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News for 22 August 2020

All the news for Saturday 22 August 2020

Rani Rampal, Akash, Deepika, Jude Felix, Ajit Singh, Romesh gets prestigious awards

After 3 Asia Cups & Asian Games, Rani gets her third award: Arjuna, Padamshree and now Khel Ratna

The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports has conferred annual awards to Indian sports persons and coaches. Hockey has its big share with as many as six personalities among the long list of awardees.

The foremost is Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal. She has got the coveted and most sought after Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. She is only the third hockey player to be honoured so after Dhanraj Pillay and Sardar Singh.

Ajit Singh, who scored the fastest goal at the Montreal Olympics opener for India get the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games. His son Gagan Ajit Singh is also an Arjuna awardee, equivalent of Dhyan Chand award.

Himachal Pradesh’ Romesh Pathania gets Dronacharya Award (Life-Time achievement), and world Cup captain and Arjuna award winner (1994) Jude Felix gets the double with the Dronacharya Award this time. Prolific scorer of the current Indian team Akashdeep Singh gets Arjuna while Deepika Thakur, who retired last year, gets the same honour.

Much delayed but it has come

“It is a really proud moment for me and especially for my family as well. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is one of the most prestigious awards that a sportsperson can receive, and I owe this to my Coaches, teammates, friends and family for their constant support since the very beginning. It is an amazing feeling when your hard work is rewarded, and I believe this Award will serve as a great motivation for me and players like me to keep striving for bigger feats and make the country proud. I also would like to congratulate all the other award winners too,” stated 25-year-old Rani, who is currently based out of the SAI Centre in Bengaluru.

An elated Akashdeep Singh said, “It is one of the most pleasing moments for me in my career to have been conferred with the Arjuna Award. I would like to thank the jury, and all my Coaches, teammates, friends and family who have been a part of my hockey journey so far. I believe patience and hard-work always earn you rewards, and I am very thankful to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for recognising my hard-work and I would also like to thank Hockey India for always being a pillar of support in my career.”

Officiating President, Hockey India, Gyanendro Ningombam  congratulated all the award winners.


Khel Ratna will motivate me to strive for bigger feats, says Indian hockey skipper Rani

Indian women's team hockey skipper Rani Rampal expressed her delight after winning the Khel Ratna award on Friday.

Rani Rampal, who is the first Indian to be named as the World Games Athlete of The Year, has also been the recipient of the Arjuna Award (2016) and Padma Shri (2020).   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal on Friday said winning the Khel Ratna, the country’s highest sporting honour, will motivate her to bring home more laurels.

The Sports Ministry on Friday decided to honour Rani with the Khel Ratna along with star cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, Paralympic gold-winner Mariyappan Thangavelu and table tennis player Manika Batra.

“It is a really proud moment for me and especially for my family.

“The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is one of the most prestigious awards that a sportsperson can receive, and I owe this to my coaches, teammates, friends and family for their constant support since the beginning,” Rani said in a release issued by Hockey India.

“It is an amazing feeling when your hard work is rewarded, and I believe this award will serve as a great motivation for me and players like me to keep striving for bigger feats and make the country proud.

“I also would like to congratulate all the other award winners too,” said Rani, who is currently based out of the SAI Centre in Bengaluru.

The 25-year-old had helped the Indian team secure a berth at the Tokyo Olympics, besides leading the side into the final of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where it lost to Japan 1-2.

The ministry also honoured Ajit Singh with the Dhyan Chand Award, Romesh Pathania with the Dronacharya Award (Life-Time achievement), Jude Felix with the Dronacharya Award and Akashdeep Singh and Deepika with the Arjuna Award.

An elated Akashdeep said, “It is one of the most pleasing moments of my career. I would like to thank the jury, and all my coaches, teammates, friends and family who have been a part of my hockey journey so far.

“I believe patience and hard work always earn you rewards, and I am very thankful to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for recognising my hard work and I would also like to thank Hockey India for always being a pillar of support in my career.”

In a first, the awards will be held virtually on August 29, the National Sports Day, instead of the Rashtrapati Bhavan this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hockey India also congratulated the award winners.

“Rani has inspired several youngsters to take up the sport of hockey in India through her fantastic performances throughout her career,” HI’s officiating president, Gyanendro Ningombam, said.

“I would like to congratulate Akashdeep Singh and Deepika for being conferred with the Arjuna Award for their contribution to the sport.

”... And also Romesh Pathania, Jude Felix and Ajit Singh for their outstanding contribution to Indian hockey over the years, which has been duly recognised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.”


