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News 25 February 2014

All the news for Tuesday 25 February 2014

SA Hockey teams upbeat ahead of 3rd tests

JONATHAN COOK in Mar del Plata

Despite two successive defeats, there is much optimism in the camps of the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team and the SA men’s side going into the third Tests against Argentina Tuesday night (early morning SA time Wednesday).

The world number 12 SA men, who play the “curtain-raisers” to the females due to the greater popularity of women’s hockey in Argentina, where a personality like eight-time World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar draws celebrity status, have lost 6-0 and 4-2 to Los Leones (The Lions) who are better than their number 11 world ranking suggests.

Playing without fear of undue criticism, new caps Dan Sibbald of KZN Coastal Raiders, Jaco Fourie of Free State and Western Province’s Cuan Burton-Moore have acquitted themselves well, playing in matches where the standard of hockey is way higher than they are used to, while several other more experienced players like Taylor Dart, Lungi Tsolekile, Dylan Swanepoel, Owen Mvimbi< Pierre de Voux and Mohamed Mea have also shone brightly in moments.

It is in staying the 70-minute distance that is key for both SA teams - and what new head coach Fabian Gregory will no doubt be looking for come the third Test Tuesday night (midnight SA time).

Hockey scorelines are misleading - top teams can score three goals in five minutes, as shown in Mar del Plata - and the world number 11 South African women’s side, who have dominated healthy segments of their matches, have at times been extremely unfortunate in key plays, as have the SA men.

Both SA teams haven’t been helped by some, at best, very dubious decisions by the Argentine umpires.

The SA girls welcomed back experienced Western Province duo Shelley Russell and Jade Mayne from their respective English and Belgian club commitments for the second Test and will be boosted further by the arrival Monday of twice World All Stars midfielder Marsha Cox from Holland for the third Test, which starts at 1.40am SA time early Wednesday morning.

SA head coach Giles Bonnet said the girls in green and gold’s first-half performance against world number two in the second Test was probably the best display he has seen in over three years and the 2-2 scoreline could easily have read 4-2 at one stage.

Captain for the first two Tests, out-and-out striker Sulette Damons, is playing with an unbridled freedom that is reflected in her performances while Illse Davids and Phumelela Mbande have further enhanced the form shown in the five-Test whitewash of Scotland in Pretoria just over a week ago.

However, the full-strength Las Leonas (The Lionesses) came back strongly after the changeover in the second Test to win 6-2, to add to their 6-1 first-Test victory.

Bonnet is placing much emphasis on scoring goals, unlocking the defences of the reigning World Cup champions, World League finalists, London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallists and world number two nation, and this is the attitude of both SA teams.

Both SA teams have succeeded in creating numerous goalscoring opportunities in each of the four Tests; the difference is that Argentina have converted theirs into something tangible on the scoreboard.

For both SA teams the immediate bigger picture is the 2014 Hockey World Cup finals that take place from May 31 to June 15 in The Hague, Netherlands and each day here has been studded with intense training sessions and the numerous team and individual feedback obligations from the video analysis of each match.

That aside, national pride is at stake in the seaside resort of Mar del Plata, 400km from Buenos Aires, and the respective third Tests should throw up some intriguing personal and collective contests.

Meanwhile, the fourth and fifth Tests’ starting times have changed. The SA men will play their Test matches at 8pm SA time on Thursday and Friday while the women will hear the first whistle at 10pm SA time on each day.

SA Hockey Association media release

Malaysia given a lesson Down Under

By Jugjet Singh

THE Malaysian hockey team, preparing for the Azlan Shah Cup, have received a three-match drubbing in their playing tour in Perth.

Coach K. Dharmaraj's side were beaten 5-1, 7-1 and 4-2 by a mixed Australian side who will also be playing in the Azlan Shah Cup on March 13-23 in Ipoh.

The other teams in the Azlan Shah Cup are China, Canada, South Africa and South Korea.

While some of the best Australian talent were absent as they went to play in the Hockey India League, the team that thrashed Malaysia are called Hockey Australia High Performance Program team.

Malaysia are slated to play three more matches before packing their bags and heading home.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee has decided that all the Milo Cup matches will be played at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Competitions Committee chairman M. Gobinathan said: "We have decided to hold all the Milo Cup quarter-finals, semi-finals and final matches at Bukit Jalil and all the teams involved have been informed about it."

