‘I am into developing new forms & formats’, says Floris Jan Bovelander

The former Netherlands hockey player urges on the need to go in for an alternate surface to play on

December 04, 2017 10:36 pm | Updated 10:37 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

Floris Jan Bovelander.

Floris Jan Bovelander.

Floris Jan Bovelander, the 51-year old Dutchman synonymous with immaculate drag-flicks and thundering hits, still continues to draw crowds when talking about hockey and keeps travelling across the world doing so.

With a World Cup and Olympic gold against his name and 216 goals in 241 matches, his fierce shots earned him the moniker ‘Boem Boem Bovelander’.

Arriving here for a brief visit during the ongoing Hockey World League Finals on Sunday, Bovelander spoke to the The Hindu about a wide range of topics including the need to develop an alternate surface to play on if hockey wanted to become truly global and get more countries into the fold. Excerpts

How would you rate the current crop of drag-flickers and PC executions?

I think all teams have good drag-flickers now. But there is room for improvements, inventions and new tactics. I still don’t know why they (the players) have to refuse the hit, it can be very effective.

Running also has become very good so there is just a small angle to score. It is always nice to have 1-2 new tricks. Maybe I will come up with something!

As a PC expert, how do you see the experimental rules of awarding more points for a field goal?

I think you can do it as long as the attacking team gets the advantage. If you are two goals up you can easily give a PC because it won’t be a big deal. It is also in the mind. When you are 3-4 goals down you can still feel you can win and that brings excitement. We have to think about how to keep hockey attractive for everyone.

What do you make of Hockey 5s and mixed team events?

I think the excitement of Fives is good, the thrills and speed is really good and if you have a shorter game with lesser players and smaller pitch it should be exciting. As for the other question, the event is ok if you mix but men and women playing together, it’s difficult. We are just not built the same. So if it’s competing in a physical game, it’s not always fair.

What future do you see for the newer formats?

I was part of the group that set up rules for beach hockey back in Holland 10 years ago, so I am really into developing new forms and formats of hockey. I think new formats are really good.

One big problem is that modern hockey is played on artificial pitch and if you want hockey all over the world, having no artificial pitch would be better. Maybe we need to try and look at grass or beach hockey. It’s a totally different game. You cannot simply go back to grass again, you have to make a totally new kind of game like beach or ice hockey.

Top News Today


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.