‘No certainties’ Tokyo Olympics to take place. Could hockey ‘think outside the box’?

By Richard Bright

The Oi Olympic Hockey Stadium is in the waterfront area of Tokyo Bay

A survey has revealed how more than half of Japanese companies are opposed to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics taking place next summer.

It comes as Lord Coe, the World Athletics president, said there are “no certainties” that the rearranged Tokyo Games will go ahead as planned. With the slated Games still in limbo, a full postponement would also leave hockey with no fully global tournament.

In the survey of 13,000 companies by Tokyo Shoko Research, 27.8 per cent said they wanted the Tokyo Games to be cancelled while 25.8 per cent said the sporting showpiece should be postponed again.

The survey found that nearly 23 per cent were in favour of holding the Olympics as scheduled, 18.4 per cent prefered the event to be held but with fewer spectators and 5.3 per cent without any spectators.

Japan has seen a surge of infection cases recently. More than 60,000 coronavirus infections have been reported in the nation, while the Tokyo government has raised its pandemic alert to level four, meaning that “infections are spreading.”

Meanwhile Coe told Radio 4’s Today programme that he was not not in favour of competing behind closed doors. However he said: “I genuinely hope we are in a position to deliver the Games.”

He said: “The Olympic Games behind closed doors doesn’t fill me full of joy, but we may have to accept that. This is a pandemic with us for many months.”

He added that “there are no certainties – we may have to think out of the box about how we might create other types of events”.

A void in the calendar would leave hockey with just the EuroHockey in Amsterdam shortly after the proposed Tokyo Games. 2021 is set to kick off with the Indoor World Cup in Liège, Belgium in early February.

On a global scale outdoors, only the FIH Pro League is set to take place. But this only features the top nations in the world, with those nations who earned the right to compete in Tokyo left without any competitive tournament.

Could hockey think outside the box too?

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The Hockey Paper

Malaysia ready to rock with or without the eight

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA are ready to play in the men's Junior Asia Cup with or without the eight players who are in a quandary.

The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) will only allow overaged players (who turn 22 next year) to play for their teams in the men and women's Junior Asia Cups, which double up as qualifiers for the Junior World Cup, if they are held in the first quarter of next year.

If the Junior Asia Cups are held after the first quarter, the overaged players will be barred from the tournaments.

It all depends on whether a Covid-19 vaccine is developed by March.

The eight trainees in question are Aidil Shah (goalkeeper), Azrai Aizad (forward), Shello Silverious (midfield), Nur Asyraf Ishak (defender), Izham Azhar (midfielder), Shafiq Hassan (defender), Nursyahmi Zukifli (midfielder), Adam Aiman (defender).

Both tournaments were postponement to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Now that we know the situation, we will prepare for both eventualities," said national junior coach Wallace Tan.

"If the tournament is held by March, we will utilise the overaged players.

"However, I believe we will still charge into the semi-finals without them if the tournament is held after the first quarter."

The top four in the men's Junior Asia Cup will qualify for the Junior World Cup while only the top three will make it from the women's event.

An official revealed that the 14-day quarantine period is their biggest hurdle.

"Quarantine upon arrival practised by countries worldwide is stopping international tournaments from being held.

"If both the Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) and Junior Asia Cup are held this year, teams will be subjected to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Dhaka (Bangladesh) with players and officials required to undergo several Covid-19 tests during that period.

"Also, there can be no friendly matches or training sessions during quarantine as players will be under 'hotel arrest'.

"So, it's next to impossible to convince competing nations to board a plane this year," said the official.

The AHF have also postponed the ACT to March 11-19 in Dhaka.

New Straits Times

Graham Reid: “We used the quarantine time to learn about India’s extraordinary Olympic history 

Bengaluru: On returning to the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru Campus earlier this month, the Indian Men’s Core Probable’s Group underwent a two-week mandatory quarantine which ended earlier this week. During this period, the players were tasked with an activity that invigorated their Olympic goal. Chief Coach Graham Reid explained, “During the last two weeks, we used the time to learn about India’s extraordinary Olympic history.” 

The players, most of whom often use video games and Netflix as pass-time, were tasked with an assignment to present to the group over video conference their learnings from these individual stories and how they can implement these learnings as a team going forward in their quest for Olympic success. “The players’ job was to study a number of the Olympic stories and present to the group their individual learnings and what can we use as a team going forward. Going through quarantine together is something we will be able to utilize during our journey over the next 12 months,” expressed Reid.

