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  1. Siegfried Aikman
    2019-01-30 @ 22:47

    Great read Ernst and I fully agree with you. I see benefits in promotionele of hockey in Area’s where there is no or hardly hockey. In those area indoor hockey will do, look st Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Iran, but also Austria and Switzerland. In Asian countries indoor hockey is more or less unknown but absolutely an option with potential. Hopefully the countries with a strong indoor hockey team will like to participate in hockey 11 smaller step from 6 to 11. The tactics have proven to be succesfull in hockey 11. Reason why many countries are now also investing in indoor hockey as a development project to improve your basic skills.
    These 2 formats are sufficient to play and develop hockey. It also makes sense. Which leading hockey country has a hockey 5 league? What will be the added value for their hockey 11? Nevertheless all countries like to participate in the Youth Olympics and play hockey 5 only for that reason without a league just with a group of hockey 11 players they focus shortly on this Hype play the tournament and return to normal.
    I too see the monster and it could easily happen that the monster will eat us.

    Again for promotion okay but not for serious tournaments like international championship. It’s allready a huge mistake that it replaced hockey 11 from the Youth Olympics. What’s next???

    Siegfried Aikman


    • Ernst Baart
      2019-01-31 @ 14:05

      Thanks for the feedback Siegfried. It’s good international coaches (and players) speak out on these subjects to make these views heard. 😉


  2. Cris Maloney
    2019-02-06 @ 16:57

    I wondered why Indoor Hockey wasn’t selected for the Youth Olympics. I think you missed a Pro of Hockey5s — one doesn’t have to waste valuable training and playing time with developing penalty corner specialists and penalty corner execution routines. I have not witnessed “scoring from anywhere” creating dangerous hitting. It is SOOOOooo easy for goalkeepers to stop a 30-meter shot. I like a 6v6 hybrid of 11v11+Hockey5s+Indoor Hockey that I developed ( because it is easier and less costly to setup and can be played with fewer people yet support more people playing at the same time on a standard outdoor pitch (22 in a 11v11 game or split the pitch into three and have 36 people playing 6v6 in three cross-field games). Another Pro is a far greater number of touches and decisions in outdoor Super6s than 11v11. Watch some teenagers play 11v11 and there can be two or three kids who never touch the ball during the game.

    All the best…Cris Maloney


    • Ernst Baart
      2019-02-08 @ 17:23

      Thanks Cris.
      Personally I would not consider abandoning the penalty corner a good thing. I love it, as something very specific and unique to our sport. But I know some see this different. Usually I tend to counter they only see it that way because they were too lazy training set pieces to perfection and only wanted to play games 😉
      I will take a look at your super6s set up. But for 5s I’m not so sure it would add up to more involvement in the game for all.It would seem logical although I assume in 5s it would also be a lot easier for 1 stronger individual to do it all by himself. In 11v11 you need your team. But no data exists so far to back this up… or deny it either.


  3. Ernst Baart
    2019-02-08 @ 17:23

    You might also want to check out the discussion about this article in this facebook group :


  4. Cris Maloney
    2019-02-08 @ 19:30

    I don’t want to see the penalty corner eliminate from field hockey, however, it does require the development of special skills (not used at other times during the game), is governed by a special set of rules (not used at other times during the game), limits participation, and stalls open play. So, for beginners (players and umpires) its a pretty high hurdle to have to cross. Think about it. Let’s say you’re beginning to teach beginners. Your first game is 5 practices away. Each practice is 90 minutes, including warm up, basic physical activities, teaching universal skills (hit, push, pass, receive, “get open”, how to defend), and cool down. That’s 450 minutes (7.5 hours). Now .. allocate time to prepare to attack on penalty corners and, allocate time to prepare to defend on penalty corners. How much time do you think you need? Now, consider training new umpires. How much time has to be given to prepare so that the rules governing penalty corners are understood and penalty corners can be applied correctly for a part of the game that — basically — involves 3 players (inserter, striker, and goalkeeper) before it devolves into open play? Then, what about social games? Do you really need a scoring circle and penalty corners for social games? Maybe, in fact, the social game benefits from not having to have a field that has to be marked with a circle and isn’t played with penalty corners. I believe that there is a version of the game that can benefit organizers, players, and umpires that doesn’t include the a scoring zone and the penalty corner.


