Game Of Musical Chairs Over Coach Selection By Hockey India

coach who did not apply for the job (Sjoerd Marijne) got the men's coaching job. A coach who applied for the job (Harendra Singh), got another job instead.

A coach who has never coached a senior men's team (Sjoerd Marijne) was given the men's coaching job. A coach who has never coached a senior women's team (Harendra Singh) was given the women's coaching job.

The coach who led his country to the Junior Women's World Cup title (Sjoerd Marijne) was given the men's coaching job. The coach who led his country to the Junior Men's World Cup title (Harendra Singh) was given the women's coaching job.

To finalize the senior women's coach (Sjoerd Marijne), the whole procees took 3 months. To finalize the senior men's coach (Sjoerd Marijne, again), the whole process took 3 days.

A job that was advertised to be open for 15 days was pulled down after 3 days. No interviews were conducted and a decision was unilaterally taken.

With 4 important tournaments over the next 16 months - the 2017 Asia Cup (men, women), 2018 Commonwealth Games (men, women), 2018 Asian Games (men, women) and the 2018 World Cup (men), some more thought should have gone into taking this decision.

Analytical coach Hans Streeder of Netherlands, who resigned following Oltmans' ouster, said that he could not "work in an environment with no clarity and lack of open communication." Such is the unprofessional reputatation of Hockey India.

Based on present trends, the next change will be High Performance Director David John becoming Hockey India's CEO, and the current CEO, Elena Norman, becoming the High Performance Director. With Hockey India, anything is possible.

Indian Hockey Teams Participate in Svachha Bharat Abhiyaan

Photograph courtesy Hockey India

head of the third anniversary of Svachha Bharat Abhiyaan, India's men's and women's hockey teams joined the national movement of Clean India Mission and participated in the 'Svachhata hi Seva' (Cleanliness is Service) programme.

On September 26, 2017, men's hockey captain Manpreet Singh and women's hockey captain Rani Rampal, along with their respective teams joined the Gram Panchayat President of Kumbalgodu town, Karnataka and performed shramdaan (service) towards a Clean India.

"We are very happy to be a part of the Svachha Bharat Abhiyaan, started by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is our duty to keep our country clean, and this is a message to everyone that we start keeping the nation clean. We can save ourselves from many diseases too," said Rani Rampal.

Swachh Bharat week started on 25 September and will be observed till Gandhi Jayanti, 2 October.

Somewhere In Time: A 1905 Vintage Field Hockey Game

Photograph of the 1905 Bryn Mawr College Hockey Team
Excerpted from an article in USA Field Hockey

omen's field hockey was brought to the United States in 1906, when Constance Applebee came to Massachusetts to attend Harvard University's summer school, and introduced the sport to America.

Widely played at the high school and college level in the eastern United States, women's field hockey is coming into its own in the rest of the country. Today, more than 300 colleges and universities have field hockey teams in the US. It has moved into the high school ranks too.

Applebee's first squad was garbed in ankle-length skirts, white or striped blouses, ties and lace-up black boots. A history written by two of Applebee's players says, "This was an era in which it was barely acceptable to see ladies running, let alone brandishing weapons in pursuit of a little ball."

Not only was the clothing different in earlier days, so too was the equipment. Sticks were generally made of wood, whereas today composite materials are more often used. Earlier players didn't use protective gear; young women today now use shin pads, mouth guards and special shoes to provide extra grip.

In celebration of East Grand Rapids school's 15th year of offering field hockey as a sport, the senior players will be hosting a vintage field hockey game between their squads, representing Bryn Mawr College versus Harvard University, the first two teams to field women's teams in the United States.

The exhibition game will be held at Wealthy Field, 1961 Lake Drive, S.E., East Grand Rapids, Michigan, US at 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 22. Wearing the long skirts, blouses and ties of the days-gone-by, they will even be playing with antique sticks. The price of admission will reflect the era - one dime required per person.

Spectators will witness an authentic 1905 recreation of this beautiful game, complete with period player and referee costumes, press box, old fashioned concessions with roasting of peanuts and cracker jacks, announcers, 100-year-old hockey sticks and game ball, sousa/ragtime band and more. Bring your family for an hour of inspiration, and leave with an appreciation of history.

