Friday, June 5, 2009

A former hockey international voices his concern of the equitable position of Asian countries in world hockey.

It was very unusual to receive a mail from a former hockey international especially Maninderjit Singh or commonly known as Mike. It is the first time he has used my blog and i feel honoured that he has chosen to bring out the operational aspect of ranking in hockey and the equitable position of Asian countries in world hockey.

Is world hockey following the traditional political argument of the "have and have nots", thereby creating a "gap" between the powerful hockey nations and the weak hockey nations. Honestly i do not believe that it had been planned in such a way, but strangely if you read this article, one cannot but speculate to such a conclusion.

I must commend Maninderjit Singh for this work. Mike has appropriately titled his article:


“Benefit and Burden Rule is Not Equitable” - FOR ASIAN TEAMS INCLUDING MALAYSIAN HOCKEY TEAM

My view is that FIH system is not equitable to the five Continental Federations that are affiliated to the International Hockey Federation (FIH); the world governing body for hockey. The impact of this system has reflected in the reducing number of Asian teams participating in the major events such as Olympics, World Cup and Champions Trophy.

Firstly, in the early 1970’s, the transformation of field hockey to artificial turf was introduced. This has permitted new rules to be developed in order to suit the new playing surface conditions. On top of that, the artificial pitches were too expensive for Asian in comparison to the wealthier European countries. All such issues have hindered the growth of Asian hockey standards in international arena. As of today, most of the European nations have dominated the game of hockey and we only have two teams from Asia in the top ten world ranking.

Secondly, after 30 years from the transformation of surface, the introduction of World ranking system in the 2003 by the FIH Executive Board has created major obstacles for Asian teams including Malaysian Hockey Team to qualify for World Cup and Olympics. This is because the current world ranking system is further used to determine quotas and reserve countries for major events such as Olympics, World Cup and etc.

The keynote facts of the current World Ranking system are as follows:

  • Only five tournaments are taken into account.
    § Olympics (including qualifier)
    § World Cup (including qualifier)
    § Champions Trophy
    § Champions Challenge 1 & 2
    § Continental Federation Championships including qualifier.

  • Ranking system taken over a 4-year cycle on teams performance with progressively less weighted year by year (25% discount per year over a 4-year until they are deleted).

  • Champions Trophy is played on annual basis whereas the Champion Challenge1 & 2 is played once in every two years.

Based on the current FIH system, I have observed 3 main prevailing issues that hinder the growth of Asian Teams including Malaysian Hockey Team. They are as follows:

  1. The 4-year cycle system creates a great discrepancy between the top 6, top 12 and top 18 in the world ranking. By participating in World Cup and Olympics would provide them to sustain their ranking throughout the 4 years. They are entitled to collect a maximum of 250% of the points earned throughout the 4-year cycle i.e. 100% for first year, 75% for second year, 50% for third year and 25% for the fourth year.

  2. More often than not, the top 6 teams who plays in Champion Trophy on annual basis permits them to improve their ranking annually, whereas the teams rank from 7th to 18th plays once in every two years in the Champion Challenge 1 & 2. The team ranked above 18th has only their Continental Federation Championship to improve their ranking.

  3. Continental Federation Championship points are allocated and adjusted based on the Europe Hockey Federation points. For an example, a number 7 ranked team in Europe gets 450 points whereas in Asia is 182.3 points, Africa is 36 points, Oceania is 24.8 and Pan America is 166.5. Over and above this has an impact over the 4-year cycle system. The reason provided was the different standard and quality of playing nations among the Continents.

The following quotas were allocated to the five (5) Continents for the FIH 2010 World Cup based on the current World ranking:

To have an equitable system for World Ranking system and Quotas for World Cup and Olympics, I would like to recommend five strategies. They are as follows:

1. Reduce to 2-years cycle instead of 4-years cycle. The World Cup and Olympic events are separated by two years. For an example, the next 2010 World Cup and 2012 London Olympics and in which every two years, the qualified teams either in Olympics or World Cup could only collect a maximum of 150% of points earned i.e.100% of points for the first year and 50% deduction for the second year.

