It has recently been reported that from 2019, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) is changing its lineup of events. This will have a big impact on hockey at a global level.
According to the FIH there will be a new annual home and away league, involving the world’s leading hockey nations. This will complement the Hockey World Cup and Olympic Games tournaments.
The FIH wants to shake up international hockey to change the way hockey is covered in the media, whilst showcasing big, packed events and increasing revenues. It’s hoped that by switching from a tournament to a home and away league format will increase the value of the game.
This new global league will replace the Hockey World League (HWL), Semi-Finals and Finals, as well as the Champions Trophy. According to NDTV Sports the Champions Trophy, which has been held every two years since 1978, will see the final tournament held in Amsterdam in 2018.
How the Restructure Will Work
Under the new structure, international teams will play home and away once annually. The top performing teams will compete in a grand finale match. The restructure will
become part of a three-tier system, in both male and female competitions.
Home and away league teams will need to meet strict requirements to qualify, to maintain the high quality standards of the game. Nations not playing in the home and away league can still play in the next competitive tier, equivalent to existing Hockey World League one and two events, enabling them to make it to the Olympics or World Cup. The restructure isn’t just for the biggest players, however. Even smaller teams can make their mark in the events.
This new restructure could help to drive competition for the sport, with more teams taking part in field hockey drills, through sports coaching such as http://www.sportplan.net/, in order to up their game.
A Long Time Coming
The FIH’s decision to restructure hockey events hasn’t happened over night. During an 18-month period, rigorous evaluation, development and research between stakeholders and a working group took place, with the proposals gaining final approval just recently. Various sporting associations were involved in the consultation, including Olympic committees and athletes, and even financial bodies provided an input. In total, more than 700 people were involved in this process.