Having touched on ways to improve the Malaysian Junior Hockey League, let us now try to see what awaits us for the MHL this year.
It has been reported that the MHL will allow Division 1 teams to field foreign players and limit the numbers of foreign players to five for the Premier Division and at the same time limit the number of national players.
Both these suggestions will not help improve the MHL but create more issues and eventually render the MHL as just another Hockey tournament.
The key words are make, create and innovate.
Let's take the word Make.
There is a necessity to make the league more competetive. Take a leaf out of the Badminton Purple League where the prize money for champions is a whopping RM1 million.
Now make that kind of incentive available to teams and not a meagre RM80,000.
Make it a plus factor for teams from more states to participate and increase the teams in the Premier League to at least 10.
Make changes to the format, play home and away matches to generate interest and increase the fan base.
Now we move towards create.
Importantly the MHL needs to create interests in the fan base and sponsors in order to be successful.
Start of by creating a platform to enhance Hockey amongst south East Asian nations, like Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Brunei.
Open the Division 1 to teams from these countries or only allow guest players from SEA nations.
By creating this platform we can surely expect Hockey to be contested at the SEA Games in years to come.
There is a necessity to create regulations that will Ensure a level playing field for all. Time to get Creative with ideas out of the box.
And finally it's time to innovate the MHL.
Innovation comes with bold strategies such as changing the rules that will help the sport.
Why not seed teams and give 5 points for a win by lesser teams against the stronger opposition?
Innovate like the Hockey India League by counting field goals as double.
Change the composition to 9 players to allow for more space and encourage attacking Hockey.
Have the MHL run over a 3 month period of 12 weeks and not rush it within 7 weeks.
Food for thought? Nope these will ever be considered as it came from me.