FIH reveals new structure of international hockey eventsMay 3rd, 2016
- Top level annual home and away league to replace existing events
- Model designed to support growth across all levels of the sport
- New portfolio agreed following extensive research and development
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced that a new portfolio of events will be launched in 2019 which will completely change the landscape of international hockey.
JUMP has been guiding the FIH on the creation of the Hockey Revolution for the last 4 years, and this decision by the FIH Executive Board will mean a regular calendar of must-see events played in packed stadia across the world throughout the year. This new annual global home and away league involving the world’s leading hockey nations will complement the Hockey World Cup and Olympic Games tournaments.
This system will see international teams play against opponents once at home and once away each year in this league. Following several months of competition, the top ranked teams will then qualify for a stand-alone grand finale tournament which will determine the winners of the competition. This will form part of a three tier system, identical for both the men’s and women’s game.
Teams participating in this new home and away league will be chosen based on a clearly defined set of qualification criteria designed to maintain the quality of the league and high standard events. These have been developed around the three main objectives of the new event portfolio – to generate a massive change in TV and media coverage for hockey; create big, bold, packed and loud events and make a step change to increase future revenues.
The proposals were approved by the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland earlier this month. The decision was made after more than 18 months of consultation, research and development between a number of stakeholders, overseen by a specially formed working group for this project.
This included correspondence with more than 700 individuals, including: athletes; National Associations; Continental Federations; the International Olympic Committee; Association of Summer Olympic International Federations; major broadcasters; individuals at Continental Federation congresses; officials and umpires; FIH Committee and Panel members and FIH staff.
Speaking about this, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: “This is a historic decision for the sport of hockey – a game changer! More than a year’s worth of work and over 700 people have helped develop this new portfolio of events. Moving from a tournament based format to a home and away league will considerably increase the value of our sport.”
He continued: “Fans will be exposed to more international hockey throughout the year, with many more home matches for them to enjoy. With more fans packing out the stands, we expect these events to be bigger, bolder packed and loud, creating electric atmospheres for our athletes to perform in. This, along with tweaks to the tiers below, will have a significant impact on the sport across all levels, safeguarding its future for many years to come.”