The 2018 edition of the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) league season will get started on Saturday 7th April, the union has confirmed. This is after several modifications were made to both men’s and women’s leagues during the pre-season in a bid to rationalize the game.
According to the Hockey Union, the changes that have already come into effect are for the benefit of the sport as they will make the leagues more competitive and ease the pressure on season deadlines. Having reduced the number of teams in each league, the time taken to exhaust all matches is expected to reduce drastically while also giving the teams enough time to get their house in order during pre-seasons.
November has therefore been set as the target for league conclusion.
The men’s competition has seen an addition of one more league, the Super League, to supplement the existing Premier and Nationals Leagues. The Premier League has meanwhile been slashed to 12 teams, same as the number of sides in the Super League. Leading the pack are reigning champions Kenya Police who will be seeking to wade off competition from the likes of Butali Warriors, Green Sharks and USIU-A as they seek to retain their Premier League title.
The National League will act as the third-tier and will feature a total of eleven teams.
Promotion/ Relegation formula
For relegation, the last three teams in the Premier League will drop to the Super League with their similar counterparts in the Super League being demoted to the National League.
The promotion battle will however be stiffer as only one side is set to earn elevation from the National League to the Super League as the winner from the latter ascends to the Premier League.
The Union also agreed on a home-and-away playing mode for the Premier League and Super League while teams from the National League contend on a one-off challenge.
The women’s competition will for the first time in its history have two separate leagues following the introduction of the Super League alongside the Premier League.
Teams that finished in the top seven positions last season retain their spots in the elite league while the bottom four have been shifted to the Super League. The four will be joined by three new teams which have been given a thumbs-up for participation. The new entrants are Wolverines (Nairobi), Nakuru Ladies (Nakuru) and Lakers (Kisumu).
2018 List of leagues and participants
Men’s Premier League
Kenya Police, Butali Warriors, Greensharks, USIU-A, KCA-U, Wazalendo, Park Road Badgers, Parklands Sports Club, Western Jaguars, Nairobi Sikh Union, Nakuru, Strathmore University.
Men’s Super League
Chase Sailors, Kenyatta University (KU), Technical University of Kenya (TUK), Wazalendo Masters, Multimedia University (MMU), Kisumu Youngsters, Mvita XI, Impala, Mombasa Sports Club, Kimathi University, Kabarak University.
Men’s National League
Park Road Tigers, Thika Rovers, Mombasa West, Gorilla, Daystar University, JKUAT, Bay Club, Wazalendo Youth, University of Nairobi (UoN), Karate Axiom, University of Eldoret, Bungoma.
Women’s Premier League
Telkom, USIU-A, Strathmore University, Chase Amira, Sliders, JKUAT, Vikings.
Women’s Super League
Kenyatta University (KU), Mombasa Sports Club, Multimedia University, University of Nairobi (UoN), Wolverines, Nakuru, Lakers.