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With exactly four months until the new FIH Pro League begins, here’s 11 reasons to get excited about this ‘game-changing’ new competition:
1. World class hockey on 24/7
For the first time, fans around the world can witness top hockey nations battle it out for the first six months of every year, whether live in stadiums or through a global network of TV partners! All 152 matches will be broadcasted and easily accessible through a variety of platforms – giving unprecedented coverage of the sport!
2. Every game matters
The event comprises of more than 152 matches (144 in the League / 8 in the Grand Final). Each win or defeat has an impact. No team can take any match lightly - even one upset could hamper their chances of making it to the Grand Final or affect their FIH Hero World Ranking points at the end of the season.
3. Olympic qualifiers
The top four teams in the FIH Pro League will earn a ticket to the FIH’s Olympic Qualification Events, scheduled to take place October and November 2019. The level of competitiveness in the FIH Pro League could give these teams an edge however their opponents, from the Hockey Series Finals and through the FIH Hero World Rankings, who will be looking to test themselves against the best teams in the world. The Olympic Qualification Events will certainly be fast paced, action-packed matches – with a winner-takes all outcome the fuel for the drama.
4. All Hockey heroes in one place
The event will be dazzled by the presence of the most exciting hockey stars on the planet. Reigning FIH Hockey Stars Player and Rising Star of the Year winner Arthur Van Doren from Belgium, Pakistan captain Muhammad Rizwan Sr. and Australia’s Eddie Ockenden are just some of the superstars bound to thrill fans, whilst Netherlands dynamo Lidewij Welten, FIH Hockey Stars Female Player of the Year 2017, Argentina’s Delfina Marino, and New Zealand’s Stacey Michelson are just a few of the icons destined to sprinkle some magic over the women’s League.
5. Relive the rivalries
The FIH Pro league is the only sporting event where some of the biggest national rivals will meet home and away across the world. In the men’s competition, Germany and Netherlands always play out explosive encounters, whilst the Trans-Tasman rivalry between Australia and New Zealand women always provides plenty of drama. A rerun of the Rio 2016 Olympic finals between Argentina and Belgium men and Great Britain and Netherlands women are also bound to reopen some wounds. Rivalries – it’s what the FIH Pro League was made for!
6. Packed stadiums
Expect each match to be a sell-out! Fans don’t often get an opportunity to cheer for their home nation in a world level competition, but the FIH Pro League makes this possible. This will be a golden opportunity for all the hockey fans to come out in large numbers to back their favourite team and be a part of the wonderful journey to the Grand Final and Tokyo 2020 qualification.
7. Amazing venues
Over 20 world class venues across 11 nations will be home to the top hockey stars for the first half of 2019. All the venues adhere to strict FIH guidelines designed to offer a unique, ‘Big, Bold, Packed and Loud’ fan experience which will provide the perfect platform for athletes to perform.
8. ‘Equally Amazing’
Equality in gender balance, equality in prize money, equality in home advantage! Even all the FIH National Associations not taking part will receive an equal share of any of the League's profits. That’s the mantra of the much-awaited FIH Pro League. Providing equal opportunities across this competition to make the event a level playing field for all the participating teams.
9. Grand Final
The top four teams from both the men’s and women’s Leagues will advance to the Grand Final which will be held in the Netherlands in 2019. Played over the last weekend of June, expect passion to reach fever point as the teams up the ante in a bid to clinch the first ever FIH Pro League title and register their name forever in hockey’s history books.
10. Fan engagement
The event offers non-stop magic for fans. While their favourite stars will constantly be in action, supporters will now have more opportunities to interact with their heroes! See them live in the stadiums, interact with them after every game, let social media take you behind the scenes. More hockey action = more opportunities to meet, see and learn from hockey’s greatest.
11. Truly International
Hello! Hola! Hallo! Ni Hao! These are just some of the ways the hockey fans will be welcomed to the amazing FIH Pro League venues across the world. This competition provides a unique opportunity to bring the global hockey community together. Athletes, coaches, fans and media will all have the opportunity to experience different cultures and heritage across the planet as they travel overseas and welcome the top teams to their homeland. And for those tuning in from non-participating nations – they will not miss out as the FIH, teams and broadcasters take them behind the scenes at every single game throughout the season.
The FIH Pro-League kickstarts exactly four months from now and the teams have already started planning their strategies for the event. Now, it’s time for you, the fans to make yourself available when your home nation plays.
For further information about the FIH Pro League, visit the Q&A section on the FIH website by clicking .
For the full FIH Pro League schedule, here.