Australia’s new premier domestic men’s and women’s hockey competition, the Sultana Bran Hockey One League, is back and gearing up for a massive second season following the release of the 2021 fixtures.
After COVID caused the postponement of last year’s edition, the 2021 season will take place from 1 October and culminate with the men’s and women’s grand finals on 21 November.
The season will again feature seven rounds as well as a new finals format, with every match LIVE on Fox Sports or Kayo.
The Sultana Bran Hockey One League will also head to a regional area for the first time as McGlynn Sports Complex in Parkes, New South Wales hosts the Round 2 encounter between NSW Pride and Canberra Chill.
Heavyweights HC Melbourne and NSW Pride open the 2021 season on Friday night 1 October at Melbourne’s State Netball and Hockey Centre.
The other Round 1 fixtures see the Tassie Tigers host the Brisbane Blaze and Perth Thundersticks welcoming Adelaide Fire to the Perth Hockey Stadium. Canberra Chill have the bye.
With every round consisting of double headers (a men’s and women’s match) in prime times, including every Saturday night, the second season of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League promises exceptional family sporting entertainment.
Hockey One General Manager Tony Dodemaide said the anticipation is high for the 2021 edition.
“The excitement, colour, quality and freshness of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League saw it penetrate the Australian sporting landscape in its inaugural year and signal a new chapter for hockey in Australia. We cannot wait for Season 2 to start,” said Dodemaide.
“With every fixture a double header comprising a women’s and men’s match back-to-back, it is the only elite domestic league that is truly gender equal. It’s one of the fantastic and unique things about hockey at all levels that we are keen to emphasise and celebrate in our competition.”
The proximity of the season to the upcoming Olympics will bring extra attention to the competition.
“Starting only months after the Games in Tokyo, the Sultana Bran Hockey League will give the Australian sporting public the opportunity to see the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos stars who will hopefully be fresh off claiming medals,” said Dodemaide.
“We are blessed to have some of the best men’s and women’s players on the planet on our doorstep and playing in the league.”
A finals festival, instead of separate weekends for semi-finals and grand finals, is one of the exciting new changes for Season 2.
“We believe the Finals Festival will be a great innovation,” said Dodemaide.
“Having all men’s and women’s qualifying teams in one location to decide the respective champions will create a real carnival atmosphere and be a great opportunity for viewers at home, as well as travelling fans, friends and families, to see eight cut-throat matches live in one weekend.”
“We’ll be making further announcements about the location of the Finals Festival closer to the start of the season.”
A player having an automatic one-on-one shootout with the goalkeeper for the chance to score an extra goal when they score a field goal or penalty stroke will remain an initiative after proving popular in the first season.
Every match will again have a result with games that are tied at full time to be decided by a penalty shootout.
All teams will play each other once with the top four sides after seven rounds qualifying for the semi finals.
Membership and ticketing details for each club’s home matches will be released in due course.
Features of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2021 Season
- The Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2021 men’s and women’s seasons will be played over seven (7) rounds (total of 42 matches) followed by the 2021 Finals Series.
- Every match will be shown LIVE on Fox Sports and/or Kayo.
- All fixtures will be double headers comprising a women’s match and a men’s match (the order of matches is TBC).
- HC Melbourne and NSW Pride open the season on Friday night 1 October at the Melbourne State Netball and Hockey Centre.
- Women’s Grand Final rematch between Brisbane Blaze and HC Melbourne to take place in Round 2.
- Men’s Grand Final rematch between NSW Pride and Brisbane Blaze to take place in Round 3.
- Round 2 double header between NSW Pride and Canberra Chill will be played at McGlynn Sports Complex, Parkes NSW.
- Finals Festival (semi finals and grand finals) to be played over one weekend 19-21 November at a central location (venue TBC).
Sultana Bran Hockey One League Clubs