New Zealand 1
Argentina 1

The New Zealand Herald



Black Sticks draw with Argentina in Rosario

An improved defensive effort has seen the New Zealand women's hockey team draw 1-1 with Olympic silver medallists Argentina in their second test match in Rosario today.

The Black Sticks went behind to a Noel Barrionuevo penalty corner in the eighth minute but drew level three minutes before halftime through Stacey Michelsen.

A scoreless second half was characterised but solid defence, an improvement on yesterday's first test in which New Zealand were outclassed 4-1 by the hosts, and the timely return of first choice goalkeeper Bianca Russell who had not played since the London Olympics.

The third of five internationals is on Wednesday.

Stuff



Asia Youth Cup heads to Singapore

Five-a-Side tournament to take place in April


A new format of hockey introduced by the International Hockey Federation is set to make its international debut in Singapore.

The Boys U-16 Asia Cup competition, which will take place in April, will be the first official hockey tournament to use the five-a-side format.

Since October, 15 boys from the Singapore team have been training at the Sengkang Hockey stadium and they are looking forward to competing on a smaller pitch.

National U-16 player Ahmad Faris said: "In five versus five, we are allowed to shoot from anywhere so there are definitely going to be more goal scoring opportunities, we can expect higher scorelines."

For goalkeeper Wee Wei Xuan, the new format will make his job slightly tougher.

"In the 11-a-side format, the goal keeper gets to rest and like walk around but this five-a-side is a lot more challenging which makes it more fun," said Wee.

Ten nations are lining up to do battle at Sengkang in early April and powerhouses like Pakistan will be leading the Asian charge.

The tournament will also function as the Asian qualifiers for next year's Youth Olympic Games.

Only two teams will make the cut but host Singapore remains optimistic due to the new format of play.

National U-16 coach Coen Van Putten said: "It is new for everybody. What we do is we focus on our own performance and we hope we are prepared well. I think we are prepared well but it's always interesting to see what other teams come up with."

Fans are expected to take to the new format too.

The Singapore Hockey Federation is expecting a full-house here at the Sengkang Hockey stadium during the Asia Cup. A carnival like atmosphere will be created similar to the buzz during the 2009 Junior World Cup and 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

FIH site



Scotland & GB star Abi Walker to retire from international hockey



Scotland and Great Britain international goalkeeper Abi Walker has announced her retirement from international hockey.

Commenting on her decision to retire, Walker said, “Following the Olympics in London, I have returned to work and my career is now my number one priority. The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow represents a huge opportunity for our young and exciting team and the team will enter full-time training to prepare for it. I have come to the decision that I will not be able to match that commitment.

“I've had some amazing moments with Scotland and Great Britain, with particular highlights being the Champions Trophy and the moment of gaining promotion back to the European ‘A’ Division in 2011.”

Scotland Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said “Having Abi in the Scotland set-up not only gave us a fantastic, world-class goalkeeper but also someone that the other goalkeepers in the squad could look up to and aspire to be as good as.

“I would personally like to thank Abi for the time and effort she has given to Scottish hockey and I know that she will be our biggest supporter in the future.”

Walker gained her first cap for Scotland against England in 2009 and represented her country on sixty-five times in all competitions. She last played for Scotland in 2011, when the national side won the EuroHockey Nations Championship II in Poland and claimed a bronze medal at the FIH Champions Challenge in Dublin following a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Spain. Walker played a key role in these successes, with some outstanding performances.

The 31 year-old also won seventeen caps for Great Britain, playing in the FIH Champions Trophy in 2012 and being selected as a travelling reserve for the London 2012 Olympics.

All this and juggling a full-time career as a surgeon.



But that doesn’t mean Walker will be hanging up her pads for good, “Hockey will still be a big part of my life as I take on new challenges with my club team Surbiton”, said Walker.

“I will miss being part of the Scotland team though and it is such a privilege to be part of that special group. I will look back on it with plenty of happy memories.

“I would like to pass my thanks onto all the players and staff who I have worked with over the last ten years. It was my childhood dream to play hockey for Scotland and I am proud to be one of the lucky few to say that I did it. It was as special and magical as I dreamed it might be, and it was the people that I was there with that made it so. Many thanks to them all.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release



England coach Jason Lee a hit for Helen Richardson

By Graham Wilson



Helen Richardson is one of Great Britain's 2012 Olympic bronze medallists

HELEN RICHARDSON has welcomed in a new era for the women’s game prompted by the appointment of the former England men’s coach Jason Lee.