Milo Cup -- Quarter-finals, 1st leg: Feb 28 -- SSTMI Thunderbolts v MSP Pahang (4pm, Pitch I); Malacca High School v Olak-PKT (4pm, Pitch II); Petaling Jaya Municipal Council v Bukit Jalil Sports School (6pm, Pitch I); UniKL Young Guns v Politeknik-KPM (6pm, Pitch II).

2nd leg: March 2 -- Bukit Jalil Sports School v Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (4pm, Pitch II); Politeknik-KPM v UniKL Young Guns (4pm, Pitch I); MSP Pahang v SSTMI Thunderbolts (6pm, Pitch II); Olak-PKT v Malacca High School (6pm, Pitch I). All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

New Straits Times

Reading women promoted to EuroHockey top flight

Alex Danson in indoor action for Reading. EuroHockey.org

Reading women finished second at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Lithuania. After finishing top of their pool in the opening stages of the tournament the English side went through into the promotion pool for the final day of play where they faced the Dundee Wanderers.

It was the third match of the day and both sides knew that promotion into the top division was at stake. Emily Maguire scored the only Reading goal of the game as the battle ended 1-1, but the result was enough to see the Berkshire side clinch promotion. As an added bonus Reading already know they will contest the EuroHockey Indoor Club Cup next year after taking the Maxi5s title at Wembley earlier this month.

The final match of the day saw the hosts, Gintra-Strekte-Uni take on the Belgian girls of Royal Antwerp HC and finish off their fantastic tournament with a win 7-2 (3-1) which saw them undefeated and at the top of the promotion pool C. They will also be part of the 2015 EuroHockey Indoor Club Cup.

In the earlier matches of the day, the Swiss girls of Rotweiss Wettingen HC defeated Slagelse HC 8-5 (4-1). This guaranteed the Swiss team the first place position in the relegation pool D.  Unfortunately, it also sealed the deal for Slagelse HC to be relegated for 2015.

The second match of the day saw Lorenzoni HF take on Kecioren Balgum SC and win 6-5 (3-0) and avoiding relegation. Kecioren Balgum SC will also be relegated to EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge in 2015.

EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy (Women), Siauliai (Lithuania)
Final Ranking:
1. Gintra Strekte Uni (LTU) (Promoted to Cup in 2015)
2. Reading HC (ENG) (Promoted to Cup in 2015)
3. Dundee Wanderers (SCO)
4. Royal Antwerp HC (BEL)
5. HC Rotweiss Wettingen (SUI)
6. HF Lorenzoni (ITA)
7. Kecioren Baglum SK (TUR) (Relegated to Challenge in 2015)
8. Slagelse HC (DEN) (Relegated to Challenge in 2015)

England Hockey Board Media release

Ards Secure The Gold & Promotion!

Ards made it six wins from six at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Challenge which took place in Budapest last weekend. The top class performance earned them the gold and promotion to the EuroHockey Indoor Club Champions Trophy in 2015.

Ards faced teams from from Croatia, Hungary, Sweden, Serbia, Wales and Portugal. Ards opened their tournament last Friday beating the Hungarian side Amator Gyeplabda Sportegyesulet 8-0 and Portuguese Lisbon Casuals 5-2 before they put in a huge scoreline against their Serbian opposition netting 12 goals to HK Bask of Serbia's 0. The Swedish side produced a tougher challenge for Ards pulling out all the stops but Ards persisted securing a 5-4 win.

Ards completed their tournament on Sunday beating Howardian (Wales) & Zrinjevac (Croatia) securing gold and 2015 promotion. Ards' player Chloe Brown secured 23 goals and was awarded player of the touranment.

Massive congratulations to the players, management, coaches, club and supporters on such a fine performance.

Full results can be found here

Irish Hockey Association media release

India to tour The Netherlands to prepare for World Cup

RANCHI: Aiming to prepare in the best possible way for this year's World Cup, the Indian hockey team will train at the event's host city -- The Hague, Netherlands -- from April 11 to 19.

India had earlier decided to skip the Azlan Shah Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from March 13 to 23 to tour a European nation keeping in mind the preparations for the World Cup.

Indian hockey's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans said India will play five to six matches during their nine-day tour.

