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International Hockey Federation unveils new match-based world ranking system for 2020

  • Dec 13, 2019
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On Friday, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) introduced a new world ranking system for 2020, which will act as a match-based account instead of tournaments for a "better reflection of current performances".The new system will be in effect from January 1 next year. FIH said the new world ranking system was launched after 12 months of comprehensive research, analysis, and testing.The FIH rankings have been in place since 2003 and were originally designed to assign teams to different groups. The old model allowed countries to earn rating points two or three times a year.The FIH cited "numerous restrictions" for the championship-based system for change.This includes limited opportunities for the lower-ranked teams to earn points and the "subjectivity" required to determine the strengths of the five continents to calculate continental rating points. The fact that more than 60 percent of international hockey games have not made any qualifying points has made an increasingly strong case for changing focus," said the federation said in a statement.The match-based world ranking system includes the exchange of points between two teams competing in every match permitted by FIH.The number of points exchanged depends on three factors: the outcome of the match, the relative classification of teams and the importance of the match.FIH said that the new model eliminates much of the subjectivity surrounding continental weighting by creating a fair system for all.The decision to introduce a new global ranking system was taken after a one-year trial period.“By using all the official international matches that have been played since the end of the Rio 2016 Olympics, a working model for the new system has been created, which allows continuous monitoring, evaluation and adjustment throughout 2019."The results of the testing phase indicate that the new system was more dynamic and immediately reflected the current form of the current global ranking system and was subsequently approved by the FIH Executive Board," said the world body.The implementation of the new system for calculating the global FIH rankings will not affect existing placements: each country will start in 2020 in the same arrangement and with the same number of ranking points that ended in 2019.Commenting on the decision, FIH Development and Sports Director John Wyatt said, "As a sport, we are constantly striving to innovate and provide opportunities for our member countries."As with any launch of a new system and introduction of changes, it will take some time for everyone to amend, and we will constantly monitor the rating to ensure that it is accurate and fair to everyone.Read More: Test Events for Hockey (Sr. Men) in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

Indian Women Hockey Team

Indian Women's Hockey Team Leaves For Argentina Tour

  • Jan 14, 2021
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The Indian women's hockey team left the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi for Argentina on Sunday. This will be the first round of the national team in almost a year. India Hockey Company also selected the 25-member Indian Hockey Team for the tour. The Indian team is scheduled to play two games against Argentina (Junior) on January 17 and 19, two games against Argentina B on January 22 and 24, and four matches against Argentina on January 26, 28, 30, and 31. Indian hockey and the host national league have created a biological bubble in Argentina for both the Argentina women's team and the Indian women's team. The Indian women hockey team will be staying in a hotel where separate team rooms have been provided for all meals, team meetings, sessions, etc.“It feels great to be on the road again. We have worked hard on our game for the past few months and it is time to put our skills to live in an international match. Playing in international matches will be a bit different at this point.” Indian women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal said in at Statement: "We will be in a biological bubble, and the team is excited to return to the field in the best possible way at this time."The entire Indian group underwent a Covid-19 RT-PCR test 72 hours before leaving New Delhi. Although there are no quarantine requirements upon arrival in Argentina, the team will continue to comply with all health and safety measures recommended by the governments of India and Argentina, according to Hockey India in an official statement.The deputy captain and goalkeeper of the Indian women's hockey team, Savita, thanked Hockey India and SAI for organizing the tour of Argentina.We desperately need to return to a competitive situation where there is not much time left for the Olympics. We have been doing well in the training sessions, but the international match is always the real test for any athlete. Therefore, we would like to thank Savita: “India Hockey and SAI for their efforts. In organizing a tour for us. We are looking forward to a great game and we hope to start playing with all our energy from the first match. "The 25-member Indian Women's Hockey squad: Rani (Captain), Savita (Vice-Captain), Rajani Etimarpu, Bichu Devi Kharibam, Gurjit Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Rashmita Minz, Manpreet Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Jyoti, Udita, Rajwinder Kaur, Salima Tete, Nisha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Lilima Minz, Neha Goyal, Namita Toppo, Lalremsiami, Sharmila Devi.Also Read: THE 47TH FIH STATUTORY CONGRESS WILL HAPPEN IN DELHI 

