Shorter version of field hockey – Hockey 5s – has arrived. After successful conduct of Hockey 5s competition in Youth Olympics, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has now decided to introduce Hockey 5s World Cups, both for men and women. The first edition of the Hockey 5s World Cup, featuring 16 teams each, will be held in 2023, the same year when Men’s World Cup Hockey Tournament will be held in India.
It has also decided to start FIH Inter-Continental Cup for teams not participating in the FIH Pro League.
The FIH Executive Board which met on November 8 and 9 decided that to further boost the development of hockey globally through the promotion of its 5-a-side format, “Hockey5s”, an FIH Hockey5s World Cup be started, with the inaugural edition planned for 2023. Continental Hockey5s tournaments will be organized and act as qualifiers. Sixteen teams per gender will take part in the first FIH Hockey5s World Cup.
The FIH Executive Board (EB), chaired by FIH President Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, discussed a wide range of topics including Hockey 5s and Hockey Pro League.
The EB received a detailed report on season 2019 and the ongoing preparations for the second season of the FIH Hockey Pro League, which will start on January 11, 2020, with the 2019 Women’s League winners, the Netherlands, playing China away. This second season of the annual global League involving hockey’s best national teams in the world, men and women, welcomes another powerhouse of international hockey, India (in the men’s league). Also, it includes a new match schedule which will reduce the travel of the teams by half, therefore decreasing costs for teams, benefitting athletes’ welfare and reducing the impact on the environment.
The EB expressed its full satisfaction with the format of the recently completed FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers and outlined the great moments of hockey, the attendances and the audiences. It also reiterated its full support to the FIH Umpires and Officials.
In order to promote competition between teams from different continents every year, FIH will launch Intercontinental Cup in 2021 an annual event for the highest ranked teams not competing in the FIH Hockey Pro League. It will be an 8-team tournament in a single venue for each gender. The competing teams will be invited based on the FIH World Rankings at the end of the previous year’s FIH Hockey Pro League. From 2022, the FIH Intercontinental Cup champion will be promoted to the following year’s FIH Pro League to replace the bottom team.
From January 1, 2020, the FIH will launch a new match-based FIH World Rankings system. This new system will:
- Increase opportunities for all National Associations to gain ranking points
- Accurately reflect current performance
- Provide weekly rankings and live narrative to every official match with the impact of the result on the world rankings table being known immediately
- Remove subjectivity and create a system that is fair to all without the need for Continental weightings
- Encourage playing official international matches