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News 20 May 2014

All the news for Tuesday 20 May 2014

Parnham Reveals Esteemed 2014 Hockey World Cup Roster

U.S. prepares for the ultimate hockey competition in Holland 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After months of diligently conducting intensive training as well as instructing and observing dense international competition, Head Coach Craig Parnham and his high performance staff have meticulously selected an unparalleled lineup of the nation’s top performers to represent the United States at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in the Hague, Netherlands.  From May 31 to June 15, the Hague will hold a prize of global glory for one of the top 12 women’s national teams.

“Competition for places has been fierce and it's always difficult for those not selected,” said Parnham. “However, the strength of the World Cup team is a result of all the hard work that the whole squad commits to each day in training. We now focus on our final preparations and look forward to the start of the World Cup.“

Currently ranked 10th in the world, Team USA holds ground in Pool B along with Argentina (World Ranked 2), England (World Ranked 3), Germany (World Ranked 6), China (World Ranked 7) and South Africa (World Ranked 11). In conjunction to a nearly sold out event, a projected 1.25 million more views for YouTube and over 300 million viewers via continental television are the expected targets for the 76-match event making this the most watched hockey event in history.

Rolling off of a tremendously successful Champions Challenge Tour in Scotland two weeks ago, the stars and stripes look to carry the knowledge and confidence established with their first-place finish in Glasgow to Holland. Previously, the highest mark the United States achieved at the World Cup was in 1994 when the women’s national team earned 3rd. The squad’s last appearance at this tournament occurred in 2006 where they finished 6th.

Chase the Cup with U.S. by checking the team’s schedule and watching the games live here. The matches can also be viewed on ESPN3.

Their positions on the pitch play an integral role with the United States’ position in the world of hockey. Please join us as we extend our congratulations and luck to the 18 women who will be representing  America at the World Cup.

Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa.), Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.), Katelyn Falgowski (Landenburg, Pa.), Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.), Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Jackie Kinzter (Robesonia, Pa.), Kelsey Kolojejchick (Larsville, Pa.), Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, Va.), Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.), Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.), Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.), Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.), Kathleen Sharkey (Moosic, Pa.), Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.), Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.), Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.)

USFHA media release

Mystery ends today

Razie Rahim’s inclusion depends on recovering fully from his dislocated shoulder.

COACH K. Dharmaraj will name his squad for the World Cup today, with only minor changes expected from the Champions Challenge 1 squad that finished third in Kuantan.

The major boost could be in the form of No 1 penalty corner flicker and defender Razie Rahim, if he is given the green light on his dislocated shoulder by the medical team.

And Razie’s right-hand man Baljit Singh is also hoping to be included after being rested for the Azlan Shah Cup and the Champions Challenge 1.

In the absence of these two stalwart defenders, Malaysia scored 17 goals, but also let in 17 in the Champions Challenge 1.

Former international Maninderjit Singh — who played in two World Cups, two Olympics, two Asian Games, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games — feels Dharmaraj should select the best without fear or favour.

“There were some rumblings during the Champions Challenge 1 that the best were not selected and that demoralised some players. Dharmaraj has to come out strongly in the media to calm matters.

“The coach should select the best for in the end, he will be the one answerable on the team’s performance at the World Cup,” said Maninderjit who played in the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

His Olympic moments were in 1996 and 2000.

Another player who could make a comeback is Shahrun Nabil, a former skipper, who was dropped from Champions Challenge 1 because he allegedly sent a nasty text to one of the coaches.

Shahrun’s absence also made a big difference as he is a dependable midfielder.

Malaysia last played in the World Cup in 2002, and their opening opponents were Australia, who will again be the opening hurdle for Dharmaraj’s men on May 31.

World No 1 Australia and Malaysia last played in the Azlan Shah Cup final and the score was an unflattering 8-3.

“When we played Australia in the opening match in 2002, the score was 0-0 at half-time. But we let in three soft goals in the second half. My team were at the verge of playing in the semi-finals but lost out the spot to South Korea when we drew 2-2 with Poland.

“My advice to the players who will be heading to The Hague is that to become better players, they must not fear when playing the best in the world. I actually enjoyed playing against Australia, Germany and Netherlands.

“We were told by our coaches then that ‘will beats skills’ and that motivated us to finish eighth among 16 teams in Kuala Lumpur which I believe was a big achievement. I hope the current batch will not give up until the final whistle as every team in the world is beatable,” said Maninderjit.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation believes the team should at least finish 10th among the 12 teams in the Netherlands.

