THE launch of a “fully-revised” Australian Hockey League (AHL) will be delayed until 2019.
Hockey Australia (HA) had hoped to launch a fresh league this year but in a statement revealed it would hold fire.
“While there has been good progress, there are still a number of important aspects that remain undecided and unconfirmed at this time, including the broadcast rights agreement, league name, commercial framework and the establishment of a separate management entity,” HA said it a statement.
HA said it would use the 2018 edition “as a stepping stone to incorporating proposed game modifications and format changes”.
“While the HA Board is disappointed the fully-revised AHL will not proceed in 2018, it believes that to delay the new League until 2019 is the right decision under the circumstances, with the long-term success of the ambitious new product paramount,” it said.
“HA together with the member associations are committed to the development of a new domestic hockey league which will have a strong emphasis on entertainment, fan engagement and commercial opportunities.”
The 2018 AHL will remain a state-versus-state tournament as per recent years.
More details, including the format for the 2018 season, are expected over the next week following a recent meeting of HA management and state and territory executives.
In March, Melville City and Westside Wolves became the first clubs in WA to trial new rules being considered for the new national competition.
Under changes to make the game more exciting, two players were anchored to their attacking 50 yards at all time, an automatic one-on-one scoring opportunity against the goalkeeper was given after a field goal was scored, and a goal was worth double during power-play periods.
About 100 people visited the Perth Hockey Stadium to watch the two State Premier League test the new concept.