Wednesday onwards, the core group began basic sports activities with focus on aerobic base.  The next few weeks will be more about planning and realigning player’s development over the next few months. “We will be using these next few weeks to work on everyone’s development plan and focus on skill development while we can improve their aerobic base,” said Reid further adding that the action and decisions they make as a team will determine how they fare in Tokyo. “I reminded the players that every action and decision we make will help us to either get closer to our Olympic goal or further away from it and told them of the importance of the next few months in this journey,” he said.


Hockey players begin training with basic exercise, to work on skill development next: Reid

The Indian men's hockey core group will focus on skill development in the next few weeks after restarting the national camp with basic training, head coach Graham Reid said on Saturday, trying to overcome from the jolt of six players contracting COVID-19.

The Indian men's hockey core group will focus on skill development in the next few weeks after restarting the national camp with basic training, head coach Graham Reid said on Saturday, trying to overcome from the jolt of six players contracting COVID-19. Captain Manpreet Singh, Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, Varun Kumar, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, and Mandeep Singh tested positive for the virus between August 10 and 12 and were admitted to a hospital in Bengaluru. Five players have recovered since then but Surender was readmitted to the hospital on Thursday after developing swelling on his arm. The other five may have to serve some more time insolation before they join their teammates.

The remaining players began basic sports activities from Wednesday with a focus on aerobic exercise. "We will be using these next few weeks to work on everyone's development plan and focus on skill development while we can improve their aerobic base," said Reid in a Hockey India release. He said their actions and decisions will determine how the players fare in Tokyo Olympics next year. "I reminded the players that every action and decision we make will help us to either get closer to our Olympic goal or further away from it and told them of the importance of the next few months in this journey," he said.

The 56-year-old Australian coach said during the mandatory two-week quarantine period after re-joining the national camp earlier this month, the players were tasked to reinvigorate their Olympic goal by learning the country's Olympic history. The players were given assignments to present to the group over video conference about their learnings from individual stories and how they can implement these learnings as a team going forward in their quest for Olympic success. "During the last two weeks, we used the time to learn about India's extraordinary Olympic history," the head coach said.

"The players' job was to study a number of the Olympic stories and present to the group their individual learnings and what can we use as a team going forward. Going through quarantine together is something we will be able to utilize during our journey over the next 12 months." Currently, 33 male and 24 female players are in Bengaluru for the camp. The light intensity national camp is expected to continue until September 30.


Hockey New Zealand sees another high-profile figure resign

Hockey NZ has been engulfed with off pitch controversy since winning 2018 Commonwealth women’s gold. PIC: Simon Parker

Hockey New Zealand’s exodus of both players and staff has continued with high performance director Paul MacKinnon resigning from his post, The Hockey Paper understands.

Hockey NZ’s website had no mention of MacKinnon’s post on its staff roster this week and the governing body has yet to respond to this newspaper’s request to confirm the departure of MacKinnon.

MacKinnon joined Hockey NZ in April 2017 after high performance stints in rugby and cricket. His role in hockey comprised overseeing New Zealand’s senior, junior and regional talent programmes.

MacKinnon is the fifth high-profile departure to leave Hockey NZ in recent months and follows Ian Francis’ decision to leave his role as chief executive in October.

It also follows a series of departures in the women’s programme, instigated by the exit of coach Mark Hager to the GB programme.

This led to veteran players Gemma McCaw and Brooke Neal retiring from international hockey and, more recently, assistant coach Katie Glynn leaving the squad to join the Australian in the UK.

Since the much publicised independent review and Hager leaving his role after a successful decade in charge, there have been several media reports of a fractious environment within the squad.

The Hockey Paper

WMH Masters Indoor World Cup to be Hosted in USA Postponed Until 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Due to the unfortunate continuing reality of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, World Masters Hockey (WMH) has determined that it will be necessary to delay the next Masters Indoor World Cup (MIWC) by one year until March 2022. This prestigious international competition will include separate divisions for O-40, O-45, O-50 and O-55 age groups for both men and women, with an expected 40 or more total teams participating from all regions of the world.

Organization of this event will continue to be led by David Sculley, chairperson of the WMH MIWC organizing committee for USA Field Hockey and a participant on the U.S. Men's Masters Team in the last two MIWC events. He will continue to work in close partnership with renowned tournament director Nigel Traverso, U.S. Women's Masters Athlete Maria Keesling, USA Field Hockey's Lifetime Engagement Promoter Kendra Lucking and National Development Director Sally Goggin, as well as many additional members of the USA Field Hockey Staff. These volunteers are committed to providing a world class event which is a competitive and fun experience for all participants.