Hockey

Indian hockey forward Dilpreet Singh says Taking each training session as opportunity to make strong case for spot in Olympic squad

  • Feb 16, 2021
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Indian hockey striker Dilpreet Singh, who was training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Center in Bangalore as part of the potential major-male group, plans to make the cut in the Round of 16 final that he will represent to India in the prestigious Tokyo Olympics, set to begin in July.The 21-year-old striker said that since there are no major competitions in 2020 affected by the epidemic, he takes every training session as an opportunity to make a strong case for a place on the Olympic team. We don't want to worry about factors that are not under our control. I don't want to wait for the chance to play a match for India to defend myself but to make the most of the opportunity here in the camp to show my skills and prove myself. "We give 100 percent of each training session," Dilpreet said in a statement.Speaking of his development and the opportunity for him to train with senior players again in the camp, the youngster added: "I've been working on my technical game. I improved my end. Watching the older players playing and spending time with them helps the younger players gain confidence and of course improve." We ask our veteran players for advice and guidance, and they have been of great help to us at all times. "Dilpreet, who was part of the teams that won the silver and bronze medals at the Breda Hockey Champions Cup 2018 and Asian Games 2018, respectively, returned to the junior starting group after the 2018 World Cup.Speaking of the omission, the boy from Amritsar said, “I was very upset with myself because I was a part of almost every major tournament and I was looking forward to appearing in the Olympics as well. But the omission of the senior core group affected me so much and made me realize that I had squandered the golden opportunity and I had to work harder. "However, a year later, after doing well in potential youth basics, Dilpreet was called up for the FIH Pro League match against World Champion Belgium."I started from scratch. I trained hard in the junior camp to at least get a place in the first team. He used to follow every first-team training exercise. I was in constant contact with the top players for that and asked them for guidance, and finally, in 2020, I'm back." "To the main group of the FIH Hockey Pro League. The postponement of the Olympic Games gave players like me the opportunity to improve the situation and make the most of it. The choice of teams is not in my hands, I focus on giving 100 percent on the field and improving day after day."Also Read: The 47th FIH Statutory Congress will happen in Delhi

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Odisha to continue to sponsor Indian hockey teams for 10 more years, says CM Naveen Patnaik

  • Aug 18, 2021
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Odisha Chief Minister Naveenn Patnaik announced his sponsorship of Indian hockey for another 10 years after the teams' impressive performance at the Tokyo Olympics. Each player has been awarded 10 lakh and each supporting staff 5 lakh by the state government. "You made us all so proud of your energetic fight in Tokyo. These are very emotional moments for India to witness the revival of Indian hockey. For nearly four decades, hockey fans have been eager to see India win a medal in the Olympic Games". Mr. Patnaik Congratulates to the hockey teams. "The way the whole country has been glued to the screens to watch team games, it's pretty clear that there is more to hockey than just sport. In this pandemic, it's remarkable that our teams have worked so hard despite all the challenges and come out victorious. " Noting that in these times of crisis, the teams have brought smiles on the faces of crores of Indian, Mr. Patnaik said: “We in Odisha are happy that our partnership with Hockey India has led to such a great achievement for the country. I believe Odisha and hockey are destined to become synonymous. Odisha will support hockey teams for another 10 years." After Sahara's sponsorship of Indian hockey ended, Odisha went through its public sector unit, Odisha Mining Corporation, to sponsor national teams (men / women, junior / old) in 2018. The sponsorship was 140 crore for a period of five years. Mr. Patnaik gave13 different awards. While Harmanpreet Singh won the player with the most goals scored, PR Sreejesh was awarded for saving the most goals. Each team presented a framed jersey signed by the players to CM. The government also awarded 50 lakh rupees to Hockey India. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Patnaik and the people of Odisha for showing their love and affection for the sport. With your continued support, Indian Hockey looks forward to building on the achievements of the Tokyo Olympics and continue this steady rise to take it back to the elite level where it belongs,” said Narinder Dhruv Batra, president of the Indian Olympic Association. Odisha Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera, departmental Secretary R. Vineel Krishna and chairman of the Odisha Hockey promotion council Dilip Tirkey were present.Also Read- ICC T20 World Cup 2021 complete schedule: India to face Pakistan on October 24

