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The Hockey Pro League: a brief break down

The FIH has recently announced a Hockey Pro League, set for inception at the beginning of January 2019. Although that seems like quite a way away, it is something to head towards and a real symbol of hockey’s presence in world sport.

The Pro League will see 9 men’s teams and 9 women’s teams battle it out in a home and away league structure, where the international sides will play both at home and against their rival teams in their back yards too.  The FIH believe that this will be a complete ‘game changer’ for the game, and will definitely promote and increase both awareness and the profile of hockey across the globe, with a focus on growing the game continually for years to come.

The league will see 144 unique games played in national stadiums across the world. The intention is to:

‘fuel the growth of hockey for years to come’.

The women’s event will be contested between:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • China
  • England/Great Britain
  • Germany
  • India
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • USA

The men’s teams were confirmed as:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • England/Great Britain
  • Germany
  • India
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan

the latter playing their home matches in Scotland.

One question is that will the inclusion of England into the league as a combination of England/Great Britain allow for players from Scotland and Wales to be included too? This will certainly raise the profile of hockey for both these countries, in the women’s and men’s event.  Also, another burning question that’s arisen is what will happen to the development of the athletes and their pro/semi-pro status? Will the involvement in the Hockey Pro League enable further funding for these players, especially women, who are traditionally on the back foot with regards to funding and support?

fih-pro-league

The above infographic neatly outlines all the facts laid out by the FIH and a Q and A section can be found on their website here.

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