Revisiting World Series Hockey 2012, While Waiting for WSH-2

Exactly a year ago, 1st edition of World Series Hockey was concluded with Sher-e-Punjab emerging as champions. Sher-e-Punjab had outclassed (5-2) Pune Strykers to win the 1st title of WSH.

World Series Hockey Logo

Eight franchise based teams Bhopal Badshahs, Chandigarh Comets, Chennai Cheetahs, Delhi Wizards, Karnataka Lions, Mumbai Marines, Pune Strykers and Sher-e-Punjab participated in the 1st edition of WSH organized by Nimbus Sports in association with Indian Hockey Federation (IHF). 160 Indian players and 48 players from abroad (0.3 ratio of International players with respect to Indian players) played in the 2012 edition of the month long event.

Apart from a total of Rs. 10,00,00,000/- prize money, WSH invested a few Crores of Rupees in improving the infrastructure at host venues such as installation/upgradation of lights, laying/repairing of turf, installation of world class goalposts, etc. The WSH also worked with stadium authorities through out 8 venues (Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Jalandhar, Mumbai and Pune) to repair/upgrade and create facilities such as change rooms for the players, rest-rooms for spectators, etc. which are critical facilities but ignored often by the organizers and hosts. Continue reading →

World Series Hockey 2 Rescheduled

Bangalore, 16 November, 2012: World Series Hockey (WSH) and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) have decided to reschedule the second edition of World Series Hockey, India’s first multi city franchise-based hockey tournament.

World Series Hockey LogoWSH 1 was a resounding success on-air, on-ground and online. With an average TV weekly reach of 8.9 million, the league was three times bigger than the nearest non-cricket competitor in the same period, English Premier League (2.75 million) (Source: TAM, CS 4+)

There were packed stadiums with 350, 000 + walk-ins, 10,000 articles in key national and regional newspapers generating media value in excess of 100 crores, and 10 million impressions across WSH digital properties with live streaming on YouTube, a global first for hockey.

The decision to reschedule the dates of hockey’s biggest annual event was taken after a request made by the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) to the organizers of the Event. The IHF has been in discussions with players, participating coaches and match officials, all of whom have reiterated their commitment to play in World Series Hockey.

There are two significant matters which could potentially properly define and cement the status of the IHF as the sole and exclusive governing body for hockey in India: Continue reading →

World Series Hockey Season 2: Bigger and Better with 1 match a day

World Series Hockey is back for its second edition, bigger and better!

TWorld Series Hockey Logohe largest hockey league in the world will start with a double header on Saturday, 15 December and will run till the finals on Sunday, 20 January.

The tournament will now have 45 matches played over 5 weeks, as opposed to 59 matches over the same period in the first edition. There will be one match a day on weekdays and two matches a day on the weekends. The weekday match begins at 8 pm and the two weekend matches start at 6 pm and 8 pm respectively.

This spread ensures that players get adequate rest between games and top-notch hockey is guaranteed from start to finish.

The number of teams in the competition now stands at seven, with Chandigarh Comets and Sher-e-Punjab united into one Punjab team. This will ensure undivided support for the team, with matches played across multiple venues in Punjab.  Continue reading →

Nimbus and IHF announce dates for WSH Season 2: From 15 December 2012 to 20 January, 2013

Mumbai, 6 September: After the resounding success of the first season of World Series Hockey, Nimbus and IHF have announced the dates for the second season. The world’s biggest hockey league will be played from Saturday, 15 December 2012 to Sunday, 20 January 2013.

Yannic Colaco (COO, Nimbus Sport) and R K Shetty (President IHF) during 1st Season of WSH

File Photo: Yannic Colaco (COO, Nimbus Sport) and R K Shetty (President, IHF) during 1st Season of WSH

The inaugural season of World Series Hockey was a resounding success with the championship being watched in over 30 countries on television and over 65 countries on YouTube. The unique television tune-ins in India was over 32 million; triple that of the English Premier League in the same period.

The 5 week long inaugural tournament created unprecedented buzz in terms of daily prime time action on television and record fan walk-ins in the stadium. An aggressive 360-degree marketing campaign and extensive media coverage resulted in extremely high awareness and consumption of World Series Hockey. Continue reading →

India vs Pakistan: Should Collaborate and Fight it out Together

Is India vs Pakistan game that big? One India Vs Pakistan match changes the value of tournament itself in terms of viewership, news coverage and hype, but does it matter for India and Pakistan when they finish in lower half of the standings in the tournament? Or it matters for their rivalry and pride.

India Pakistan FlagsWhat makes me sad is current the situation of hockey in both countries Pakistan and India and we are happy wining against each others, rather than focusing on regaining our status of power houses. We (India and Pakistan) have abilities to excel and reach the heights of past glory again, but why are not we able to, even after trying different combinations of foreign coaches, young/experienced/mixed squads and/or traditional attacking/European style of play? Because, we do not have a leader who can lead us till the top and has capability to arrest our fall which generally happens after rising upto a certain level. I feel we can not find it outside somewhere, rather we will have to look for it within ourselves. Continue reading →

Gurjinder Singh of Chandigarh Comets: Bridgestone WSH ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Golden Stick’

Gurjinder Singh (IND)

Gurjinder SinghGurjinder Singh

City / State : Punjab, DOB: 1-04-1994
Field Position : Defender
Junior India debut: Sultan Johor Cup 2011 (Named Captain, but could not play due to injury)
WSH Team: Chandigarh Comets
WSH Goals: 19

Chandigarh Comets’ 18-year-old drag-flick powerhouse Gurjinder Singh made a dream debut in the league, and won Bridgestone WSH ‘Rockstar’ to take home a cash prize of Rs 1 crore . He also shared Bridgestone WSH ‘Golden Stick’ with Syed Imran Warsi from Chennai Cheetahs (19 goals apiece).

His Hockey Story: He comes from a village where every school, every child plays hockey. His interest in hockey grew when he saw India’s international player Prabhjot Singh (from same village) play, and to see someone from that small area representing the national team was very encouraging for Gujinder Singh. So he started playing hockey when he was 10 years old. A year later, he joined the Chandigarh football and hockey academy. Since then, there has been a steady growth. Continue reading →