Manpreet Singh

Hockey: How Manpreet Singh bounced back from World Cup 2023

  • Dec 28, 2023
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For some of India’s top stars, 2023 was the year when they had to pause, reflect and reboot. In some cases, to recover from injuries; in a few others, to rediscover lost form. All in the hope that when the big day comes, they’ll be ready and recharged for the challengeIn Odisha at the World Cup in January, after India lost the shootout against New Zealand to fall short of the quarterfinals, Manpreet Singh was on his knees, staring down at the turf in disbelief. It wasn’t supposed to end this way, for the team that won bronze at Tokyo Olympics. It was, to put it mildly, a disaster to go out that early.In Hangzhou at the Asian Games in October, when the final was deadlocked 0-0 against Japan with five minutes left to go in the first half, India were getting a bit desperate for the opening goal. As a rebound fell to him at the edge of the circle, Manpreet Singh unleashed a powerful reverse flick that flew into the roof of the net. He was on his knees again. Only this time, his teammates were mobbing him as he celebrated a rare and significant goal. India would go on to win the match 5-1.“Kya bolein yaar, I score only rarely,” Manpreet tells with a big smile. “When the ball came to me, I was only thinking of hitting the target. The coach tells me when I get into the circle, ‘you don’t shoot enough. So when you get a chance, go for it, your reverse hit is brilliant.’ That’s all I had in mind. And it flew well off my stick.”Indeed, 2023 was one of two halves for the Indian men’s hockey team. At a home World Cup, a chance to end the 48-year-old wait for a medal went begging. But as the year drew to a close, they clinched the title at the Asian Champions Trophy and the gold medal at Hangzhou Asian Games, which also sealed their place at the Paris Olympics.And Manpreet personified that arc better than any.The 2012 Olympic Games campaign was a nadir in Indian hockey as they lost all six matches to finish last, but for a 20-year-old Manpreet it was personally harrowing too. There were reports of cliques in the squad and of Manpreet being targeted. So when Manpreet says the disappointment of the 2023 World Cup was alongside that of London 2012 for him, it says a whole lot.“We were all quite disappointed. In the match against New Zealand, we didn’t play well at all. In a crucial match, we were not able to do our best. We will forever remember that we didn’t step up that day,” the 31-year-old says.But if 2012 was a campaign of chaos, 2023 hurt because there was a general sentiment that this team was really good and capable of a podium finish. “Handling the pressure of crucial matches, dealing with the presence of home crowd… that match against NZ, we should have done better, because there was confidence in us from the nation. We were confident too, but it will always remain hurtful that we couldn’t deliver,” Manpreet says.Siddharth Pandey, hockey commentator and FIH Level 2 certified coach is someone who has kept a close eye on this Indian team in recent years as a broadcaster. “What happened with Manpreet at the World Cup was in line with what happened with the rest of the team, where multiple things went wrong,” Pandey tells this daily. “Crucially, Hardik Singh’s injury had a huge impact on the team and Manpreet lost a crucial supporting act in the midfield. Then there was the pressure of playing in front of family and thousands of fans. We are usually good away from home these days.”For someone who has achieved quite a lot in Indian hockey, as a player and leader, the World Cup disaster could potentially have been seen as a stopping point. But Manpreet went back to the drawing board. After a few Pro League matches, the team got a break and Manpreet was driven to bounce back. As Rohit Sharma said after the men’s cricket team’s home World Cup heartbreak, it wasn’t easy to move on but athletes have to find a way.“Spending time with the family definitely helped,” Manpreet, a doting father to a girl now, says. “Like Rohit said about how even going out and meeting people was difficult, such a disappointment is huge. We athletes put in all our efforts for years and years, for that one big day in a tournament. When you don’t succeed, you feel despondent. It takes a while to heal. But then you have to start thinking… what next? We can only change what happens in the future.”It started with fitness. Though he was on a break, Manpreet told his family that he’d not be indulging in his diet. One of the fittest athletes there is, Manpreet went about focussing on staying in the best shape possible. “I definitely had to reboot. And when we returned to the camp, the senior players got together and said ‘Whatever has happened, we can’t change. But we can learn. The mistakes we made at the World Cup shouldn’t be repeated’.”Adding a new dimensionWhile he is no longer the team captain, Manpreet – unsurprisingly – doesn’t add much weightage to it, insisting that the likes of himself and PR Sreejesh are there to share the burden with Harmanpreet Singh. Pandey goes to the extent of saying that being a leader without being the captain has liberated him.