India 'A' Team Participates In Men's Australian Hockey League

he 2017 Men's Australian Hockey League was held in Perth, Western Australia, from 28 September - 8 October. This was the second consecutive year that the Indian and New Zealand men's development teams took part in the Australian Hockey League.

The Australian Hockey League is the country's premier domestic hockey tournament. A total of 8 men's teams, representing each region of Australia, along with the Indian and New Zealand development teams, took part in the 10-team tournament. The pool composition was as follows:

  • Pool A: New Zealand 'A', Queensland Blades, South Australia Hotshots, Tasmania Tigers, Victoria Vikings
  • Pool B: Australian Capital Territory Lakers, India 'A', New South Wales Waratahs, Northern Territory Stingers, Western Australia Thundersticks

The India 'A' men's team won only 2 matches in the entire tournament, and ended the tournament on a 3-game losing streak to finish 4th. India 'A' men had the following match results:

Stage Date Result Goal Scorers - India
Pool Sep 29 India 'A' 4 - Western Australia 1 Armaan Qureshi (6 min)
Affan Yousuf (30 min)
Amit Rohidas (45 min)
Talvinder Singh (50 min)
  Sep 30 New South Wales 1 - India 'A' 0  
  Oct 2 India 'A' 1 - Northern Territory 1 Mohammad Umar (6 min)
  Oct 3 India 'A' 2 - Australian Capital Territory 0 Affan Yousuf (5 min)
Armaan Qureshi (46 min)
Crossover Oct 5 Victoria 5 - India 'A' 2 Amit Rohidas (40, 45 min), both PCs
  Oct 6 Queensland 4 - India 'A' 0  
  Oct 8 New South Wales 3 - India 'A' 2 Simranjeet Singh (3 min)
Affan Yousuf (9 min)

The final standings were as follows: 1 - Victoria, 2 - New South Wales, 3 - Queensland, 4 - India, 5 - Western Australia, 6 - Northern Territory, 7 - Tasmania, 8 - Australian Capital Territory, 9 - New Zealand 'A', 10 - South Australia

The India 'A' men's team for the Australian Hockey League was as follows:

Goalkeepers: Vikas Dahiya (captain), Krishan B. Pathak

Defenders: Amit Rohidas (vice-captain), Neelam Sanjeeb Xess, Gurinder Singh, Anand Lakra, Baljeet Singh, Vikramjeet Singh

Midfielders: Harjeet Singh, Ashish Kumar Topno, Hardeek Singh, Santa Singh, Neelakantha Sharma

Forwards: Armaan Qureshi, Mohammad Umar, Simranjeet Singh, Affan Yousuf, Talvinder Singh

Officials: Chief Coach - Vasudevan Baskaran, Manager - Arjun Halappa

India 'A' Team Participates In Women's Australian Hockey League

he 2017 Women's Australian Hockey League was held in Perth, Western Australia, from 28 September - 8 October. For the first time, the India 'A' women's team took part in the Australian Hockey League.

The Australian Hockey League is the country's premier domestic hockey tournament. A total of 8 women's teams, representing each region of Australia, along with the Indian and New Zealand development teams, took part in the 10-team tournament. The pool composition was as follows:

  • Pool A: Australian Capital Territory Strikers, New Zealand 'A', Northern Territory Pearls, Queensland Scorchers, Western Australia Diamonds
  • Pool B: India 'A', New South Wales Arrows, South Australia Suns, Tasmania Van Demons, Victoria Vipers

The India 'A' women's team won just 1 match in the entire tournament, and finished 9th. India 'A' women had the following match results:

Stage Date Result Goal Scorers - India 'A'
Pool Sep 29 Victoria 3 - India 'A' 1 Preeti Dubey (47 min)
  Sep 30 New South Wales 7 - India 'A' 0  
  Oct 2 South Australia 3 - India 'A' 1 Suman Devi Thoudam (22 min), PC
  Oct 3 India 'A' 1 - Tasmania 0 Sangeeta Kumari (19 min)
Crossover Oct 5 Western Australia 2 - India 'A' 1 Preeti Dubey (56 min)
  Oct 6 India 'A' 1 - Northern Territory 1 Gagandeep Kaur (22 min)
  Oct 7 Australian Capital Territory 2 - India 'A' 0  

