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An open letter to the Kenya Hockey Union – Proposal on how to play the league



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February 23, 2012
An article by posted on the l

An open letter to the Kenya Hockey Union – Proposal to play league.

The points I am putting forward on this article concerns the  Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) and hockey stakeholders (clubs) in Kenya. This note is necessitated by the fact that KHU, which is body mandated to run the hockey league in Kenya on behalf of clubs is becoming an enemy of the clubs and hockey fraternity as a whole.

My points are as follows:
1. Who is the Kenya Hockey Union?
2. Games in the hockey league
3. Cost of the  hockey league
4. Promotion and demotion in league
5. National team
6. KHU cup
7. Other matters

Who is Kenya Hockey Union

This is the body mandated by the Government of Kenya to manage the game of hockey on behalf of clubs. The KHU acts on behalf of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) as an association to run field hockey on its behalf.

What is a league

A league is where teams either meet twice to play each other or engage in a  one way knockout where a team has one chance and the loser has no chance to recover its loss (this is the format adopted by the KHU in the 2011 season).

The cost of running a league and one way knockout is the same and this is the case i wich to put forward to the KHU.

Before we discuss the league lets deal with :

1. How many pitches are used for the hockey league in Kenya and how many games can be played per week.

Pitch games per weekend
CITY PARK 6
Mombasa Sports Club 2
Mombasa Institute 2
Kisumu 2
Kakamega 2
Nakuru 2

Note that 4 games can be played out outside Nairobi per weekend

The total games per weekend is 16 games as per above

2) Total games in two way league in 36 weeks:

That is from March to November 36 weeks X 16 = 576 games

Premier LEAGUE=12 teams (11×11) =121 games

National league=14 teams (13X13)= 169 games

National women 9 teams (8 X8) = 64 games

Total= 354 games

This means 576 – 354 games =222 games = 222/16 =13 weeks will be free in a season.

Tournaments can be slotted in in the 13 free weekends.

My proposal

A KHU Cup tournament can be slotted t in where Premier and National league teams will be drawn to play knockout games similar to the FA CUP IN English Premier League. This will  improve standards at all levels. This can take 8 weeks and also rest weekend can be slotted in 3 weeks

Cost of league  to clubs

The cost of league will be worked at in this format:

All teams will travel 3 times in a season. Let me explain this: Some teams will play home and away in one weekend against the opponents to eliminate double travel e.g. Team “A”(NAIROBI CLUB) PLAYS TEAM “B” (MOMBASA CLUB) in MSA on Saturday and Sunday. At times two teams travel and play each other away to reduce cost of playing one game, meaning 4 games will be played away.

The issue of Kisumu, Kakamega, Mombasa (2) teams will meet in Nairobi twice. All teams MUST play away 3 times in a year saving the cost and using same resources.

Cost of match balls: Kenya Hockey union is asking all clubs to pay KSH 1000/= per ball per game. We have 34 clubs who pay total 354 games X Ksh 1000/= is 354,000/= . To reduce this cost why don’t each team provide 2 (two) balls to be used during the whole league and taken back after each game ( 34 teams X 2= 68 BALLS / 354 GAMES=5 ).

Each ball will be used 5 times in games per year.

Umpires payment:
Hockey is a games played by two teams and each game is officiated by neutral person who is an umpire. The umpires travel to the pitch as other teams, but the umpires use their personal means while the teams pool their resources and travel together in a bus or private cars.

My suggestion to all clubs is that since we must meet the small cost of this person, we can transfer the cost of balls to pay the umpires plus one jury.

Practically 354000/= / 354 games = If this amount is divided by the games the whole year games = ksh 1000 per game. 2 umpires and judge will get Ksh 500/= each and balance will assist in other costs = 354 games X 250/= =88,500/=

My take
If  these measures are adopted,  the expenses of the clubs will be greatly reduced, the match officials and umpires will be paid, and players will get the recommended games per year (a player is supposed to play minimum 25-30 games in year).

  • Dstv just started a channel for sports in East Africa and I urge KHU to apply for a slot for live games for hockey lovers to improve hockey playing interest.
  • KHU should introduce EAST AND CENTRAL Africa Club championship where National league winners and Cup winners can play.
  • Premier winners should go to Africa club championship
  • Clubs should be told, before the start of this years league, how many teams will be demoted and promoted to make the league exiting, competitive and transparent. I urge KHU to make it mandatory before the start of the league that last 2 teams in Premier must go to National and National winner and runner-up to be promoted. This will bring a stronger league on both ends. Each team will have a purpose to play as a lot is at stake. The standards across will also improve hence bring professionals and making sponsorship deals attractive.

l will hate to see hockey going the Kenya Basketball way in 2009, where clubs boycotted the league because the association could not listen to them. This brought a better league and all clubs and players a very happy lot to date.

l therefore urge all clubs to stay calm while KHU to comes up with a proper solution and prove of expenses.

If the KHU insists on its way or the highway, we can as well wait for elections as we keep busy with tournaments across the country.

Thanks all and please support our Mother body KENYA HOCKEY UNION

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