David Sculley commented on postponement saying “Unfortunately, this one year delay is indeed necessary for the health and safety of all participants. We wish all of our hockey friends well during these difficult times, and await better days ahead when we can celebrate our sport together with indoor [field] hockey nations from across the globe. Until then, we will continue to work hard to make the MIWC 2022 a truly memorable event - and something to look forward to.”

Exact dates and details for both the MIWC 2022 and indoor masters trials will be announced as soon as they are confirmed. USA Field Hockey and the 2022 WMH Masters Indoor World Cup Committee will be seeking volunteers and sponsors to support the tournament’s organization and execution. If you are interested in working on this exciting event, please contact David Sculley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

USFHA media release

“Stay true to who you are”, says South Africa legend Marsha Cox

In part two of our in-depth conversation with a true icon of South African hockey, former women’s team captain Marsha Cox [née Marescia] reflects on her wonderful playing career as well as discussing the influence of her hockey-playing mum and settling down in the Netherlands.

Marsha – who lives in Holland with hockey coach husband Alexander and their daughter, with baby number two set to arrive in September – also offers some words of wisdom to young hockey players all over the world, stressing the importance of staying true to yourself in order to overcome the various challenges on your journey towards fulfilling your potential.

Between 2001 and 2014, you represented your country 347 times and attended the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, being captain at the latter two. When you first started playing, could you have possibly imagined achieving everything that you did?

Marsha Cox: “I started my career really young, not just internationally but also playing hockey and having this love and passion for the game, pretty much growing up on the side of the hockey field. Honestly, when I first started my career I would never have thought that after 14 years I would have achieved all things that I did, all the milestones and to be part of amazing international events, Olympic Games – those are things that I would never have dreamed of, right at the beginning, as a little girl. As I hit the international scene, I just wanted more and more. It was something that I always strived for, but I never ever thought I’d look back at those years and be absolutely surprised and honoured and pretty much amazed that I lasted 14 years and participated in so many different events.”

When you were growing up in Durban, how did you first get into playing hockey? Who or what first influenced you to pick up a stick?

Marsha Cox: “Growing up I Durban, I pretty much grew up on the side of a hockey field. My mum [Marian Marescia] was a very talented hockey player, and during apartheid [institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africabetween 1948 and the early 1990s] she played for the SACOS [South African Council on Sport, a non-racial sports federation that became the sports wing of the anti-apartheid movement]South African Hockey Team. So, I was exposed to the game literally from birth. I think the process of getting a stick in my hand was something that happened naturally. I was pretty much at hockey every single week. Not only did she play but also, being a teacher, she naturally was a hockey coach as well, so most afternoons after school I would be training with the other kids, who were often older than I was. At the age of six I probably played my first official school game. It was quite funny because I was so accustomed to playing, yet in the first official game I ran away from the ball because I was so nervous and intimidated by the older kids! I think it was just a natural process, and I’ve never looked back since. My love and passion for the game got stronger and stronger as I got older, which I think has come to something really special. Something that I could share a passion with my mum, and later on, share the passion for the game with my husband.”

You mention your husband, who is the renowned Dutch hockey coach Alexander Cox. You played club hockey in the Netherlands for many years and have built your life in the country. Are you still actively involved in the sport in the Netherlands, either as a player or coach?

Marsha Cox: “I have played many years of Hoofdklasse [top league] hockey here in the Netherlands. I played one year for Nijmegen, two years for HC Rotterdam, and three for SV Kampong, so that is quite substantial! Having met my husband here made a huge difference to my experience as a hockey player. Currently I am pregnant, right now, so hockey playing has been put on hold. However, I was playing for a hockey team that plays in the over-30s league – yeah, I’m getting old! It’s really competitive, with a lot of past international players and it is really fun to be a part of. Everyone is extremely competitive but are completely understanding to work and family commitments. As soon as baby number two is a little bit older, I’ll be re-joining the team.

“Hockey coaching is not something that I have ever rated myself at. However, I have been involved in managing teams here in the Netherlands, as well as mentoring players, so athlete development and athlete representation is something that I’m extremely passionate about. That is where I feel my strengths lie. I feel coaching is extremely important, but there are other roles around a coach that are equally important to a team, and those types of roles – like management, assisting players in their own self-development – is something I’m extremely passionate about. Growing and furthering my own knowledge and experience, I want to see myself positioned in the future with my contribution back to the game.”

Finally, if you had one piece of advice you would give to aspiring young hockey players around the world, what would it be?

