Australian Hockey League

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Not to be confused with Australian Ice Hockey League.
Australian Hockey League
Sport Hockey
Inaugural season 1991
No. of teams 8
Country Australia
Most recent champion(s) Queensland Blades
Most titles WA Thundersticks (8 times)
Official website Official website

The Australian Hockey League (AHL) [1] is Australia’s premier national domestic field hockey competition. Despite its non-professional nature, AHL is considered one of the strongest and most competitive national field hockey leagues in the world. The AHL consists of both men's and women's competition. It includes many players from the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos, and participating in the AHL is a selection requirement for all Australian national squad members.

History[edit]

The first season of the Australian Men's National Hockey League (former AHL) took place in 1991, when the perpetual national championship was replaced by a new-look format. The competition, which was played over a two-month period, did not limit player eligibility to state of origin. Six teams competed in the first year - Brisbane Blades, Melbourne Redbacks, Adelaide Hotshots, Canberra Lakers, Sydney Stingrays and Tamworth Frogs.

In 1991 and 1992, both the National Championship and the National Hockey League was played, placing a financial burden on the states. From 1993, the decision was made to play the National Hockey League as the sole competition in determining Australia's champion State.

The league has since evolved into an eight team competition played on a home and away basis before climaxing with a finals series. In 2000, 2004 and 2008 however, the league reverted to a two-week championship format. This format is designed to replicate the intense nature and heavy playing schedule of the Olympic Games.

The league embraced some big changes leading into the 2001 season as the former Men's and Women's National Hockey League combined to form the Australian Hockey League (AHL). Both the men's and women's leagues shifted their seasons from mid-year to February–April and a unique format was adopted.

The format devised allows a high level of hockey to be seen across Australia through four weeks of home-and-away competition. The league then climaxes with a full finals week that comprises three round matches, the semi-finals and finals.

Competition Format[edit]

Alternate Years[edit]

Each team plays a Home & Away series against 4 of the other teams, over 4 consecutive weekends, with 2 games in each series. Giving each team 8 Home & Away Matches.
The 8 teams then converge in one city for the Finals week, where each team plays the other 3 teams once, for double points, and then plays the relevant cross-over game and classification game.

Olympic Years[edit]

The 8 teams converge in one city for 2 weeks, where each team plays the other 7 teams once, for double points, and then plays the relevant cross-over game and classification game.

2010[edit]

The AHL will take on a new format in 2010.[2] The 2010 men’s tournament will be played over two rounds and a finals week, consisting of each team playing a total of eleven matches. Round 1 will involve two pools of four teams that are linked geographically. The four teams in each pool complete a round robin in one of the region’s designated locations.
Round 2 will be played in two different locations. It will again involve two pools (pools will be different from those in round 1).

Due to conflicts with the men’s international calendar, there is a several week break between the conclusion of Round 2 and the beginning of Finals Week.
Finals Week brings all of the teams together in one location. The first two days of this week will complete the rounds component of the tournament, with each team now having played each other once.

Points Formula Points: Win = 6 Draw = 3 Loss = 0

Additional point (s) for each goal scored to a max of 3 for either team. EG - WA defeats TAS 4-3, WA will get 6 points for win, 3 points for goals, a total of 9 points and TAS will get 3 points for goals scored.

After all the round games are complete (Round 1, Round 2 and the first two days of Finals Week) the teams are ranked 1-8 depending on the total number of points earned in all the round games. The teams ranked 1, 4, 6 & 8 will go into pool A and the teams ranked 2, 3, 5 & 7 will go into pool B.

At the beginning of the classification stage only the points earned against the other teams in each pool are carried forward. (EG – If you are ranked team number 1, only your results during the round matches against teams 4, 6 and 8 will be carried over to the classification stage). Note – no team can carry through to the classification stage more points than a team ranked above them. Should this occur, the lower ranked teams points will be reduced to the same amount as the higher ranked team.

Classification Stage Once the classification stage commences the carried over points are added to the points gained during the classification games.
EG - team 1 starts the classification stage with 26 points, team 4 starts with 16 points. 1V 4 result in classification stage is 3:2 which is 9 points for team 1 and 2 points for team 4. At the completion of this game team 1 will have 35 points and team 4 will have 18 points. After the completion of the classification games teams will finish in each pool ranked 1-4 depending on the number of points accumulated.

The finals are then 1v1 (gold/ silver), 2v2 (bronze/ 4th), 3v3 (5th/ 6th), 4v4 (7th/ 8th) from each pool with gold, silver & bronze medals awarded.

