The topic of conversation over the EHL weekend was without a doubt their test with the goal scoring rules this year. We’ll get back to our #onegoalisonegoal hashtag , but first… I’ve said it many times and will keep on saying it. We’re very lucky in western Europe to be able to enjoy both top notch international hockey as well as some great domestic hockey. Our wonderful club tradition in this part of the world has given us events such as the EHL. The KO16 & KO8 organised at Rotterdam in the Netherlands once again was an extraordinary event for hockey fans! The “Final 4” EHL will be held at HC Bloemendaal who are also the favourites for once again lifting that beautiful Alain Danet trophy… Mark your calendar for May 26 & 27!

Calendar issues

That being said and before I get to our hashtag #onegoalisonegoal, I would like to stress we do need to find space in our hockey calendar for this amazing event. But when we listen to the administrators of EHL at their press event in Rotterdam it’s not really reassuring. It seems they more or less take on the same attitude the Dutch hoofdklasse is showing when it comes to adapting to changes brought to us (or forced upon us according to some) by international hockey. They think everything can and will stay the same for them… and don’t seem that bothered by the calendar issues with the new HPL or Hockey Pro League starting in 2019. Obviously if we all do what seems to be the solution chosen (or maintained) in England and are OK with our top international players not being available for domestic club hockey, not much needs to change. But that would be the downfall of hockey, both domestic and international according to me…
The EHL wants to continue in its current format and schedule, meaning a round 1 (in Barcelona) in October. Followed by the KO16 & KO8 in the Netherlands at Easter and the Final4 the last weekend of May. That means in the months of April, May and June top players are engaged in the crucial phase of 3 competitions at once: national league and EHL with their clubs and HPL with the national team. And during the Final4 weekend scheduled for EHL in 2019 there will be HPL games for Great Britain and Belgium also. Of course you can choose to play EHL without your top international players or play certain HPL games without your best internationals involved in EHL. But that would not help either one. Both events need to have the best of the best playing. So it’s time to find a solution…

#onegoalisonegoal

#onegoalisonegoalThe EHL is known for being innovative and has brought us several wonderful changes such as the self pass or playing above the shoulders, etc. … The rule being tested this season however has been met with resistance from the beginning. Similar to the HIL they decided to award two goals for every field goal being scored and keeping goals scored on penalty corners to just the one goal. Both Bloemendaal coach Michel van den Heuvel and Carlos Garcia Cuenca from RC Polo de Barcelona told the Dutch television NOS they’re no fans of this test. Click here to see their reaction. With some help from Floris Geerts (the Belgian TV commentator for hockey) we asked some of the top players at this EHL what they thought…

Arthur Van Doren

Arthur Van Doren from Dragons and the Belgian national team: “I’m not a big fan…. a goal is a goal and one goal against is one goal against”

Robbert Kemperman

Dutch international and Kampong midfielder Robbert Kemperman thinks along the same lines: “Nice try, but I think it’s good to uphold traditions… and to stick with #onegoalisonegoal”

Roc Oliva

Former Spanish international and forward of Atlètic Terrassa Roc Oliva first liked the idea of this test with two goals for one field goal but changed his mind after the game lost versus Herakles where both teams score twice but Herakles won… : “It’s not fair and a big punishment for the corners. But most important is the rules should be the same in every competition we play! I would like for it to stay as it was but in the end we could get used to the new rules if they are the same in every competition.”

Lukas Windfeder

German international and forward for Uhlenhorst Mülheim Lukas Windfeder : “We’ve played it just once but I’m not a big fan.  We will have to see how the rest of the games go in the KO8 and the Final4.”

Tom Boon

Belgian striker Tom Boon is used to scoring both from field goals as well as penalty corners, but he says: “I’m not a fan. One goal is one goal. I see no real advantages to this new rule and you remove one the specific weapons in hockey.”

Mats Grambusch

Considered as one of the world’s greatest players Mats Grambusch, Rot Weiss Köln and German international, is quite clear about the rule tested as well: “I don’t like it. Because short corners are a big thing for hockey, for the players and the spectators. One goal should be one goal!”

So… we’ll have to put up with this test one more time during the Final4 from this EHL. But I guess most of us, coaches, players and spectators are hoping the test will not result in a final rule change. So make sure to let us and especially the FIH and the people at the EHL know you would like to keep the goal scoring rules as they were by using the hashtag #onegoalisonegoal on social media whenever this comes up ;)

 

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