Home & Away League candidate National Associations descended upon Lausanne, Switzerland at the weekend (3-5 March 2017) for crucial workshops aimed at helping organisations complete their formal applications for the forthcoming global competition due to begin in 2019.
15 National Associations attended three full days of workshops in the Olympic Capital, with the other three Associations who couldn't attend scheduled to undertake webinars over the next few days.
This was an important opportunity to help CEOs and senior executives from each of the candidate Associations to better understand exactly what hockey's governing body is expecting from them both as hosts and participants in this new competition.
Feedback coming in from the weekend has been excellent so far. FIH CEO, Jason McCracken, said: "Last weekend has certainly shown that the sport is getting very excited by the launch of this game-changing Home and Away League. Our National Associations have recognised the long-term benefits this competition can bring to the sport and are determined to be involved. They now have an incredibly important couple of months ahead as they pull together their application documents.”
He continued: "FIH also has an important period ahead in order to plan the logistics and operations of what we are trying to achieve on a global scale. However, playing hockey at home, in front of full stadiums, over a five to six month period every year, and significantly increasing our TV and digital exposure with sponsors and broadcasters, is very compelling. The global Home and Away League is crucial to growing our game and achieving our Hockey Revolution strategy's aim of making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation."
18 National Associations progressed to the candidate stage of the selection process earlier this year. Argentina, Australia, Belgium, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and Spain were all successful with applications for both their men’s and women’s teams. China, Italy and USA were successful with applications for their women’s teams and Malaysia and Pakistan for their men’s teams.
The candidate application stage will see the selected National Associations submit in-depth information based on various aspects of their hosting and participation capabilities. This will include information about financial sustainability, commercial vision, legal compliance, proposed venues, organisation and personnel, event delivery and presentation, marketing strategies, the proposed legacy impact and any added value they can bring to the competition. FIH will also undertake extensive discussions with broadcasters regarding exposure and media coverage of hockey within each of the selected nations.
The deadline for submitting the next application information is 30 April 2017. The final evaluation process will then take place over the following months before the participating teams are officially announced at a launch event in June 2017.
More information about the Hockey Revolution, the new Event Portfolio and all other international hockey news and events is available on FIH.ch whilst other updates are posted via FIH Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.