PREMIER HOCKEY LEAGUE UNVEILS INNOVATIVE PLAYER DRAFT FORMAT

The inaugural South African Premier Hockey League (PHL) has taken a step closer to becoming reality today, with the announcement that the official player draft will take place this Saturday (6th August 2016).

The draft, which has been inspired by American sports leagues, such as the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL), is a squad selection process that sees the coaches of each PHL team take turns, based on an order sequence drawn out of a hat, to choose from a pool of eligible players.

The draft commences at 10am on Saturday morning and interested parties will be able to follow it live online, via the new PHL website (www.premierhockeyleague.co.za) which launches late on Friday evening.

Thanks to support from the Department of Sport & Recreation, the inaugural PHL will consist of both a men’s and women’s competition and will run over four weekend’s - from Saturday 3rd September to Sunday 25th September 2016 (inclusive). More information about the draft and the 2016 PHL event structure is contained at the end of this media release.

“The player draft system is an exciting new innovation for the PHL and we are sure it will generate much talk-ability and debate amongst hockey fans in this country”, said Mike Du Plessis, the President of the South African Hockey Association (SAHA).

“The PHL forms a key part of SAHA’s high performance pipeline which is aimed at better equipping our national teams for international competition. We are especially grateful to the support and investment from the Department of Sport & Recreation, as well as the belief they have shown in the future of hockey in this country”, added Marissa Langeni, the CEO of SAHA.

Meanwhile, the PHL has also revealed the head coaches for the 2016 PHL teams. The immediate priority of these coaches will be to select their playing squads during Saturday’s draft.

Men’s PHL Teams

Women’s PHL Teams

Team

Coach

Team

Coach

Every Sun Addo Elephants

Cheslyn Gie

Blyde River Bunters

Lindsey Wright

Drakensberg Dragons

Sihle Ntuli

Madikwe Rangers

Robin van Ginkel

Garden Route Gazelles

Steve Evans

The Lip Ice Namaqualand Daisies

Patrick Tshushani

Golden Gate Gladiators

Gareth Ewing

Orange River Rafters

Pietie Coetzee-Turner

Mapungubwe Mambas

Krinesan Moodley

The Young Solutions

St Lucia Lakers

Lenise Marias

Maropeng Cavemen

Mark Saunders

Winelands Wings

Ryan Pillay


Note to media:
Selected coaches and players will be made available for interview post the draft on Saturday afternoon – from 3.30pm onwards. Interviews can be done telephonically or in person at the draft venue. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like further details about the media arrangements for Saturday’s draft.

More about the 2016 Premier Hockey League:

· The 2016 event consists of six men’s teams and six women’s teams, respectively,

· All matches will be played at the Randburg Astro in Johannesburg.

· Both the SA men’s and women’s U21 national teams will be playing in the PHL as franchise teams. This is to help them prepare for the Junior World Cup that takes place later this year. The men’s U21 team will play as the Golden Gate Gladiators and the women’s U21 team will play as the Lip Ice Namaqualand Daisies.

· Squads will consist of 18 players. The two U21 teams will, however be allowed to select a squad of 20 players.

· Both the men’s and women’s PHL competitions will consist of a league stage and a play-off stage:

o Each team will play each other once in the league stage. This means each team will play five games in the league stage.

o The teams who finish fifth and sixth respectively in the log, at the end of the league stage, will play-off to determine who finishes fifth and sixth.

o The top four teams in the log will progress to the semi-finals. The losing semi-finalists will play-off for third and fourth respectively and the winning semi-finalists will progress to the finals of the men’s and women’s competitions.

More about Saturday’s Premier Hockey League Draft:

· The players for these two national U21 teams will be pre-selected and will not enter the draft.

· It has further been decided that the respective coaches of the senior men’s and women’s national teams will allocate four marquee players to each of these remaining ten teams (20 men and 20 women).

· The list of marquee players, and their designated teams, will be announced on Saturday at the beginning of the draft.

· Thereafter a list of eligible players, who have expressed an interest in participating in the event, will be entered into the draft on Saturday.

· There will be two drafts – a men’s draft and a women’s draft. They will each follow the same process.

· The coach of each team will need to select 14 players to fill his or her squad of 18 players. The other four players are of course the pre-selected marquee players.

· Round one of the men’s draft will take place first, followed by round one of the women’s draft. Round two of the men’s draft will then commence and the overall draft will conclude with round two of the women’s draft.

· In each round, each coach will have the chance to select seven players.

Round 1:

· Each coach will draw a number out of a hat.

o Number one = first pick in round one of the draft.

o Number two = second pick in round one of the draft.

o Number three = third pick in round one of the draft.

o Number four = fourth pick in round one of the draft.

o Number five = fifth pick in round one of the draft.

· The coach with number one will pick a player first, followed by the four other coaches in their number sequence.

· This will continue for seven selections. Each time the coach with number one will go first.

· Once all five coaches have made seven selections then round one will end.

Round 2:

· The picking order will be reversed and the coach with number five will have first pick and the coach with number one will have last pick. The coach who had pick number two in the first round will have the fourth pick and the coach who had pick number four in the first round will have the second pick. The coach with the third pick will stay third.

· Each coach will make seven final selections based on the above order sequence.

Reserve players:

All players not selected for the draft will be automatically entered in a reserve pool of players that can be utilised by the teams, in the event of injury or player unavailability.