Committee Roundups

Competitions Committee

More players approved - The FIH Council recently approved the Competitions Committee recommendation to increase the number of registered players from 16 to 18 for all FIH tournaments, effective as from 1st March 1999. This does not apply to the Olympic Games. The number of players designated for a match must remain at 16, but they may be selected on a daily basis from the pool of 18.

Other Competitions related information can be found throughout the newsletter.

Development and Coaching Committee

Organisation and membership - The DCC wishes to acknowledge and thank Alan Corrigan of South Africa, for his work on behalf of the Committee. Alan, who was the convenor of the Task Force Youth, has resigned from the Committee for professional reasons.

Continental Development planning and funding - After evaluation of the experience gained in 1998, with the allocation of additional funds and with the comparison planning/reality, it was decided by the Strategy Group:

  • Theo Ykema, Committee Chairman, in consultation with the appropriate individuals, will make available a format for submission of continental development plans and budget requests. .
  • Continental Federations will, through their mandated DCC Committee member, submit development planning and budget requests to the Chairman before 1 February 1998. Both regular and additional funding will be considered.
  • The allocation of additional funding will be discussed with all parties concerned, including the Umpiring, Equipment, and Competitions Committee Chairpersons and established before 15 March 1999.

Coaching Operations Group - The new guidelines for Coaching Courses and Coach Accreditation are now at the stage of final editing.

Coaching Courses - In 1999, courses are planned to take place in conjunction with:

  • Men's and Women's Champions Trophies, Brisbane
  • Women European Nations Cup, Cologne (Development)
  • Men's European Nations Cup in Padova
  • Pan American Games, Winnipeg

The F.I.H. Coaching Course planned in conjunction with the Lahore Champions Trophy for Men was not held for reasons of insufficient participation.

Olympic Solidarity Coaching Courses - Only a limited number of courses were held in 1998, due to few applications being received from National Associations and insufficient support from National Olympic Committees for applications. The DCC will be actively addressing both these issues to encourage a greater number of courses in 1999. In 1998, Olympic Solidarity Coaching Courses did take place in Japan, Malta and Zambia.

Equipment Committee

Synthetic Pitches
The updated handbook is nearing completion and will include three levels of requirements as well as a change over to the metric system. The bi-annual inventory has been adapted to get a more future-orientated focus and will be circulated shortly. Both watering systems and rejuvenation techniques will be reviewed and results circulated to National Associations. An updated report on the prevention and treatment of algae and moss will be sent out early in 1999.

Protective equipment
Further work will be done regarding protective equipment both for field players and for goalkeepers, which starts to be compulsory for specific competitions in some parts of the world.

The role of consultants for the installation of synthetic pitches for global events has been agreed and will be included in contracts for future events.

Hockey balls
The role of the hockey ball on the speed of the game will be investigated with the manufacturers of FIH approved hockey balls.

Further tests have been conducted to investigate the role of the stick material on ball speed. The outcome, which reconfirms earlier findings that there is no direct correlation, has been presented in the Council meeting, and the Equipment Committee has been asked to establish (controllable) standards for hockey sticks, in co-operation with the stick manufacturers.

Marketing & Promotion Committee

Committee renamed, refocused - With the recent appointment of an FIH Marketing Consultant and the establishment of a panel of advisors with whom he will work (related stories in news section), the name and the function of the FIH Marketing & Promotion has changed.

The establishment of the FIH Media and Public Relations Committee was approved by the FIH Council at its recent meeting. David Burt will continue to chair the committee, which will focus more exclusively on: nurturing and improving hockey's relationship with the mass media (print, broadcast, new) and its stature in the mass media, particularly in relation to other sports; continuous evaluation and improvement of FIH Media operations policy and guidelines; offering advice and guidance on new developments and initiatives in the mass media, and assisting Continental Federations and National associations, as appropriate, with similar efforts. Committee members include working members of the media, as well as individuals well-experienced the world of hockey.

