5

A follow up to this question.

Introduction of artificial turfs are blamed for India and Pakistan no longer being the force in international hockey that they once were. (India won the Olympics gold from 1928 to 1956 and 1964, with Pakistan winning in 1960 and 1968). But after introduction of artificial turfs, their only gold was in 1980 Moscow Olympics, which was in a weakened field due to boycotts.

I understand that an even surface provided by the artificial turf would help a game play which focused on speed and long passes, but how would it inversely affect the game play based on dribbling and short passes?

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There are many reasons why India suffered with the introduction of artificial turfs. I was watching a program where the former Indian hockey players and the Experts were giving reasons why, the Indian players were failing to play well as a unit on the artificial turfs. These were the points they mentioned in the show.

  • Unavailability of the synthetic turfs across the country. This can be attributed to the fact that laying these turfs will need huge investments, which Indian hockey federation never was able to manage. So the players come to play in the international matches after playing most of their games in academies on non-synthetic turfs. So they fail to play well as they need to have better control of the ball with the stick.
  • The coaches in the academies seem to still adopt non modern methods of training which will affect the players' game. The strategies, on which the game played, as they opined, were obsolete. So what they told was that the Indian coaches need to understand the game as it is now and train the players.

So in nutshell they were saying that the inability of the Indian hockey federation to cope to the changes done by the FIH as the main reason for Indian Hockey's decline.

The change in turf had a huge impact in a negative way as the Indian Hockey federation was not able to take measures to adapt to the changes.

We should also not forget the kind of corruption that existed in IHF. That might also be one of the reasons why we had horrible teams in the past competing in major tournaments.

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