Kalinga Lancers Win 2017 Hockey India League Title

2017 Hockey India League Champions Kalinga Lancers
Photo by Siddhartha Mittal, courtesy Stick2Hockey.com

fter 30 league matches played between January 21 to February 22, the following 4 teams made it to the 2017 Hockey India League (HIL) semi-finals - Dabang Mumbai, Kalinga Lancers, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi Waveriders. Defending champion Jaypee Punjab Warrior finished last in the league and did not qualify for the finals.

Rank Team P W L D GF GA GD Points
1 Dabang Mumbai 10 6 2 2 40 32 +8 35
2 Kalinga Lancers 10 5 4 1 32 40 -8 28
3 Uttar Pradesh Wizards 10 3 3 4 31 22 +9 25
4 Delhi Waveriders 10 3 5 2 29 23 +6 23
5 Ranchi Rays 10 3 4 3 25 26 -1 23
6 Jaypee Punjab Warriors 10 4 6 0 25 39 -14 22

The HIL finals were held at the Hockey Stadium in Mohali, near Chandigadh, with the semi-finals played on February 25, and the third-place match and final held on February 26.

In the first semi-final, Kalinga Lancers and Uttar Pradesh Wizards played out to a 4-4 draw at the end of regulation time. At the end of the shootout, the score was still tied at 6-6. Kalinga Lancers went on to win 8-7 in a dramatic golden goal penalty shootout, with Aran Zalewski scoring the winning goal past goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh.

In the second semi-final, Dabang Mumbai comfortably beat Delhi Waveriders 2-0 to seal their spot in the final. The goal scorer for Dabang Mumbai was Robert Kemperman via a penalty corner goal scored in field goal fashion.

In the final played before a packed stadium, Kalinga Lancers beat Dabang Mumbai 4-1 to win their first ever Coal India Hockey India League title.

Glenn Turner (10 min) and Moritz Fuerste (30, 59 min, both PCs) scored for the winners, while Affan Yousuf pulled one back for the losing team.

The following were the awards given for the Hockey India League final match:

  • Goal of the Final: Affan Yousuf, Dabang Mumbai
  • Young Achiever of the Final: Matthew Dawson, Kalinga Lancers
  • Most Entertaining Player of the Final: Robbert Kemperman, Dabang Mumbai
  • Player of the Final: Moritz Fuerste, Kalinga Lancers

Earlier in the day, Uttar Pradesh Wizards beat Delhi Waveriders 5-4 in a closely-fought encounter to finish third.

The Global Hockey Talent In The Hockey India League

Photograph courtesy Hockey India League

he top 5 individual awards of any sports league include the Winning Captain, Winning Coach, Player of the Final, Player of the Tournament and the Top Scorer of the Tournament. In the 5 editions of the Hockey India League held so far, these 5 top awards have invariably gone to foreign hockey talent, as shown in the table below:

Year Category Winner Country
2017 Winning Captain Moritz Fuerste Germany
  Winning Coach Mark Hager Australia
  Player of the Final Moritz Fuerste Germany
  Player of the Tournament Florian Fuchs Germany
  Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament Moritz Fuerste
Glenn Turner
2016 Winning Coach Barry Dancer Australia
  Player of the Final Mark Knowles Australia
  Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament Glenn Turner Australia
2015 Winning Captain Ashley Jackson Great Britain
  Player of the Final Tyler Lovell Australia
  Player of the Tournament Ashley Jackson Great Britain
  Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament Ashley Jackson Great Britain
2014 Player of the Final Nicolas Jacobi Germany
  Player of the Tournament Jaap Stockmann Netherlands
  Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament Jamie Dwyer Australia
2013 Winning Captain Moritz Fuerste Germany
  Winning Coach Gregg Clark South Africa
  Player of the Final Moritz Fuerste Germany

The Kalinga Lancers, winners of the 2017 Hockey India League, have players from Australia, England, Germany, Netherlands and India. In the midst of such global talent in the Hockey India League, Indian hockey players still have some ways to go before they can consistently start competing for these top awards.

Europeans Sweep First Ever FIH Hockey Stars Awards

Photograph of Naomi van As (NED) and John-John Domen (BEL) courtesy Hindustan Times

he first ever FIH Hockey Stars awards for performances in the year 2016 ceremony was held at Hotel Lalit in Chandigadh on February 23, 2017. In a near sweep, European players won 9 of the 10 awards, as can been seen below:

Category Award Winner Country
Men's Player of the Year John-John Domen Belgium
  Goalkeeper of the Year David Harte Ireland
  Rising Star of the Year (u-23) Arthur van Doren Belgium
  Coach of the Year Danny Kerry Great Britain
  Umpire of the Year Christian Blasch Germany
Women's Player of the Year Naomi van As Netherlands
Goalkeeper of the Year Maddie Hinch Great Britain
  Rising Star of the Year (u-23) Maria Jose Granatto Argentina
  Coach of the Year Karen Brown Great Britain
  Umpire of the Year Laurine Delforge Belgium

Traditional hockey powerhouses - Australia, Germany, Netherlands - had no winners in the men's category. In the women's category, a Dutch player has won the Player of the Year for the last 3 years in a row.