Richardson, one of Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic bronze medallists, said: “We have all admired the way the men have been playing under Jason and he will add another dimension.”

Richardson played a big part in Reading’s 2-0 win at Investec League leaders Canterbury.

Her decisive break from midfield in the opening minute led to Elizabeth Hunt scoring.

Elspeth Cockburn added a second after the break.

Men’s champions Reading made it a double celebration, with an 8-1 thumping of Canterbury to go second in the England Premier Division.

Leaders Beeston crushed rivals East Grinstead 6-1 and then Loughborough Students 7-4 to move 15 points clear at the top , guaranteeing a title play-off place .

Daily Express



Olympic Bronze Medallists set to do battle on Super Sunday at Reading HC


Alex Danson in action for Reading

As part of England Hockey’s series of showcase events, Reading Hockey Club are all set for their Super Sunday this coming weekend as they play host to two fabulous matches at their Sonning Lane ground.

First up at 12:30pm, Reading Ladies take on high flying Leicester in a repeat of last year’s Investec Championship Final. With ten of London 2012's Bronze medallists in the line-up it promises to be an action packed encounter as Reading look for revenge after losing to Leicester on home turf in last year’s season finale.

The second instalment of ‘Super Sunday’ begins at 2:30pm and sees current Men's League Champions Reading take on Manchester side Brooklands MU. Momentum is definitely behind the Berkshire side after recent good form, and as the season draws to its climax they will be looking for three points and some much needed goals to strengthen their position in a very tight Premier Divison.


Richard Mantell and Darren Cheesman in action for Reading 2012 Men's hockey league

Reading have partnered up with England Hockey and sponsor YouLink HR to showcase hockey at its best. In addition to the two mouthwatering matches there will be a children's Fun Zone and Rush Hockey for those wanting to pick up a stick for the first time in a while. There will be a selection of hot food and drink and a fully licensed bar pitch side, so plenty of entertainment for all the family.

So if you would like to see Kate Walsh, Alex Danson, Jonty Clarke and many more Team GB Olympic heroes in action, make sure you come along to Reading's Sonning Lane ground on Sunday.

To get your tickets in advance please go to Reading HC's website www.readinghockeyclub.org.uk

Reading Hockey is also running a schools Inset programme titled ‘Local Heroes’ in an attempt to give every child in Berkshire access to hockey following the London 2012 Games. With Olympians past and present ingrained in the fabric of Reading Hockey, this vital legacy is at the heart of how the club aims to remain at the forefront of domestic and European hockey.

Great Britain’s Olympic captain and Reading player Kate Walsh added that “Reading Hockey is at the forefront of club hockey in this country, and this game is a great opportunity for people young and old to enjoy the fast-paced, high-skilled game of hockey in a fun, friendly atmosphere.”

Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 07584 906 324

Location: Reading Hockey, Sonning Lane, Reading, Berks, RG4 6ST.

England Hockey Board Media release



Showpiece event: Surbiton's Big Weekend


Surbiton in action Investec Women's League 2012-13

This coming weekend Surbiton Hockey Club will be hosting its Big Weekend as part of England Hockey’s series of showpiece events.

The Surrey-based club is currently one of only three in England with both its men’s and women’s first teams in the Premier Divisions. And with current internationals featuring heavily in both sides you’re sure to spot some familiar faces as the teams line-up to do battle.

Saturday 2 March - Surbiton women v University of Birmingham – 2:00pm
After getting promoted last season Surbiton's women have made an impressive mark on the Investec Premier Division. They will be eager for victory against league strugglers University of Birmingham as they push to reach the play-offs at the Investec Finals Weekend in April.

Sunday 3 March - Surbiton men v Beeston – 2:00pm
After losing some key players at the start of the season through injury and transfers Surbiton's men have done well to find themselves in the mix to reach the finals weekend. Beeston however could prove to be tough opposition as they sit comfortably atop the Premier Division with their place at Reading in April already confirmed.

Surbiton have brought in temporary seating for this showpiece event to give fans an even better match day experience and as well as the scintillating hockey on show there will be a children’s fun zone, a chance to meet Olympians and plenty of food and drink available.

Tickets on the gate: £7.50 for weekend pass, £5.00 adults, under 16’s free.

Location: Surbiton Hockey Club, Sugden Road, Long Ditton, KT7 0AE.

