|Sydney 2000 Update|
The test event for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Hockey competition is set to take place in September at the Olympic Hockey venue - the State Hockey Centre at Homebush Bay. The event, which consists of a men's and women's four-nations tournament, is scheduled for 22nd-26th September. Competing in the women's tournament are Australia, China, Spain and the United States. In the men's event, we have Australia, Canada, India and Korea.
The event, which is not at all related to Olympic qualification, will be used to test as many systems as possible that will be utilised during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The Info 2000 results and information system - which was developed by the IOC with the co-operation of the FIH and members of the media - will also be tested for the first time. The FIH Technical Manager, Adrien Peters, will be on hand as an observer to assess all aspects of the event, aiming to identify any problems and areas of improvement. Afterwards, Mr. Peters' report will be submitted both to the FIH and the Sydney organisers.
A new carpet will be laid at the Olympic Hockey venue at the State Hockey Centre, beginning in October. The Balsam H20Z XLS surface will replace the existing surface, which is the same model. Installation is expected to be complete by the end of November.
A unique feature for the Olympic hockey field of play will be the coloured over-runs in a Terra Cotta colour.
As of the third day of the Hockey competition, fans at the State Hockey Centre will be able to watch instant replays on one of the large video screens the Olympic Organisers have available. According to SOCOG, there are not sufficient video screens for every sport, however, after the screen serves its purpose for the Triathalon competition during the first two days of the Games, it will be sent to the hockey venue for the remained of the competition. The FIH felt it was essential the screen be made available for hockey, given the speed of the action in our sport.
The FIH wishes to express its sincere thanks to SOCOG for allocating a screen to hockey, as they are in high demand. Thanks also to the Australian Hockey Association and Women's Hockey Australia for their support in this effort.
The FIH will be working with SOCOG on the use of the screen to ensure maximum promotional benefit.
SOCOG has allocated a hotel in Crow's Nest, North Sydney, for members of the FIH Board and others members of the hockey family. The hotel, which will be shared with the International Tennis Federation, is very near the Sydney Harbor Bridge. The hockey venue at Homebush will be very accessible, particularly as SOCOG has also allocated two dedicated mini-vans for transport of hockey family members staying in Crow's nest.
While accommodation for the FIH's 69 Technical Officials and two Tournament Directors is yet to be confirmed, it is likely they will be housed at a Technical Officials' Village at Sydney University, which is located between the city and Homebush. A decision is expected any day.
According to the newsletter of the International Olympic Committee, Actualités, one week after the Sydney Olympic Organisers announced the sale of tickets, hockey was one of the top five most sought after tickets. The top five were: 1. Opening ceremony, 2. Athletics, 3. Swimming, 4. Baseball and 5. Hockey.