New Straits Times

D-Day for World Cup hockey hopefuls

By S. Ramaguru

Malaysia hockey team goalkeepers Roslan Jamaluddin (left) and S. Kumar counting the hockey balls after a training session at the National Hockey Stadium on Monday. The 18-member World Cup squad will be revealed on Tuesday. - SS KANESAN/ The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: It is D-day for the 30-member national hockey team. The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will name their final 18 for the World Cup Finals which will be held at The Hague, Holland, from May 31-June 15 on Tuesday.

With injuries being the bane of the team, the core of the players will come from the Champions Challenge I team which recently played in Kuantan.

Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, who is down with viral fever, is definitely out. The player was admitted to hospital earlier this month and discharged last week.

On Sunday night, he was re-admitted and has yet to train with the team since the Champions Challenge I ended on May 4.

The team held their second selection trial yesterday and Mohamed Ramdan Rosli was another casualty when he limped off with an ankle injury after a tackle.

Then there is top striker Faizal Saari, who was absent yesterday. His car was stolen on Sunday night and he was apparently not in the right frame of mind to attend the trial. But then, being the top striker, he will probably still make the final 18.

National coach K. Dharmaraj said that the last trial will be held this morning and he will name the team after that.

“There are a few players we are looking at closely, especially those who have recovered from injuries and did not play in Kuantan. But the changes are likely to be minimal.

With Roslan Jamaluddin back in full training, the goalkeeping positions are expected to go to him and S. Kumar.

There are seven contenders for the five defender’s posts while the midifeld might also see a change with the experienced Mohamed Shahrun Nabil likely to make the cut.

In the forward line, the only player outside of the Champions Challenge I team who might make it is Hafifihafiz Hanafi.

“Players who are versatile will be a greater asset to the team. Still, we will wait for the final trial and see if there are any exceptional cases to consider,” he added.

The team will leave for The Hague on Friday night.

They will play a friendly against Holland on Sunday followed by two matches with RC Rotterdam club on May 27-28.

Malaysia open their World Cup campaign against Australia on May 31.

The Star of Malaysia

Boon-time for Belgium?

Can the Red Lions and the Red Panthers finally assuage their hunger for victory?

Both the men and women's hockey teams from Belgium come into the Rabobank Hockey World Cup with great expectations and a healthy appetite for a win. Men's coach Mark Lammers and women's coach Kina Pascal have both talked about their side's "hunger" to win major trophies, and this could be the stage for them to make their mark.

In recent weeks both the Red Lions and the Red Panthers have been involved in competition against their fellow World Cup hopefuls. The women went to Glasgow to compete in the Champions Challenge 1, but came away disappointed with their performance, after they finished sixth, losing to Korea in a shoot-out. The men, on the other hand, have just completed a successful Four Nations competition, which saw them beat England and The Netherlands and draw with Germany.

Belgium is unique in that it has a brother and sister playing in the national teams. Tom and Jill Boon come from a sporting family, and there is little doubt what the main topic of conversation has been of late. The question is whether one, both or no Boon will be bringing a medal home?

In the opening matches of the World Cup on 31 May, the Red Lions will face India and the Red Panthers will be playing against the New Zealand Black Sticks.

FIH site

Helen Richardson-Walsh breaks silence over World Cup snub

HELEN RICHARDSON-WALSH has opened up her heart at the pain of being dropped from England’s squad for the Rabobank World Cup in The Hague, starting on Saturday week.

By Graham Wilson

Helen Richardson-Walsh admits she is devastated after being left out of the World Cup squad[GETTY ]

As one of the game’s top midfielders, with a London Olympics bronze medal to her name, Richardson-Walsh described in her blog the ‘grief cycle’ she is undergoing.

“Since finding out I can no longer realise my dream of becoming a world champion, I feel like I’ve experienced every emotion under the sun,” she said.

“I have lost the chance to achieve a goal of mine that not only have I worked incredibly hard for over these last 11 weeks, but completely dedicated my life to for the past 15 years. I have no idea when I will get to the acceptance stage. I keep fluxing between the anger, bargaining and depression stages.”

Richardson-Walsh, 32, married to GB and England captain Kate, said she was fitter and stronger than before she had a second recent back operation.

