We need weight classes in hockey

Discussion in 'India' started by don, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. HBR

    HBR FHF Starter

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    It seems to me that you are missing a number of important points:
    1. Contrary to what appears to be your main argument, size and weight are not the only important aspects of hockey. Skill and technique are hugely important factors too, and in my opinion are of far greater importance than the size + weight of a player. Without good stick skills such as first touch and intangibles like decision making and spotting the right pass, a person would not be a good hockey player. If India played the Australian rugby team at hockey they would of course destroy them. Sorry for the extreme example, but what makes Germany and Australia two of the top sides in the world isn't that they're bigger and more physical than every other team, it is that their players possess the best combination of attributes. Equally, Jamie Dwyer, arguably one of the best hockey players of the modern era, weighs just 70 kg, and seems to have no problems shredding larger and heavier defenses.

    2. Pure stick skills should not, in my opinion, be the only separating features in hockey. I enjoy watches matches where there are a variety of skills on show: (sorry for stereotyping positions so unashamedly) there can be the speed and elimination skills of a forward, the centre back with an incredible slap who can distribute the ball and also dragflick, the midfielder who has great first touch, passes well and keeps the team flowing. If you negated all the aspects apart from stick skill then hockey would be an incredibly boring game. Why not just get all the players to stand still so that physical attributes are pointless. Sorry to use a football example, but by you sound like all the Barcelona fans who argue their style of football is the only style worthy of winning with their physically small but exceptionally skillful players. While I enjoy watching Barcelona pass teams to shreds as much as the next football fan, I can also appreciate the speed and explosiveness of Cristiano Ronaldo and the strength and determination of Drogba. If all teams tried to play like Barcelona, the game would be boring and undoubtedly poorer for it. Similarly, in hockey, I like how different players have different strengths and it is the combination of these that make a successful team.

    3. As part of your complaint you cite that Indian players are not being fed enough and are not receiving proper nutrition. I can't help but feel that that is their problem and not something that can be used as an argument to limit other teams. We are in an era when even predominantly unprofessional sports (in terms of wages) are becoming increasingly professional (in terms of approach towards conditioning, training and tactics). At the highest level at least, hockey isn't a sport where you can eat at McDonalds all week, not work out and rock up to the game and expect to win. Even when playing school hockey we had a weights program and nutrition plan, for a national team to complain that it isn't giving its players enough to eat while they are on a tour to China offers no surprises as to why India is currently relatively uncompetitive regarding international hockey. You also make the point that Asian teams used to dominate hockey, citing the number of gold medals won. This was certainly the case, but in part was due to new tactics and skills such as the Indian dribble, replacing some of the more physical tactics previously employed by non-Asian teams. But the rest of the world has caught up and overtaken you. No longer can you categorically say that Asian teams are the most skillful, in this regard they have certainly been matched and in most other aspects regarding top-level hockey, been surpassed.

    4. You talk about how for Indian players to hit the gym and bulk up at all would be un-natural. What part of top-level sport is natural? As mentioned, most international athletes are freaks of nature, for instance the skill teun de nooijer is not something naturally occurring in all humans. In all sports you must adapt to the demands of that individual sport. In rugby, for example, players must work out in the gym, I am friends with a number of mid-high level rugby players and know how far above their natural body weight they have had to become in order to compete at the level they do. I doubt there is a single international rugby player who could play at that level without some for of weight training. Similarly, badminton players use special computer programs to speed up their reactions and slip catchers in cricket do hours of practice to harden their hands. You also seem to be disregarding the purpose of working out. In a sport like hockey, players are going to the gym in order to be able to punch opponents harder (boxing) or lift people up (crude example from rugby), it's to improve power and speed, elements of hockey people love to watch. I personally have always struggled a bit with top-end speed, so to combat this have started a program for myself involving leg weights, pylometrics and flexibility training. If I'm willing to do this just to play pretty low level hockey, surely the people proudly representing your nation should be willing to put in a bit of spare time to do some extra training.

    I'm sorry for the essay length reply, in no way do I mean this to be a personal attack on you or the Indian team. I appreciate the argument you are making and why you are making it, but simply disagree with the reasoning behind it, not least to mention the impractical nature of having multiple national teams that others have commented on. Sorry if I have in any way misunderstood aspects of your argument.
     
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  2. freebird

    freebird FHF All Time Great

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    Boom! Headshot
     
  3. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    Asian teams complain that when the game moved from grass to turn their superior skills were diminished, allowing the physicality of Europeans/Aus to dominate the game.

    Actually, what really happened at the same time was that sports science made tremendous advances in training and nutrition. When you aren't as fit as your opposition, your skills and decision-making both break down sooner. India in particular simply got left behind in fitness.

    I've heard some incredibly tenuous arguments in the Umpiring Corner, but trying to justify weight classes in hockey has to be the weakest I've heard outside it!
     
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  4. Inselaffen

    Inselaffen FHF All Time Great

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    in S.E.Asia body type definitely does play a part. Players are in general smaller and lighter. but they need to play to their strengths. They are quick and very nimble.

    The difference in body size between Europeans and Indian sub-continent players is very minimal here. So there I agree with others in saying that diet and conditioning are the bigger factor.
     
  5. jaduong

    jaduong FHF Legend

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    Danger, Danger, High Voltage!!
     
  6. MK

    MK FHF Legend

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    Pretty much. But im sorry, a lot of Indian hockey fans come up with countless claims and theories rather than the most obvious one.

    Put in the graft, stop moaning, and actually work hard to get back into the medals.
     
  7. controller

    controller FHF Legend

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    I have read this thread and I have never read so much rubbish in my life and post enough it myself in the past!
     
  8. Moody_Git

    Moody_Git FHF Regular Player

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    Alongside weight classes, I think there should be a prize for best team costume and for whoever consumes the most at the bar.

    You might as well get to the nearest bank holiday hockey festival instead. You might even enjoy yourself.
     
  9. MK

    MK FHF Legend

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    Have you seen the Indian team play recently!!!!
    Bournemouth at Easter springs to mind!
     
  10. DoubleR

    DoubleR FHF Regular Player

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    Utter nonsense. Why don't India and Pakistan just play each other every week then, so then one of them is guaranteed to win (or draw..!)

    Adapt and survive - where do you think the Germans and Dutch learned the stick skills that made them Olympic finalists? It evolved from the earlier skills introduced by Asian teams combined with what they were strong at, the physical side. What if Trinidad and Tobago develop a radical style of play that makes them successful? They won't be champions forever because others will learn from it and improve on it, just as India are trying to learn about strength and conditioning from the more successful teams (be they European or Australasian).

    You've missed the point of the Australian physiologist being brought in - its because physiologically the players were not conditioned well enough to compete, its not genetics, its sports science.
     
  11. Craig Boyne

    Craig Boyne FHF All Time Great

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    this is nuts, like rick_422 mentioned, how would you explain Jamie Dwyer getting 5 times world player of the year? Little bloke like him singlehandedly throws your theory out the window. Don't look for excuses in performances of asian teams in their body size... (ps the world rankings of asian men's sides are PAK 5th, KOR 8th, IND 11th, MAS 13th... not too bad!)
     
  12. jaduong

    jaduong FHF Legend

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    but, of course, that's because Mr Dwyer has rockets in his ankles and afterburners in his hind quarters. he's a cyborg, so does not fit into the OP's inconvenient hypotheses.

    then again, maybe he just worked his ar$e off all his life and got precisely the rewards he deserved for that effort and nurturing of talent.
     
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