"It was a conscious decision to miss the Azlan Shah Cup and go for a tour to Europe to give the players an idea what to expect during the World Cup," Oltmans said.

"And so understandably there was no better choice than The Hague where the World Cup is scheduled. We will tour The Hague from April 11 to 19," he said.

"During the tour we will play top European teams like Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and one or two local club teams."

The World Cup will be held in The Hague from May 31 to June 15 in relatively cooler climatic conditions than tropical Malaysia.

The Times of India

Player burnout is the last thing India needs: Roelant Oltmans

Suhrid Barua

Hockey India seems to be lining up elaborate preparations for the national team for the 2014 Rabobank Men’s World Cup to be held in The Hague, the Netherlands from May 31 to June 15. The national hockey body has decided to send the national team on a nine-day trip to the Netherlands, where the boys will train at the World Cup venue from April 11-19. India is expected to play five or six practice games against some top sides besides a few games against club sides.

“We will play the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and probably one or two games against club sides. I believe the trip will allow the boys to know what to expect at the World Cup,” Hockey India’s High Performance Manager Roelant Oltmans elaborates post Hockey India League scenario said in an exclusive discussion with www.stick2hockey.com

Oltmans, who served as Uttar Pradesh Wizards coach in the just-concluded 2nd Hero Hockey India League, said the Indian team will reach The Hague well ahead of the commencement of the marquee event. “We will leave on May 22, which will give us adequate time to acclimatize to the conditions before the World Cup begins on May 31. We are going to play a warm-up game against Ireland on May 25 and one more practice game on May 28 or 29 for which our opponent is yet to be confirmed. Reaching the World Cup venue early will stand us in good stead before we launch our campaign against Belgium on May 31,” he added.

The celebrated Dutch coach has revealed that most of the players who figured in the 2nd Hero Hockey India League are likely to give the upcoming Senior Nationals to be held in Lucknow a miss. “Look, these players have been constantly travelling, playing matches, sometimes back-to-back games for nearly a month. Player burnout is the last thing India needs. The Senior National ‘A’ division will start on March 10 a day before the World Cup camp begins. So players are better off by being fresh for the World Cup camp and since both the camp and the nationals are happening around the same time, there is no way the boys can participate in the nationals. It is prudent for these guys to take a well-deserved break after a strenuous run in the HIL and stay in good shape for the camp,” he explained.

The scheduling of the World Cup camp in the second week of March also meant that India had no option but to pull out of the 2014 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, which is slated to be held in Ipoh from March 13-23. “We had to focus on our World Cup preparations and it would have been unwise to have featured in the 2014 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as the dates of this event are clashing with our World Cup camp,” he quipped.

The second phase of the World Cup camp will begin once the team returns from the Netherlands and will run till the team leaves for the Netherlands on May 22.

Oltmans, who as caretaker coach of the national team, shepherded the boys to a runner-up finish in the 9th Asia Cup where they lost narrowly to Korea in the final, in the process sealing a World Cup through the Oceania World Cup quota, refrained from talking about identifying new talents from the 2nd HIL. “I have seen some new talents from the 2nd HIL, but don’t wish to go into the details for now. We will see a lot of new faces during the Senior Nationals and hope to unearth talented guys from the ‘A’ and ‘B’ divisions,” he concluded on an optimistic note.

The venue for the 2014 World Cup camp is yet to be decided.


Stars and No Stars of Hockey India League 2014

K. Arumugam

With titanic levels of fee paid for their five-week contract to play in the World’s Most Affluent Hockey event namely Hero Hockey India League – which most West World players would have earned even had they played hockey for five decades -- its time to see who lived upto the expectations, not necessary justify their cost, and who are not.

One player coming in the NOT category is Ramandeep Singh, who surprising got the best pay in the ‘closed bidding’. His pay of USD upwards of 80,000 was seen with wide eyes, taken by the knowledgeable with a pinch of salt. For whatever reasons, he proved his critics right. From fitness to finesse he came out badly.

Having been unfit, and with struggling form, he was the biggest let down of HHIL 2014.

On the other hand, with bare minimum fee, Gurbaj Singh of Delhi Waveriders won the heart of many, and its wonderful to see the all rounder covering every inch of the turf, omnipresent, and doing excellent amount of defence and offence duties. Many know he is not in the national team because of his overt views on coaching and off-field developments, a man-management issue taken to extreme level of exonerating him from the squad.

