HIL switches to five-a-side format

The revamped Hockey India League (HIL) will return in 2019 in a new avatar with a more fast-paced five-a-side format replacing the traditional 11-a-side event.

The HIL’s future looked uncertain after five seasons when Hockey India postponed the 2018 edition.   -  Twitter @HockeyIndiaLeag

The Hockey India League (HIL), which was last held in 2017 and suspended for the current year with concerns surmounting that the lucrative franchise-based competition was over for good, is now confirmed to return in the latter half of 2019, albeit in a new avatar.

“The league would be remodelled and would now include both men’s and women’s events. We are looking at making it five-a-side instead of 11-a-side. It would not make much difference in terms of personnel given the fact that the teams needed to have at least 20 players on their roster. Now they would have 10 men and women each,” a senior Hockey India official confirmed on the sidelines of the FIH Congress, here.

“The existing franchises are likely to continue and we are still in talks with them, working out details. We are also talking to other possible owners. The Pro League would be over in the first half of 2019 and all players from across the world would be available for the HIL. The HIL is not going anywhere, it will be held,” the official added.

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