Committee Roundups

The FIH Competitions Committee and four of its Working Groups meet again in May in Amsterdam to continue the important task of ensuring that international competitions are run along professional lines and constantly reviewed in order to improve them.

Recent decisions or actions that are deemed highly important for world hockey include:

  • The Code of Conduct (please see story page 4).
  • A review of the bids for the World Cup Qualifiers for both Men and Women. It is vital that these world level competitions are showpieces for the FIH as the Olympic Qualifiers in Milton Keynes (women) and Osaka (men) have proved.

The results of questionnaires on Veterans hockey, Under 18 Festivals and Indoor Hockey are being analysed by the Working Groups of the Competitions Committee.

Plans for the Tournament Directors Seminar in November of this year during the week of the bi-annual FIH Congress are well in hand and approximately nine interesting speakers will talk on various aspects of tournaments in order to obtain different perspectives. This is very much in line with the FIH's desire to constantly evaluate the tournament organisation in a highly competitive sporting world.

Evaluation and constructive comment on the performance of all technical officials and umpires is being streamlined together with a move towards grading tournament venues and levels of organisation throughout the world of hockey.

Ongoing work is being done to attempt to create an "unofficial" world hockey ranking system. However, problems relating to weighting given in one-on-one international matches, minor tournaments and Continental tournaments have delayed the process.

All the official appointments for the Sydney Olympic Games have been made except for the Media Officer and a few remaining umpiring appointments, which will be filled after the Men's and Women's Olympic Qualifiers are complete. The Media Officer is expected to be the new FIH Communications Manager, who is yet to be hired.

Further research and analysis into the format, advantages and disadvantages of 16 team tournaments is being conducted and will be extensively discussed by Working Groups and the Competitions Committee.


FIH Development and Coaching Committee

The DCC Group "Promotion Youth Hockey" is continuing to work on the project plan "2001 year of Youth Hockey". An important aspect is to help all National Hockey Associations organise special events for the promotion of hockey for children and adolescents in 2001. An international youth chat room and international tournaments and camps are also being planned, in close co-operation with the Continental Hockey Federations. Educational materials for organising and coaching youth hockey are under preparation. By making 2001 Year of Youth Hockey the DCC and the FIH hope to stimulate continuing attention for youth hockey, which is so important for the quantitative and qualitative development of our sport. The FIH Executive Board will, hopefully, approve the final proposals in its June 2000 meeting.

Much hard work is being done to realise the installation of synthetic pitches in Lithuania and Fiji, which have been awarded as part of the FIH-IOC development pitch programme. These countries were selected in 1999 by the FIH for a US $100,000 subsidy. Letters with invitation to apply for such a subsidy, to be awarded this year, will be sent to a small group of CHF recommended countries in all continents in March.

A FIH Special Coaching Course will take place during the Junior Women and Men Asia Cups in Kuala Lumpur early May and a FIH Coaching Course High Performance will take place during the Women and Men Champion's Trophies in Amstelveen late May this year. In February, all National Associations received announcements and application forms for participation.

After the successful FIH International Hockey Development Consultants Consultants Workshop in Alexandria last October, The European Hockey Federation decided to run such a workshop, with FIH assistance, in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, on May 27 next. The objective of those workshops is to discuss how to cope with different situations in developing hockey countries and how to assist their National Hockey Associations to design and implement a National Hockey Development Plan.

Several National Associations were successful in their applications to their national Olympic Committees for Olympic Solidarity grants for coaching courses, umpiring courses and other training. We recommend NHA's, who would also like to receive such a grant, to contact Mrs. Catherine Tummers at FIH Brussels, if they need help in the preparation of their application to their NOC.


In a meeting with stick manufacturers/suppliers some technical aspects of the new description for hockey sticks were fine-tuned and passed on to the Hockey Rules Board for endorsement. Testing procedures are in place, and once licensing agreements have been signed, testing will start as soon as possible.

Synthetic pitches
With two exceptions, all licensing partners have renewed their licensing agreement with the FIH. In addition, a licensing agreement was signed by Italgreen s.r.l. The complete list of manufacturers and their approved products can be obtained from the FIH office or downloaded from the FIH website. Visits were paid both to pitch and yarn manufacturers to be updated about developments.

