FEATURE: Ready- set- go the FIH Pro League is about to connect International hockey globally

The FIH Pro League is intended to be the ground-breaking, new, global hockey competition that is about to begin across the globe. FIH have made concrete steps to activate its vision of making hockey a true global sport through connecting countries, players and fans with a common purpose of watching in your own backyard the best of best competing against each other through a home and away format.

What is the FIH Pro League?

 

The FIH Pro League is designed as an entertainment product kicking off in January 2019, replacing the Champions’ Trophy and World League Semi-finals and World League Final. It will provide, for the first-time ever, a regular calendar of must-see events played in packed stadiums across the world and throughout the year.

Fans and athletes alike will enjoy a new annual global home and away league involving the world’s leading hockey nations. It will culminate in a Grand Final with one nation being crowned Pro League Champions and receiving the single largest financial prize in the sport.

How were teams selected?

  • Teams were selected by the International Hockey Federation, based on a number of criteria, including:
    Broadcast and Media Coverage
  • Financial Sustainability
  • Commercial Vision
  • Legal Compliance
  • Proposed Venues
  • Match Experience and sports presentation
  • Organization and Personnel
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Motivation and Legacy
  • Team Performance History
  • Previous Event Hosting

Wow! When you review the above criteria list you also are provided with the expectations. It is a bold step into the future when you consider the struggling financial status of hockey when compared to ‘money rich’ professional sports. So is it a gamble? Only time will tell. Each country has been tested in doing its financial predications regarding promotional cost and generated income.  Ticket sales and sponsorship avenues are critical. But as they say, ‘you have to get out of the boat or have a crack’ if hockey is to bring the game to the people.

FIH has recently launched FIH live and signed up a partnership agreement with sports technology and management company Global Sports Commerce (GSC) for a duration of four years, making GSC an FIH Global Supplier for the 2019-2022 period for the category of brand analytics and measurement. Both these ‘connecting’ initiatives will bring much to this sporting experience if done properly. Communication is a key success criteria. The Saturday hockey warrior and parents of juniors need to be enticed to go to these international matches to be entertained by the skill of the game and the supporting festivities.

What countries are in the FIH Pro League?

Nine women’s and nine men’s teams will be competing for the FIH Pro League title, playing eight home and eight away matches throughout the first six months of every year. The top four teams will then compete to determine the winner in a Grand Final, another eight matches that will take place in The Netherlands in June 2019 on dates yet to be confirmed.

The women’s event will consist of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, China, England/Great Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand and USA.

The men’s teams were confirmed as Argentina, Australia, Belgium, England/Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and Spain.

152 matches have been scheduled between January and June across the world as part of this new game-changing competition.

What are Pro League players hoping for?

Listen to the interviews with Kane Russell (New Zealand All Blacks) and Eddie Ockenden / Aran Zalewski below;

https://www.facebook.com/fihockey/videos/346062112652876/

https://www.facebook.com/fihockey/videos/494162660990684/

Where and when are games being played in New Zealand and Australia?

NEW  ZEALAND

Sunday, January 27: Netherlands 
– Vantage Black Sticks Men vs. Netherlands Men   |   2:30 pm
– Vantage Black Sticks Women vs. Netherlands Women   |   4:30 pm
North Harbour Hockey Stadium, Auckland

Friday, February 1: Belgium
– Vantage Black Sticks Women vs. Belgium Women   |   5:00 pm
– Vantage Black Sticks Men vs. Belgium Men   |   7:00 pm
North Harbour Hockey Stadium, Auckland

Friday, February 8: Great Britain 
– Vantage Black Sticks Men vs. Great Britain Men   |   5:00 pm
– Vantage Black Sticks Women vs. Great Britain Women   |   7:00 pm
Ngā Puna Wai, Christchurch

Friday, February 15: Germany
– Vantage Black Sticks Women vs. Germany Women   |   5:00 pm
– Vantage Black Sticks Men vs. Germany Men   |   7:00 pm
Ngā Puna Wai, Christchurch

Sunday, February 17: Pakistan (M)/China (W)
– Vantage Black Sticks Men vs. Pakistan Men   |   3:30 pm
– Vantage Black Sticks Women vs. China Women   |   5:30 pm
Ngā Puna Wai, Christchurch

Friday, March 8: Spain (M)/USA (W)
– Vantage Black Sticks Women vs. USA Women  |   5:00 pm
–  Vantage Black Sticks Men vs. Spain Men  |   7:00 pm
North Harbour Hockey Stadium, Auckland

Sunday, March 10: Argentina
– Vantage Black Sticks Men vs. Argentina Men   |   2:30 pm
– Vantage Black Sticks Women vs. Argentina Women   |   4:30 pm
North Harbour Hockey Stadium, Auckland

Thursday, April 25: Australia (ANZAC Day)
– Vantage Black Sticks Women vs. Australia Women   |   2:30 pm
– Vantage Black Sticks Men vs. Australia Men   |   4:30 pm
North Harbour Hockey Stadium, Auckland

 

AUSTRALIA

Kookaburras Fixtures (home country first, all venues TBC):
Saturday 2 February 2019 – Australia v Netherlands
Sunday 3 February 2019 – Australia v Belgium
Saturday 9 February 2019 – Australia v Pakistan
Sunday 10 February 2019 – Australia v Germany
Saturday 16 February 2019 – Australia v England
Saturday 2 March 2019 – Australia v Spain
Saturday 16 March 2019 – Australia v Argentina
Sunday 17 March 2019 – Australia v New Zealand
Thursday 25 April 2019 – New Zealand v Australia
Saturday 4 May 2019 – Argentina v Australia
Friday 7 June 2019 – Pakistan v Australia
Sunday 9 June 2019 – England v Australia
Thursday 13 June 2019 – Spain v Australia
Sunday 16 June 2019 – Germany v Australia
Wednesday 19 June 2019 – Belgium v Australia
Sunday 23 June 2019 – Netherlands v Australia

Hockeyroos Fixtures (home country first, all venues TBC):
Saturday 2 February 2019 – Australia v Netherlands
Sunday 3 February 2019 – Australia v Belgium
Saturday 9 February 2019 – Australia v China PR
Sunday 10 February 2019 – Australia v Germany
Saturday 16 February 2019 – Australia v England
Saturday 2 March 2019 – Australia v USA
Saturday 16 March 2019 – Australia v Argentina
Sunday 17 March 2019 – Australia v New Zealand
Thursday 25 April 2019 – New Zealand v Australia
Saturday 4 May 2019 – Argentina v Australia
Friday 10 May 2019 – USA v Australia
Sunday 2 June 2019 – China PR v Australia
Sunday 9 June 2019 – England v Australia
Sunday 16 June 2019 – Germany v Australia
Wednesday 19 June 2019 – Belgium v Australia
Sunday 23 June 2019 – Netherlands v Australia

Go Hockey News believe much ‘fruit’ will come out of the Pro League and much to think about for the future. Let us all get together and wish it every success through our support.

For a complete schedule of all FIH Pro League Games and up to date news CLICK HERE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.