Hockey action is just around the corner as the fifth edition of Hockey India League 2017 will kick start this week from 21st January. A month long, unadulterated sporting extravaganza is about to get unveiled which will enthrall sports enthusiasts all over the country. The Coal Hockey India League, currently in its fifth edition has been a huge success and helped immensely in the development of Indian Hockey players by giving them an opportunity to play alongside some of the best players in the world and hence learning new techniques of the sport. Along with ISL, IPL and PKL, HIL is considered as one of the major Indian Sports Events/Leagues, organized by the governing body of the Sport in the country, Hockey India.
As the league is scheduled to start from 21st January, here's everything you need to know about it.
1. Teams – The battle to win the title of HIL will be played between 6 teams, representing 6 cities of the country. The teams are Dabang Mumbai, Delhi Waveriders, Jaypee Punjab Warrios, Kalinga Lancers, Ranchi Rays and Uttar Pradesh Wizards. Each team will have 20 players; 12 Indians and 8 foreigners.
2. Format – A total of 34 matches will be played between the 6 teams; 30 League matches, 2 Knockout games, one runners up game, and one Finale. One league match will be played everyday from 21st of Jan at 19.00 IST, whereas in the knockout stage, two matches will be played in a day, culminating the tournament on 26th of Feb, when the finale will be played. Both the knockout and Finales will be played at Chandigarh.
3. Point System – The league follows the point system approved by the International Hockey Federation. For every win, 5 points will be awarded whereas 2 points will be given for a draw. A team will earn 1 point if they lose the match with a goal difference of less than 2 goals, whereas loss with a goal difference of three or more goals results in 0 points.
4. Most Expensive Players of the League – Gurbaj Singh is the costliest Indian player this season, being picked up by Ranchi Rays for a whopping amount of $99,000, while German forward Christopher Ruhr is the costliest International player, picked by Ranchi Rays for an amount of $75,000.
5. Defending Champions – Punjab Warriors will play this season to defend their title. They defeated Kalinga Lancers last season to win their maiden HIL trophy.
The fifth edition of Hockey India League is all set to start on 21st of January. The inaugural match will be played between the hosts Dabang Mumbai and Ranchi Rays. HIL tickets are already up for sale. Grab yours and cheer your home team to victory!