Hockey India League (HIL)
Hockey India League (Hindi: हॉकी इंडिया लीग), abbreviated as HIL, is a professional league for field hockey competition in India. It is organised by Hockey India. The tournament was originally contested in the first season among five franchisee-based teams (originally planned as six) consisting of players from India and around the world. In 2014, Kalinga Lancers joined as the sixth franchise, based in Bhubaneswar. The plan is to have 8 teams by 2016 and 10 by 2018, with a possibility of having a team from south India. The entire event takes place on home and away basis culminating into multi-header playoffs. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has sanctioned the event and also provides a 30-day window at the beginning of a year so that all top players can participate. It is currently sponsored by two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, and is therefore officially known as Hero Hockey India League or HHIL.
The first season of HIL was played from 14 January to 10 February 2013, and was contested among five teams out of which Ranchi Rhinos became the champions after defeating Delhi Waveriders 2–1 in the final. The second season of HIL was won by Delhi Waveriders.
The inaugural season of Hockey India League took place from 14 January to 10 February. Eight players from Pakistan returned home before the start of the tournament due to the protests against their participation by anti-Pakistan protesters from Hindu Yuwak Sabha and Shiv Sena.
The inaugural match of this season was played at Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi which was won by Delhi Waveriders 2–1 against Punjab Warriors. A total of 34 matches were played in 28 days. Top four teams in the league phase qualified for the play-offs, which were held at Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, while the fifth was eliminated. Ranchi Rhinos defeated Delhi Waveriders 2–1 in the final to become the champions of the first HIL.
The second season of Hockey India League was played from 23 January 2014, with the final on 23 February 2014. A new team was added to the league making it a six-team tournament. Delhi Waveriders defeated Punjab Warriors in 3-1 Shoot-out to win Second Hockey India League, while Ranchi Rhinos secured 3rd Position in the Tournament.
First season of Hockey India League was played from 14 January to 10 February with five city-based franchises on home and away basis. It was originally planned as a tournament with six contesting teams but the sixth franchise (Bangalore) remained unsold.The six franchises spent USD 1.37 million to buy 49 players from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, Ireland, England, South Africa and India.
Indian hockey’s chief sponsor Sahara India Pariwar bought the first franchise of the proposed Hockey India League (HIL) based in Lucknow. Jaypee Group picked up the Punjab based franchise. Ranchi became the third franchise for this league owned by Patel-Uniexcel Group. Business house Wave Group bought Delhi franchise making it the fourth of the six teams. Mumbai became the fifth franchise which was bought by the Burman family who are the promoters of Dabur India Ltd.
The remaining one franchise, Bangalore, remained unsold due to the inaugural season was a five team event. India Cements, the current owners of the most successful IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings, received a proposal from Hockey India in owning Chennai based franchise.
The second season of HIL will be played among six teams. The sixth franchise is based in Bhubaneswar and is named Kalinga Lancers. It is owned by Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha (IDCO) and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.(MCL).
Hockey India (HI) appointed Steve Catton as competitions director for the first season of the tournament. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev Shukla, leader of the opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and media personality Rajat Sharma are the members of the board of Hockey India League (HIL). Rajiv Shukla is also the chairman of the Indian Premier League Governing Council while Arun Jaitley serves as the vice-president of BCCI from North Zone. Along with Steve Catton, Barry Anderson was appointed as the tournament director.
Hockey India appointed Todd Faulds as its director competitions for the second edition of the League. Todd worked as a competitions manager for the FIH 2012 Men’s Champions Trophy in Melbourne and 2012 International Super Series in Perth. Bjorn Isberg was appointed as tournament director. Isberg has served as tournament director for 2012 London Olympics, and three champions trophy tournaments in 2004, 2007, 2011.
|Season||Tournament director||Competition director|
|2013||Barry Anderson||Steve Catton|
|2014||Bjorn Isberg||Todd Faulds|
Hockey India League (HIL) signed a multi-year title sponsorship deal with the two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp, for the title sponsor of the tournament, making it the Hero Hockey India League.
- 2013–present: Hero MotoCorp
Hockey India League also roped in telecommunications services company, Bharti Airtel, as the associate sponsor for the event. Yes Bank, a private bank in India, signed multi-year deal with HIL in November 2013.