2. Total of 16 teams for the World Cup and 12 teams for Olympics. As for the World Cup which is under the jurisdiction of FIH, shall permit more teams to qualify and indirectly has a greater chance to improve their world ranking.

3. Champions Trophy and Champions Challenge 1 & 2 to be played once in every two years. This tournament shall be held once between the 2-years cycle. For an example: after 2010 World Cup, the Champions Trophy and Champions Challenge 1 & 2 shall be organize in the year 2011. The next competition for both events shall be held in the year 2013 after the 2012 London Olympics. Therefore, it permits new qualified teams to participate and redeem points.

4. Organize a Mini World Cup for the teams ranked from number 17 to 32. With this additional tournament, the under ranked teams has a chance to reduce the discrepancy gap between the rich and the poor. A separate ranking point system shall be formulated for the purpose of this tournament.

5. The Quotas for the Qualifying Round for the World Cup and Olympics shall be based on the individual Continental Federations ranking and not based on World Ranking system. With this, the old fashioned Inter-Continental Championship shall make his return to justifiable the quota system based on the five (5) Continental Federations. This shall also ensure a great equality among the world playing nations.

By understanding the system and looking at the allocation of quotas, the future for Asian team including Malaysian Hockey Team has an uphill battle to qualify for the coming World Cup and Olympics. This is due to the “Benefit and Burden Rule is Not Equitable” in the FIH World Ranking System. Therefore, it is my fervent hope that all the five (5) Continental Federations and the Executive Board of FIH to revisit and review the system for the betterment and equality of all playing nations.

It is strange to note that only three (3) members out of twenty four (24) members are from Asia in the FIH Executive Board. It only denotes 12.5% of the decision making. Therefore, it is going to be difficult to convince the FIH Executive Board unless the relevant Continental Federations intend to work hand in hand to remedy and push the changes accordingly within their means.

All the Best…

Maninderjit Singh (Mike)
Former Malaysian Hockey International
(1990 to 2002)


Anonymous said...

Dear Ghandi

To tell you the truth, Mike did a very good research and provided an informative article.

Well done Mike.

Your friend...

Anonymous said...


You have done all the KHALSA proud.

Bravo! Singh is King.

Anonymous said...


What an article. Congrats and proud of Maninderjit who is a former international who understands the mechanics of the system and highlighted the shortcomings face by the Asia teams.

As for MHF, please read.

The problem is whether they understand. They are all deadwoods.

Why not MHF call Mike to explain how the system works as the 99 pages of proposal by 102.

Anonymous said...

MHF should take this article and seek advice from AHF and FIH.

Is very timely, because all the FIH people is in Johor for Junior World Cup.

Why not bring Mike and debate with FIH coz our current MHF will screw it up and make blunders.

For sure Mike is willing to do it free for the sake of the nations.

Dont give the MatSallehs a chance to abuse use...

Merdeka, Merdeka, Merdeka

Anonymous said...

I think we should ask Maninderjit to join the FIH and not MHF because his standards of qualification and his ethics are his fundamental for his sucess during his playing days.

He desrves such recognition and Well Done!!!!!

Your Teammate
2000 Sydney Olympic

Anonymous said...

Where did Mike get all this information. He digested very well.

If ask our clowns in MHF for sure they dont know any shit about what Mike wrote and explains.

I bet my last dollar if any of the MHF clowns could do like what Mike did.

Anyway, Mike have open the can of worms on the system and is now that Asia teams foot their foot down and fight for their entitlement.

Thank you Mike for the article and excellence work done.

Good luck and best wishes.

Former Hockey International

Anonymous said...

Abang Mike

Articla yang begitu memberangsangkan dan baru kami faham bagaimana system ranking ini digunakan.

