March 15th, 2012
Picking up from the reference to tennis in my article last month, I was intrigued at the recent disagreement (albeit gentlemanly) between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
This revolved around the player dissatisfaction with the present ATP calendar and tournament schedule.
In reality it may have revolved more around how to transmit the message that caused the disagreement than the content.
Be that as it may, if with the stroke of the magic wand players replaced administrators in the boardrooms, how would sports change and, in particular, hockey?
When you chat to the players they often express strong views particularly if they feel they are in a comfortable and receptive environment. The High Performance Managers of the major hockey nations have strong views on the tournament calendar, formats, scheduling and many other issues. The top coaches also have strong views which we have seen at first hand when they have attended High Performance Panel meetings.
However, not all of these views are mindful of all the FIH’s other imperatives such as revenue generation, broader media coverage, increased spectator audiences, development at grass roots level, etc, etc.
The FIH Executive has to take a global or holistic view encompassing all aspects of the game and chart the course to position hockey optimally in a fiercely competitive sporting landscape.
But if we, for example, wipe the slate clean and design the best ‘calendar/tournament schedules’ model for the FIH, the players and the consumers (spectators in this case) what will the picture look like? Would it look much different from the present model or what changes would we implement?
Sounds like a great subject for the forum at the FIH Congress later this year in Kuala Lumpur.