When is the next Hockey India League?

After a seven-year hiatus, the widely celebrated hockey event in India is scheduled to make a grand return either in late 2024 or early 2025.

Kalinga Lancers became the champions of the 2017 Hockey India League (Image Credits - Twitter/ @KalingaLancers)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Jul 4, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The fans of the Hockey India League (HIL) finally have a reason to rejoice. After a seven-year hiatus, the widely celebrated hockey event in India is scheduled to make a grand return either in late 2024 or early 2025. Financial struggles and disagreements with team owners led to the discontinuation of the league in 2017. However, the wait seems to be coming to an end as the organizers have decided to recommence the tournament. The Hockey India League (HIL) is set to resume after the Paris Olympics 2024, scheduled from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

What the President of Hockey India, Dilip Tirkey had to say

Spearheaded by Olympian and the President of Hockey India, Dilip Tirkey, the new organizational structure at Hockey India (HI) aims to revitalize the national hockey landscape. They envision the HIL as a platform to nurture emerging talents. Tirkey stated, “We have requested a window from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the tournament. We are aiming for a slot post the Olympics, perhaps in December next year or January 2025. But we are yet to receive an official response from FIH.”

The new format for the HIL promises to be inclusive and exciting. In a significant move, the tournament will now feature a competition for women, breaking away from the men-only tradition. The updated HIL will present eight men’s teams and four women’s teams battling it out for the championship. In Tirkey’s view, “Our goal is to offer exposure to the young talents of our country. The HIL can be their platform to grow, learn, and compete with the world’s top players.”

What the secretary-general of Hockey India had to say

Hockey India has also collaborated with Big Bang Media Ventures, a prominent commercial and marketing agency, to manage the promotional and commercial aspects of the revamped Hockey India League. Bhola Nath Singh, the secretary-general of Hockey India, shares Tirkey’s enthusiasm related to the revival of the league. Singh emphasized that they are committed to ensuring the success of the league and confirmed that the new version of HIL will be launched next year  He added, “HIL is our initiative and we aspire to reintroduce it on a grander scale. The league’s revival was a key point in our election agenda, and we’re putting in all our efforts to make it a big success.”

The Hockey India League, established in 2013, involved six teams originally, with a regular season spanning two months from January to February. Each team played 10 games and the top four teams advanced to the playoffs. The final match decided the outcome of the tournament. The most recent HIL champion was the Kalinga Lancers in 2017, while other winners were Ranchi Rhinos, Delhi Waveriders, Ranchi Rays, and Punjab Warriors. The two other teams which featured in the league were UP Wizards and Dabang Mumbai.

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