Continental reports

African Hockey Federation

New President for Zimbabwe - Alistair Carlisle, President of the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) for many years and the driving force behind the successful Womens World Cup Qualifier in Harare last August, has handed over the reins to Custom Kacaenbwe, formally Vice President. Carlisle remains a Vice President of the African Hockey Federation.

Hardial Singh honoured The African Hockey Federation takes great pride in congratulating Kenyas Hardial Singh on being awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee.

African Players going abroad - The trend for African players to play overseas has increased as a number of South African mens and womens players have followed the lead of Egyptian players playing abroad. South Africas superstar womens player Pietie Coetzee scored 22 goals in 17 matches in Holland while Greg Nichol at last notice headed the National League scores in England.

Learning in London - Gavin Cullen (RSA) attended the FIH Umpires Managers Seminar in London in December and gleaned many exciting ideas that could benefit AHF umpiring tremendously.

African ambassadors - The AHF is hoping to initiate a system of roving ambassadors to promote hockey and develop the game on this vast Continent.

Asian Hockey Federation

Tournaments - The inaugural AHF Cup Tournament for men was held in Hong Kong from 22 to 30 November 1997. Hong Kong China was awarded the FILA Fair Play Cup. Player of the Tournament was Madjarayan Art of Uzbekistan. Final placings can be found in the results section.

The inaugural AHF Cup Tournament for women was held in Singapore 6th to 14th December 1997. Chinese Taipei was awarded the Fair Play Trophy. Final placings can be found by searching the results section of the site.

Both Tournaments, which are of Division II status, are integral parts of the AHF Development Plan.

Courses - The first AHF Umpires Manager Seminar was held in Ipoh, Malaysia from 5-7 March. Presently there are only two persons from Asia on the FIH list of Umpires Manager.

Meetings - The 6th AHF Council Meeting and the Competition Committee Meeting were held in Ipoh on 7th March.

Recognition - The AHF records with pride and great pleasure that Mr. Muneyoshi Ueda, President of the Japan Hockey Association and the Vice-President of the AHF, had been awarded the Olympic Order by the International Olympic Committee.

Four-year development plan - The AHF has formulated an interesting and action-orientated Development Plan to cover the period 1998 to 2001. The plan is targeted towards age-group tournaments, hockey education projects, youth camps and strengthening the hockey bonds among Asian countries on a regional basis.

According to AHF Secretary General, Dato P. Alegendra, 1998 promises to be a challenging, but interesting year for hockey in Asia.

European Hockey Federation

Meetings - The European Hockey Federation Executive Board held its last meeting in Athens. The Board had the opportunity to view all the relevant facilities for the 2004 Olympic Games and to assist with a development plan for hockey in Greece. Our thanks go to Mr. Evagelos Vavvas, President of the Hellenic Hockey Federation, for hosting these meetings.

Forthcoming Executive Board proposed dates are: 9th May, Brussels; 26th September, Kiev; 5th December, Barcelona.

Indoor- A full programme has now been completed 14 nations participated in the 9th Indoor Nations Cup for women. A further 14 nations participated in the 6th Indoor Nations U21 Cup for men. Twenty six clubs played in the mens club championships and 21 clubs participated in the womens event. Placings can be found in the quarterly results (newsletter story)

1999 Venues - Denmark has been approved as the venue for the Mens Nations Cup "A" Division, Portugal for the "B" Division, and the Czech Republic for the Nations U21 Cup for women.

Development - A full programme for 1998 was approved by the EHF Executive Board at its recent meeting. The three zones - Mediterranean, Baltic & Central East Europe - will now carry out various programmes in each zone including country development plans, coaching seminars, umpire/technical seminars and youth camps. Two major events are to be held with FIH financial assistance an umpire training course during the World Cups in Utrecht and a Youth Coaching Course in Milton Keynes (ENG).

Appointments With an abundance of tournaments in 1998, the Appointments Committee has been working very hard to designate officials. The Committee is pleased that the lists of officials are complete for nearly all of the 23 Outdoor tournaments. Early replies from officials has been invaluable in achieving this.