Club website: www.surbitonhc.com
Club contact for event: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 07740 236415

England Hockey Board Media release



Ian Rutledge to lead Women’s National Team

Australian excited to lead Canada toward Rio 2016 and beyond




Field Hockey Canada is pleased to announce Australia’s Ian Rutledge has been named Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team.  With a wealth of international hockey experience under his belt, Rutledge is ready to lead Canada’s women towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

"I am delighted Ian is joining the Field Hockey Canada team,” says Gene Muller, General Manager.  “His appointment is an indication of our ambition to succeed internationally.  Ian brings experience, passion, and knowledge.  His track record and enthusiasm makes him the perfect fit for our Women’s National Program.  We are lucky to have him, and I look forward to welcoming him into our High Performance Team.”

“I am very excited to assist a group of young and aspiring athletes achieve their Olympic dreams,” says Rutledge.  “I am looking forward to bringing my passion, skills and experience to a proud and growing hockey nation that has set some ambitious goals.”

Rutledge’s international coaching career began in 2001 when he started coaching with the Australian Men’s National Team.  In 2003, he accepted the role as Head Coach for New Zealand’s Women’s National Team and went on to lead the team to solid finishes at the 2004 Olympic Games and 2006 Commonwealth Games.  Rutledge returned to Australia in 2007 as the Coaching Manager for Hockey Australia, and in 2009 he took on the role of Sport Performance Manager at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

After four years at an executive level within the Australian High Performance Sports Industry working with Australia’s key sporting organizations, teams and coaches, Ian is looking forward to the return to this sport.

“I feel refreshed and energized for the re-entry into international coaching,” says Rutledge.  “I am better prepared and have a greater perspective for the pursuit and challenges that lie ahead.”

In his role as Head Coach, Rutledge will not only focus on short to medium term objectives, but on creating a long-term legacy for the program.

“National Coaches have the responsibility to succeed both in the present as well as consciously provide the platform for the next generation of coaches and players to soar even higher,” says Rutledge.  “The Women’s National Team is at such an exciting crossroads as we make our way towards Rio in 2016.  Along the way, we will definitely focus on a successful performance on home turf at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.  Our long-term vision is to position Canada’s women for a potential podium finish at the 2020 Olympic Games.”

And just how does Rutledge plan to accomplish these ambitious goals?

“I look forward to working with our athletes and staff to create an environment that allows us to chase down aspirational goals – a team environment highlighted by enjoyable hard work and a collective pursuit of excellence,” he says.

Rutledge is ready to get to work.  He will arrive in Canada on March 5th along with his family.

“Canada offers such a wonderful experience for our young family,” says Ian.  “My wife, Donnette, and children, Imogen and Joshua, are looking forward to the many new experiences that lie ahead in such a beautiful and well-respected country.”

Field Hockey Canada would like to thank Own the Podium for their ongoing support of the Canadian Women’s National Team as they continue pursuing success on the international stage.

Field Hockey Canada media release



South Australia Sports Institute Head Coach appointed

The SA Sports Institute, in partnership with Hockey Australia and Hockey SA, are pleased to announce the appointment of Tim White as the Head Coach of the SASI Hockey program.

Familiar to the SASI environment, Tim has recently served as interim Head Coach of the SASI Hockey program, having previously been the SASI Hockey Scholarship Coach under the mentorship of former SASI head coach and recently appointed National Junior Women’s Coach, Craig Victory. Over this period Tim has developed strong links within the Hockey Australia network and as such is best placed to identify and develop SA talent for selection to national squads and teams in the lead up to Rio and beyond.

Tim has extensive coaching experience in the SA Hockey network and has been successful as coach of both male and female club teams in Adelaide over the last 20 years.  He has also headed various State U21 Team programs as well as being an Assistant Coach of the Adelaide Suns. On top of Tim’s coaching experience he also brings to the role a wealth of skills, knowledge and experiences from his many years as a teacher in the Independent School system.

Tim will be working closely with Hockey SA to rebuild the Men’s program with the aim of identifying SA’s next male Olympian while enhancing the already promising National and Olympic representation opportunities that have and are occurring for our talented female athletes.  He will have a major input into Hockey SA’s elite athlete development pathways and will work closely with our staff to ensure that our programs are in sync with the national pathway programs developed by Hockey Australia in partnership with SASI and other partners.

HA wishes Tim well in his new and challenging role.