Richardson-Walsh's wife Kate will captain the team in The Hague [GETTY]

She added: “I’d like to wish the girls all the best in The Hague. There’s nothing more I would like to see than my wife Kate lift the World Cup. I wanted to be by her side when she did, but we’ve both shared so many highs and lows since our debuts in 1999 and she truly would be worthy of this success.”

Richardson-Walsh thanked all the medical and physio staff who had been treating her and the support she had received from her team-mates plus those messages from “familiar and unfamiliar people”.

She said: “I am also extremely touched that my story has inspired many of you going through similar battles, in other life pursuits, or to share my story with others or use it as part of material for students to learn from. I loved hearing them and appreciate your time and honesty in sharing these with me.

“Everyone loves a fairytale ending; I was confident I’d get mine. The books and films that really grip you though are the ones that leave you wondering how it will end. That is me now.”

Daily Express

Strength, depth key for Black Sticks men's side


Coach Colin Batch believes the depth in New Zealand men's hockey is the strongest it has been since taking over the job after the 2012 London Olympics.

The Black Sticks yesterday named their squad for the World Cup tournament in The Hague, which begins on June 1.

New Zealand have opted to go with the same group of 18 players, who competed in the Champions Challenge tournament in Malaysia earlier this month.

They won five of their six games there, but finished fifth after losing on a penalty shootout to Malaysia at the quarterfinal stage.

Batch said there were some difficult selection calls and believed they had named the strongest possible team, with the exception of striker Nick Wilson, who is not back until later in the year due to a serious knee injury.

"This was probably the hardest one [to pick ]," Batch said.

"We did have a lot of injuries last year. We do want to create more depth in our squad and make it really difficult for the selectors to end up with the best players."

New Zealand have named an experienced squad, headed by veterans Dean Couzins and Phil Burrows, who have both played more than 300 tests.

Midfielder Shea McAleese is just two games shy of the 200 game milestone. Twelve of the squad have played more than 100 tests.

There are eight new players to the team since the 2012 London Olympics, including Southern defender Kane Russell and Auckland striker Jared Panchia, who both played at the Junior World Cup last December.

Batch said it was nice to have some stability in the squad.

"There's a lot of things we learned in Malaysia that we want to carry forward to the World Cup. From that point of view, it's good to have the same group."

The Black Sticks begin the World Cup against South Korea and South Africa who are ranked below them. Batch said it was pivotal they started strongly and built early confidence.

Hockey powerhouses, the Netherlands and Germany, and 11th ranked Argentina are also in their group.

The best finish by a New Zealand's men's side at a World Cup is seventh, which was achieved in 1973, 1975 and 1982.

Batch said his side had made major improvement with their attacking game over the past 12 months. They were creating far more goal scoring opportunities and capitalising from their penalty corners and attacking work in the goal circle.

He was frustrated with some of the soft goals they conceded at the Champions Challenge and acknowledged they needed to tidy up their defensive game.

New Zealand will play Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany in warmup games.


Black Sticks bullish for hockey World Cup


There's ever-growing belief within the women's Black Sticks hockey team, but finding the balance between confidence and expectation can be difficult, says coach Mark Hager.

Hager and his 18-strong squad yesterday headed for The Hague and the world's fifth-ranked team are confident they can push for a semifinal spot, something only ever done once in 12 previous World Cups, in 1986, also in the Netherlands.

Maybe it's Hager, maybe it's the 1649 caps the team shares between them or maybe it's just recent results, but the current side is no longer happy with just being able to compete.

Gone are the days where a gutsy draw or a narrow loss were considered good results, this current lot want to beat everyone.

And they can, just not as consistently as they would like.

"It's a bit of a catch-22 for us at the moment," Hager said.

"We play with no fear because we know we can foot it with the best teams in the world, but there is also a little bit of fear now because of our ranking and the fact we're expected to beat certain teams."

There is a real winning culture in the side, Hager said, driven by the senior players for whom winning wasn't always as common an occurrence.

Four of the current side, captain Kayla Whitelock, Emily Naylor, Krystal Forgesson and Gemma Flynn, were part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics team who lost every game at the tournament.

"I think that really hurt players like Kayla," Hager said.

"She reminds the girls about it, that she never wants to feel like that again. We now go into every game trying to win it. We're a little bit inconsistent with it, but our number one focus now is winning, not just competing."

After a build-up in Dutch city Leiden, the Black Sticks begin their World Cup campaign on May 31 against Belgium.

