The FIH will introduce, starting from the year 2019, a system where we will see international teams play against opponents once at home and once away each year in an international 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.
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.
For those nations not in the home and away league, the next tier of competition will remain similar to the current Hockey World League Round 1 and 2 events, played over two year cycles. This format will still give teams the chance to go all the way to the World Cup or Olympics. Even the smallest hockey-playing nations have the opportunity to write their own chapter in hockey’s history books as they progress throughout the rounds of competition into these flagship events.
The introduction of this new portfolio of events means that there will no longer be Hockey World League Semi-Finals and Finals, while the last Hockey Champions Trophies will take place in 2018.
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 is the latest major advancement made by the sport in relation to the Hockey Revolution. To find out more about the FIH’s 10-year strategy, click here.