Attention is now turned to the quality of National Umpires appointed by countries. It is very important to the success of these tournaments that the national associations send the best possible umpire. The EHF will be checking the quality of these umpires and may, if necessary, refuse to accept some appointments. It is also planned to have, in conjunction with the EHF Development Committee, a number of Umpires Seminars during 1998. These Seminars are essential for the development of quality umpires and national associations are asked to support them.

Oceania Hockey Federation

The Australian Mens Hockey Association recently hosted the Olympic Champions, the Netherlands, in a six-match series. Australia took the series with 2 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss. Australian captain Michael York notched his 200th international game during the series, and Stephen Davies his 100th international goal.

A 4-nation tournament will be held in April in Sydney and Melbourne with New Zealand, India, Argentina and Australia participating.

Australian Womens Hockey has played 2-test series this year. First, the Australian Senior Youth Squad team, comprised of young players gaining important international experience, played England. The Hockeyroos (senior internationals) then played two games in Perth against England, wining one and losing the other and ending their run of unbeaten international series wins at 26 since July 1994. The Australian teams win against England was the 300th win in its 84-year history in international competition. Next was a 4-game series against the Netherlands resulting in a 3-1 series win to Australia.

Lisa Powell played her 150th international test in the first game against England. Renita Gerard played her 100th test in the last game against the Netherlands.

The Telstra Challenge 4-nation tournament in March/April against Germany, USA and Argentina will take place in Sydney and Adelaide (see Results page for explanation of unique tournament format). A Telstra Test in April v. Korea in Canberra will assist in the preparation of the Hockeyroos for the World Cup.

New Guinea Hockey is expected to become part of an extensive re-development plan. Australian Hockey will assist in supporting the administrative structure and coaching program by establishing a mentor system that will involve senior personnel from Australia.

Fiji will also benefit from a similar plan with New Zealand Hockey. The assistance will be in the form advice with the development of facilities and coaching. Fiji has a sound administrative structure that allows for other appropriate programs to be introduced.

New Zealand Hockey has a busy schedule leading up to the World Cup and then the Commonwealth Games. The womens teams contested a 5-test series in February and will follow up with a 2-test series with Argentina in March. This international competition forms an important component of preparation for the World Cup. The Mens teams will attend the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia and the 4-nation series in Australia before the World Cup.

The level of hockey interest and competition has been very encouraging to the hockey family in Oceania as it suggests that with further interest and financial support, development programs will produce positive results.

Pan American Hockey Federation

Congratulations to Brazil and Uruguay who made their international debut during the South American Championships in January in Santiago, Chile. Congratulations also to Cuba for overcoming many obstacles and taking their rightful place in the mens Junior World Cup in England in September and, of course, to the young women of Argentina on winning another medal at the Junior womens event in Korea, also held in September.

Strategic Plan Drafted - A planning group with input from Board members and Committee Chairs met in Miami in December and discussed and drafted a 4-year strategic plan (1998-2000) for the Pan American Hockey Federation. Five overall objective were established:

  1. To improve the standard of hockey from grass roots through international level.

  2. To upgrade the level of technical expertise (coaches, umpires, technical officials).

  3. To increase the number of countries playing hockey in the Americas and provide assistance to those which are beginning and developing.

  4. To promote and communicate the game of hockey more widely.

  5. To increase the number and standard of competitions in the Americas.

The plan was reviewed by the full Board at its last meeting and will be disseminated in detail to all National Associations for implementation. It has also been submitted to the FIH in conjunction with a request for Development Funds.

Meetings -The Board of Directors and the various PAHF committees gathered in Caracas for their annual meetings on February 27-28. FIH President Mr. Juan Angel Calzado was in attendance.

Jamaica sees merger; others imminent - The three remaining Pan Am countries with separate mens and womens national associations have made substantial progress in their plans to merge into single bodies. The new Jamaica Hockey Federation the result of the merger of the mens and womens associations held its first Annual General Meeting on 31st January. Meanwhile, Trinidad & Tobago had expected to finalize merger plans before the end of January and discussions are on schedule for an amalgamation in Bermuda by the end of 1998.

USFHA Appointment - Mr. Alva Serrette, Hockey Competition Manager during the Atlanta Olympic Games, has been named Director of Mens Elite Teams by the USFHA.