With the home side - comfortably the best team in the world - in New Zealand's pool and a grudge match with Australia waiting for them, a good start was crucial, Hager said.

"We're under no illusions about how hard it's going to be. Holland are quite away ahead of everyone else, especially when they play well. That doesn't mean they won't get a little nervous around semifinal time. Then we really see a blanket over the next 10 to 12 teams and anyone can beat each other.

"Reflecting on past tournaments, getting off to a good start is so important. It builds momentum and if you can win your first two, then the pressure of the points table can affect other sides."

An illness swept through the camp last week before they left, but Hager was strangely relieved.

"Honestly, I'm happy it's happened, well, happy it's happened now. It normally happens just as the tournament is starting so to have that sort of bad luck out of the way, that's got to be a good thing."

This is Hager's seventh World Cup. He won gold in 1986 with the Australian men's side, a bronze in 1990 and 1994 then a silver as Australian men's assistant coach in 2006.

He's confident of another strong performance.

"I get my confidence from the girls. If they're feeling good then I read that and I feel good. This should be a good tournament."

Meanwhile, Hager was still contemplating his future with the side. Off-contract in December, Hager said how the Black Sticks go at the World Cup and Commonwealth Games will help him decide whether to stay on or whether to apply for the soon to be vacant Australian men's side coaching position for the third time.


Jenness scoops Hutt City Sportsperson of the Year

Photo: Dean Pemberton

Black Sticks striker Stephen Jenness has been named Hutt City Sportsperson of the Year at a recent awards dinner.

Jenness, from the Hutt Hockey Club, came off a stellar year in 2013 having been part of the silver medal winning team at the World League Final.

To cap his year, he scored two goals in his 100th test against Japan this year and was awarded Man of the Match.

As well as the supreme award, he also won the Sportsman of the Year award.

Meanwhile, Aniwaka Roberts was a finalist in the Sportswoman of the Year category.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

The focus will be on sharpness, says Terry Walsh

For the last few days, the Indian men’s hockey team have been put through a series of drills completely unrelated to hockey, like underwater swimming, catching a ball with eyes closed, throwing water balloons around and making sure they don’t break.

The World Cup-bound players have been doing these to get rid of the stress of past training and upcoming competition, according to coach Terry Walsh.

The Indians leave for the World Cup in the Netherlands on Wednesday, and Walsh is cautiously optimistic about his team.

“I think there is a possibility of making the top-four but not a very high chance. Miracles really do happen, and if everything falls right for us, we could get one,” Walsh said at the final training session ahead of the team’s departure.

The mental aspect, not surprisingly, was the focus of a lot of training.

“The first game will be a lot about confidence, which will be huge for both sides.

“The Belgians will be looking for a top-four spot, so they will play tough, but they will also be looking for a first-ever medal so they will be a bit fragile. We have been doing a lot of work on the psychological side of the players.

“A lot of things need to be changed and altered, very small things but they need to be done,” Walsh said.

However, he admitted the team has a long way to go. “I don’t think we are quite ready. I think, with a few good results in the first three games, we could end up in top-six and that would be great.

“From hereon, the focus will be on sharpness. Everything will be very short, precise, low volume and high intensity, making sure everybody knows what their roles are.”

Captain Sardar Singh agreed that self-belief was the key. “Everyone has to communicate well within the team. Our focus is on the first match against Belgium and we plan to take it one game at a time,” Sardar said.

The Hindu

Consistency is Indian hockey team's problem: Jamie Dwyer

NEW DELHI: Australian ace Jamie Dwyer was forthright in his assessment about the current India hockey team terming Sardar Singh and Co as an "inconsistent" bunch, who will have to depend a lot on ace drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh and comeback man Gurbaj Singh.

"Indian team keeps on improving but so does every other team in the world of hockey. They are not far off the best teams in the world but their consistency is still a problem, I feel. We will soon find out how good or bad they are," Dwyer said.

On the duo of Gurbaj and Rupinder Pal, Dwyer, who has a whopping 150 strikes from 250 internationals said," Gurbaj had a great HIL and so did Rupinder Pal. I expect these two guys will perform well for the Indian team."

Dwyer hit the nail on its head when he stated that India needs to step up on their twin problems -- conversion of penalty corners and being good defensively which includes saving the drag-flicks.

"I think any team that wants to perform well at the World Cup must be good defensively. As far as India is concerned they also need to have a very good penalty corner attack and defence," he said.