Marsha Cox: “It is a tough one, but I think if there is anything that I have learned along the journey of being an international player is that there will be tough times, and there will be challenges thrown at you. There will be times where you actually question the path that you have chosen, but if there is one thing I can leave behind, it is: know your ‘why’. Know exactly why you have made a commitment to this game, exactly why you are passionate about it and love it so much; and stay true to who you are. It doesn’t matter what challenges come your way, you’ll remember exactly why you love it and exactly why chose it. You’ll always keep going back, and you’ll always love those challenges and be victorious at the end. Good luck and enjoy!”

FIH site

Alex Danson: ‘It was unusual to see a young kid so willing’

Tricia Heberle

Complete player: Alex Danson was on and off field leader PIC: WORLD SPORT PICS

In our last print issue, we produced an 8-page special on Alex Danson’s fine field hockey career. Here, we speak to one of her first coaches

I first saw Alex Danson as a 15-year-old at Lilleshall when she was part of the the England under-21 programme, with Kate Richardson-Walsh also part of this group. As a young player, she was competing amongst older athletes and it was a first opportunity to look at her with the group preparing for the 2001 Junior World Cup in Buenos Aires.

What stood out at that time was just her amazing appetite around the circle, to score goals and create opportunities. She was slightly built and a very immature athlete, but it was her attitude and determination that really impressed me.

In assessing young talent you often see certain attributes, whether its technical skill, physicality or attitude that attracts your attention. It’s that something they’ve got which stands them apart from others. I hadn’t been coaching in England for very long but it was unusual to see such a young kid so willing and determined to get the ball and advance towards goal. She was goal hungry, determined and opportunistic. And a good team player.

I’ve shared some memories with her since her retirement and it made me reflect on the importance of managing young talent and the team approach to we had to take with Alex.

From 2001 to 2003, it wasn’t necessarily about her becoming a regular part of the senior programme as her education was important to her and we still wanted her to be involved in the under 21s and to enjoy her club hockey. We were mindful of the approach to managing her and the totality of what she was doing at any particular time. She had school hockey, England duties, some senior and junior, was competing in cross country and undertaking club hockey with Trojans.

There was certainly a responsibility of making sure we weren’t putting too much pressure on her and that there was a coordinated approach that was agreed with Alex and her parents to manage her hockey commitments and workload. And to focus on allowing her to both enjoy and learn, while being challenged.

We took her to the Champions Challenge tournament in 2002 and then made the decision to bring her more regularly into the senior training environment. Her senior involvement was carefully managed and in 2003 we backed off, allowing her to focus on her education.

It’s sad that she has retired, especially under the circumstances, but if you reflect on her time at an international level, those early days of planned individual management were absolutely critical. We could have lost her aged 18 or 19 with burnout and there was always a risk we were pushing her too early. There were critics, but I stand by the approach we took.

She wasn’t strong physically as a hockey athlete and so there was a lot of thought given to how she could be built to handle both the workload and to make her more robust. If I look back, I think she appreciated the expertise around her and the work people were doing to assist and manage both her short and long-term development.

It’s no surprise that she achieved so many caps and scored so many goals. With her personal attributes, she was always going to have a long career if she was able to maintain motivation, fitness and stay relatively injury free. She had a wonderful attitude to training, understood the need to work hard individually and to be part of a team.

The last four years of her career and coming into Rio, she really blossomed and, in particular, I felt she built up her midfield game. She was stronger and fitter and and with her skill and agility it made it hard for defenders to mark her. Her determination to win or make something happen in every contest was there from a young age but her ability to impact and change a game was what really impressed me. She also really improved her defensive work and ability to work hard pressing the opposition, being able to steal the ball and play on the counter.

Alex became the complete player, an on and off-field leader. She was a ‘genuine team player’, from 15 years of age to her retirement, and this is something that you can’t necessarily coach.

Tricia Heberle, a 1984 Olympian with the Hockeyroos, was England coach from 2001 to 2004.


Alex being so open in recovery has been pivotal, writes Simon Webb

Listening to the words, story and emotions of her recovery in numerous videos released led me to tears. She spoke of her trouble coping with an invisible disability, the painful and frustrating recovery process, the terror of realising something you could always do was suddenly so hard like talking or walking. She also spoke of the positives, of her coping mechanisms and the ways she’s grown because of this. While I am gutted she has had to retire early I am delighted she’s turned a focus on this to help give people like me recovering from GBS paralysis and other invisible disabilities, hope and confidence. We were, and are, very lucky for her service.

I was avolunteer at the 2007 EuroHockey Championships in Manchester. The night the women won bronze, the media centre volunteers were out celebrating and our parties ended up converging. The following day we were recovering and a few of us were speaking with Alex. In the effort to animate a story from the night before, I swung my arms and accidentally smashing Alex’s mobile phone. I was horrified and expected to be thrown out of the venue by security! Alex calmed me down, told the security guards it was fine, made light of it and helped me put the phone back together. It’s anecdotal but over the years I saw her consistently show this human and approachable side that not all England and GB internationals have about them.

