Time for an Australia Hockey Super League

Jerome Buck Roar Rookie

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    It is time for an Australian hockey league to rival our other leagues. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

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    It is now time in Australia for our very own version of the Hockey Indian League.

    Why? because if we don’t do something pretty soon, the sport of hockey will lose any space it had in the market.

    We see the success of the Big Bash League in cricket for both men and women, the all new women’s AFL and the brand new Super Netball League in Australia. Therefore, a hockey league is bound to be a success.

    It’s time more than ever for Australian hockey to develop our own Super League.

    The Australian Hockey League has played a part for many years now, but its not a true league, it’s really just the old State Championships given a fancy name.

    Now I do know that Hockey Australia are in the process of moving towards a professional league, but I think the speed may well now need to pick up even more.

    What would my new Super League look like?

    Well here is my proposal.

    To start with I would not use the current 11-a-side Olympic format, but instead use the very successful Ric Charlesworth-designed Super Nines format.

    The teams would not be state-based but franchises, and I would have ten franchises in total to start out with.

    These would be:

    1. Perth
    2. Adelaide
    3. Sydney
    4. Melbourne
    5. Brisbane
    6. Hobart
    7. Newcastle
    8. Auckland
    9. Christchurch
    10. Geelong

    Each franchise would have a playing list of 24, which can include two over-season imports and must include three players 21 and under drawn from the teams local area.

    Each team would play each other in two series of three matches one home and one away, with the final four contesting a best of three finals series in a 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 fashion. These would be based on one home game for the lower-ranked team and two home games for the higher-ranked team.

    The grand final would be a best of three series as well with the lower ranked side hosting one game and the high ranked side getting two game at home

    I think this would be an exciting format and could prove very successful.

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    The Crowd Says (31)

    • Roar Guru

      February 17th 2017 @ 7:22am
      Wayne said | February 17th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

      Put Canberra back in. And you would want a second Sydney team in. VIC, NSW and QLD are dominate teams in domestic.

      Would drop the two NZ teams to start with to reduce the costs

      • February 17th 2017 @ 1:55pm
        Jerome Buck said | February 17th 2017 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

        This is part of starting a debate, I dont agree on the point of second Sydney team, you dont have the top class numbers to sustain in Sydney. However there may well be room for a second team in Melbourne or perhaps even a second team in Brisbane or North Queensland.

      • February 17th 2017 @ 2:16pm
        Jerome Buck said | February 17th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

        I here what you are saying and this is what this article is designed to do get debate going, but Sydney couldn’t sustain two teams period. Brisbane might be able to yes, and Melbourne under my structure well does because I give one to Geelong.

        As for the Two NZ team’s I believe they add a different dimension to this, and considering that in the resent AHL in Perth there were teams from Indian, Malaysia and Singapore, I think this is clearly a direction Hockey Australia is all ready going.

        This kicks on the debate even further.

    • February 17th 2017 @ 12:42pm
      Johnno said | February 17th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

      And whose gonna fund this? No one watches field-hockey in OZ the crowds would be so small, and non-existent TV ratings, good luck paying for all the travel costs let alone finding what 200 players and paying them in a semi-pro competition.

      • February 17th 2017 @ 1:52pm
        Jerome Buck said | February 17th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

        That comment is spoken like someone who is either from AFL, or someone who is from hockey but thinks in yesterday’s terms. Hockey needs to move forward, and this is part of starting a debate on how we do this. Perhaps being less negative and more positive would be good start

      • February 17th 2017 @ 2:13pm
        Jerome Buck said | February 17th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

        Spoken with like someone who thinks AFL is the only sport, or perhaps Rugby League, or someone from hockey who lives in Yesterdays world and cant move with the times.

        • February 17th 2017 @ 5:00pm
          Johnno said | February 17th 2017 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

          Ah no, back that up what you just said about my comment. Where is the money going to come from to sustain this competition, let along get it off the ground?

          • February 17th 2017 @ 6:09pm
            Jerome Buck said | February 17th 2017 @ 6:09pm | ! Report

            Again Johnno your thinking in yesterdays world. There is space and it can work, Hockey Australia is always beginning to prove. Just ask you have you seen a hockey game lately, or are once again an AFL or Rugby League person who believes the world revolves only around those sports.

            The game of hockey is actually very marketable and has allot of interest, during last years AHL in Perth they had reasonable crowds. Now what I am proposing here is using the successful 9’s format that Ric Charlesworth introduced as the format.

            Now I think the ABC would be more than interested in this, and I think Fox will pick it up as they cover hockey now with the HIL etc. Also Hockey Australia has developed a very good digital product and this would be a great concept for that platform.