India have been clubbed with defending champions Australia, England, Belgium, Spain and Malaysia in Pool A of the World Cup to be played at The Hague from May 31-June 15.

India will square off with Australia on June 9.

The 35-year-old also made it clear that the upcoming World Cup will be his last appearance at the marquee event even though he has not yet decided on calling time on his international career.

"It will be my last World Cup for sure but I'm still undecided when I will retire from international hockey," said the veteran, who has played in three editions of Olympics and four WC for the national team till date.

The World Cup will also be a chance for the 'Kookaburras' to give a fitting farewell to their coach-- the legendary Ric Charlesworth.

"Ric deserves to go out on a high and we hope we can do that for him," said the former captain.

He also clarified that he never said that Australia should have a foreign coach but admitted that it is a likely scenario.

"I don't think I said that "we should have a foreign coach" but I do think it is a likely scenario. I hope we get the best coach possible for the job, whether that's foreign or local," he said.

The Australian team has been preparing well and Dwyer hopes that his Cup swansong will be a nice one.

"Preparation has been going pretty good. We have been training hard and I'm hoping that we perform well at the World Cup. If we play to our potential we will have a chance of winning the tournament. We will be playing two games in England and a couple of practice games to get used to the European conditions before the World Cup," he said.

The Times of India

New World Cup sponsor for SA men's hockey team

DLA Piper in the Netherlands and Germany and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr are in a joint sponsorship deal with the SA Men’s Hockey Team for the World Cup

DLA Piper Germany, DLA Piper the Netherlands and South African firm DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr will jointly sponsor the South Africa men’s hockey team for the duration of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, to be held in the Hague from 31 May – 15 June this year. As part of the sponsorship, the SA men’s team will wear the DLA Piper logo on their training and match shirts for the duration of the World Cup.

The games will televised around the world, including Europe, South Africa and parts of Africa. The South African team will play the Netherlands and Germany in the first round.

Marissa Langeni, the CEO of the South African Hockey Association says, “The men’s team is delighted to welcome DLA Piper and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr as World Cup sponsors and will proudly wear the logo of this global law firm on their shirts. This sponsorship has allowed us to plan ahead with regards to travelling to the World Cup and to be able to focus on what really matters on match day – playing the best hockey we can and representing our country with pride."

Richard Fens, co-managing partner of DLA Piper the Netherlands says, “We are delighted with this joint sponsorship with DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr,  DLA Piper in the Netherlands and Germany. The South African men’s team is playing against both the Netherlands and Germany (broadcast live in both countries) and so this sponsorship will attain a significant audience.

“We have great respect for the ambition of the South African men's team, a diverse group from all regions of South Africa with one shared mission - to proudly represent their country and to compete at the highest level of an international sport. With this sponsorship we support the team’s mission -  to head for success on the road to the Rio 2016 Olympics,” he says.

Andrea Collocott, Head of Marketing at DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr adds, “We are immensely proud of our South African men’s hockey team and delighted to be on board as a sponsor as they make their way to the Hague for the World Cup.  This sponsorship emphasizes that we can make a huge difference by joining our forces with our global counterparts at DLA Piper,” she says.

“I am sure it does not need mentioning that DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr will be rooting for the South African team at the World Cup!”

SA Hockey Association media release

UJ crowned champs on home turf

UJ took the Varsity Hockey title on home soil in Johannesburg by beating Maties in a dramatic penalty shootout.

It was sweet revenge for UJ who lost to Maties in controversial circumstances in Stellenbosch last week, but they were forced to work hard for it.

Maties took a 2-0 lead in the final, but UJ fought back valiantly and scored the only two goals in the shootout to take the title.

UJ had the first real chance of the game when a great ball from Brandon Panther was deflected towards the Maties goal, but it hit the post and bounced out.

Maties responded by surging upfield and taking the ball into the UJ D, but the home side got enough numbers back and managed to absorb the pressure.

The Stellenbosch side were dominating possession and it finally paid off as Shannon Bouchergot his stick on a powerful drive to deflect the ball into the net and give them a 1-0 lead just before the first break.

Maties had the powerplay at the start of the second chukka and Dylan Swanepoel produced a sensational individual goal as he bounced the ball on his stick and popped it past UJ goalkeeper Jason Briggs.