Gurbaj has proved all those who sidelined him -- Chief Coach Michael Nobbs, Selectors, and Hockey India’s invisible hands -- wrong.

These two players make the extremes of HHIL 2014 spectrum.

All other cases fall within these two contours.

Ashley Jackson, bronze medallist this time, gold in the last year, stood for one certain thing: Commitment and never say die spirit.

Indian proponents of League of this nature justify the huge money spent one premise that it gives chance to Indian players to rub with the world’s best. Ashley’s game, like many others too, gives much credence to their position. He was also injured, came back with venom and showed what commitment meant in sporting parlance.

Manpreet Singh, who played alongside Ashley Jackson in the same Rhinos, and scored in the medal matches this year and last year, comes under below-par performance category, fair as he is on low since almost a year.

He represents the age old Indian problem of youngsters who bloom in some tournaments for sometime! Is he over-rated? This is a genuine concern.

Birendra Lakra of Rhinos is one player who could keep his reputation intact; but with more work on the defence rather than as attacking midfielder, he did not hog the limelight. But served his team’s purpose fully.

Yuvraj Walmiki surely is Shivender Singh of PHL days. He stamped his usefulness -- imagine scoring winning goal in four matches – despite not played not more than 20,25 minutes each game.

Nicolas Jacobi, who won Man of the Match award thrice last edition, was remarkable, and with Jaap Stockmann stand a class apart.

I don’t venture comparison of other goalies against the duo simply because theirs is a different ball game, are in different planet.

While highly paid PR Sreejesh nearly flopped, its Harjot Singh, lone Indian goalie to stand most of times for his franchise, showed enormous nerve to come back despite two big lows that came in the way, that too in the beginning of the campaign. We can’t judge Sushant Tirkey fully as he was not given adequate testing time to blossom as Francisco Cortes took lion’s share of Rhino’s cage.

Harte was inconsistent, by far better than Sreejesh, and it should be a big worry for India in a World Cup, Asian Games year.

Rupinder Pal and Raghunath, stalwarts of Indian defence, who bagged very decent pay, had mixed outings. They did score, but not on crucial moments. Rupinder shone as a reliable defender, while Raghunath as effecting defensive midfielder despite being full-flooded defender.

Danish Mujtaba and Mandeep Singh, the duos who counted a lot last time, could not be proved so now due to injury and recovery hassles.

Akashdeep Singh, like Yuvraj, must now count their place in the national side. Askash was far more effective than hawkish Yuvraj, and deserved the hefty cheque he got as Promising Youngster.

Teun de Nooijer and Glen Turner, greats in their own way, were highly praised by our commentators, but in reality they did not live upto their top billing. Both took time to come to their own, by the time they did, it was too late to be termed match winners.

Glenn in the early part of the HHIL 2014 was very tentative, too much individualism; and for Luke Doerner he has not done anything great to take note of.

Jamie Dwyer even went on to score through penalty corner when the Warriors did not have any specialist last year, and showed stamped his class for the cause of his team. This edition is conspicuous for lesser time he got on the turf, and the time slots that his coach Barry Dancer gave him is a proof what role and form he has been in.

Of the oldies of the HHIL 2014, Floris and Moritz, Kumar Subramaniam, and Alegre brothers were reasonable. This excludes others mentioned above and below besides goalies.

Nikkin Thimmaiah was a revelation, seems he will go places if some polishing in his finish is given by experts.

Same must hold true for Affan Yousaff; hope now the so-called selectors no longer ignore him. He is gifted and natural talent.

Dharamvir started well, lost confidence of coach somewhere in between and it is justifiable; so also Satbir Singh and Malak Singh.

Rob Hammond was one who stole the eyeballs with consistently good game, and he is 30 plus.

Simon Child, despite scoring a brace of goal twice in two games, was a bit lesser match winner this time compared to last.

SV Sunil and Christopher Ciriello, Simon Orchard and Mark Knowles sparked in spells, and with 24 players in each team their coaches could not spare more time than what they ultimately got.

Gurjinder Singh, bid for hefty amount, is a fall from grace, and the hype surrounds him is now blown out. Most good players in Mumbai Magicians did not spark, drowned by the overall sense and trend; though Vikas Pillay in the early part, Chinglensana as the tournament wore on, shone and merits national call.