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The Hockey Paper

Alan Waterman – Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame Inductee

World-class umpire, Alan Waterman, inducted after 35-year international career

By Josh Rey

For Alan Waterman, the feeling of being inducted into the Field Hockey Canada Hall of Fame is just starting to sink in. As a member of the 2019 class of inductees, Waterman will become the third person to be inducted into the newly-minted Officials Category.

Waterman umpired at the international level for 17 years and worked 88 international matches. That includes the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the 1994 World Cup and three Champions Trophies. He also spent 20 years as an umpire manager. Waterman looks back fondly at his time on the pitch as an international official. “Well, as an umpire, of course doing the Champions Trophies, the numerous ones sitting there in stadiums in Karachi or Lahore,” said Waterman. “You’ve got 80,000 people around you and they’re on three tiers so they’re right over top of you. The fireworks are going off left right et cetera.”

Waterman said that physical and mental preparation helped him throughout his career as an official.

“It’s just more physical out there you are almost as fit as the players; you have to be, especially these days, the game is that much faster,” he said. “ But with that,your mental preparation is paramount. The first thing that goes when you get tired, it’s not your legs, it’s your head. And if you’re heads not in that game, you’re dead.” As Waterman’s international umpiring career wound down, he transitioned naturally to the position of umpire manager. In this role, he was able to impart his wisdom and teachings to the next generation of umpires and officials. This is something Waterman is still active in doing today.

“I have been fortunate,I’ve had so many umpires from kids up to Olympic level that I’ve worked with over the years,” Waterman said, adding that becoming a world class official can start from a young age. “Start young and watch other key officials. Watch loads of videos, watch yourself and above all, always try and find someone on those sidelines who you admire for their hockey prowess and their understanding of the umpiring end of the game and pick their brains.”

Waterman’s induction into the Field Hockey Hall of Fame is a celebration of a world class official and a dedicated member to the Canadian field hockey community.

Click here for a presentation and interview with Alan Waterman

Field Hockey Canada media release

Nancy Stevens Retires as Head Coach of Huskies

Nancy Stevens, the winningest coach in NCAA field hockey history and leader of the UConn field hockey program for the past 30 seasons, has announced her retirement as head coach of the Huskies, effective September 1.

Stevens' long-time assistant coach, Paul Caddy, has been named as her successor and Stevens will remain involved with the program as a volunteer assistant coach.

"After 43 years as a collegiate coach, I have decided to announce my retirement. It has been my great privilege to lead the UConn Huskies for the past 30 years and I look forward to supporting our remarkable student-athletes as their volunteer assistant coach this year.

"Paul Caddy and Cheri Schulz have supported my efforts for the past twenty years and I am eager to return that loyalty and support as Paul leads our program going forward. I am thrilled that one of the top field hockey minds in the country has been named head coach of the UConn Huskies. Paul will work tirelessly to keep our program among the nation's elite and consistently chase championships in the seasons ahead."

"I was given opportunities to coach at four amazing institutions: UConn, Northwestern, Penn State and Franklin & Marshall. Working with bright and talented student-athletes has been a source of great joy and for that I will remain incredibly grateful. They have enriched my life immeasurably.

"We always take time to recognize the invaluable contributions of "the team around the team". Success is the result of a collaborative effort. I will forever be indebted to our terrific support staff and visionary university leaders. Our Alumni burn with a passion for their university and our sport. That has motivated us each day to pursue excellence in all aspects of our program.

"The future for UConn field hockey couldn't be any brighter and I am so proud to have been a part of its enduring legacy. Go Huskies!"

Stevens led the Huskies to three National Championships (2013, 2014 and 2017) and helped revive a program to elite status in Division I field hockey. Under Steven's tutelage, the Huskies reached the last 17 NCAA Tournaments and advanced to 10-consecutive NCAA Quarterfinals. Stevens finishes her career with an all-time record of 700-189-24 and is the only coach in the history of the sport to reach the 700-win plateau.

"Nancy has had a legendary career and has positively impacted countless student-athletes," director of athletics David Benedict said. "UConn field hockey has been a tremendous source of pride for the university community for decades and we are all grateful to Nancy for her leadership. Elevating Paul to the head coaching position was an easy choice though as he learned a great deal, and contributed greatly to the success of the program, over the last 20 years. Paul is up to the challenge of succeeding a legend. I am thrilled that Nancy will remain connected to the program in a volunteer assistant coach capacity as Paul, and the entire program, will continue to benefit from her expertise."