Competition Rules[edit]

Points[edit]

Result Points
Win 3
Win (Extra Time or Penalty Strokes) 2
Loss (Extra Time or Penalty Strokes) 1
Loss 0

Extra Time[edit]

Teams play two 6 minute halves.
First Half is 9-a-side.
Second Half is 7-a-side.
Golden Goal.
Still No Result, then Penalty Strokes.

Finals[edit]

Cross-Over Games
1st v 4th
2nd v 3rd
5th v 8th
6th v 7th

Finals
Final = Winner of (1st v 4th) v Winner of (2nd v 3rd)
3rd Place = Loser of (1st v 4th) v Loser of (2nd v 3rd)
5th Place = Winner of (5th v 8th) v Winner of (6th v 7th)
7th Place = Loser of (5th v 8th) v Loser of (6th v 7th)

Men's[edit]

Men's Team State Home Venue Year Joined AHL Titles AKA or Incorporated Teams
Canberra Lakers ACT National Hockey Centre, Canberra 1991 Canberra Lakers
Vision City Canberra Lakers
New South Wales Waratahs New South Wales Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre 1991 1997
2001
2005
Sydney Stingrays
Tamworth Frogs (1991-1993)
Sydney Scorpions
NSW Warriors
NSW Panthers
NT Stingers Northern Territory Marrara Hockey Centre 1998 Territory Stingers
Gryphon Territory Stingers
Atlas Territory Stingers
Vodafone Territory Stingers
Northpharm Territory Stingers
Queensland Blades Queensland Queensland State Hockey Centre 1991 2003
2004
2006
2007
2010
Brisbane Blades
North Queensland Barras (1993-2000)
Southern Hotshots South Australia Distinctive Homes Hockey Stadium 1991 Adelaide Hotshots
Tassie Tigers Tasmania Tasmanian Hockey Centre 1992
(DNC 1993)
Tassie Tigers
MIA Tassie Tigers
Victoria Vikings Victoria State Netball and Hockey Centre 1991 1996
1998
Melbourne Redbacks
VIS Redbacks
Azuma Vikings
WA Thundersticks Western Australia Perth Hockey Stadium 1992 1992
1993
1995
1999
2000
2002
2008
2009
Perth Thundersticks
WAIS Thundersticks

Men's Results[edit]

Year Winner Runner-Up Player of the League Highest Goalscorer Player of the Final
1991 Brisbane Blades Melbourne Redbacks Colin Batch (Redbacks) David Shaw (Redbacks) 20
1992 Perth Thundersticks Brisbane Blades Jay Stacy (Redbacks)
Todd Williams (Tigers)
1993 WAIS Thundersticks Sydney Scorpions
1994 Not Played
1995 Perth Thundersticks Brisbane Blades Lachlan Elmer (Hotshots) Bobby Crutchley (Lakers) 17
1996 Melbourne Redbacks Brisbane Blades Jay Stacy (Redbacks) Jeremy Hiskins (Redbacks) 13
Greg Corbitt (Thundersticks) 13
1997 NSW Warriors Perth Thundersticks Jay Stacy (Redbacks) Glen Kingston (Lakers) 14
1998 Melbourne Redbacks Canberra Lakers Daniel Sproule (Tigers) Daniel Davison (Thundersticks) 12
1999 Perth Thundersticks Queensland Blades Michael York (Lakers) Craig Keegan (Tigers) 15
2000 Perth Thundersticks NSW Warriors Brent Livermore (Warriors) Craig Keegan (Tigers) 10
2001 NSW Panthers Perth Thundersticks Matthew Wells (Tigers) Michael McCann (Panthers)
2002 SmokeFree WA Thundersticks Queensland Blades Zain Wright (Tigers) Andrew Smith (Vikings) 23
2003 Queensland Blades SmokeFree WA Thundersticks Matthew Wells (Tigers) Andrew Smith (Vikings) 15
2004 Queensland Blades SmokeFree WA Thundersticks Stephen Mowlam (Vikings) Troy Elder (Blades) 9 Dean Butler (Blades)
2005 NSW Waratahs Queensland Blades Rob Hammond (Blades) Taeke Taekema (Waratahs) 14 Michael McCann (Waratahs)
2006 Queensland Blades MIA Tassie Tigers Mark Knowles (Blades) Chris Cirello (Vikings) 13 Dean Butler (Blades)
2007 Queensland Blades SmokeFree WA Thundersticks Bevan George (Thundersticks) Marcus Richardson (Tigers) 12 Mark Knowles (Blades)
2008 SmokeFree WA Thundersticks OAMPS Queensland Blades Bevan George (Thundersticks) Luke Doerner (Vikings) 9 Aaron Hopkins (Thundersticks)
2009 SmokeFree WA Thundersticks OAMPS Queensland Blades Brent Livermore (Waratahs) Jason Wilson (Blades) 13 Graeme Begbie (Thundersticks)
2010 OAMPS Queensland Blades NSW Waratahs Des Abbott (Stingers)

