Wednesday, November 29, 2023

20-10! ‘Crazy’ Euro Hockey League match draws scoring system criticism

Dragons’ Florent van Aubel, right, scored twice (PIC: Worldsportpics/Frank Uijlenbroek)

By The Hockey Paper

The Euro Hockey League’s scoring system drew critcism on social media on Monday after KHC Dragons beat Three Rock Rovers 20-10 in a ranking match as the final four were confirmed in Rotterdam.

However, the clash could be seen as a one-off given that there were no fewer than 17 goals (12-5 in KHC Dragons’ favour) in a match described as “crazy” by the EHL, made more remarkable with only one goal scored in the first quarter.

The EHL scoring system follows the Hockey India League rules which sees field goals and a penalty stroke goal that did not result from a penalty corner earning two goals. Every penalty corner and every goal from a penalty stroke that comes about from a penalty corner earns one goal.

Philip Kooke, the Dutch hockey commentator, said: “For the sake of this great sport, I sincerely hope we will never see this again”.

Meanwhile South African Olympian Justin Reid-Ross was equally scathing on Twitter when he wrote: “Would have backed the Irish in the @EHLHockeyTV rugby event… Can we put this failed experiment behind us now please? #keepitsimple”.

Despite the eye-opening scorelines, the KO16 and KO8 matches saw some sublime hockey.

Dutch top clubs HC Rotterdam and HC Bloemendaal stormed through to the semi-finals to meet each other on May 26.

They join fellow Dutch side SV Kampong and the Belgium’s Herakles, who meet each other in the other clash next month.

Rotterdam saw off Uhlenhorst Mulheim 13-1 in another scoreline which many observers believe is damaging the game.

Hockey fan Kin Smith said: “I truly don’t believe this affected play in any way. Therefore it did not work. Scoring is not the issue with the game. The EHL should not innovate for innovations sake.”

For the record, here are the scorers from that “crazy” ranking game.

‘9 Jeffrey Thys 2-0
’17 Arthur Van Doren 4-0
’24 Alex Hendrickx 5-0 (sc)
’25 Timothy Luyten 7-0
’26 Henri Raes 9-0
’32 Florent Van Aubel 10-0 (sc)
’33 Felix Denayer 12-0
’38 Robbert Rubens 14-0
’45 Gregory Stockbroekx 16-0
’47 Alex Hendrickx 17-0 (sc)
’48 John Mullins 17-2
’48 Harry Morris 17-4
’53 Florent Van Aubel 19-4
’54 Felix Denayer 20-4 (sc)
’57 Kevin Mullins 20-6
’57 Daragh Walsh 20-8
’59 Jody Hosking 20-10

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