Lalit Upadhyaya epitomized all that is energy and enterprise, turned out to be a great asset for Kalinga, a sure shot success in the high voltage league.

Mandeep Antil was going great gun before that fateful day when he lost many teeth, players of such talent had been allowed to go waste due to WSH-HIL fracas. Nice at least wisdom prevailed, but was it too late with respect to some stars. None will have outright answer.

Gonzalo Peillat, Kiel Brown, both of Kalinga, Ravi Pal and Trent Mitton of Magicians, made their names, and deservingly. They got less monies but delivered more.

There were 144 players, some more came in replacing injured ones. Its not easy to measure everyone of them in one piece, but an attempt is nevertheless necessary, which this writer attempted.

Arjun Halappa, Raj Pal Singh, Ravi Pal Singh, Bharat Chhikara, Vikram Pillay and the likes gave moments of turn overs in fortunes of their teams; but not long ago they were considered ‘old’’money-minded’ and not taken for neither national team nor HHIL 2013. They now rescued this year’s edition, as some coaches in Germany and Netherlands would not waste their players’ energy on HHIL 2014.

HI must have understood by now. Insulting and insulating section of our own players is one thing, sometimes it suits politics of ego, but when time comes they only rescue anything India. I mean Hockey India League.


Young India shows the way after HIL performance

Arnab Lall Seal

RANCHI: India did not qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and finished last in the London Olympics in 2012. This slump would make even a die-hard hockey fan despondent, but all is not lost. At least that's the feeling one got after watching some of the young Indian players in the Hockey India League (HIL) which concluded on Sunday night.

Like the inaugural edition, the just-concluded second season was a success. With the number of teams going up, it became less hectic for the players and the matches were more competitive. Delhi Waveriders won it in the end but all the semifinalists played like champions through the 30-day event. The two other teams — Kalinga Lancers and Mumbai Magicians — were disappointing in the beginning but gained momentum in the dying stages.

But the most heartening thing of HIL 2 was the performance of Indian youngsters. Despite the presence of international stars like Jamie Dwyer, Moritz Fuerste and Japp Stockmann and senior Indian players like Sardar Singh and VR Raghunath, it was the junior Indians who stole the limelight.

If 18-year-old Mandeep Singh made an impact last year, helping Ranchi Rhinos win the tournament, this time Akashdeep Singh (Delhi Waveriders), Nikkin Thimmaiah (Delhi Waveriders), Gurmail Singh (Punjab Warriors) and Lalit Upadhyay (Kalinga Lancers) made the headlines.

But the tournament did not highlight only the bright side of Indian hockey. It also exposed the deficiencies. Of the many worrying factors, the biggest is the absence of quality goalkeepers in the country and even Indian hockey's high performance director Roelant Oltmans accepted this fact. "PR Sreejesh and Harjot Singh have done well but they aren't world class," the Dutch expert said after the final.

Apart from goalkeeping, the tournament also showed how far behind India is at the moment in terms of fitness of players. Indian captain Sardar stressed that Indians need to work harder on fitness: "These days the game is less about individual skills and more about power play. For that you have to be extremely fast and agile."

There was a feeling that some things can be improved upon. "We need another team in the tournament and more worldclass players, especially from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany," Punjab Warriors coach Barry Dancer told TOI.

If International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre is to be believed the Dutch players were not released by their governing body because of the ensuing World Cup. They should be part of the tournament next year.

It will be also interesting to see what the organizers do with the video referral system. In both HIL seasons, teams have been dissatisfied with the umpiring decisions.


HIL saw several young Indian players impress with their skills and hard work. This is TOI's pick of the future stars

Akashdeep Singh (Delhi Waveriders):

Upcoming player of the season. One of the youngest players of the tournament, Akash was a livewire on the turf and always a potent threat.

Affan Yousuf (Punjab Warriors):

Earned high praise for his performance in the final from coach Barry Dancer. He was consistent throughout the tournament, scored four goals and kept the defenders on their toes.

Birendra Lakra (Ranchi Rhinos):

The Rhinos failed to defend their crown but Lakra grabbed eyeballs with his stick-work in the midfield. He worked well in tandem with skipper Moritz Fuerste, also defended stoutly.

