The women's hockey squad celebrate after winning the gold medal at the Myanmar SEA Games in December. In the Women’s National Hockey League, each team may only field five national players at any one time. - Bernama Photo
KUALA LUMPUR: The inaugural Women’s National Hockey League will take off next month.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) competitions committee has agreed to the start of the league this year it will be in a one-division round robin format. The title winner will be decided after the final between the top two teams.
MHC competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan said on Sunday that the league will run simultaneously with the men’s MJL Division One matches, which will also kick off on March 14.
He said the competition is open to all states, clubs and school teams.
“We are now in the process of sending out the invitations to all interested teams and it will include the guidelines and rules of the competition.
“We are not sure what kind of response we will get as this is our first attempt at having a league for women at the national level,” he said.
The competitions committee at its meeting on Saturday also decided that it would be a one-division league even if there is a large number of entries.
The total prize money has been set at RM65,000, which is the same amount being offered for the men’s Division One. The winner will receive RM30,000 followed by RM20,000 for the runners-up and RM10,000 and RM5,000 for the third and fourth-placed teams respectively.
To give all the teams a fair chance, the committee has also decided that each team can only play with five national players.
“A team may register 10 national players but only five can be on the field at any one time. This will allow more teams to have the services of the national players and they won’t be monopolised by any single team. We will provide a list of the national players so that there is no confusion as to which players are eligible under the guidelines,” he said.
The committee has also agreed to two foreign players being included in each team.
Gobinathan added that all matches will be held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil unless there are requests from outstation teams to play their matches at their designated home venue.
“There could be teams from Penang or other states. If they want to play at their home ground then we will discuss it and allow for such matches. Otherwise, all matches will be played in Bukit Jalil,” he said.