Euro Hockey League Is The Most Gender-Equal Hockey League In The World

ABN AMRO's Marco Moers with EHL chairman Hans-Erik Tuijt
Photograph credit: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

he Euro Hockey League (EHL) is the premier (men's) hockey league in the world. The just-concluded 2018-19 season saw 24 men's teams from 12 countries participating, with Waterloo Ducks of Belgium emerging as champions.

No. of Clubs Country Participating EHL Clubs for 2018-19
3 Belgium KHC Dragons, Royal Leopold Club, Waterloo Ducks
  Germany HTC Uhlenhorst Mulheim, Mannheimer HC, Rot-Weiss Koln
  Netherlands Amsterdamsche Hockey & Bandy Club, HC Oranje-Rood, SV Kampong
  Spain Club Egara, Junior Futbol Club, Real Club de Polo de Barcelona
2 England Surbiton Hockey Club, Wimbledon Hockey Club
  France Racing Club de France, Saint Germain HC
  Russia Dinamo Elektrostal, Dinamo Kazan
  Scotland Grange Hockey Club, Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club
1 Austria SV Arminen
  Belarus HC Minsk
  Ireland Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club
  Poland Grunwald Poznan

ABN AMRO have been with EHL since the very beginning of the league in 2007, and have extended their role as EHL Presenting Partner through 2022.

From next season onwards, the EHL Women's League will be held in parallel with the present EHL men's league. 8 women's teams will battle it out at FINAL8 alongside the EHL Men's FINAL8 teams in the inaugural women's season.

The EHL women's competition will be produced for television, will have a video referral system in place, and will award equal prize money with the EHL men's event. Wow, this is a great example of gender equality in hockey.

But wait, there is more. An EHL u-14 girls competition will be run in tandem with an EHL u-14 boys tournament. All four tournaments will form part of one big EHL weekend at one venue every Easter.

The Hockey India League was a men's only league, and was not held in 2018 and 2019. There was no Hockey India League women's event, no boys event, no girls event.

By every metric, the EHL is the premier men's/women's/boys/girls hockey league in the sport, with the rest of the hockey world struggling to play catch up.

Indian Women's Hockey Out Of Pro League Due To Poor Planning

The original participants of the Hockey Pro League (Men's, Women's), from which India Unilaterally Withdrew

his is a story of poor decision making and gross mismanagement by Hockey India with regard to participation in the men's and women's Hockey Pro League.

First Hockey India agreed for the participation of Indian men's and women's team in the inaugural men's and women's Hockey Pro League. Then, in a sudden and rushed decision, Hockey India withdrew both the men's and women's Pro League in July 2017, citing confusion about how Pro League participation could impact their Olympic qualification.

Coincidentally, this was days after Hockey India's former president, and current FIH head, Narinder Batra, was reprimanded by the international body for his 'inappropriate comments' against Pakistan and England hockey officials.

Then in another major flip-flop, Hockey India agreed for the men's team to participate in the Pro League in place of Pakistan (who withdrew on financial grounds) for the 2020 season. The good news is that the Indian men will get to play Olympic champions Argentina, world champions Belgium, Champions Trophy winners Australia, European Champions Netherlands and other top hockey nations of the world

The bad news is that the Indian women's team has been left high and dry - they do not get to participate in the Pro League, thanks to mismanagement by Hockey India.

This is what Debayen Sen wrote on ESPN: "The big sufferers of the Hockey India decision were the Indian women's team, who were robbed of a chance of playing quality opposition on a regular basis They are terrific when playing lower-ranked teams, but need the exposure of playing top teams to cut it with the bigger nations in global events. When the Indian women get to be a part of the Pro League, India's journey in FIH's newest product would become most meaningful."

This is what Mihir Vasavda wrote on The Indian Express: "The lack of competitive games is a self-inflicted problem, given it was Hockey India which voluntarily opted out of the Pro League. However, as the tournament got underway, the magnitude of the federation's self-goal has dawned upon many. It turns out skipping the Pro League has not just robbed India of weekly home and away matches against the world's best teams, it has also made the Road to Tokyo a tricky one, especially for the Indian women's team."

The nine countries in the Women's Pro League - Argentina, Australia, Belgium (stepping in for India), China, England, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand and USA - will all earn ranking points for every match played during the Pro League, where they are guaranteed a minimum of 16 games each. Even a last-place finish would have given the Indian women's team valuable ranking points.

Instead, devoid of enough quality games against Olympic, World and Continental champions, Indian women face the prospect of sliding down the world rankings due to their non-participation in the Women's Pro League.

Give New National Men's Coach Graham Reid A Fair Chance To Succeed

By Jaspreet Sahni, courtesy Times of India

fter four months of deadlines, applications, new deadlines, more applications and then pin-drop silence, the bosses who rule Indian hockey have picked the chief coach of Indian men's hockey.

