If you want the ground rules of hockey spelt out clearly, Dutchman Peter von Reth is by far the most authoritative voice in the world.
Post-signing on the world's best players, coaches and administrators, World Series Hockey has now enlisted the services of the renowned Dutchman as Sports Technical Manager for the prestigious league that gets underway on December 17.
A highly respected official, Peter was an international umpire for almost 20 years and officiated 192 international matches, including three Olympics Games (Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000) and two World Cups (Lahore 1990, Utrecht 1998).
He was also an FIH (International Hockey Federation) umpire manager and in-charge at the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games as well as the 2002 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur. He served as chairman of the FIH Umpiring Committee from January 2002 to February 2009 besides being an integral member of the FIH Rules Committee
As Sports Technical Manager, Peter will appoint the technical panel required for the league, advice and assist, in the conduct of all match officials in accordance with the rules and regulations of WSH, along with the Technical Director of the tournament, and plan the video umpire requirements at each venue in addition to several other critical functions.
"It gives me immense pleasure to be associated with this league, where a galaxy of stars will be exhibiting their skills and vying for the ultimate honour," said Peter.
"The League has much to offer to both players and fans, and I am certain it's going to be a humongous success," he added
Karl Da Costa, Deputy General Manager Nimbus Sport said, "World Series Hockey is pleased to welcome on board Peter Von Reth, the world's most-accomplished official as Sports Technical Manager. The collective experience of Peter across the entire spectrum in top international tournaments is unparalleled and his appointment is another vital step towards building a world class league that will delight hockey fans across the globe. "
Peter certainly has done a lot for hockey. Besides being a respected umpire, he was instrumental in introducing radio technology between match officials and played a major role in bringing a more professional approach in terms of umpire coaching through the use of video analysis.
The WSH will be held from December 17, 2011 to January 22, 2012. It involves 176 leading players -- Indian and international -- who will showcase their talent in 61 matches.
The inaugural edition of the multi-city franchise-based league will comprise eight teams out of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Pune, Bhopal, Punjab, Ranchi and Rourkela.
Some of the Indian stars who will be seen in action in WSH include Rajpal Singh, Sandeep Singh, Adrian D'Souza, Sardara Singh, Prabhjot Singh, Arjun Halappa, Diwakar Ram, Bharat Chetri, Dhananjay Mahadik, Shivendra Singh, Mandeep Antil, S.V. Sunil, Roshan Minz, William Xalxo, Prabodh Tirkey and Yuvraj Walmiki.