Simon Orchard (Waratahs)

Josh Miller (Waratahs) 14 Jason Wilson (Blades)

Women's[edit]

Team State Home Venue Year Joined AHL Titles AKA or Incorporated Teams
Canberra Labor Club Strikers ACT National Hockey Centre, Canberra 1993 Canberra Strikers
ACTAS Strikers
New South Wales Arrows New South Wales Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre 1993 1993
1996
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2009
NSW Balsam Arrows
NSWIS Arrows
NT Pearls Northern Territory Marrara Hockey Centre 1993
(DNC 1996-1999)
Darwin Blazez
Territory Pearls
Paspaley Territory Pearls
Queensland Scorchers Queensland Queensland State Hockey Centre 1993 1997
2005
QAS/QLD Scorchers
Southern Suns South Australia Distinctive Homes Hockey Stadium 1993 1995 Diet Coke Adelaide Suns
SASI Diet Coke Suns
SA Diet Coke Suns
Adelaide Suns
Adelaide Bank Suns
Wrest Point Tassie Van Demons Tasmania Tasmanian Hockey Centre 1996 Tasmanian Van Demons
Wrest Point Van Demons
Wrest Point Casino Van Demons
Victorian Vipers Victoria State Netball and Hockey Centre 1993 2003 VIS Vipers
Azuma Vipers
WA Diamonds Western Australia Perth Hockey Stadium 1993 1994
2004
2006
2007
2008
2010
WAIS Diamonds
WA Diamonds

Women's Results[edit]

Year Winner Runner-Up Player of the League Highest Goalscorer Player of the Final
1993 NSW Arrows Canberra Strikers Lisa Powell (Strikers)
1994 WA Diamonds Queensland Scorchers Rechelle Hawkes (Diamonds)
1995 SA Suns NSW Arrows Renita Farrell (Scorchers)
1996 NSW Arrows WA Diamonds Alyson Annan (Arrows)
1997 Queensland Scorchers Canberra Strikers Alyson Annan (Arrows)
1998 NSW Arrows Queensland Scorchers Michelle Andrews (Diamonds)
1999 NSW Arrows Canberra Strikers Katrina Powell (Strikers)
2000 NSW Arrows Queensland Scorchers Katrina Powell (Strikers) Karen Smith (Scorchers)
2001 NSW Arrows Queensland Scorchers Melanie Twitt (Arrows) Nina Bonner (Arrows)
2002 NSW Arrows Queensland Scorchers Louise Dobson (Vipers) Nikki Hudson (Scorchers) 16
2003 Victoria Vipers Queensland Scorchers Carmel Bakurski (Suns) Katrina Powell (Strikers) 15 Rachel Imison (Vipers)
2004 SmokeFree WA Diamonds Canberra Strikers Emily Halliday (Diamonds)
Sarah Taylor (Strikers)
Hope Brown (Scorchers) 5 Emily Halliday (Diamonds)
2005 Queensland Scorchers SmokeFree WA Diamonds Rachel Imison (Vipers) Suzie Faulkner (Scorchers) 9 Madonna Blyth (Scorchers)
2006 SmokeFree WA Diamonds Queensland Scorchers Peta Gallagher (Strikers) Peta Gallagher (Strikers) 11 Emily Halliday (Diamonds)
2007 SmokeFree WA Diamonds Queensland Scorchers Rebecca Sanders (Arrows) Suzie Faulkner (Scorchers) Kim Walker (Diamonds)
2008 SmokeFree WA Diamonds Queensland Scorchers Madonna Blyth (Scorchers) Suzie Faulkner (Scorchers) 7 Kobie McGurk (Diamonds)
2009 NSW Arrows Queensland Scorchers Hope Munro (Diamonds) Emily Hurtz (Arrows) 9 Fiona Johnson (Arrows)
2010 SmokeFree WA Diamonds Queensland Scorchers Madonna Blyth (Scorchers) Ashleigh Nelson (Diamonds) 9 Ashleigh Nelson (Diamonds)
2011 Southern Suns NSW Arrows N/A N/A N/A

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]