            This article kicks off a debate, perhaps you need to be more positive and not so negative.

            • February 23rd 2017 @ 1:07am
              Dom said | February 23rd 2017 @ 1:07am | ! Report

              Don’t think he’s being negative mate. It’s the main issue for why it probably hasn’t been done yet. The top 20-25 contracted Australian players for both male and female get bare minimum wages and rely heavily on government grants to live a normal life (movies,eating out etc).
              The ahl last year in Perth was contested between the opens men and woman’s. Also at the same time as the u/13s boys and girls. The crowd was mainly parents or partners of all the different states and territories.
              24 players per team will have to give up work for the duration of the tournament and expect to be paid something reasonable. Plus also the coaches,medical staff, flights etc.
              Cricket Australia and the
              Afl are very wealthy established organisation who
              Im sure had some funding input behind the big bash and woman’s afl aswell as the sponsors.
              Hockey Australia is not quite the same & I’m not sure there is the sponsors out there willing to take a punt on this? I hope there is!
              Love the idea mate and wish it would happen! But don’t be putting people down for raising the point that is the biggest issue!

              • February 23rd 2017 @ 2:37pm
                Jerome Buck said | February 23rd 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                Thats yesterday’s thinking, not the way people in the Sport are thinking today.

    • February 17th 2017 @ 2:35pm
      Lee Hockey said | February 17th 2017 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

      I reckon you would need a Canberra side and maybe north Queensland, perhaps not the NZ teams. Coverage on Fox Sports and/or ABC-TV a neccessity.

      • February 17th 2017 @ 6:15pm
        Jerome Buck said | February 17th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

        Lee Like I say this is an article which kicks starts a debate, I feel two teams in New Zealand adds a dimension to this that Hockey Australia clearly wants to go, if you look at the AHL in 2016 in Perth. Also I think that ABC can be convinced to cover as they have done before and Fox if this is put together right I think would also take it up considering how successful the HIL has been for them as well as other hockey.

        We just need to think outside the square be bold and different.

    • February 18th 2017 @ 2:24pm
      Working Class Rugger said | February 18th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

      If they can find the right mix to make ot work I’d tune in. Hockey is one of my favourite sports to tune into at the Olympics so a pro league here would pique my interests. I think it would require clever marketing but Hockey is a fast, skillful game that I think people will enjoy.

      The questions around money are legitimate. That will be the first thing that will be need to be overcome.

      As for teams. I’d keep it purely domestic. Either sub out the Kiwi teams for as above a Canberra and 2nd Queensland team or just go with 8 teams over a 14 week regular season.

    • February 19th 2017 @ 1:38pm
      Glen said | February 19th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

      Canberra a must – a strong domestic competition there (8 men’s grades with 8-12 teams in each grade). North Queensland has a small player base due to a drain of youngsters to Brisbane, but a strong fraternity and support base. NZ hockey is booming, I’d include at least one NZ team. Not sure about Newcastle – don’t hear much about hockey there, but other strong regions include Tamworth (bring back the Tamworth Frogs) and Illawarra.

      Money may be an issue, but including Malaysia, Singapore etc… Brings in dollars.

      South Africa have just launched their Premier Hockey League (PHL) and it’s working, HIL is a great success and the EHL is drawing bigger crowds each year.

      • February 19th 2017 @ 8:22pm
        Johnno said | February 19th 2017 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

        Travel costs are way cheaper in South Africa as is cost of living.

        • February 19th 2017 @ 11:43pm
          Jerome Buck said | February 19th 2017 @ 11:43pm | ! Report

          Again Johnno you keep looking at negatives you have nothing positive to say.

          Glen I like what you had to say, but I suspect Johnno you have never seen a game of hockey in your life let alone played it, and its only AFL for you and anything else can get lost.

          • February 20th 2017 @ 7:53pm
            Johnno said | February 20th 2017 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

            I’ve been watching Olympoc games Hockey since 1988, I tune in once very 4 years and watch hockey from the semi-finals onwards at the Olympics once very 4 years.

            • February 20th 2017 @ 10:51pm
              Jerome Buck said | February 20th 2017 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

              Well Johnno that is about what I thought, so your really not qualified to speak it about the game I know and luv are you then.

    • February 22nd 2017 @ 11:53pm
      Ben said | February 22nd 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

      My thoughts are to add the west club teams from each state (similar to EHL) but have the state players play for their relevant club teams if selected which would open up more spaces for developing state players, whist keeping the level high. Then add the nz teams too. The more teams the better and play a knockout pool similar to what happens at EHL. Have it televised and streamed.

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