Biopic on Penalty Corner Expert Sandeep Singh Due Next Year

hitrangda Singh has decided to turn producer with a biopic on hockey player Sandeep Singh. What makes the hockey player's story inspirational is that he was seriously injured and almost paralysed after being accidentally shot in a train, while on his way to join the national team who were about to leave for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He was on a wheelchair for two years, but Sandeep not only recovered from the serious injury, but also consolidated his position again in the team.

Under Sandep Singh's captaincy, the Indian team managed to clinch the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in 2009 after defeating Malaysia in the finals at Ipoh. India won the title after a long wait of 13 years.

Chitrangada Singh said, "There is time as the script is still being developed. It will be a biopic, and other things like getting another producer on board are being worked out."

Sandeep is also excited about a biopic on his life which is scheduled for release next year. "The biopic is being produced by actress Chitrangada Singh. It will hit the theatres next year. It's in advanced stages now and the casting will be done soon," he said.

FIH Certifies 4 Hockey Turf Field Builders In India

Graphic courtesy Shiv Naresh Sports Pvt. Ltd.

here is not a single artificial turf manufacturer in India. However, there are 4 FIH-certified field builders in India, which means the turf fields that these companies import and build will comply to the standards as detailed in the FIH Quality Programme for Hockey Turf.

The 4 FIH-certified field builders are listed in the table below, along with their artificial turf installations in India.

Company City State Location
Advanced Sports Technologies LLP Bengaluru Karnataka Bharatiya Khel Praadhikaran (SAI) Centre
  Bhopal Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Khel Praadhikaran (SAI) Centre
  Dehradun Uttarakhand Maharana Pratap College
  Imphal Manipur Bharatiya Khel Praadhikaran (SAI) Centre
Great Sports Infra Pvt. Ltd. Hisar Hariyana Haryana Agricultural University
  Jhansi Uttar Pradesh Dhyan Chand Stadium
  Kollam Kerala Hockey Stadium Asramam
  Raipur Chattisgadh Sardar Vallabh bhai Stadium
Shiv Naresh Sports Pvt. Ltd. Chennai Tamil Nadu Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium
  Sirsa Hariyana Shri Guru Hari Singh College
  Sonepat Hariyana Sector 4 Hockey Stadium
  Kovilapatti Tamil Nadu Sports Development Authority of TN Hockey Stadium
Syncotts International Bengaluru Karnataka Bharatiya Khel Praadhikaran (SAI) Centre, Kengeri
  Chandigadh Hariyana Sector 42 Hockey Stadium
  Etawah Uttar Pradesh Jyotiba Phule Stadium
  Lucknow Uttar Pradesh Major Dhyan Chand Stadium
  Varanasi Uttar Pradesh Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Stadium, Lalpur

FIH specifies multiple grades of turf fields - Global Elite, Global, National and Multi-Sport fields. All of the above field installations are of Global grade.

Photograph of the Month

Photograph courtesy AFP

he Photograph of the Month for March 2017 is of Indian national goalkeeper P. R. Sreejesh, who was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India on the occasion of Republic Day 2017.

"I would like to dedicate this award to my team who have been exceptionally good over the past few years. We have grown together from strength to strength and have enjoyed success as well as lifted each other from heart breaking defeats. My recognition could not have been possible if not for the team work," said an elated Sreejesh.

Sreejesh's penalty stroke saves against Pakistan in the 2014 Asian Games hockey final remain as one of his best performances till date. The team won the historic gold and booked its Rio Olympics berth.

In 2016, he led the Indian team to yet another momentous feat at the Champions Trophy in London where the team won a historic silver medal for the first time ever.

Sreejesh also captained the team to a splendid win against Pakistan in the final of the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy in Kuantan, Malaysia.