Hockey Australia media release



Hockey team add muscle with superman physio

Jonathan Selvaraj


When the Indian men's hockey team met their new exercise physiologist Jason Konrath for the first time in November there was a collective sense of awe.

After training for a year under exercise physiologist David John, the players had indeed registered marked improvement in fitness but this 6'2''Australian with bulging biceps was something else altogether.

"The first time we saw him in Patiala we were all amazed. He was comfortable lifting such heavy weights. He had such a great body," recalls forward Nitin Thimmaiah.

Konrath was wearing a blue jumper with the red and yellow superman logo across the front. "So from then on we just called him superman," says Thimmaiah.

Konrath's choice of the superman jumper was apt. A bodybuilder for the last 10 years, he was the Mr Western Australia for three years and won the IFBB Mr Australasia heavyweight title in 2011.

A couple of years before, he finished second in Mr Natural Olympia — the worldwide competition for natural bodybuilders. "I got into bodybuilding simply because I was studying how the body works and what better way than to practice it on yourself," he says.

Konrath stresses that he always competed without the use of steroids, which would make his achievements in the open category even more impressive. But after competing for nearly 10 years, he called it quits last year.

"I don't compete professionally anymore. I am proud of what I achieved, but its really hard to make a career out of being a bodybuilder," he says.

Luckily he had a bunch of degrees — a bachelors in sports science and a masters in biomechanics to fall back on. While being associated with the Indian team, he is simultaneously studying for his PhD in neuro-muscular biomechanics.

" I'm not just a bodybuilder, I'm also a sports scientist," says Konrath. Indeed Konrath's job goes beyond simply getting the players building more muscle.

"GPS readings have shown that hockey comprises a cluster of sprints more than prolonged periods of running. So when I talk to the guys about repetitions and sets, it may not involve weights but might involve sprints. It's not just about looking a certain way with biceps but it would be about functional things like improving their VO2 max (peak oxygen uptake) levels," he says.

Konrath's brief goes beyond just prescribing exercises to make the players become faster. "For example if a player is cramping too frequently, he figures out why that is happening," says coach Michael Nobbs.

Leading by example

Regardless, his bodybuilding background does come to the fore in his present career — and not just by way of his choice of an angry gorilla playing with a hockey stick as a Facebook profile picture. Konrath doesn't just tell players a set of excercises to do, often he is seen leading them from the front himself. "There's one thing telling a player this is what you are doing, but I would rather like to understand what a player is going through when he is training," he says.

As for the players — especially the younger ones — there is a certain degree of respect Konrath gets because of his he looks the way he does. "He doesn't have to try too hard to get them to do what he wants. For example he will just walk up to a player, put his hand on his shoulder and say 'this is what we are going to do'. And that's what's going to happen, with no questions asked," says Nobbs.

Konrath, however, cautions that changes in the team's physical ability will not be sudden. "But changes in physiology is not an overnight process. It took me nearly 10 years to win the Mr. Australasia title. But there are several things you can do to get you to where you want to be. It's not just about training hard. You also can't miss meals, for example. These are the little one percents that add up."

Indian Express



Ajit Pal questions the need for foreign coach

By Amit Sampat


NAGPUR: For a man who led India to their only World Cup triumph in 1975, Ajit Pal Singh has seen many ups and down in Indian hockey. The intrigue that baffles the great man is why is India unable to find doctors, psychologists and support staff for Indian teams.

Ajit Pal Singh also questions the need for India to retain the services of hockey coach Michael Nobbs. "If India are not getting success after spending so much, then what's the need of a foreign coach?"

He argues his case: "We hired foreign coaches because they have gone through the system of producing top players. As far as India is concerned, we have many great players who can be successful coaches.

A foreign coach cannot understand the local culture and the boys, who are looking at the coach like a father figure, end up struggling."

Ajit Pal also speaks of hockey at the grass roots level, albeit the artificial variety. He feels India need to provide artificial pitches from the lowest level. "If a child plays on astro turf from his formative years, he tends to develop his muscles according to the needs of astro turf."

The power struggle between Hockey India (HI) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) saddens Ajit Pal. "Self interest was the only reason why we have two factions in our country." Yet, he is filled with hope.

The Times of India



Sandeep Singh needs to do better to regain India berth: Harendra Singh

MUMBAI: Former India hockey coach Harendra Singh on Monday said that ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh will have to work harder in order to regain his position in the national squad as competition within the team has become stiffer.