“He’s a father now, he’s in a good space personally. The Manpreet of 6-7 years ago was still very disciplined on the pitch every time he played, but was quite outgoing,” Pandey says, adding he saw a version of Manpreet at ACT who was enjoying his game, and took up attacking responsibilities that weren’t quite his forte earlier.New head coach Craig Fulton came in and initially had Manpreet playing in the defence. But it wasn’t new to him, he started his national journey as a defender on the left side. “His fundamentals were sensational, that’s why we had the nickname ‘Korean’ for him,” Pandey recalls. “Then he transitioned into being a wonderful central defensive midfielder across coaches. And now he has added a dimension that not a lot of people thought he had, which is shining as a central attacking midfielder.”Graham Reid’s era saw Manpreet evolve into one of the best guarding midfielders in the game, who was terrific at ball retrieval and starting transitions by receiving the ball into space. Fulton, after the initial shift, brought him back to midfield and gave him the freedom to go forward too. It was evident in Chennai, where Manpreet was player of the match in two of India’s matches, driving masterfully through the midfield.“He can now be the extra man creating overloads in the circle as he was when he scored the opening goal in the Asian Games final. You can see the number of aerials he receives at the baseline, making runs from deep. Under Reid, he was a ball retriever and he was the guard responsible for counter control, and was brilliant at it. Now Fulton has entrusted something new with him, and he is delivering. He is now a 3-dimensional hockey player, and to do that at 31 is quite impressive, and to add to that he is supremely fit,” Pandey says.At the Asian Games, one of the standout features of India’s play was assists for players at the second post and the number of 1-2 passes they made to open up scoring opportunities. Fulton’s philosophy is built on control and a defend-to-win mantra but within that, he is enabling the attackers to dovetail with each other, something the Manpreet-Hardik-Vivek axis is crucial for.“I found joy in going forward, I have a lot of freedom. My understanding has gotten better with other players, when Hardik goes forward I know I have to focus on counter control. And vice versa. Craig also believes that whenever we get the chance we have to use our Indian skills. Our ability to beat players is one of the best in the world, so whenever we can, we must use that ‘Indian masala’,” he adds with a smile.As Indian hockey looks ahead to 2024, Manpreet might not be the captain, but he is leading the way by evolving and setting high benchmarks that youngsters must aspire to. As Pandey says, “For him to have started his journey at a damaging event like London 2012 to now be months away from a fourth Olympics appearance, that’s an incredible career graph. Whatever happens in Paris, Manpreet goes down as an all-time great.”What 2023 taught, what 2024 meansFor someone who has seen many highs and lows in the constantly dramatic world of Indian hockey, Manpreet – and the rest of the Indian team – got a rude reality check at the Odisha World Cup. The defeat against New Zealand was a tough pill to swallow and outgoing coach Graham Reid called for the need to have a mental conditioning coach.In came Paddy Upton, to join new head coach Craig Fulton, who has plenty of experience working with Indian athletes. While Manpreet was aware of the need to reboot personally, there was an acknowledgment that India needed help in handling high-pressure situations.“When Paddy came in, the conversations were about focussing on the controllables. You can’t control the weather, you can’t control the fans turning up at a venue… don’t worry about the result, focus on the steps to get there. To remain stable ahead of a big match, when the pressure is on,” Manpreet says, about moving on from the World Cup heartbreak.Unlike in 2018, the qualification for Paris 2024 has been taken care of early and the Indian men’s team can now fully focus on fine-tuning their game. It would involve using the Pro League matches to full effect. Their dominance at the Asian level is not in doubt still, but there are bigger targets to check off for Fulton, Harmanpreet, Manpreet, and Co. Lessons must be learned from Odisha 2023 as they look ahead. Also Read: Upcoming games 2024 for console and PC