No white below knee policy
applicable only to FIH events
???? To help make top international hockey more television friendly, the FIH has been implementing new tournament regulations that effectively ban the wearing of white below the knee during events controlled or approved by the FIH. The regulations address socks and shoes as well as goalkeepers pads and kickers.

These regulations only apply to FIH controlled or approved events and do not impact national league, university, club, school or other such hockey competition. The FIH has received letters, calls and e-mails from players, coaches and manufacturers worried about the new regulations. But there is no need for players to throw out their white equipment.

The following applies to internations events controlled or approved by the International Hockey Federation.

  • l Dark socks compulsory from 1 January 1997
  • l Players' shoes shall not be green. Dark shoes are recommended from 1 January 1997 and compulsory from 1 January 1998.
  • l Goalkeepers' pads and kickers shall not be green. Dark colours are recommended from 1 January 1997 and compulsory from 1 January1998.
The reason behind the new regulations can be explained in two letters - TV. Prior to the Atlanta Olympic Hockey competition, the FIH was advised by Atlanta Olympic Broadcasting that a small white hockey ball travelling at high speeds would be easier to spot (for both cameras and spectators) if it were seen against a dark background instead of white.

Teams participating in the 1996 Olympics were requested and strongly urged to follow the policy, and almost without exception, they responded positively. A post-Olympic evaluation by the FIH Competitions and Marketing & Promotion Committees resulted in the policy being incorporated into new tournament regulations which govern FIH events.

The FIH has previously communicated this information to national associations participating in tournaments and to leading manufacturers. It has become apparent, however, from the questions received, that many individuals are unclear about the new regulations and just how they impact them, if at all. The FIH would appreciate your assistance in disseminating this accurate information as widely as possible.

The FIH regrets any undue concern caused by the updated regulations, which only apply to a certain limited number of competitions. Any further questions or concerns should be directed to the FIH Administration Office in Brussels (fax : +322 219 2761,or e-mail : [email protected]).