  5. donjasjit
    2019-10-02 @ 10:37

    Hi there, thanks for your hockey podcast. Appreciated.

    I live in India so let me give you a perspective from here. I have been following hockey since 1984, so I can claim some knowledge of the sport.

    I make the following points for your consideration-
    1 Hockey is dying in India. It really is. The Hockey India League has not been held since 2017 because of poor spectator and sponsor interest. The interest has declined so rapidly in the heartbeat of Indian hockey, north India especially Punjab that almost no tournaments are held there any more. Instead the entire focus of hockey has shifted to eastern Indian states of Orissa and Jharkhand, which is the only place where hockey still has interest.
    2 Despite the decline in popularity, India still supplies nearly 60% of the advertising revenue of world hockey. Once that begins to decline, it will be hard to find money for things like organizing events and promoting youth hockey.
    3 I have watched the youth Olympics hockey tournament and more recently hockey 5s nationals and I was left impressed.

    The play is exciting and complicated things for casuals, like penalty corners have been discarded. The essence of hockey which is dribbling and passing is still there. This is unlike fustsal, which differs greatly from football because heading the ball is much rarer, and heading is an essential part of football.

    In addition one can get 3 hockey 5s artificial turfs out of the material used for 1 turf in hockey 11’s, and half the number of players. This is important for a developing country like India.

    Hockey 5s has the potential to bring hockey players the kind of money that they deserve for all the effort they put in the sport. I really believe that with the right kind of promotion hockey 5s will once again bring to hockey the kind of attention it had in the past in India.


    • Ernst Baart
      2019-10-02 @ 11:33

      Hey Jasjit,

      Thanks for your perspective. You certainly make some good points. Let me offer you my view on things, because I too claim some knowledge of the sport… 😉
      1. Hockey is dying in India, you say. I will certainly not claim to be any kind of expert of India and hockey in your country, but to my knowledge hockey has never been played all over India. It has always been a sport for some specific regions. These regions will shift through time because of a variety of reasons. I doubt hockey has ever been truly the sport for all of India. Because in my opinion the criteria for this is not so much how many fans or followers the sport claims to have. The main criterium is how many people actually play (!) the sport. Fans and followers will only be loyal to your sport if you can offer them a good domestic league with local teams to support, for multiple decades so the fandom can be passed on through generations. Do this and you will have fans for life… Don’t do this and fans will flock from sport to sport based upon the latest hype. The HIL had potential… Very unfortunate a lack of vision and management made it go under after a promising start.
      2. Based upon which evidence do you claim India still supplies 60% of advertising revenue? Not saying you could not be right, just don’t think there is reliable data out there to support any claim regarding advertising. But what good is Indian ad money for the game of hockey worldwide if partners like Star Sports just break existing agreements because of political powerplays not going the way of certain people at one time. If advertisers are not reliable, what use are they? The FIH at the moment relies heavily on IOC money, less on advertisers. What advertising revenue has ever been used to promote youth hockey worldwide or in India?
      3. Honestly I was not impressed, quite the contrary. Hockey already had a short format of the game, which does not need artificial grass for a surface at all and which is a lot closer (technically & tactically) to the real game of hockey than the monstrosity of 5s. The essence of hockey for me is teamwork and perseverance. Those are values in sport that add value to all who play (and even just watch) the game beyond the world of sports, also in actual life. Hockey5s, in my opinion (and of most renowned coaches I know) offers the possibility for strong individuals to make their mark on the game too much and if you shorten the game that much in time you remove the physical component as well. If you look at the the values in our traditional game of hockey – and these should be the reasons to play the game – they vanish in the game of 5s…

      I agree a short format of the game has value in helping to develop the game in certain areas of the world, but the way it is managed today it will not help the game of hockey but kill it instead. India, or the world, doesn’t need 5s to rejuvenate the game of hockey… It needs better management 😉


  6. Jasjit
    2019-10-03 @ 17:26

    Thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate your courtesy to reply to a post you made months back. You have raised some very incisive points. Please allow me the chance to respond.
    1 Your point about hockey being popular in certain regions of India and not in others is valid. As you put it, decline in interest in some areas and increase in other areas also is true.

