Skip to comments.Oman Hockey Association Plans to Expand the National Hockey League
Posted on 06/02/2014 3:07:22 PM PDT by nickcarraway
BYNISHAD PADIYARATH | JUNE 01, 2014 , 8 : 35 PM GST
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Redha Taqi Al Lawati,general secretary - Oman Hockey Association. Photo - Supplied
Muscat: The Oman Hockey Association (OHA) is studying a plan to increase the number of teams for the National Hockey League ahead of the new season.
The 2014 edition of the league, which saw participation of just eight teams, concluded on Saturday night at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex with K.K. Poonacha-coached Ahli-Sidab clinching the title after overcoming Al Nasr via penalties.
Revealing the details of the plan to Times Sport on Sunday, OHA General Secretary Redha Taqi Al Lawati said the governing body is "seriously studying" a comprehensive plan to include more teams to popularise the sport.
"We want to have more teams playing in the hockey league as that is the face of the game. We want to see more clubs playing in the league and currently we are studying a plan to expand that pool so that more clubs can play and we are quite serious about it," Redha informed.
If the plan is implemented then the league will have at least 11 teams playing in the next season. "We are looking to have at least ten or eleven teams playing in the league," he said.
According to Redha, having more teams will help more players in the country to play the sport.
Currently, the league has over 210 players of which 192 players are registered. "There are about 18 players who are not registered but they play. The reality is that all these eight clubs have 30 players each, of which only 20 may play. So what happens to the rest?" Redha asked.
"So our focus is on these reserves and those unregistered players. We want them to play the league like the others, so having more teams can give these players exposure," he explained.
Fifteen clubs are registered with the OHA to play various levels of tournaments.
"Some of them are registered to play the Youth League and few others are registered to play in the junior categories," Redha said. "If these clubs are convinced and if they can cooperate, certainly it will add a feather in our cap."
The Youth League has 128 registered players and 12 unregistered players while the Under-12 category has 140 registered players. With 320 players in its various academy centres in the country, Redha said the game is gaining popularity.
"Our aim is to open 16 centres by the end of 2014 and we currently have 14 centres already. All the centres are receiving a good response from the youth who want to take up the game. We are quite excited about the future of this sport and we have some exciting plans as well," he added.
Canada won’t rape camels, and you don’t play hockey.
There’s a mall in Dubai which has a huge alpine skiing area.I saw it...from the window,not from inside.It’s said to operate year round.The typical high temp in Dubai is 80 in January and 115 in July...and May....and September.Oman is only about 100 miles or so from Dubai.
I think they are referring to Field Hockey in the article. The sport is quite popular in that part of the world, especially in India.