"I have no problem with Sandeep Singh's performances. But he needs to do better because the competition is quite good. Rupinder Pal Singh has emerged as a good defender with his drag flicks and Gurjinder Singh is quite lethal," Harendra said at the launch of a performance analysis providing company 'Sportstec'.

"If a player makes up his mind to make a comeback then no coach or federation can stop him. He has the capability and the energy and the hunger to represent India. Sandeep will himself have to try to bring his game to the level at which he has given performances in the past," he said.

Hailing the recently held Hockey India League, the former coach highlighted the fact that youngsters performed better than seasoned players in the five-team event.

"Hockey is youth's game. I think Hockey India League has proved if you have faith in youngsters then the result will be good. And because of HIL, the result for Indian Hockey will be good," said Harendra.

"Barring Sardar (Singh), all the big names mostly failed. Only the youngsters performed. Ranchi Rhinos and Delhi Waveriders chose youngsters and they played the final.

"The best part of Hockey India league was that an Indian coach (Ajay Kumar) Bansal (coach of finalists Delhi Waveriders) proved that it is not only the foreign (coaches but also) Indian coaches can achieve what they want. The full staff was Indian," he added.

However, he said that the number of teams should be increased to eight to make the league more competitive.

"The format was good but the teams were less. I think eight teams should have played. A few teams had taken it for granted that they would play the semi-final, but had it been an eight-team game then every coach, every player, every franchise would have been on their toes."

Backing national coach Michael Nobbs, Harendra said the Australian needs to be given some more time to produce good results after team's dismal show in the 2012 London Games where they finshed last.

"I think the London Olympic preparation under Michael Nobbs wasn't that good because he came in 2011 July and within one year no coach can produce a medallist. You need to give him time. I think Michael Nobbs had very less time. The guidance from supporting coaches was not good.

"I would have guided him saying plan for the future and the few senior players like Arjun Halappa, Raj Pal Singh, Bharat Chikara, Prabhjot Singh could have gone to the London Olympics, who were experienced and we could have finished in the top six."

Harendra felt that with the new crop of players on the ascendance, India can aim to finish in the top four in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"With the preparation and new players, I am sure we will be in the top four because players like Mandeep (Singh), Manpreet (Singh), Gurjinder (Singh), Birendra Lakra are good. Their energy is quite good. Youth is the future. I am happy that youngsters got a chance to play and 2016 looks very good."

According to Harendra, the ongoing feud between rival national bodies, Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation can be sorted out through discussions.

"Hockey has been hit and players are also suffering. As a former player and coach, I believe that if both the federations' intention is to keep hockey on top, they should keep their ego aside.

"I don't think there is any problem in the world that can't be solved across the table. And the sooner it gets resolved, Indian Hockey can rise further from where it is now," he said.

Harendra felt if the Indian team had used technology in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, it would have been assured a medal.

"We were lacking in technology. Since 1998, technology has boomed in sports and if in Sydney Olympics we had used technology, then after a long time India would have gained a medal in Olympics," Harendra said.

India were knocked out of the semi finals on goal difference after allowing Poland to equalise through a last-gasp goal in their concluding league game.

He further said the then Australian coach had used the technology and prepared more than 100 clippings of mercurial India forward Dhanraj Pillai by taking into consideration his style of play in different situations and that in-depth detailing helped the Aussies.

Badminton player Aparna Popat, who was also present at the event, also stressed the importance of technology and said, "We are not lacking in talent but preparation. We need to produce champions and we need technology."

The Times of India



Powerful Navy men outclass MS Police

MUMBAI: A charged up Indian Navy swamped Maharashtra State Police 6-2 in a Super Division match, of the Mumbai Hockey Association League on Monday.

After the teams were tied 2-2 at the end of the first half, the sailors came out with all guns blazing in the second to score four goals and run away deserving winners.

The Times of India



Chance for World Cup ticket

By Jugjet Singh


THE Malaysian women's hockey team fell by the wayside in Round Two of the World League, but still have the Asia Cup in Ipoh to make a dash into the World Cup.

India and Japan, who beat Malaysia 3-0 and 4-0 respectively, moved into the semi-finals of the World League, while third-placed Malaysia were left ruing their missed sitters.

Coach Nasihin Nubli's charges, ranked 22nd in the world, actually defied the odds to beat Russia and Kazakhstan by 3-1 margins, and then hammered Fiji 12-0.

