Thursday, September 22, 2022
HomeHockeyThierry Weil (FIH): Take it or go away it!

Thierry Weil (FIH): Take it or go away it!

In a spherical desk organised by Studio Hockey on June 20 Thierry Weil, the CEO of the FIH and Angus Kirkland, CEO of the EHF, met with representatives of the highest golf equipment in Europe. Golf equipment have been feeling they weren’t heard by their very own NA’s (nationwide associations). They really feel the worldwide calendar makes it onerous (or unattainable) to run a home prime league the best manner. Which means it might assure prime hockey in wholesome circumstances for the athletes concerned. But additionally properly deliberate and organised so business companions might be attracted and satisfied to join longer intervals by each golf equipment and leagues. In addition to followers know what to anticipate when. It’s one of many explanation why in a number of international locations throughout Europe, golf equipment have arrange associations. To defend the pursuits of golf equipment solely. Since NA’s all the time must steadiness the wants of nationwide groups and golf equipment. The completely different membership associations got here collectively within the European Hockey Golf equipment Group or EHCO.

Harmonising the highest home league dates in Europe


The European prime golf equipment, represented by the EHCO and in settlement with the EHF, have made it clear they want the assure of a minimum of 25 weekends for his or her home prime leagues. That’s 11 weekends between the start of September and the top of November. Plus 14 weekends between the start of March and mid June. The leagues assembled within the EHCO (Spain, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium) have agreed they are going to harmonise their home prime leagues to this impact. All of them beginning early September. Taking a break from December to February. Restarting in March and shutting up earlier than mid June. This may additionally make it doable for the EHF to have a assured slot together with the final weekend of April yearly for the EHL finals.

Thierry Weil (FIH): give me 3… strike that… 4 blocks of 6 days

Thierry Weil FIH
Thierry Weil

Earlier than September 1st the FIH will signal a take care of all NA’s concerned relating to the subsequent 4 seasons of the FIH Professional League. Season 4 to eight of the FIH Professional League can be divided into 4 blocks wherein the nations concerned play their Professional League video games. One block earlier than the top of December. A second one in January – February. A 3rd one in March – April and a fourth in Could- June. Subsequent to the planning in blocks of the common house or away video games, they may even transfer to mini-tournaments, with a number of nations at 1 location. As a result of solely the nations with an area broadcasting deal in place, will get to play house video games. This fashion will probably be higher for each participant wellbeing, in addition to much less stress on the home calendars.

All need to permit the European nations concerned to arrange their home leagues with out an excessive amount of interference from a crowded worldwide calendar. So Thierry Weil from FIH informed us he would ask the European NA’s to commit to three blocks of 6 days (together with a weekend) between September and the top of June. No extra, no much less… and that’s a “take it or go away it” proposal made by the FIH to the NA’s. It’s agreed upon by all concerned, the European nations is not going to play in April. So that they have sufficient scheduling room for the EHL and finish of season finals. England is the one European nation who chooses to play the Professional League in April anyway.

So this implies the NA’s in Europe in flip must agree with their very own membership associations on 1 week earlier than the top of December, 1 week to start with of the 12 months and 1 extra week in June to schedule their Professional League video games. If this is able to be set in a proper settlement, theoretically it might go away the NA’s sufficient time to agree with their respective membership associations on the required 25 weekends to run their home leagues.

Confirming this afterwards with others concerned, it appears Weil made a small error in our spherical desk discuss and the FIH really wants a dedication from the taking part NA’s to 4 blocks of 6 days together with a weekend as a substitute of three. All of us make errors so we gained’t maintain this in opposition to him 😉 My guess is all concerned, golf equipment and NA’s, will be capable of comply with this and nonetheless have their 25 weekends wanted to run a prime home league. Presumably with two blocks for the Professional League scheduled in June.

So, all’s properly that ends properly?

Keep it up

FIH Pro League

We’re not there but. If the NA’s signal as much as the Professional League deal proposed by the FIH… in principle there could be sufficient time left for a properly structured home prime league. However NA’s don’t solely take heed to their golf equipment. In addition they have a excessive efficiency director and nationwide staff coaches tugging at their sleeves for extra consideration. Can we slot in all different actions for nationwide groups into home windows of time that might permit for the 25 membership weekends? World Cups, Olympic Video games and European Championships will often be scheduled in time slots exterior of these wanted for the home leagues. However prime performing nationwide groups don’t simply occur accidentally. They want preparation time, often a minimal of 4-6 weeks uninterrupted forward of the key occasions. They want camps all by means of the 12 months to come back collectively for longer occasions in between main occasions. So it seems like for season 4 of the Professional League, with a World Cup in the course of it (January 2023), it would work for the home leagues. Onwards all concerned entities, the membership associations, the NA’s and the FIH / EHF, want a properly deliberate calendar 4 years prematurely. One that’s set in stone. To make their offers with business companions and for prime efficiency administrators to do some sound long run planning with their skills. So Weil made an excellent level in stating explicitly as soon as this settlement is signed and sealed, there isn’t a altering afterwards. None.

What turns into essential now could be the settlement to be made between NA’s and their respective membership associations. It’s these two who want to verify formally with one another that they are going to schedule worldwide and home hockey in such a manner the nationwide groups get the time they want and the golf equipment get the 25 weekends completely devoted to them they want.

A step in the best course

So we now have the calendar concern mounted and located a manner that might work for all. That doesn’t imply we now have the very best format in all probability. Or one that might make all people comfortable. The marketeers in our sport can be proud of the standardised calendar which makes it simpler to set long run offers with broadcasters and promoting companions. However the “product” will endure. We are going to proceed to have empty stadiums for many video games, as a result of not all video games are house video games. We’re nonetheless a great distance from the “large, daring and loud” occasions we have been promised earlier than the beginning of the Professional League. Apart from a small variety of video games in some international locations. The occasion remains to be and not using a title sponsor or different devoted and significant sponsors globally. It’s nonetheless not the occasion that makes worldwide hockey a sustainable and smart profession selection for many.

Personally, I nonetheless imagine the great outdated mantra of “much less is extra”. I would favor much less worldwide video games. We should always solely play 1 recreation vs the opposing nation we’re receiving or visiting as a substitute of two now. It will generate sufficient content material to fulfill the wants of broadcasters. Some followers wouldn’t hesitate in visiting each video games, however most would choose simply 1. So enjoying simply the 1 recreation would get us fuller stadiums. The video games would get extra of a “do or die” really feel for the gamers, as a substitute of a heat up recreation and a performing recreation. Prime video games profit from the aura of those being particular occasions that solely occur every so often and never change into widespread. I believe much less video games would profit the “product”.

One other error mounted not too long ago is the aspect of an open vs closed occasion. With the launch of the FIH Nations Cup we’ll now have an open occasion for the FIH Professional League. Which means there can be promotion and relegation alternatives. Enjoying nations usually are not assured a spot within the Professional League. The inaugural FIH Nations Cup has been introduced and can be hosted in South Africa. It’ll characteristic South Africa, France, Canada, Japan, Korea, Eire, Pakistan and Malaysia. So 1 of those groups will characteristic in season 5 of the Professional League on the expense of 1 of the present individuals.

However these issues weren’t the purpose of the spherical desk we organised to write down this column. So to sum up… The calendar concern appears to be mounted and that could be a step in the best course… 🙂



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