The final standings were as follows: 1 - Queensland, 2 - Victoria, 3 - New South Wales, 4 - New Zealand 'A', 5 - Western Australia, 6 - Australian Capital Territory, 7 - South Australia, 8 - Northern Territory, 9 - India 'A', 10 - Tasmania

The Indian 'A' women's team for the Australian Hockey League was as follows:

Goalkeepers: Divya Thepe, Kharibam Bichu Devi

Defenders: Neelu Dadiya, Ashmita Barla, Priyanka, Suman Devi Thoudam, Salima Tete

Midfielders: Udita (vice-captain), Ishika Chaudhary, Mahima Chaudhary, Gagandeep Kaur, Neelanjali Rai, Mariana Kujur

Forwards: Preeti Dubey (captain), Sangeeta Kumari, Jyoti, Navpreet Kaur, Mumtaz Khan

Officials: Chief Coach - Baljeet Singh Saini, Manager - Asunta Lakra

Photograph of the Month

Article and Photograph courtesy Siddhant Karla of the 1947 Partition Archives

he Photograph of the Month for October 2017 is of triple Olympic gold medallist Balbir Singh Sr., taken from the 1947 Partition Archives.

Balbir Singh Dosanjh was born on October 10, 1924 to Karam Kaur and Dalip Singh Dosanjh. His father was a freedom fighter and educationist, who travelled extensively and was frequently in and out of jail. As a result, Balbir's early childhood was spent at his maternal village, Haripur Khalsa.

At the age of five, his father moved the family to the small town of Moga for the sake of Balbir's education. Little did he know that Balbir would spend his time daydreaming about scoring goals rather than studying. "My father was strict and unshakeable in his values. But he never put a limit on doodh and jalebi, which I loved," he says.

But when he failed his Class X exams, his father sought the help of a friend who lectured at Sikh National College, Lahore. Having seen Balbir's game, the lecturer offered him full scholarship and a spot in the hockey team. Balbir's father, with no money to afford college otherwise, agreed.

The Sikh National College team was promoted to the first division soon after Balbir's inclusion. He was then poached by the rival Khalsa College. Balbir became captain of the Khalsa College team, and later played for Punjab University, which won the all-India Inter-University title for 3 years in a row - 1943 to 1945.

Sir John Bennet - the inspector general of Punjab Police at the time - was impressed by Balbir's game and commanded his officers to ensure his recruitment to Punjab Police. But Balbir had grown up detesting the police, which had jailed his father and other freedom fighters on multiple occasions. So he ran away to Delhi and joined the Central Public Works Department team in 1945.

But one day, he found officers with handcuffs at his doorstep. He was arrested, taken to Jalandhar and presented before Bennet. "He asked me - Do you want to play hockey for Punjab or go to jail? I chose hockey."

The undivided Punjab team, which hadn't won the nationals in 14 years, got lucky in 1946, when Balbir joined. Playing under Colonel A. I. S. Dara and alongside Shah Rukh - two of his closest friends from the future Pakistan team - Balbir won the national championships for Punjab in Bombay in 1947. But the players returned to Punjab only to find their homes bloodied and burning.

Just the previous year, Balbir had married Sushil, his college sweetheart from Lahore. When the team arrived at the Lahore railway station in 1947, it was the future Pakistan captain, A. I. S. Dara, who drove Balbir to his wife in Model Town. On the way, the car was stopped by mobs a couple of times, presumably because of Balbir's turban. Dara stepped out and spoke to them, while he sat in the car, unaware of everything. After a heart-breaking farewell to the house, Sushil came away with Balbir to Ludhiana.

In Ludhiana, Balbir resumed his duties with the Punjab Police and witnessed the horrors of Partition. "Brothers and sisters, who lived so lovingly before, were killing each other. It was shocking how human beings can change so suddenly. Good people are those who retain their humanity even in a climate of hate," says Balbir.

Money Matters

he Odisha government has planned a major infrastructure boost ahead of two international hockey events in the city - the Men's Hockey World League Final in December 2017 and the Men's Hockey World Cup in December 2018, both of which will be held at the Kalinga Stadium in the capital city of Bhubanesvar.