Lalit Upadhyay (Kalinga Lancers):

The UPborn player could not have hoped for a better resurrection after his career was almost over because of a sting operation. Under the guidance of Terry Walsh, he has been impressive and one can expect great things from him in the future.

Nikkin Thimmaiah (UP Wizards):

After breaking into the national side during the Asia Cup last year, this Karnataka lad hasn't looked back. He can be one of the stars in the upcoming World Cup.

The Times of India

England hockey star Alex Danson refutes report on parents stopping children playing sport over risk

England hockey star says parents' survey on children and dangers of sport will have detrimental effect in future

By Rod Gilmour

Learning effect: hockey has abilities to teach young people, says Danson Photo: FIH

Alex Danson, the England women’s hockey forward, has poured scorn over a “scaremongering” report claiming that parents are stopping their children playing dangerous sport, with increasing numbers now staying indoors.

A recent survey of 2,000 parents’ attitudes to risk found that more than 40 per cent almost never let their children outside to play and engage in exercise. It has resulted in a so-called 'cotton wool culture' being created, with half of parents deeming sports such as rugby, hockey, horse riding and swimming too dangerous.

“If we take away some of the sports that have risk attached to them, you take away a vehicle to learn – that would be such a shame for young people coming through,” said Danson.

“There is an element of scaremongering to have a report that says it is dangerous and your child shouldn’t be involved. From a players point of view that is a travesty. Hockey is a sport that is fast, athletic and has abilities to teach young people.”

Danson highlighted captain Kate Richardson-Walsh’s injury at London 2012 when she was hit on the side of her jaw by a Japanese hockey stick in Team GB’s first match and required surgery, returning three matches later in a protective mask.

“That was a freak accident, just as your child could do climbing down,” said Danson, speaking on Sky Sports’ What’s the Story.

“When there is a replication of nasty injuries then it should be down to the governing bodies to make amendments.”

In 2009, the International Hockey Federation tightened the rules whereby the ball must move five yards before a free hit to make it safer, rather than hitting straight into the D.

“The rule hasn’t changed the game or made it any less exciting,” added Danson. “It is a modification to be made safer and hasn’t stopped anyone playing because of it. Reports like this will put children off.”

The Telegraph

World hockey's $250m television deal is 'major step forward' after Olympic exclusion threat

Eye-opening, multi-million dollar television deal with Indian broadcaster looks set to transform hockey's fortunes, says world governing body's chief executive

By Rod Gilmour

A year after hockey faced the prospect of Olympic exclusion from the 2020 Games, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has admitted that its newly-acquired $250 million television deal with Star Sports, the Indian broadcaster, is a “game-changing” one.

Eyebrows were raised in Lausanne last February when the International Olympic Committee dropped wrestling, albeit briefly, from the Tokyo Games, with hockey also considered one of five sports to face the chop. The sport, however, was saved in the penultimate round of voting, leaving Sally Munday, England Hockey’s chief executive, to reflect that “being an Olympic sport is like a little bit of fairy dust.”

That sprinkling has seen talks develop in the last two years between the FIH and global broadcasters. It was Star Sports who ultimately approached hockey chiefs to become involved and an eight-year, media partnership deal was inked last month.

“We’ve now got a partner who is far more committed than anyone else before,” Kelly Fairweather, the FIH’s chief executive, told Telegraph Sport. “They see hockey as a long-term partnership to build and revive the sport around the globe. They are investing a huge amount into the game.”

Even though the deal will not start until 2015 – one major event per year will also be staged in India up until 2023 - changes to how the sport is portrayed have already been realised, thanks to Star’s coverage of the second edition of the Hockey India League (HIL), cricket’s IPL equivalent.

The FIH use up to nine cameras per game, while Star Sports position 19. Star want to include cameras in changing rooms amd goalkeeper cams, while the spider cam will be used for the first time at this summer’s World Cup in the Netherlands. Future ideas include heart rate monitors on the goalkeeper. No wonder Fairweather calls the deal a “major step forward for the game.”

“We feel that working with Star will up the production levels and be similar to what they have achieved in cricket,” he said.

Indeed, Fairweather believes that by reaching out further to the Indian market – where hockey was once considered the national sport – the FIH hope to tap into the rural areas. The governing body knows how important India is to hockey – the street version is becoming increasingly popular, according to the FIH – while Star believes “it has a tremendous future. The sport has a glorious heritage in India.”