Australia's Graham Reid will make Bengaluru his new home to live through possibly the stiffest challenge of his coaching career to date. In Reid's own words, he has fulfilled the 'secret desire' every hockey coach has. Now the real deal follows.

It's not easy to covet the Indian job of late, for reasons that have made enough noise on social media. It's time now to put a lid on those pointed comments and let Reid begin to do his job.

There isn't a coach out there who isn't aware of what being an Indian hockey coach entails. Among the few opening comments Reid made, the one around 'stability' for himself and the players stands out, and has understandably made headlines.

The 'exit door' has always been the busiest in the corridors of Indian hockey. In that light, it's remarkable for a new coach to not be veiled about his first opinion, and it should win Reid some friends among the country's hockey fraternity and fans.

For a country that has had 53 coaches in 39 years, it will be a welcome change if that 'exit door' at the Hockey India (HI) office remains shut for a while.

At his last job in Dutch hockey, as assistant to Max Caldas for the men's national team and as chief coach of the Amsterdam club team, Reid had been regarded as a calm man with a sharp hockey brain. For someone who worked under the legendary Ric Charlesworth for close to five years, an intelligent mind is not a surprise.

Knowledge of current international hockey is one aspect HI must have looked at closely while selecting the best candidate. Reid appears to be the perfect fit in that respect, since he was here with the Netherlands team for the 2018 World Cup as well.

"I think Graham is the best qualified possibility for India," Charlesworth added. "He is up-to-date with international hockey, knows all the teams and players, and will encourage an expansive game utilising India's best weapon - it's skilled players."

But it won't be easy. Acclimatising and adapting to different situations and challenges will be key, every step of the way. A job in Indian hockey can be a complicated affair. The media scrutiny is more here than perhaps anywhere else in the world.

Former India centre-forward Jagbir Singh has watched Reid the player from close quarters, having played in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics that Reid too was part of.

"Reid was one of the most hard-working guys on the pitch. Midfield is his strength, so that way we (Indian team) can benefit a lot," said Jagbir.

Both Charlesworth and Singh agreed language can be a major stumbling block when it comes to execution of plans in India.

"Make sure the players are clear about what you want. Translation of plans is required to be sure your ideas are understood. Trusted Indian assistants are necessary," the Australian legend said.

Jagbir cited an example from his days as assistant to Barry Dancer for Punjab Warriors in the Hockey India League.

"Not a word was lost in translating Barry's instructions. It matters a lot what is being conveyed. Here his assistants will be very important," Singh said,

Jagbir echoed the sentiment of many in the country that after being appointed, an Indian hockey coach should be allowed time to settle in and work towards achieving goals, rather than be scared of losing his job at the drop of a hat.

"HI should give Reid a target of top four finish at the Tokyo Olympics. Then they should give him time to achieve the target, let him work with his confidence, which he has always carried as a player and as a coach. Then expect results," Jagbir said in closing.

Indian Women Win 5-Test Series Against Malaysia 4-0

India vs. Malaysia 5-Test Series, photograph courtesy Hockey India

5-test women's hockey series between world no. 9 India and world no. 22 Malaysia was held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from April 4-11, 2019. India missed the services of three players due to injuries - striker Rani Rampal, midfielder Namita Toppo and dragflicker Gurjeet Kaur.

India won the 5-test series 4-0, with the following match results:

Date Result Goal Scorers - India
Apr 4 India 3 - Malaysia 0 Vandana Katariya (17 min-PC, 60 min)
Lalremsiami (38 min)
Apr 6 India 5 - Malaysia 0 Navjyot Kaur (12 min)
Vandana Katariya (20 min)
Navneet Kaur (29 min)
Lalremsiami (54 min)
Nikki Pradhan (55 min)
Apr 8 India 4 - Malaysia 4 Navjyot Kaur (13 min)
Navneet Kaur (22, 45 min)
Lalremsiami (54 min)
Apr 10 India 1 - Malaysia 0 Lalremsiami (55 min)
Apr 11 India 1 - Malaysia 0 Navjyot Kaur (35 min)

Chief coach Marijne said, "This tour gave us insight on how to play against a defensive team like Malaysia. Also, it was good that some of our young players experienced what it takes at an international level. This will help us to create depth in the squad."

The Indian team for the Malaysia series was as follows:

Goalkeepers: Savita (captain), Etimarupu Rajani

Defenders: Salima Tete, Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Rashmita Minz, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam

Midfielders: Monika, Karishma Yadav, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal, Leelima Minz

Forwards: Jyoti, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur

Officials: Sjoerd Marijne (chief coach), Bharat Kumar Chhetri (manager), Nivedita Chopra (physiotherapist)

Video Of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Final Goal Goes Viral Worldwide

Photograph/Screen Grab courtesy The Guardian

he video of South Korea's captain, Lee Nam-young, scoring a strokeout goal to win the Azlan Shah Cup has gone viral on the internet.