Pitch maintenance
As proper pitch maintenance is vital for condition and life cycle of synthetic pitches, a working group within the Equipment Committee is composing a manual with input from a variety of sources.

Pitch lighting
With the generous sponsoring of Philips Lighting, an updated manual for pitch lighting will be produced in the next coming weeks. It will be available from the FIH office in Brussels.

Pitch watering
In view of cost and environmental aspects, a working group is studying a variety of aspects on pitch watering and will produce written guidance later this year.

Pitch lay out
In close co-operation with the Hockey Rules Board, an official updated layout of a hockey pitch was designed by CST London, one of the FIH accredited laboratories. It will be circulated to National Associations and manufacturers. Extra copies will be available from the FIH office in Brussels

Protective equipment
The development of CEN standards is closely monitored and input is submitted when and where required.

The 1999 World Hockey Highlights video, featuring the men's and women's Champions Trophies from Brisbane and various continental events, has been completed and distributed to members of the hockey family. The MPR Committee and the FIH wish to thank AstroTurf for its generous sponsorship of the video.

Nominations have been requested from National Associations and selected journalists for the second edition of the annual FIH International Player of the Year Awards, which will be presented to the athletes judged top male and female player of 1999. The award ceremony is provisionally scheduled for the beginning of June during the men's and women's Champions Trophies in Amstelveen, Netherlands.

Preparations are continuing for the Sydney Olympic Games in conjunction with both the media and television divisions of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. Currently the focus is on securing athletes' biographical details and other relevant information, as well as the television production plan for hockey during the Games.

The FIH Executive Board in its last meeting approved the FIH Media Officer Criteria, which were recently drafted by the MPR Committee. These will be sent in the near future to all National Associations with a request for names of qualified individuals who could possibly serve as FIH Media Officer at major events.

The FIH is currently seeking a Communications Manager to replace Mary Coyle, who has resigned from the position in order to return to her native US. Mary served for four years as FIH Communications Manager, and was the first person to hold the post. Prior to joining the FIH, she worked as a Public Relations consultant in Dublin for two years, where she became involved with hockey. Before moving to live and work in Europe, Mary worked for seven years in the US in corporate communications and sports journalism. The Committee wishes to express its thanks to Mary for her work both as Communications Manager and Committee Secretary. We wish her the very best of luck with her future career in the US.

The Medical Committee has added to the Nutritional Awareness for Hockey Players, The Nutritional Guidelines were recently amended to include dietary sensitivities for Muslim Players at tournaments. Dr R. Azziz (MAS) a member of the Medical Committee supplied this information. This information is now available for Organising Committees, and may be obtained from the Office in Brussels as is the Nutritional Guidelines for other players.


Elite Women Umpires Seminar - Milton Keynes, England 23rd to 26th March 2000.
This is being held in conjunction with the Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament, and is the first time such a seminar has been held for women.

The seminar will be led by Roger Webb, a former top international umpire and now a member of the Hockey Rules Board, and John Shaw, a Player Coach from the English Academy. The seminar will focus on the playing style of top women players and the challenges that presents to umpires. This will be achieved by watching and analysing matches as well as use of video. There will also be a session concerning the mental preparation of umpires by a Sports Psychologist.

International Umpires Seminar - Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia 23rd to 25th February 2000.

This seminar was held in conjunction with the Azlan Shah Cup and was targeted at International Umpires (men and women) throughout Asia. It is part of the FIH Umpiring Committee Elite Umpire Development Project, working in partnership with the Asian Hockey Federation. Umpire Mangers from Asia were also been invited.

The seminar was led by Dennis Meredith (Australia) the Umpire Development Officer for Asia. Match preparation, skills analysis and match observations/de-briefings were among the topics covered.

Umpires Briefing Video
A video aimed at a visual interpretation of the International Umpires Pre-Tournament Briefing Paper is well into production. It is hoped that the final version will be completed before the end of March. The intention in due course is to provide the video to all Umpire Managers and to make it available to National Associations, Teams Managers etc.