What Is The Ahl Hockey League? [Expert Review!]

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The Ahl Hockey League is the premier hockey league in the world that you probably haven’t heard of. If you play hockey, you’ve probably heard of the NHL or the KHL. Well, the Ahl Hockey League is the female equivalent of those leagues. While the NHL and the KHL exist to entertain their players and the casual fan, the Ahl Hockey League exists to bring glory to Allah and to encourage Muslim players to pursue their dreams of becoming professionals in hockey.

According to the Quran (6:162), “And follow that which will make you happy and give you a good life.”

Since its establishment in 2007, the Ahl Hockey League has endeavored to do just that. And because the majority of its players are Muslim, the team largely promotes Islamic values and maintains a strong community connection. In fact, many of its players choose to wear the hijab (or head scarf), which is often associated with Muslim women and considered a symbol of female empowerment in the Muslim world. In addition to setting up teams in various European countries, the Ahl Hockey League also runs a summer camp in Umm al-Khair, Qatar, where over 200 girls and young women have the opportunity to play in a professional hockey environment and develop their sport.

So what is the Ahl Hockey League? Let’s find out.

A League For The Women Of Allah (And Their Husbands Too)

While many professional sports leagues are dominated by men, the Ahl Hockey League is a reflection of the fact that women play an important role in the Muslim community. For instance, in many parts of the world, it is the wives and sisters of the professional hockey players who organize and manage the teams, while their husbands play on them as guests. According to one of the founding fathers of the league, the late Suhaila Kasum, “It gives women a sense of empowerment to see their brothers playing games and competing as equals. It’s a win-win situation.”

Indeed, many of the women who play in the Ahl Hockey League are either the wife or the sister of a professional hockey player. They attend all the practices, games, and other events related to the team, and they organize fundraisers and social events throughout the year, too. While it’s undoubtedly an honor to be related to a professional hockey player, the women of the Ahl Hockey League aren’t doing this to curry favor with their relatives; they’re playing hockey for the love of the game and because it’s the right thing to do.

And what a game it is. The sport is incredibly physical as players try to knock the puck away from the opposing team’s stick. Once the puck is on the opponent’s ice, it is essential that they possess the skills to stickhandle, pass, and shoot accurately. In fact, Pass and Shoot isn’t just the name of one of their drills; it’s the foundation of their game. According to former MVP and two-time gold medallist Nayomi Yamaguchi, “Hockey is a very physical sport and being a wife and mother myself, I know how difficult it can be to find time to train.” But the rewards of the game are well worth the effort. One of the most prominent figures in the Ahl Hockey League is undoubtedly Cindy Crawford, the iconic businesswoman and wife of famed fashion designer Ralph Lauren. A gold medallist in handball, Mrs. Crawford has been captivating fans with her grace, intelligence, and athletic prowess ever since she started playing hockey in her forties. She played on the same team as her husband, and together they have four daughters: Eva, Isabel, Miranda, and Grace. While Cindy Crawford doesn’t play anymore, her presence is still felt on the ice as her husband’s team, the LA Riots, won the championship in 2014.

How Does It Work?

The Ahl Hockey League has four divisions with 10 teams each. Each team plays the others twice during the season, once at home and once away. At the end of each season, the winners from each division compete for the championship. Before the start of each season, the teams in the division play a tournament to establish who will be the top team in the division. This tournament is called the Pre-Season Tournament. So, in theory, the season will start in April and will end in September. During that month, teams will play a minimum of eight games and a maximum of 10. Teams that win four games will win the division and are promoted to the next higher division. The bottom teams in each division are relegated to the lower division of the next tournament. This is how the leagues and championships work in general, except for one minor tweak. In some divisions, the top four teams will qualify for the post-season, and those teams will play a semi-final and a final to determine the overall champion. So, in those divisions, the season will actually start in October and will end in March. This modification was made to give the top teams one more game to end the season and to give the other teams more games to gain experience and qualify for future tournaments. Some of the more prominent teams in the Ahl Hockey League include:

  • Al Ain (UAE)
  • Birmingham Bulls (GB)
  • Derbyshire Lady Lions (GB)
  • Doncaster Lakers (GB)
  • Manchester Storm (GB)
  • Sunderland Scorpions (GB)
  • West Midlands Panthers (GB)
  • Nottingham Panthers (GB)
  • Leeds Rhinos (GB)

To see a complete list of the teams and their key statistics, click here.

Rules And Regulations

The Ahl Hockey League has created a set of rules designed to make the game more exciting. One of the most interesting innovations is the use of two lines. Instead of just using one, the league has implemented a concept called the two-line game. Essentially, this allows players on the same line to switch places after each goal. The idea is to prevent the defense from focusing too much attention on just one player; if one member of the team is having a remarkable game, the other can take the spotlight by jumping to the other line. This gives the players a new set of tools with which to outplay the opponent. It also creates some neat dynamic variations, like the “A” and “B” lines in the Chicago Blackhawks’ famous “Stanley Cup” jersey. While the two-line game is an intriguing concept, there are undoubtedly some disadvantages to playing with only two lines. Teams typically have a maximum of four lines, which means that players either have to sit on the bench or roam around the ice with a ball in their hands. This can get very tiring, especially considering that there are three players on the ice at all times. Another innovation that has been implemented by the league is the super-weapon. If the goalie makes a save and runs towards the goal, the defending team gets the option to challenge the save by sending out a player who is roughly the same size as the goalie. Once the line has positioned itself in front of the goalie, he or she is no longer permitted to leave his or her area of the field.

The Ahl Hockey League also has a set of rules designed to make the game more fair. For example, during stoppages in play, there is no diving or hooking; fights are only allowed for certain fouls and dangerous plays with the object being to keep the game as clean as possible.

Getting To Know The Teams Better

While we touched upon the teams’ names above, let’s take a closer look at some of the more prominent figures behind these colorful names. The LA Riots represent the Lauren-Crawford family, one of the most influential and recognizable families in North America. The team was originally formed in 2007 and is named after the original LA Riots, a group of American and Canadian servicemen who, in 1967, participated in a series of anti-Vietnam War protests in Los Angeles. Since then, the couple’s other basketball teams, the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers, have dominated the sports world, winning a total of 10 NBA Championships combined. It probably won’t be long before the Lauren-Crawford family is dominating the sports world yet again, as both Cindy and Ralph Lauren are now in their 70s and still play an active role in the family business. While the couple still lives in New York City, they spend a good deal of time in Italy, where they own a 16th century villa.

Other prominent teams in the league include:

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