Siti Rahmah Othman was also adjudged as "The best striker" of the tournament, and will be the player to watch in the Asia Cup.

"We fell at the last hurdle, but the experience of playing in New Delhi will be carried onto the pitch when we play in the Asia Cup, where another door to the World Cup is awaiting," said an optimistic Nasihin, a former international goalkeeper himself.

The downfall against Japan came when goalkeeper Farah Ayuni Yahya turned her back towards the ball and started arguing with the umpire, claiming that the ball had hit a Japanese player's foot.

"That was the mistake of the match as the Japanese striker (Ayaka Nishimura) finished into an open goal as the Malaysian defence stopped, expecting a free hit to be given.

"However after that, everybody played well but when defender Noor Hasliza (Ali) picked up an injury, and had to be replaced, things became difficult.

"Nadia (Abdul Rahman, skipper) had to play defensive, and we lost the connection to attack.

"But all is not lost as experience has made my charges tougher, and I am confident of a better result in the Asia Cup," said Nasihin.

Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya City Council's protest against the umpiring in their second leg quarter-final against Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Juniors was thrown out by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Technical Committee yesterday.

PJCC, who lost the first leg 4-3, were held 4-4 in the return leg and SSTMI Juniors moved into the semi-finals on an 8-7 aggregate.

"After deliberating on the protest by PJCC and taking into account the International Hockey Federation's rules, we have rejected the protest and the result stays," said MHC competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan.

The FIH rule, which is clear on protests against umpires, reads: "... a protest from a decision of an umpire or video umpire during a match may not be made to or considered by the Tournament Director."

However, the technical committee decided to return to PJCC the RM500 needed to place the protest.

Tomorrow -- s-finals (1st leg): Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School v Andersons (Taman Daya, 5pm); UniKL v SSTMI Juniors (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm).

Friday -- 2nd leg: Andersons v Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm); SSTMI Juniors v UniKL (Taman Daya, 5pm).

New Straits Times



Thunderbolt and UniKL favourites for overall crown battle

By S. RAMAGURU



Full of caution: UniKL coach K. Embaraj will not take SSTMI Juniors lightly in the first leg of the semi-finals tomorrow.

KUALA LUMPUR: Showdown No. 4 is on the cards as SSTMI-Thunderbolt and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) are fancied to face off again in this Sunday’s MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League final.

The two teams have contested the last three finals for the overall title, with UniKL triumphant in 2010 and Thunderbolt in 2011 and 2012.

Both teams will start as favourites in the semi-finals, which will be held tomorrow and on Friday.

In tomorrow’s first-leg, Thunderbolt will meet MBI-Anderson in Johor Baru while UniKL will play against SSTMI Juniors in Kuala Lumpur.

Thunderbolt, however, will be wary of the threat posed by MBI-Anderson, who are the only team to have beaten them in the preliminary round.

“When we faced MBI-Anderson in the preliminary round, we had to travel up north and that took a toll on my players. We are again facing a travel headache ... when you consider that teams have to play three matches in six days (including the quarter-final return leg on Sunday), that can be taxing indeed,” said Thunderbolt coach Wan Mohamed Roslan.

That’s why Thunderbolt will need a big win to take back to take to Ipoh for the second leg.

MBI-Anderson, on the other hand, will do all they can to try and hold the sports school to a draw or even snatch a narrow win and, hopefully, complete the job on home ground.

MBI-Anderson coach Mohd Ezral Ariff warned his players not to be too confident “although we beat Thunderbolt in the preliminary round”.

“The semi-final is always a different ball game. This is the knockout stage and we need to plan over two matches,” he said.

“We need to go to Johor Baru and grind out a result which we can use to our advantage in Ipoh. They can be beaten ... we did it earlier, so we can do it again.”

In the other tie, UniKL will definitely be the team to watch out for especially after their 13-0 aggregate win over Malacca High School in the quarter-finals.

SSTMI juniors, meanwhile, endured a tough time before edging Division One runners-up Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) 8-7 in the last eight.

But SSTMI Juniors can expect an even tougher time from UniKL, whose coach K. Embaraj wants them to win the overall title.

“We won’t take any team lightly ... SSTMI Juniors deserve our respect for having come so far. They would have learnt their lessons from the narrow win in the last eight and I’m sure they’ll try to secure a good result in KL and then finish us off at home on Friday,” said Embaraj.

“I’ll field my best team as we are injury-free. We want to go for a big win and make our work a little easier in the return leg.”

