Thursday, June 30, 2022

Reply To: Does the Pro League have a future?

#11204
Bhav Virdi
Participant

1. Location of the Tournament
Let’s look at the history of Men’s Champions Trophy and the locations where it was organised; in Pakistan 11 time, Europe 14 times, 6 times in Australia & NZ; twice in India & once in Malaysia. Never ever in Argentina.

Women’s Champions trophy; Europe – 9 times, Argentina – 4 times, Australia – 4 times & China – twice.

2. World level Stadium Hockey in India
Growing up in India, the hockey fans were thirsty for live hockey in the stadiums. I do remember discussing this with fellow players in 1980s and 1990s “When will we ever watch a hockey match in a stadium?”. Champions Trophy didn’t provide the stadium fan base to Indian audiences. May be even to those

Moving the England in late 2000s, I saw how easy it was for anyone to travel across Europe to watch live world class hockey. Watching young kids getting inspired by world class players, would enable the game to spread in many European countries & the standard of European style of hockey became the “Gold Standard”.

Now, does that mean scrap Champions Trophy and start a new Pro League just for the world’s biggest fan base? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

3. More Opportunity to see their heroes
Pro League provides many fans & youngsters across the world (Top 10 ranked countries) to see their heroes play hockey. However, it’s not a sustainable format with the Dutch women travelling from The Netherlands to Australia & NZ for 4 matches over 2 weekends and then fly back home. Carbon footprint would bring angry tears to Greta’s eyes.

4. My Proposal,
Keep the Pro League format but organise it over 4 weeks in 4 locations :: 10 teams (Men) & 10 teams (Women)
{{unsure why do we have 9 teams? 9 is such an odd number :-)}}

Mini Tournaments in 4 locations
Location 1 (Argentina) – Home country hosts 4 mens & 4 women’s teams. Teams play matches over the next 2 weeks or so. (February)
Location 2 (Australia) – Home country hosts 4 mens & 4 women’s teams. Teams play matches over the next 2 weeks or so. (April)
Location 3 (Europe) – Home country hosts 4 mens & 4 women’s teams. Teams play matches over the next 2 weeks or so. (July)
Location 4 (India) – Home country hosts 4 mens & 4 women’s teams. Teams play matches over the next 2 weeks or so. (October)

There is no need for Semifinals or Finals, max points is the winner.

During Asian Games, Asia Cup, European Championships or Pan American Championships, these dates can move; however the Mini Tournaments format in 4 locations provides opportunity for game to spread and watched by fans in stadiums.