Hockey : A lesson on how to do fair fixtures ?

The Tun Razak Cup gets underway and after having received three different set of fixture, there were several calls from coaches on the way the fixtures were done.

One glance at it showed many “deliberate” mistakes.

Not claiming to be an expert, I say down with my brother Jusvir to study the fixtures and spot the errors.

Jusvir is very detailed when ever he used to draw up fixtures and both of us used to counter check with each other.

The results we came up with were shocking but with the Team Managers meeting this Thursday, it can be rectified if the suggestion below are taken into consideration and not let pride stand in the way.

The first impression one gets when looking at the fixtures is that these fixtures have been drawn in favour of one particular team.

After a study of  the fixtures, the comments are as follows;

MEN

The fixtures favour Selangor as they play their matches at 1900, 2000 and 2000. ( all night games)

The irony is that on 21 September  two teams from Group B ( Sabah and Johor ) play at 1600 but Selangor and Perak play at 2000.

Shouldn’t they too be playing at 1600 to be fair to the other teams in the pool.  

A clear example of favouritism to one particular team.

All teams should play at the same time for their final pool matches so as to avoid match fixing and to be fair to all teams, ( This is the basic rule in drawing up fixtures )

Sabah and PDRM are also victims as they play 3 matches on three consecutive days whereas the other teams have a day’s Rest in between .

ATM and PDRM play their last match on 20 September but Terengganu and Kelantan play their last match on 21 September.

Even in Pool A Penang and Perlis play at 1600 on 20 Sept and Penang plays again the next day  at 2000.

Both Perlis and Malacca get a day’s rest in between matches but Penang has to play back to back matches.

This is mainly because the fixtures are done to please one particular team.

The teams in Group A should play their in the first 3 days ( meaning that all teams play back to back matches )

For the Quarter Finals, why do we need to do a draw.

Why can’t we just follow FIH Tournament Regulations ( Appendix 5 ) which has given the following guidelines:

Match 46

1st. Pool A  v 2nd. Pool B

Match 47            

1st. Pool D v 2nd. Pool C

Match 48            

1st. Pool B  v 2nd. Pool A

Match 49            

1st. Pool C  v 2nd .Pool D

The Semi Final would be as follows;

Winner MN 46 v Winner  MN 47

Winner  MN  48 Winner  MN 49

This way the past years Champions and Runnersup will only meet in the Final assuming they do not falter in the group matches .

If we Follow the Fixtures, the possibility of last years Champion and Runner up meeting in the Semi Finals is great if both are Champions in their pools respectively.

This is according the Fixtures as the winners of  QF  MN 40 will play the winners of MN 41 .

Very interesting as it is against the norm in drawing up fixtures

As for the placing matches ( MN 45 to 46 ) it is better to determine who plays .

For example 9 – 12 placing . it would be better if it can be stated in the fixtures as follows;

3rd Group A  v 3rd. Group   D

3rd Group B  v 3rd. Group   C

The winners will play for 9/10 placing and the losers for 11/12 placing.

This is in line with the FIH tournament regulations Appendix 5

Even for the 13 to 15 placing we can name the group as MM as decide on the fixtures

MN 44              

MM 1  v MM  3

MN 51              

MM 3  v MM  2

MN 60              

MM 2  v MM  1

This way it would avoid misunderstanding as to who will play 2 games back to back.

The timing of the matches is a bit odd.

On day 1  – It is  1500, 1600,1700,1800,1900,2000,2100

On day 2 – 1700,1800,1900,2000

On Day 3 –  It is 1600,1800

On Day 4 – It is 1600,1800,2000

A Suggestion to follow;

Day 1 –   1500 ( 2 matches Group B),1700 ( 2 matches Group C) 1900 ( 2 matches Group D )    2100  ( 1 match Group A )

Day 2 –   1500 ( 2 matches Group C),1700 (2 matches Group D) 1900 ( 2 matches Group B )    2100 ( 1 match Group A)

Day 3 –  1800 ( 1 match Group A)

Day 4 –  1500 ( 2 matches Group D),1700 ( 2 matches Group B) 1900 ( 2 matches Group C )    

This way all teams in the Group play at the same time and every team plays at 1500, 1700 or 1900 once.

This will avoid match fixing and favouritism in drawing up fixtures.

WOMEN

The women fixture are drawn up very well.

Credit should be given where it is due.

The problem arises in the second round matches.

If we look at the fixtures, we will find that Group X and Y teams have  been predetermined.

Group X will consist of Group A champions , Group B Runner up and Group C Runner up.

Group Y will consist of Group A Runner up, Group B Champions and Group C Champions.

A better way is to have a draw to determine which group will 2 champions.

This will be a fairer option to all teams.

We might have 2 champions and 1 runner up in Group X and 1 champion and 2 runner up in Group Y.

A draw would be a better option as teams cannot fix matches to purposely fall in the weaker teams pools.

See even this Cacat together with his brother who has been left out of all competitions so far can figure out the sues even though we are considered as not relevant to the sport.

The right person for the right job should be the criteria.

But just because I am outspoken, you take it out in Jusvir.

And what happens – those at states do not even know how to analyse the fixtures.

No matter from which state you are, it’s all about fair play and justice.

So to the states, speak up if you care for your teams, but do not complain after the tournament gets underway.

Well before one takes glory for live and recorded matches on RTM, fix this first unless fixtures fine so that certain teams get the bulk of live matches.

Or if one still does not understand, then it’s best to pick up the phone and seek assistance.

No one claims to be perfect, save for a few who think the sport belongs to their family heirloom.

Your issues are with me, so why punish Jusvir?

That only you can answer as God too has given up.