South Korea, ranked 17th in the world caused an upset by beating India, ranked 5th in the world 4-2 on penalties. What was unique was the way Lee scored the goal. He lifted the ball onto his stick and then did a no-look lob over the head of the Indian goalkeeper into the Indian goal.

It was audacious. It was stamped with swagger. The goal had confidence and skill written all over it. The ball had no choice but to go into the goal.

There was no television coverage of the Azlan Shah Cup in India, as Star Sports was busy telecasting the IPL on a dozen different channels, and did not have the bandwidth, the will or the desire to show Indian hockey's first international event of the year.

You can watch the video of the goal, courtesy Astro SuperSport and Guardian, here:

Photograph of the Month

The 1936 Berlin Olympics gold medal winning Indian hockey team at India House, London

he Photograph of the Month for May 2019 is of the 1936 Indian Olympic hockey team with Sir Feroze Khan Noon, High Commissioner of India. This photograph was taken at India House, Aldwych, London. The captain of the gold medal winning team, Dhyan Chand, is seated to the right of Sir Feroze Khan.

A member of the Olympic team, M. N. Masood wrote the following in his book, "The World's Hockey Champions 1936"

The team arrived at Liverpool Street Station in London on 8th September at 11:30 am. Mr. G. D. Sondhi and a few Indian gentlemen met us at the station, and we taxied to Hotel Royal in Russel Square.

Sir Feroze Khan Noon, the High Commissioner for India, received us on the evening of our arrival at India House. He was wearing a large turban in the typical Punjabi fashion. A large number of Indian gentlemen and ladies with saris and a few Englishmen were also invited to meet us. The Sr. Nawab of Pataudi and Mr. Douglas R. Jardine were there too.

Sir Feroze Khan was a hockey player himself in his college days. While congratulating us on our success in the Olympic Games, Sir Firoze Khan remarked that not only India, but the British Empire was proud of our achievement in Germany.

We spent about two very pleasant hours in India House, which has been recently redecorated after the Indian style.

The visit to London was undertaken by us on our own. The German Hockey Association, which arranged the post-Olympic European tour, had nothing to do with this visit. Sir Jagdish Pershad, the president of the Indian Hockey Federation, was approached by the manager. A sum of 100 pounds was sanctioned for the expenses, which we gratefully accepted.

Money Matters

Article by Daily News & Analysis

he International Hockey Federation (FIH) has imposed a hefty fine of 170,000 euros on the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for committing to, but not sending the national team for Pro League matches in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

PHF secretary general Shahbaz Ahmed, who is a member of the FIH Executive Board, said that he has requested the FIH to reduce the fine and allow it to be paid in instalments.

"I told the FIH members that when Pakistan hockey didn't have funds to send the team for the Pro League, how could we pay such a huge fine? I tried to convince the FIH members that they should be at least giving us support instead of imposing any fines. For the moment, I am relieved that the FIH didn't ban us, but I will continue to lobby to at least allow us to pay the fines over instalments," said Shahbaz, a former Olympian and captain.

The FIH, however, has given the PHF time until June 20 to pay the fine or else the penalty would be doubled.

The PHF has been under fire since the 2018 World Cup in India last December, where the team finished at 11th position. The Pakistan government has refused to release any more funds for the game.

In the Men's Asian Champions Trophy held in Muscat in October 2018, the Pakistani team were able to continue living in their hotel before the final only because their Embassy intervened and settled all the PHF's pending bills. In November 2018, the Pakistani team were able to travel to Bhubaneswar for the Men's World Cup only when the Haier group. In April 2019, the PHF was forced to postpone its National Hockey Championship in Karachi, which was due to begin from April 20, on financial grounds.

Media Matters

he 2019 season for Indian men's hockey began with the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament, the world's only annual invitational hockey tournament. Star Sports chose NOT to telecast the tournament, despite being approached by the host broadcaster Astro Arena.

Instead, Star Sports went on to showcase cricket's IPL on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star 1 Hindi, Star 1 Hindi HD, Star Select 1, Star Select 1 HD, plus all of Star Sports' regional channels.

Star Sports went overboard splurging ₹16,000 crore for broadcast rights of IPL, but could not spare money to get the feed of 2019 Azlan Shah Cup from the host broadcasters.

It is high time Star Sports rebrands itself as Star Cricket, because of its obsession with broadcasting cricket at the cost of of all other sports played in India.