World hockey’s vision is a far cry from a year ago and the sport’s near-exclusion as an Olympic sport. “There was general surprise that wrestling was voted off and there were many as five [sports facing the cull],” admitted Fairweather. “The surprise was a result of our massive success at London 2012. Coming out of that we were feeling pretty confident about where the sport was going.

“We were already following a roadmap of where the FIH was going. Nothing like this comes at a good time, so it was a catalyst to take a long hard look at our sport and where we wanted to go.

“One of the key things was whether we were doing the right things as a sport. We had to be more externally focussed in terms of looking at it as an entertainment proposition. That has been our fundamental shift.”

Three years ago, one of the FIH’s objectives was to look at a complimentary game along the lines of cricket’s Twenty20 format and three-on-three disciplines, similar to what basketball has introduced.

“It did accelerate our thinking,” Fairweather said. “There was already Hockey Sixes, Sevens while Australia had Nines. We wanted to get a consistent strategy around the game. One of the first decisions was to trial a global competition on hockey 5’s.” That will happen in Nanjing at the Youth Olympics in August.

“This shorter version of the game is to entertain. We are in the process of looking at all the sports [including beach and parahockey] and to develop new spectators to the sport.

Fairweather also admitted that the FIH was looking into how England Hockey’s own Rush Hockey (five-a-side on smaller pitches) is progressing. “We’re trying to look beyond that and what will increase the popularity. We are doing a complete assessment of the rules and this year will be about tweaking and getting the right recipe for the sport.”

Hockey already has a ready-made recipe thanks to an eye-opening television deal. The sport is in safe hands.

The Telegraph

Grange move into Division 1 play-off contention

With Glynhill Kelburne already assured a spot in the Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 1 top four play-offs, the race for the three remaining spots is red hot as five teams are separated by only six points.

Grange appear to have recovered from a difficult start to the season, moving into fourth position in the table with a 1-1 draw with leaders Glynhill Kelburne and a 2-0 win over PSL Team Sport Clydesdale at Peffermill.

John McKnight’s side stay in touch with the play-offs after the Titwood outfit secured a 2-1 win away to Edinburgh University, although they remain three points behind Grove Menzieshill in the top division after the Taysiders defeated Western Wildcats 3-1 at home.

At the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, Hillhead maintained second place after coming back from two goals behind to beat AAM Gordonians 3-2.

Inverleith were comfortable 4-1 winners over bottom of the table Dundee Wanderers.

In Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 2, Uddingston were too strong for Alpha Data Carnegie, adding to their mammoth ‘goals for’ tally with an 11-0 win.

Second place Watsonians piled the pressure on relegation threatened FMGM Monarchs after a 5-1 away win on Tayside.

CALA Edinburgh also find themselves in a precarious position after a 6-3 loss away to Granite City Wanderers in Aberdeen, although Glasgow University cannot count themselves safe from the drop yet after succumbing to St.Andrew’s University in a 2-0 defeat.

Elsewhere, Erskine Stewart’s Melville FP recorded a narrow 3-2 success at home to Aberdeen GSFP, while Falkirk GHG and Stepps were embroiled in a nine goal thriller, the away side edging the match 5-4.

Leaders 2020 Renewables Greenock suffered a setback in Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 3 after third place Harris Academy FP inflicted a 4-1 defeat on the west coast side.

Dundee University were quick to capitalise and reduce the gap at the top of the division after a comfortable 6-0 win on the road against Waverley Inveresk Trinity.

Perthshire stay in contention for promotion after a 4-2 victory against Ayr.

Stirling Wanderers were 3-1 winners over Giffnock, while University of Strathclyde beat Highland 2-1.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Commonwealth Dribble

Commonwealth Dribble logo

Scottish Hockey is delighted to launch The Commonwealth Dribble as part of the its Hockey Generation campaign.

It is participation activity that allows schools to be part of a fun, hockey-based initiative in the lead up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Dribble is also your school’s opportunity to be part of a national initiative to have fun playing hockey whilst dribbling around the Commonwealth.

Your school can set itself a target distance to dribble and work at it until May 2014, developing hockey skills and knowledge as you go.

Each school’s contribution will be recognised and will contribute to the national total. The ambitious challenge is for the combined national total to reach the 9,828km of the journey from Delhi to Glasgow.