Money Matters

Photograph courtesy Hockey India

he 2017 Hockey India League had a total prize money of 6.01 crore across 11 different categories, as shown in the table below:

Category Award Winner Amount
Team Awards Hockey India League 2017 Champion Kalinga Lancers 2.5 crore
  Hockey India League 2017 Runner Up Dabang Mumbai 1.25 crore
  Hockey India League 2017 3rd Place Uttar Pradesh Wizards 75 lakh
Individual Awards Most Valuable Player of the Tournament Florian Fuchs 50 lakh
  Upcoming Player of the Tournament Harmanpreet Singh 20 lakh
  Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament Moritz Fuerste, Glenn Turner (12 goals each) 20 lakh
  Achiever Award for Upholding the Spirit of Hockey Florian Fuchs 10 lakh
Per Match Awards (34 matches) Goal of the Match  50,000 per match 17 lakh
  Man of the Match  50,000 per match 17 lakh
  Most Entertaining Player of the Match  25,000 per match 8.5 lakh
  Young Achiever of the Match  25,000 per match 8.5 lakh
    TOTAL 6.01 crore

In 2018, Hockey India League is expected to add a franchise in Bengaluru, marking its geographical expansion to the southern part of India.

Media Matters

New Zealand's Jason McCracken, CEO International Hockey Federation
Article by Nitin Sharma, Photo by Kamleshvar Singh, courtesy
Indian Express

eason hockey umpire, referee and technical official, New Zealand's Jason McCracken took over the charge of the Chief Executive Officer of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) in February 2017.

McCracken, who was the Tournament Director in the Rio Olympics for men's hockey, was in Chandigarh for the FIH Hockey Stars Awards and the Hockey India League final. McCracken spoke with Chandigadh Newsline on the plans for hockey in the years ahead.

"In 2019, we are going to introduce our new home and away hockey league, and we are going to increase the amount of hockey on television by ten times. The new format will be the league all around the world. The top eight-nine teams will play one match in their country and then play one match away against the same country and it will happen for 2-3 months at the start of the year. We will be having hockey for a much longer duration. This will also form the part of the qualification process for the Olympics spots.

Historically the game was more about stop and start. So we introduced things like the self pass, the overhead pass and things like playing the ball in the air to make the game faster. And we saw more goals being scored. If we look at the hockey league, we are getting scores like 5-0 or 5-2. Traditionally, hockey games were seeing more scores of 1-0 or 2-1. The change to blue turf in the 2012 London Olympics was good for telecast of the game. It is part of the evolution which the FIH wanted to do.

We are not going to change rules more. We will now increase the exposure of hockey. What we are trying to do is to give fans an opportunity to watch hockey every day."

Visitor of the Month

he March 2017 Visitor of the Month is the organziation One Million Hockey Legs, who sent the following promotional email for the Hockey India League:

Since we started in 2015 we have been able to educate over 180 trainers in India, and made thousands of children happy through hockey. The social impact and the personal development that children (and adults) experience through sport are enormous. Sport unites and teaches valuable lessons for everyday life. Whether it is communication, or standing up for oneself, or developing one's own talents and abilities.

In 2017, we have projects in Punjab (Amritsar, Jalandhar), Jharkhand (Khunti), Maharashtra (Pune) and Rajasthan (Ajmer, Jaipur). If you want more information please contact us on info@onemillionhockeylegs.com.

Fun With Numbers

Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he March 2017 edition of Fun with Numbers is on the Indian's Men's and Women's Hockey at a glance.


  • The Indian men's hockey team made its international debut in the 1926 tour of New Zealand
  • The India men have played the maximum number of matches against Pakistan, and has a winning percentage of only 33% against them (55 wins in 167 matches)
  • The Indian men have participated in 50 Premier IOC/FIH world level tournaments, and have won medals in only 17 of them (34%)
  • In contrast, the Australian men have participated in 64 Premier IOC/FIH world level tournaments, and have won medals in 47 of them (73%)
Total Matches Premier FIH Tournaments Arch Rival - Pakistan
P W L D Olympics World Cup CT HWL Finals P W L D
1619 890 469 260 8G, 1S, 2B 1G, 1S, 1B 1S, 1B 1B 167 55 82 30


  • The Indian women's hockey team made its international debut in the 1953 16-country Invitational Tournament in Folkestone, Kent, England
  • The Indian women have played the maximum number of matches against Japan, and has a winning percentage of only 19% against them (12 wins in 61 matches)
  • The Indian women have participated in 8 Premier IOC/FIH world level tournaments, and have won 0 medals in these tournaments (0%)
  • In contrast, the Dutch women have participated in 45 Premier IOC/FIH world level tournaments, and have won medals in 41 of them (91%)
  • The only World title won by the India women's hockey team is in the movies - the fictional Chak de! India movie made in 2007
Total Matches Premier FIH Tournaments Arch Rival - Japan
P W L D Olympics World Cup Champions Trophy HWL Finals P W L D
695 272 308 115 0G, 0S, 0B 0G, 0S, 0B Never Qualified Never Qualified 61 12 32 17