Harapkan pihak PHM dan pasukan Asia yang lain turut membaca luahan ini daripada bekas pemain kita.

Semoga Mike hidup bahagia dan Selamat.

Bekas Rakan Seperjuangan di padang hoki.

Anonymous said...


Ghandi and Mike has brought the attention of all hockey nations within Asia that their privileges are sabotaj.

Get up and Fight for your right.

Former MHF Secretary.

A singh need not be king said...

Mike do you understand that if your hockey standards are good then any system used will not matter as you will be in the top 10 of the world.
If we have observed in Malaysian hockey the rot set in after the 90's as players found out how the system worked.Players who were drinking,smoking and even gambling knew that mhf were powerless in getting rid of them as there was a no pool of talented players to take over.Hence all this deadwood would only have to be around and they be selected.
Now back to the rankings why was Malaysia in the top 10 of the world till the 80's,the answer was simple there was always a steady stream of players to choose from.
The mhf have neglected this portion of the equation for a long time hence us now being in the position we are.


Reply to the A singh need not be king said... comments.

For your information during the 90's to early 2000, we Malaysian hockey team have qualified in every Olympics and World Cup.

Malaysia has always been in the top 10 and the last best ranking was no 8 in the world standing in after the 2002 World Cup.

The rots started after that and now the MHF and supply of players is dimishing.

Therefore the development committee of MHF must play an influential role to arrest this matter.

But heard that the developmeny committee is in sleep but they have a fantastic names in the committee but is in dilemma.

Adios ...

Anonymous said...

Bro Ghandhi

Did anybody alert the Main stream media boys?

Would appreciate if you could email this to them.

Is a fantastic article and is something that the Asia teams and MHC to ponder about.

Is also a good yardstick for MHF to know the system before placing their targets.

Looks like a very difficult route to Qualify base on this system.

Anonymous said...


Saya sunguh gembira and rasa sukacita pasal article ini.

Sya setuju 100% dengan pendapat Mike.

Terima kasih and jumpa lagi.

Gandhi, said...


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A former hockey international voices his concern o...":

Dear Ghandi

Please email this to AHF and all the asian teams.

They need to know this information before we collapsed.

We have a Singapore, who is (DELETED) as the Deputy honcho of FIH from Singapore.

Why she is not fighting our Asian struggle at the Executive Board or she has joined the Mat Salleh and (DELETED)to survive.

Hockey Lover.

Gandhi, said...


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A former hockey international voices his concern o...":

This article has pointed out that we ASIA are colonized by the (deleted) again.

Before was our land and now are our sports.

What they do first is to get their (deleted) people in the Board and then rule the game according to their benefit and strength.

How come only 3 members from Asia and the rest are (deleted)We as ASIA must fight for our entitlement and have more voice in the game.

Good Luck and to Mike well done and we are proud of you again.

Keep the good work.

Send our love to your family.

Your cousin

-Posted by Anonymous to Voice-in-Sports at June 6, 2009 1:59 PM

a A A singh need not be king said...

Singh is king talking to people like u is a waste of time as your english say's it all,people like you have a blind judgement towards things.Anyway like i said the rot started after the 80's whatever done
afterward's for the betterment for
hockey if you get my drift never
Anyway is that u mike.

Anonymous said...

Good Article.....

Well written and informative for hockey fraternity to undetstand such system.

Malaysian chance to qualify is very difficult.

Only way is to be the Asia Champion.

1975 World Cupper

Anonymous said...

What happened to the 102 proposal

Collecting dust in the closet.

So far no improvement.

Anonymous said...


Great work Mike and keep up the good work.


John Shadow

Anonymous said...

WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good Work and Congrats.

Is one sided system

Anonymous said...

A very good corcern of the equitable position of Asian countries in world hockey.

Did our local dialies write about this issues so that the nation is aware of this equitable.