The Star of Malaysia



MHC throw out MBPJ’s protest

SEREMBAN: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee have thrown out a protest filed by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).

The club had filed an official protest against the umpires following their 4-4 draw with SSTMI Juniors in the MHC-Milo NSC Junior Hockey League quarter-final, second-leg tie at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru on Sunday. The draw saw SSTMI Juniors go through 8-7 on aggregate.

The committee viewed the protest as more of a complaint and decided that the umpire’s decision in the match cannot be overturned.

“The match result stays. But we have looked at the complaint and believe that there is a need for follow-up action in that the umpire’s board will be asked to look into the standard and issues raised in the protest,” said competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan.

The first leg of the semi-finals will be held tomorrow.

The Star of Malaysia



PJCC protest thrown out...

Petaling Jaya City Council’s protest against umpiring in their second leg quarter-finals against Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School Juniors was thrown out by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Technical Committee yesterday.

PJCC, who lost 3-4 in the first leg, were held 4-4 in the return leg and SSTMI Juniors moved into the semi-finals on an 8-7 aggregate.

“After deliberating on the protest by PJCC and taking into account the International Hockey Federation’s rules, we have rejected the protest and the result stays,” said MHC Competitions Committee chairman M. Gobinathan

The FIH rule is clear on protests against umpires and reads: “... a protest from a decision of an Umpire or Video Umpire during a match may not be made to or considered by the Tournament Director.”

However, the Technical Committee decided to give back PJCC the RM500 needed to place the protest.

WEDNESDY -- Semi-finals (First Leg): Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School v Andersons (Taman Daya, 5pm); UniKL v SSTMI Juniors (National Stadium Pitch II, 5pm).

FRIDAY: Semi-finals (Second Leg): Andersons v Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (Azlan Shah Stadium, 5pm); SSTMI Juniors v UniKL (Taman Daya, 5pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



PJCC protest rejected

The MHC Competitions Committee that met in Seremban this evening deliberated the protest submitted by Petaling Jaya City Council after their match against SSTMI Juniors at Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in JB.

The protest has been rejected in accordance of Rule 3 of the Tournament Regulations read in tandem with Rule 15.3 of the FIH Regulations.

Rule 3 : .... the tournament is conducted in accordance with the latest Rules of the Game issued by the FIH.

Rule 15.3 ... Not withstanding the provision of this regulations, a protest from a decision of an Umpire or Video Umpire during a match may not be made to or considered by the Tournament Director. (FIH Regulation 2013)

Hence the committee has rejected the protest of PJCC but decided to refund the RM500 protest fee submitted.

Unofficial MJHL site



Mum cheers for daughter in India

Mereseini Marau, In New Delhi India


WHEN former national hockey player Sainiana Hicks was screaming instructions to the national women's side playing against India, the Indian media were eager to know who she was.

They were surprised to know that she was not only a team official but firstly a mother who was here to support her only daughter and youngest child Rita Hicks.

According to one of the journalists, that was unique, something they don't get to encounter here in India.

Having parents supporting their daughters in a sport was very rare.

And for them to be cheering and encouraging from the sideline was just unusual.

During the Fiji versus Malaysia match, one of the journalists saw her and said out loud "mum is there cheering again."

"She lost her voice from cheering yesterday, but she's here again."

"I hope she has the time to talk to me."

Such was the interest Hicks was generating from the local media.

Hicks who played for Fiji in 1984 and has been playing competitive hockey until a few years ago said that she came especially to support not only her daughter but all the daughters who are representing Fiji in hockey.

Representing Fiji has given her an insight on what family support was all about.

"My parents never played hockey, so they didn't really have an idea on what kind of support I needed."

Hicks only got into hockey because she wanted to play a sport.

Given the kind of support or the lack of it from her home, she decided to make a difference in her daughter's life.

This is Rita's fourth cap and her first international tour representing the country.

'It's exciting but at the same time scary."

"My parents have been really supportive especially my mum," said the 18-year-old.

'It's very comforting to have my mum here supporting the team."

The midfielder attributed her love for the sport to her mum.

"I used to play netball at primary school and she was the one who convinced me to try out hockey."

"And its stuck with me ever since." Rita and her mum live in Suva while her dad and one of her elder brothers work in Australia.

The eldest in her family, another brother is in British Army.

"Mum's always there for us, from picking and dropping after training to supporting me financially."

Being the baby of the family, Rita was grateful to have parents who understood and offered the kind of support a hockey player needed.