UJ were given some hope when Maties were reduced to 10 men with Matt de Sousa shown a green card and they capitalised immediately as Matt le Soua smashed a loose ball into the net to make it 2-1.

UJ kept the pressure on as they looked for an equaliser, but Maties held out well and took their one-goal lead into the second break.

UJ had the powerplay at the start of the final chukka and they threw everything at Maties in an attempt to draw level and the goal came from Gerald Mphopho who slammed the ball into the backboard after Maties goalkeeper Francois du Toit was caught out of position.

That meant it was anyone’s game in the final 15 minutes and Maties came storming back as they looked to regain the lead.

Maties were struck a blow when Boucher was shown a green card with just over two minutes to play and the teams remained locked on 2-2 until the final which took the game to a shoot-out.

The title was decided with one-on-ones with each player given eight seconds to beat the goalkeeper from the 22 metre line.

The first attmept from UJ skipper Gareth Heyns was saved by Du Toit, but Swanepoel put his effort wide for Maties as well.

The first to socre was UJ’s Clint Panther and when Mark Fourie’s effort went wide UJ were 1-0 up, with Taylor Dart’s goal sealing the win for UJ.

Gerald Mphopho was the FNB man of the match, Clint Panther was the Samsung Super Striker whilst Jason Briggs was named the Mugg and Bean Star Saver.

Varsity Sports

Clinical Tuks claim bronze

UP-Tuks claimed third place in the Varsity Hockey tournament with a clinical 2-0 victory over Kovsies on Monday.

There were no goals in the opening chukka, although UP-Tuks were able to control the ball better than Kovsies and managed to get the only shot on goal.

UP-Tuks had the powerplay at the start of the second chukka and they managed to win the first short corner of the game.

Matthew-Guise Brown’s shot hit a defenders foot and Guise-Brown’s penalty stroke made it past Kovsies goalkeeper Zander van Biljon to give UP-Tuks the lead.

Kovsies responded by pushing more players forward as they looked for an equaliser which in turn meant more counter-attacking opportunities for UP-Tuks.

The Bloemfontein side came close on a few occasions, but some UP-Tuks held out thanks to some last-ditch defending and they would extend their lead at the end of the second chukka as another goal from Guise-Brown at a penalty cotrner put them 2-0 up at the break.

Kovsies had their powerplay at the start of the last chukka, but UP-Tuks did not give them a sniff as they held onto possession.

UP-Tuks were struck a blow when Kevin Harris was shown a green card, but Kovsies could not take advantage as the Pretoria side maintained control.

UP-Tuks had two more short corners as they kept the pressure on and cruised to the win.

Varsity Sports

Hockey World League returns for Second Edition

Olympic Qualification at stake for second edition of four-round Hockey World League

(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

The ultimate dream of Olympic Qualification can come true for any nation as the Hockey World League (HWL) is ready for its second edition, beginning with Round 1 in late June of 2014. Men’s and women’s teams from 60 nations will battle their way to make their mark in the second HWL season that boasts more than 450 scheduled matches.

This unique global league happens over a two-year cycle, alternating between Olympic and World Cup Qualification, and presents hockey at its best. The inaugural season included 19 nations who had their first introduction to international competition, while more than 300 officials were involved and there were over one million views through live streaming. After its 2012-2014 debut the Netherlands men and women became the first teams to hoist the HWL trophy.

 In the second edition of the HWL, slight changes to the competition format for both the men and women have been made including the progression to three events of 8 teams in Round 2 and two events of 10 teams in the Semi-Final rounds. The top three in each men’s and women’s 2015 Semi-Final round, six men’s and six women’s teams total, will earn qualification spots to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The HWL Final round will remain an eight-team event.

 Immediately following the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, focus will shift to the 11 nations hosting Round 1 events including Croatia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Oman, Fiji and Lithuania. Through early 2015, HWL Round 2 begins with hosting duties for the men going to Singapore, USA and South Africa, while women’s events will be held in Uruguay, India and Ireland. Argentina, Spain and Belgium will host the HWL Semi-Finals, with Belgium pulling double duty in Antwerp. Argentina and India will host the women’s and men’s HWL Finals, respectively. Both are hosting the final round for the second-straight time.

 Fan experience, free live YouTube streaming and overall coverage for the excitement of hockey was more apparent than ever throughout last year’s HWL. The upcoming season promises over 540 hours of pure, adrenaline-filled hockey entertainment and will be accessible all around the globe.