Visitor of the Month

he May 2019 Visitor of the Month is Shailesh Kumar Singh. Shailesh is an MBA student in Sports Management in the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

Shailesh, who is a national-level hockey player from Madhya Pradesh, sent the following email to

Thanks for providing this great source of information on Indian hockey. It's good to see people still care for hockey in India.

Fun With Numbers

Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he May 2019 edition of Fun with Numbers is on the tournament records of foreign coaches in Indian men's and women's hockey.


  • Indian men's hockey has had 10 foreign coaches in the past 16 years (2004-19)
  • The foreign coaches coached in 46 tournaments in this 16-year span, with an overall win percentage of 46% (123 wins in 266 matches)
  • The 10 foreign coaches came from 5 different countries, with the maximum number from Netherlands (4)
  • The foreign coach with the maximum number of tournaments is Michael Nobbs (13 tournaments)
  • The foreign coach with the minimum number of tournaments are Gregg Clark, Roger van Gent and David John (1 tournament each)
  • The foreign coach with the lowest win percentage is Gerhard Rach at 23% (3 wins in 13 matches)
  • The foreign coach with the highest win percentage is Sjoerd Marijne at 52% (17 wins in 33 matches)
  • The foreign coaches with the best record at the elite level are Roeland Oltmans (2016 CT Silver, 2015 HWL Final Bronze) and Sjoerd Marijne (HWL Final Bronze)
  • The foreign coaches with the best record at the continental level are Terry Walsh (2014 AG Gold), Sjoerd Marijne (2017 AC Gold), Michael Nobbs (2011 ACT Gold) and Roelant Oltmans (2016 ACT Gold)
  • Only 1 foreign coach has won the gold in Asia's only invitational tournament, the Azlan Shah Cup - Jose Brasa, who coached the 2010 Azlan Shah Cup winning team
Coach Country Years Tourneys OG WC CT HWL (F) CWG AG AC ACT AZL Other Win %
Gerhard Rach Germany 2004 2 2004   2004               23% (3 of 13)
Jose Brasa Spain 2009-10 6   2010     2010 2010     2010 CCH 2009
GER Inv. 2010
50% (16 of 32)
Michael Nobbs Australia 2011-13 13 2012   2012         2011
CCH 2011
HWL R2 2013
HWL SF 2013
OQ 2012
HA Cup 2011
GBR Inv. 2012
ESP Inv. 2012
44% (31 of 70)
Roelant Oltmans Netherlands 2013-17 11 2016   2014
2015     2013 2016 2016
HWL SF 2017
ESP Inv. 2016
GER Inv. 2017
48% (31 of 65)
Gregg Clark South Africa 2013 1               2013     50% (3 of 6)
Terry Walsh Australia 2014 4   2014   2014 2014 2014         46% (11 of 24)
Paul van Ass Netherlands 2015 2                 2015 HWL SF 2015 38% (5 of 13)
Roger van Gent Netherlands 2016 1                   HA Cup 2016 50% (2 of 4)
Sjoerd Marijne Netherlands 2017-18 5       2017 2018   2017   2018 NZL Inv. 2018 52% (17 of 33)
David John Australia 2019 1                 2019   67% (4 of 6)


  • Indian women's hockey has had 4 foreign coaches in the past 8 years (2012-19)
  • The foreign coaches coached in 20 tournaments in this 8-year span, with an overall win percentage of 41% (43 wins in 105 matches)
  • The 4 foreign coaches came from 3 different countries, with the maximum number from Netherlands (2)
  • The foreign coach with the maximum number of tournaments is Neil Hawgood (13 tournaments)
  • The foreign coach with the minimum number of tournaments are Roelant Oltmans and Mathias Ahrens (1 tournament each)
  • The foreign coach with the lowest win percentage is Mathias Ahrens at 29% (2 wins in 7 matches)
  • The foreign coach with the highest win percentage is Roelant Oltmans at 100% (6 wins in 6 matches)
  • No coach, whether Indian or foreign, has won a medal at the elite level for Indian women's hockey
  • At the continental level, a foreign coach has won a gold only once - Neil Hawgood (2016 ACT Gold)
Coach Country Years Tourneys OG WC CT HWL (F) CWG AG AC ACT Other Win %
Neil Hawgood Australia 2012-16 13 2016       2014 2014 2013 2013
CCH 2012
CCH 2014
HWL R2 2013
HWL SF 2013
ESP Inv. 2015
NZL Inv. 2016
HA Cup 2016
35% (23 of 65)
Sjoerd Marijne Netherlands 2017-18 5   2018       2018   2018 HWL R2 2017
HWL SF 2017
44% (12 of 27)
Roelant Oltmans Netherlands 2015 1                 HWL R2 2015 100% (6 of 6)
Mathias Ahrens Germany 2015 1                 HWL OQ 2015 29% (2 of 7)