The Fiji Times



Open letter to FIH & EHF

Dear Mr Negre, Dear Mrs Fleuren,


We all love our hockey and are grateful we are a sport that is not stifled by conservatism and power-games by those chosen to guide our sport. The modest reinventing of our game with changes in rules (no more off-side, interchange, self-pass,…) these last years have been very beneficial. The World League taking over from the Champions Trophy & Challenge is also opening up the sport to more countries. The benefits from this will take a couple of years to become visible, but opening up our sport to more countries and helping them to raise the level is a good thing. However we should not forget to take care of the foundation of our sport…at least for us in Europe: the national club competition…

The international calendar is difficult to reconcile with all national calendars, in Europe and elsewhere… But we do believe – and this is probably not really news to you – we would all benefit from a more strictly managed calendar for both international and national competitions. We suggest 4 periods of 3 months each, alternatively concentrating on national club hockey and international hockey for national teams. September – November for (inter)national club championships, December – February for national teams, March – May again for the clubs and June – August again for international hockey. Also the rumors about a global club competition worry us, we do not think this fits into the calendar.

We would like to share our thoughts about this with you…

Basic principles :

National club competitions with 10 teams, home & away games, play off with semi finals home & away and a 1 game final = 21 games from September-November and March-May

 

  • European club competition EHL: 2 weekends in October, Easter weekend, final weekend in June
  • World League for national teams in December, February and June, which should be limited to 3 rounds instead of 4
  • Continental championships, World Cup and Olympics in February or July and August for national teams
  • Special competition for professional players in India (HIL) : January -early February (4 week tournament)


This means clubs will have the month of August to prepare for the competition, some of the preparation without their international players so at least the last weekend of August should be without international games. The national federations can schedule 9 game weekends for the first round of their competition between September and the end of November, so 9 games in 13 weeks. Should national federations prefer 12 teams in their top division instead of 10, it could still be done with some double weekends.

December will offer national teams the possibility to schedule camps or participate in the first round of the World League. January is also for the national teams to organize their camps but also for the HIL competition, important not only for the development of hockey in their potential biggest market India but also for the stars of the game, to allow these professionals of the game to make some money to get them through the year. February again for the national teams and the second round of the World League as well as for the preparation of the clubs for the second round of their competition.

The club competition resumes in March until the end of May (13 weeks) with 9 games followed by the semi finals of the play off ( home & away games at Saturday & Sunday) and the final weekend with a one-game final. In between the Easter weekend can be used for the EHL. After the national finals the EHL final can be played early June.

The national competition can again be followed by 3 months of international hockey for the national teams with the World League third and final round in June and the continental championships and/or World Cup or Olympics in July and August.

The benefit of strictly adhering to these 4 quarters of 3 months, alternating club hockey and international hockey are obvious… All concerned know what to expect when planning their competition, camps and tournaments and interference between club and international hockey is kept to a minimum. We think all will benefit from such a strict and clear calendar, which could be something like the one below!

Best regards,

Ernst Baart & Jorge Dabanch

P.S. : Example of international calendar starting after World Cup 2014:

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
jan HIL HIL / WL1 HIL HIL / WL1 HIL HIL / WL1 HIL
feb CC / WL1 WL3 CC / WL1 WL3 CC / WL1 WL3
mar
apr
may
jun WC WL2 WL4 WL2 WL4 WL2 WL4
jul CC CC CC
aug CC OL CC WC CC OL
sep
oct
nov
dec WL1 WL3 WL1 WL3 WL1 WL3 WL1
  • WL1 = World League 1 for countries ranked 17 or lower
  • WL2 = World League 2 for 24 countries (16 qualified from WL1 & countries ranked 9-16)
  • WL3 = World League 3 for 16 countries (8 qualified from WL2 & countries ranked 1-8) and qualifying for either Olympics or World Cup
  • WL4 = World League 4 for 8 countries (qualified from WL3)
  • HIL = Hockey India League
  • CC = Continental Championship (Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, Pan-America), winner qualifying for Olympics or World Cup
  • OL = Olympics
  • WC = World Cup

About the authors… Ernst Baart has been following international hockey for several years, both as a blogger, a (former) club administrator for a top club in Belgium and a parent of talented hockey players/coaches. Jorge Dabanch is an international coach from Argentina who has worked for top clubs in Argentina, Spain, Holland and Belgium.


Ernst Baart's site