It is expected the new Committee will hold its first meeting in March 1999, and that its Terms of Reference will be submitted to the Executive Board for approval at its next meeting, also in March.

International Hockey News - The new look FIH newsletter, International Hockey News, is just about a year old now, and we would like to know what you think about it. Feedback should be sent to the Editor, Mary Coyle, by fax (+32 2 219 2761) or e-mail ([email protected]). The FIH would also like to see IHN get into the hands of more people. National Associations and Continental Federations are encouraged to request additional copies to be distributed to key administrators within your region. Please forward all such requests to the Editor.

Television Strategy - A constructive meeting was held recently in Brussels with representatives of CSI, the rights sales arm of the Octagon Group, which has taken over representation of the FIH television interests in light of the dissolution of API Television.

CSI representatives, Chief Executive Karl Bistany and sales Account Representative Hans Duikersloot (based in Amsterdam), are taking a very active approach toward their new partnership with the FIH. CSI is now examining FIH television production standards and ways in which to increase hockey's exposure internationally.

FIH Marketing Brochure - In support of marketing efforts to be undertaken by FIH Marketing Consultant, Adrien Vanden Eede, the FIH is producing a corporate marketing brochure, with completion planned for early 1999. It is expected the brochure will largely be used for approaches to potential FIH sponsors, however, National Associations may also find it useful for marketing and promotional purposes, as it focuses on the sport of hockey rather than exclusively on the FIH. Requests for copies of the brochure should be directed to the FIH office.

Over-run Advertising - The Lahore Champions Trophy organisers were the first to test out additional advertising opportunities, such as advertising on the backs of the goal nets and goal back-boards and on the pitch run-off areas, at a major FIH event. The FIH is awaiting feedback from the PHF.

Medical Committee

Weather guidelines - Guidelines related to weather and climate conditions will be incorporated in the next FIH Technical Manual Nutritional guidelines will be kept in the FIH office but will not necessarily be listed in the Technical Manual.

Drug testing - FIH Drug testing policy, revised in January 1998: athletes now have 60 minutes instead of 30 minutes to report to the dope testing facility after being selected at the end of the match.

The Minimum number of dope testing for FIH event is 12 for a 12-nations tournament which include 8 during pool matches and 4 during classification matches. (This standard will be revisited as a consequence of the new 16-team format.)

Doping may include testing for cannabinoids (eg. Marijuana, hashish) and positive results may lead to sanctions.

Umpiring Committee

Austrian Umpire deceased - The Committee notes with sadness death of Michael Gero from Austria who was still an active international umpire.

Umpire Development - Africa and Asia continue to be targeted as priority areas for umpire development. As well as the Umpire Managers' Seminar in Ipoh, Malaysia, very successful activities have taken place in Namibia and China. Countries in Asia where activities are expected in 1999 include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Korea and Pakistan; while in Africa, activities are anticipated in Egypt, Kenya and South Africa.

Discussions have been held With the Chairman of the Coaching and Development Committee in relation to establishing a library of umpire coaching videos aimed at various levels of development, and establishing an FIH accredited FIH umpire coaching award.

Rules Advisory Panel & Hockey Rules Board

The next meetings of the Rules Advisory Panel and the Hockey Rules Board will take place London in February. Any proposed changes and/or amendments to the Rules of Hockey will be forwarded to the Executive Board for consideration during its March meeting.

The FIH Council, which would normally be responsible for such matters, will not be meeting again until October 1999 and has therefore granted its authority to the Executive Board in this instance. It was also decided in the recent Council meeting that the Council (and likewise the Executive Board in March) may only accept or reject an HRB proposal, and is not permitted to make changes to HRB proposals. Rejected proposals would be sent back to the HRB.

The RAP and HRB will change the timing of its annual meeting, beginning in 1999. In addition to its February meeting, the RAP and HRB will meet again in September or October 1999, in order to have its recommendations available for presentation at the October 1999 Council meeting. This will also assist in the earlier publication of the Rules Book, as final wording will be available earlier.