"I am honored to follow Nancy and the legacy she has built here at UConn, said Paul Caddy. "I am fortunate to have coached 20 years here at UConn mentored by Nancy. Who better to learn from than a 3 time National Champion and the winningest coach in NCAA Division I field Hockey History. I am excited to continue the tradition of excellence Nancy, Cheri and I have created here at UConn. I want to also thank David Benedict for giving me this opportunity and showing his continued support for our program."

In her 30 years as head coach, UConn appeared in 24 NCAA Tournaments, reached 18 NCAA Quarterfinals, 10 NCAA Semifinals, won 19 Big East Tournament titles and 19 Big East regular season titles while producing 50 First Team All-Americans. Stevens led the Huskies to a No. 1 national ranking in five different years (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 1999).

A 2007 NFHCA Hall of Fame inductee, Stevens won NFHCA National Coach of the Year honors on three occasions. She earned nine Mideast Region Coach of the Year, 13 Big East Coach of the Year awards and saw 11 of her former players don the red, white and blue with the U.S. National Team.

Before taking over at Connecticut, Stevens served as the head coach at Northwestern University for nine years. She led the Wildcats to eight consecutive NCAA Division I Championship quarterfinal appearances (1982-89), three NCAA semifinal games (1983, 1985 and 1989) and four Big Ten Championships (1983, 1984, 1985 and 1988). During her final season in 1989, Stevens directed her Wildcat field hockey team to an 18-4-1 record and a third-place finish in the NCAA Championship. Her 1985 team also finished third at the NCAA Championship.

Stevens also acted as Northwestern's assistant lacrosse coach for nine years and helped guide the Wildcats to five NCAA Championship appearances in her final seven seasons. She has been a part of the U.S. Field Hockey National Coaching Staff, serving in that capacity from 1982-1990. In 1997, she took over as coach for the U.S. Under-19 National Team - named "Team of the Year" by U.S. Field Hockey. She was head coach of the U.S. Junior National Team from 1982-84, while coaching in the U.S. Olympic Developmental Program. Stevens has been a U.S. Olympic Festival head coach five times since 1985, leading her team to a gold medal in 1986 and to a silver medal in 1985.

Prior to coaching at Northwestern, Stevens was head field hockey and lacrosse coach at Franklin and Marshall College for two seasons. Her 1979 F&M team placed second at the AIAW National Championship, while her 1980 team reached the quarterfinals. A member of the U.S. National Team from 1974-79, she competed in the 1975 World Championships in Edinburgh, Scotland. That team was captained by former UConn coach Diane Wright.

Originally from Manheim, Pa., Stevens received her bachelor's degree in education, summa cum laude from West Chester University in 1976. She captained the 1975 field hockey team at West Chester that won the AIAW National Championship. She was a 2003 inductee into the West Chester University Hall of Fame and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018.

In 1979, she received her master's degree in sports psychology from Penn State. There, she also served as assistant field hockey and lacrosse coach from 1977-79, with the lacrosse squads winning AIAW National Championship titles in 1978 and 1979.

Content Courtesy of UConn Athletics

USFHA media release

ABC and Island Hockey move on

Anmar Goodridge-Boyce

Marlon Daniel (left) of ABC trying to stop Ryan Burke of Island Hockey who scored his team’s first goal. (Picture by Marlon Daniel (left) of ABC trying to stop Ryan Burke of Island Hockey who scored his team’s first goal. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.).)

A Badd Connection (ABC) and Island Hockey are favourites to reach the finals of the Barbados Hockey Festival after ending day two on top of the four-day tournament at the Wildey Hockey Centre.

After losing 3-1 in the opening game yesterday, ABC twice defeated Du Badd Crew (DBC) 2-1 and 2-0 to move top of the men’s standings with six points.

In the first encounter, former Alexandra School player Shaile Babb opened the scoring for ABC in the fourth minute, receiving the ball on the edge of the circle after clever movement down the right flank and stepping ahead of a defender before slotting home supremely.

Babb’s goal prompted momentum for ABC who looked the better team in the earlier exchanges. (AGB)

Nation News

Original Euro allocation reinstated following SDSI ruling

Three Rock will make a return visit to the EHL where they reached the KO8 last October. Pic: ©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Hockey Ireland’s original allocation of European places for the 2020/21 season has been reinstated following a ruling by Sport Disputes Solutions Ireland [SDSI], overturning the governing body’s independent appeals panel [HIAP] decision.