It’s very easy to take part; all you need is a hockey stick, a hockey ball, a few cones and a way of measuring distance.

For more information please download and read The Commonwealth Dribble guide.

Once you are ready to take part, simply register your school’s details using the Registration Form.

You can also update us on your school's activities via the Progress Update Form

If you have any further enquiries about The Commonwealth Dribble, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Regional Development Manager (Tayside & Fife)

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Primary Schools set to take part in The Commonwealth Dribble

Morag McLellan Launch. Photo credit: Duncan Gray

Scotland and Great Britain international player Morag McLellan and Stepps Hockey Club youngster Lewis Stewart were on hand to help Scottish Hockey launch The Commonwealth Dribble at Caledonia Primary School in Glasgow last week.

Launch Registration. Photo credit: Duncan Gray

As part of our Hockey Generation campaign, The Commonwealth Dribble is a participation activity that allows primary schools to be part of a fun, hockey-based initiative in the lead up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Dribble also provides schools with the opportunity to be part of a national initiative to have fun playing hockey whilst dribbling around the Commonwealth.

Lewis from Stepps. Photo credit: Duncan Gray

Each school can set itself a target distance to dribble and work at it until May 2014, developing hockey skills and knowledge as they go.

It’s very easy to take part; all you need is a hockey stick, a hockey ball, a few cones and a way of measuring distance.

Kids Dribble. Photo credit: Duncan Gray

Each school’s contribution will be recognised and will contribute to the national total. The ambitious challenge is for the combined national total to reach the 9,828km of the journey from Delhi to Glasgow.

Morag helping kids. Photo credit: Duncan Gray

Please visit The Commonwealth Dribble page for more information and to register your school’s participation.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Congratulations to the 2014 U12 and U14 NIT Champions

The first weekend of the 2014 US National Indoor Tournament gathered more than 1,600 field hockey enthusiasts to Spooky Nook Sports facility nestled in Lancaster, Pa. The inaugural weekend of competition for Under-12 and Under-14 athletes was monumental as it was many of the younger athletes’ first experience with major event competition. Clubs competed on 10 courts in the hopes of earning their stripes and going home with gold.

Several U.S. Women’s National Squad athletes even dropped by over the weekend during their regeneration week to bestow medals, sign autographs and share their love of the game with young athletes.

“The Under-12 and Under-14 athletes created an action-packed weekend with fun and exciting hockey,” said Karen Collins, USA Field Hockey’s Director of Event and Logistics. “Thank you to all who made this event memorable for the next generation of athletes.”

USA Field Hockey sends our congratulations to this year’s winners who walked away with polished medals and the highly sought-after pride that accompanies the title of champions.

Congratulations to the following winners:


Q – WC Eagles Blue
R – WC Eagles Gold
S – Spirit of USA Independence
T – FSC Falcons Black


A – H2O
B – Saints Hockey Rocks
C – Xcalibur I
D – WC Eagles White
E – FSC Falcons Black
F – Alley Cats white
G – IFHCK Fire
I – High Styx Swarm
J – Shore Byrds Purple
K – Stealth Comets
L – South Jersey Edge Pink
M – Tcoyo Parana
N – Valley Styx Silver
O – Jersey Elite Black
P – Wizards

USFHA media release

Thank you Anarul

When Dato Anarul first assumed the position as the Treasurer of the then Malaysian Hockey Federation, I must admit that I was apprehensive about his ability to run hockey finances.

Not because of his qualification but rather the hockey politics that comes as part and parcel of the job.

A two hour coffee session with him at Mahkota Hotel in Malacca during the sidelines of the Junior Asia Cup showed me that this man was prepared to listen, judge people and above all do justice, a trait absent in many that come to power or positions.

Anarul has stepped down as Treasurer, sans the absence of a formal announcement by MHC, the dates are murky.

He tried his best, within the limitations, to run the finances and many affiliates probably are aggrieved as subsidies have been outstanding since October last year. But to be fair to the man he cannot be held responsible and never was he one to promise the moon as he was aware of the various limitations his position provides.

There is no doubt his sincerity will be missed, his professionalism irreplaceable and above all his friendly disposition , a key factor in maintaining the relations with the hockey fraternity stick out like a sore thumb in the coming months.

Thank you for your services sir, hope you succeed in life and above everything else thank you for being fair till the last day.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot

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