    However, what concerns me is how fewer and fewer people overall in India are following hockey. There is overall decline in participation levels, fewer tournaments than ever before and also a fall in sponsorship. It is galling to me and maybe others too that the main sponsor of Hockey India is the state government of Orissa. A political organization as a chief sponsor is not something to be proud about in sports. One would want commercial interest.

    Hockey India League just did not have the TV ratings to flourish. To a long time hockey enthusiast it was sad to see hockey lag behind sports like kabaddi InTV eyeballs.

    As you said, maybe the league design was incorrect. Maybe it should have been based on the premier league of UK.

    2 Indian business houses like Hero, Sahara and Star Sports have been the mainstay of FIH revenues in the past few years.

    As for IOC money, we can’t be dependent on it.

    A few years years hockey was nearly axed from the olympics and after all hockey 5s emerged from the prodding of the IOC. I want hockey 11’s to continue at the olympics but if it is a question of hockey being dropped from the olympics and hockey 5s flourishing, I would prefer hockey 5s.

    No hockey of any sort at the olympics will be a disaster. In the era of cost cuttings everywhere, that is a possibility.

    3 Indoor hockey is not the option because very few developing countries have the indoor arenas for it. Besides it restricts hits, which in my opinion is like futsal where heading is almost non existent and detracts from the overall charm of football.

    I disagree about hockey 5s being less physical. Sure, the time is shorter only 20 minutes instead of 70 but in hockey 5s the interruptions are few and the ball is rarely out of play because of the side boards. So physical effort involved is roughly the same.

    I too like to watch teamwork in sports too and I saw that in hockey 5s. The essence of hockey which is dribbling and passing is maintained in hockey 5s.

    There are a few videos about the recently concluded hickey 5s nationals which illustrate that.

    I believe that both hockey and hockey 5s can co exist.


  7. donjasjit
    2019-10-04 @ 11:03

    It is a privilege to interact with you because though your point of view may differ from mine, you argue with logic not rhetoric. The 60% figure I have read in several articles. Here is one of them-

    I just wish to make one more point to our lively discussion. I was not being melodramatic about the decline of hockey in India.

    Please read the following article to get an idea of online interest about sports in India-

    Now an article about TV viewership in india

    I was horrified to read that pro wrestling and kabaddi have significantly better ratings than hockey.

    As you must have read these articles speak in hard facts about TV viewership and online interest.

    I don’t have the figures for Pakistan but I assume it must be much worse.

    Now, imagine I was a top IOC official and I read these dismal figures. Hockey has shown a drastic decline in the two most populous countries in the hockey world. This at a time of cost cutting everywhere and popular sports like MMA lobbying to enter the Olympic movement.

    Hockey 5’s is the last hope.


  8. Ernst Baart
    2019-10-14 @ 17:28

    Hi Jasjit,
    Allow me a short answer because of lack of time this time…
    1. I would prefer to measure a sports by its active participants playing regularly. Rather than measuring by passive followers or fans in stadiums or on TV. The goal of a sport is to play it, the goal is not to watch it…
    2. Do not rely on (Indian) media to get the facts, especially when it comes to finances 🙂
    FIH revenue (as explained during the FIH congress by the FIH executive board) has 4 components: 40% comes from IOC, 29% from TV rights, 19% from sponsors and hosting fees, 12% from other. I guess a large portion of the TV rights component would be Indian and and important part of sponsors and hosting as well. But if FIH would not have given so much events to India (to support reviving hockey in your country) these last years, the hosting fees and sponsor fees would have come from other parts of the world just the same. TV money would be mostly Indian yes, but unreliable as income as we’ve seen because of that.
    3. Hockey5s will never be a valid replacement according to me for the traditional (and yet very innovative) sport of hockey. Not as a player, not as a fan. I see no added value for this 3rd format of the game next to the existing traditional and the existing short format. Pushing it through will dilute the means for the existing formats and in the end we will remain empty handed.


  9. Marc Coudron wants to bridge the gap - Studio Hockey
    2021-04-22 @ 09:58

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    2021-10-07 @ 18:23

    […] Or if you will: the solution to a problem that doesn’t exist… In January 2019 I wrote a column about the origin and the facts about hockey5s and why I believe it to be our Frankenstein&#…. Very much parallel to the fictional character from book and movies, I’m convinced some of […]


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