It means that Three Rock Rovers will now represent Ireland in the men’s Euro Hockey League next Easter with Lisnagarvey destined for the EuroHockey Trophy. Likewise, Pegasus will be in the women’s EHL and Loreto go to the Trophy.

This was the status following the annulment of the 2019/20 season with the places decided based on the outcome of the 2018/19 campaign – the last completed edition.

Lisnagarvey, as per the bye laws, successfully challenged that decision to Hockey Ireland’s independent appeal panel in July, saying it was a move that was “flawed and unjust” and “without reasonable rationale”.

As runaway leaders of the regular league season, the Ulster club argued “teams best placed at the time” should be the ones to represent Ireland in European competition. 

That successful appeal led to an avalanche of further proposed actions with Three Rock set to take the case to SDSI while Banbridge – second in the men’s league – and women’s league leaders Loreto also lodging complaints to push their case for improved European tickets based on the precedent set. 

Hockey Ireland, however, stepped in to make their own case for SDSI arbitration which would take precedence over the clubs’ actions. 

As an aside, preliminary proceedings started off in a strange manner with Lisnagarvey initially called to be the “respondent” in the case before it was established that the respondent would be the HIAP decision. 

It meant Hockey Ireland was effectively challenging their own appeals panel, something reflected in the SDSI ruling that, despite the HI appeal being upheld, they would have to bear the costs of the arbitration.

The principal basis of the arbitration was the HIAP decision “changed the basis upon which the men’s teams selected for Europe, based upon factual findings which were incorrect”.

Those findings suggested the HI board had not considered other options for European seeding, did not follow proper procedures and gave no rationale for their selection. 

The SDSI judgement, however, said the “opposite was the case” with due consideration – while not publicly communicated – had been made on each front. 

As such, the arbitrator concluded the HIAP decision was “entirely subjective” and while merit could be seen in their decision, it did not follow “any underlying legal or regulatory rationale.

“It was clearly open to the HI Board to make the decision it did,” the SDSI judgement said. “The HIAP were clearly of the view that they were acting in the best interests of the game and they did not agree with the HI Board decision.  

“That was not an unreasonable opinion to hold from a sporting perspective. However, the substitution by the HIAP of the decision made by the HI Board is not supported by any underlying legal or regulatory rationale, other than that they did not agree with the HI Board decision.  

“In my view it was not open to them to come to that decision in the absence of some procedural irregularity which was not the case.”

As such, the arbitrator upheld Hockey Ireland’s appeal and reinstated their original Euro allocations.

Reacting to the decision, the Board of Hockey Ireland “fully empathise with all clubs across all our leagues and provinces that have been impacted by decisions forced upon us by COVID-19 similar to many other sports. 

“We have endeavoured to do the right thing in the interests of our clubs and players and we regret any upset felt by the clubs. 

“We would also like to put on record our sincere thanks to the Appeal Panel for the time and effort they committed to this process and in general to all the club officials and volunteers who have committed endless hours dealing with the fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Finally, we would just like to thank all those hockey players and officials working in the front line and remind everyone to stay safe in these ongoing difficult times.”

Meanwhile, Pegasus’s rearranged EHL FINAL8 campaign – moved from Easter 2020 to October – was formally cancelled last Friday. As such, the wait for EHL Women to finally makes its debut is now pushed back to Easter 2021.

The Hook

All support with PHF for hockey revival: Taimoor

LAHORE -Punjab Minister for Sports, Youth Affairs and Tourism Rai Taimoor Khan Bhatti has said that they are collaborating with the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for the revival of hockey in the country.

Rai Taimoor said this while presiding over a high-profile meeting here at National Hockey Stadium on Friday.

Others present on the occasion were Secretary Sports Ehsan Bhutta, DG Sports Punjab Adnan Arshad Aulakh, Director Admin Javed Chohan, Deputy Director Rauf Bajwa, DSO Sargodha Manzer Fareed Shah and PMU officials.

The meeting was convened to review sports project including revival of hockey (hockey league), inauguration of Tehsil Sports Complex at Mianwali, revival of sports period in schools, soft playfield (Land of BoR), sports policy and establishment of sports school in Nishtar Park Sports Complex (NPSC).

Arshad briefed the meeting thoroughly about the sports projects.

Addressing the meeting, Rai Taimoor said: “Hockey is our national game and we are fully collaborating with the PHF for the revival of national game. In this regard, we are planning to hold a hockey league and setting up hockey academies in different cities of the province. The country has great talent in sports as well as in hockey and we are eager to find and groom such talent."

The Nation

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