Click below for a full  list of dates, hosts and participating teams (subject to change):


About the Hockey World League

The Hockey World League is an event run by FIH since 2012. The global league presents hockey at its best while providing opportunities for new talent and teams to shine and eager fans to get involved.

The Hockey World League has four rounds, over a period of 2 years. Each round acts as a qualifier for the next giving every team the potential to go all the way to the final. For the 2014-15 Hockey World League, there are six men’s and six women’s Olympic qualification spots at stake for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Supporting Links:

World League 2014-15 Explanatory Note

World League Explained

World League Competition Details

2016 Olympics Rio Qualification System

FIH site

NBP cruise into quarters

Anwar Zuberi

KARACHI: Last year’s runners-up National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) thumped Islamabad 5-1 to emerge group A champions and cruise into quarter-finals of the 33rd National Junior Hockey Championship at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium on Monday.

The bankers have completed their engagements having beaten Sindh Colours by 6-0 and Punjab Colours by 3-1 in the previous league matches of the event.

All the five goals of the winners came in the first two quarters and they were kept at bay by opponents in the post interval period. Waseem Aslam and Waseem Akram scored a brace apiece while Ehtisham netted the fifth. Hafiz Tayyab scored the lone goal for Islamabad five minutes before final hooter.

In the second match, Railways continued their winning spree scoring a solitary goal victory over Punjab Yellows to step into the last eight. They take on Army in the third and last pool C clash on Tuesday at 9am, the concluding day of league.

S. M. Zeeshan scored the all important goal of team’s fifth penalty corner in 56th minute.

In the third match of the day, Customs struggled to beat fighting Sindh Whites in a tall scoring match 5-4 to consolidate its position in pool D. They are slated to meet holders Wapda in the last league fixtures on Tuesday to decide group champions.

Dawood (2), Mateen, Fazeel and Arsalan one each, shared the scoring honours for winners while Sajeel (2), Mohammad Arif and Sohail Abbas junior one each, scored for losers.

Tuesday’s fixtures:

At 9.00am: Railways v Army
At 3.00pm: Wapda v Customs
At 5.00pm: Sindh Colours v Punjab Colours.


PHF hires journalist as technical official

KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has appointed an upcountry journalist as a technical official in the ongoing 33rd National Junior Hockey Championship which is in progress at the Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium here.

The Lahore-based journalist is entitled to get return railway fare and daily allowance at the rate of Rs750 from day before start of the championship and after the event.

Despite the presence of a large number of PHF officials, including the secretary Rana Mujahid, severe discrepancies in compiling the official results have become a norm and are going unnoticed.

By Monday, two matches were decided on penalty shootout but the official score sheet didn’t mentioned the players who scored or missed the penalties.

The scribes were taken aback after contrasting results were released by the PHF on Monday.

The official result sheet showed Railways beat Punjab Yellows 1-0 whereas in the email it was given that Railways beat Punjab Whites 3-1.

According to the draws, Punjab Yellows have been placed with Railways, Army and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pool ‘C’ and not Punjab Whites as mentioned in the email.

Another score sheet showed Customs beat Sindh Whites 5-4 but the tally of goals revealed the former had scored six goals as against three by their opponents.

It is pertinent to mention that this is not the only case and the covering journalists have to come across similar things in almost all sporting events on a regular basis.


Lifetime Achievement award for "Mr. T"

S Thyagarajan was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism by the Tamil Nadu Sports Writers Association on May 15 at Chennai.

Here he is receiving the award from former hockey Olympian goal-keeper Charles Cornelius, and former Sports Editor of Indian Express and sports chronicler and author, Partab Ramchand.

Mr. T. to many on the international hockey circuit, he has the distinction of working with THE HINDU, India’s leading newspaper with a daily circulation of 1.5 million in English, for over five decades starting from 1962.

He has covered various events for the paper and as its Hockey Correspondent reported six Olympic Games from 1984 to 2004, eight World Cup hockey championships in a row from 1982 (Mumbai) to 2010 (New Delhi), eight Asian Games from New Delhi to Guanzhou (2010) and six Asia Cup competitions and international tournaments apart from reporting over 400 international matches in Europe, Asia and Australia.

He was the Chairman of the Field Hockey Commission in the AIPS from 1998-2006, member of the FIH Communications Committee from 1998 and currently the Chairman of the Media Commission of the Asian Hockey Federation.

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