"The 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup is a prestigious and big international sporting event. For this event, the practice ground in the Kalinga Stadium premises will be developed as a second stadium, while empty areas will be converted to stands to hold more spectators. The World Cup's duration will be for around three weeks, so the arrangements will be on a bigger scale than the recently concluded Asian Athletics Championships," said Odisha chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.

Sports secretary Vishal Dev said that roads will be widened by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), while other civic infrastructure will also be introduced in the city to tap in to this unique opportunity for the city to be projected as both a sports and tourism destination.

"There will be a food court in the stadium, and recreation zones will be developed in the city. Overhead cables will be removed and underground cabling will be done for the entire city by October 2018. Accommodation is the challenge. Home stays, guest houses, university hostel rooms of all private and government institutions will be pooled and a list of it will be made available on a website for visitors to book online," said Dev.

"The capacity of the hockey stadium will be increased from 9,000 to 20,000 before the Hockey World Cup, and two more galleries will be added in the north and south sides of the stadium. 16 countries will be participating in the World Cup and nearly 25,000 foreign visitors will come to the city to witness the event. Detailed information of hotels, guest houses and home stays available in Puri, Cuttack and Bhubaneswar will be listed online," said Dev.

Media Matters

new book has been released telling the famous story of how Great Britain women's hockey team stormed to their first ever Olympic hockey gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The History Makers details the journey of the team from failing to qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics, to winning the gold twelve years later in Rio 2016.

Going beyond that famous night in Rio, the book tells the story of the hard work, dedication, sacrifice and emotional rollercoaster which took the team to hockey's peak.

Full of firsthand accounts from those directly involved on the pitch as well as those directing from the sidelines, this new book provides some fresh insights that have never been heard before.

Authors Sarah Juggins and Richard Stainthorpe have left no stone unturned in producing what is the definite guide to Great Britain's incredible moment, that was witnessed by over 9 million people on television back home, and which resulted in moving the 10 o'clock news till after the final whistle was blown!

Sarah is a freelance writer working for the FIH and the Hockey Paper, while Richard also works for the FIH as a writer, editor and media operations coordinator.

In its first week History Makers reached the number one best seller in the Sporting Events Category on Amazon. The book is available to buy widely in store and online or directly by calling 01903 828503 or emailing

Visitor of the Month

he October 2017 Visitor of the Month is Hockey Citizen Group, which is an NGO registered in Delhi. The NGO sent the following email to on their grassroots initiatives at the school level in Delhi and Kolkata:

Over the past 3 years, the NGO reached out to around 250 Government schools in Delhi and Kolkata, via either their principals or sports in charge, to start hockey programmes in their school premises.

Out of the 250 Government schools contacted, we were able to started hockey teams in 52 schools in Delhi and Kolkata. In these schools where our NGO operates, it provides free equipment, free coaching and creates competitions at the school level.

We improved 32 playing grounds in schools by levelling (through renting of JCB machines), regular cleaning, planting of grass, and bush and weed cutting, for which labourers were hired.

A Sunday League Competition was conceived by the NGO wherein three age-group teams in each school could play a match every Sunday for four months in winter. It was organised by renting the synthetic turf at National Stadium in Delhi from the Sports Authority of India.

Fun With Numbers

Statistics by B. G. Joshi

he October 2017 edition of Fun with Numbers is on the Women's Asia Cup Hockey, the 9th edition of which will be held in Kakamigahara, Gifu, Japan, from October 28 - November 5, 2017. The list of all Women's Asia Cup Hockey medal winners is shown in the table below.

  • South Korea has won the maximum of 3 gold medals, though none in this century
  • South Korea is the only country to repeat as Asia Cup champions, winning successive titles in 1993 and 1999
  • India has hosted the tournament twice, both in New Delhi, winning the silver in 1999 and its lone gold medal in 2004
WR Country Appearances P W L D GF GA Best Finish
9 South Korea 8 41 28 7 6 238 44 3 Gold (1985, 93, 99)
8 China 7 37 25 4 8 163 30 2 Gold (1989, 2009)
10 Japan 8 42 24 10 8 215 46 2 Gold (2007, 13)
12 India 7 36 18 11 7 153 52 1 Gold (2004)
22 Malaysia 6 33 16 14 3 82 74 1 Bronze (1985)