Festivals for under-18 boys and girls - The first festival for boys had been organised in Pakistan in December 199/January 1996. The success of this event encouraged the FIH to try to organise another Festival for Boys this year, together with a very first Festival for Girls.
Offers to host these competitions had been received from India and South Africa respectively and invitations had been sent out with the 5th of June as deadline for entries. However, the Committee noted that there had not been many entries and moreover that they were not widely spread over the different continents. After a long discussion, the committee members present unanimously decided to put back the organisation of the two Festivals to the year 2001.
The Committee also decided to authorise the two countries which had volunteered to host the Festivals this year to organise replacement invitational tournaments, should they so desire, for U-18 Boys and Girls, under the aegis of their respective Continental Federations. South Africa has since expressed its interest in staging such tournaments for Boys and Girls in Johannesburg, from 10 to 16 January 2000.
Athens 2004 - Mr. Hadjimichalis, a member of the Committee who is also the Hon. Secretary of the Hellenic Hockey Federation, reported that no final decision had yet been taken regarding the location of the Olympic hockey venue. It had originally been planned that it would be an existing football stadium, which would have been adapted for hockey by the time the Games began. But it had subsequently become clear that this stadium needed considerable additional modernisation.
The proposal now is to build a completely new sports Centre near Athens airport, which could be used for the Olympic badminton, baseball and hockey competitions, and would also provide facilities for sailing. Such an infrastructure would be permanent, i.e. the Hellenic HF would have a permanent venue available for hockey after the Games.
Minimum players - The Committee adopted the following Regulation regarding the minimum number of players required for starting or continuing a match:
"The presence on the playing surface of a minimum of eight players, including a goalkeeper, or a player acting as a goalkeeper, shall be required for a match to be started or continued.
"Should any team not fulfil these minimum condition, the opposing team shall be considered as having won the match by a score of 3-0, or by the score when the match was interrupted, whichever of the two scores shall be more advantageous for the winning team."
17th & 18th Players - The Committee adopted the following Regulation regarding the 17th and 18th players during warm-up and technical training session before a match in FIH competitions:
Development & Coaching Committee
Development pitch project - The realisation of the development pitch projects in Lithuania and Fiji is underway with discussion of a draft Memorandum of Understanding between the FIH and the National Hockey Associations and the Continental Hockey Federations involved for the execution of the projects. An invitation to bid has also been sent to a number of synthetic pitch manufacturers.
An International Development Consultants Workshop will be held on 25 October 1999 in Alexandria. Participants will be the members of the FIH Strategy Group and minimal one, maximum three other people from each continent, selected from a group of people who work, either as volunteers or as professionals, as consultants to the Continental Federations or to the National Associations. The aim is to exchange experience, discuss methods and approaches, and to discuss the need of common philosophy and tools for development consultancy. We hope that this can be the start of the formation of a global network of such consultants.
An FIH Final Coaching Course (High Performance) was very successfully organised in good co-operation with the Australian Hockey Association during the Brisbane Champions Trophies.
The first FIH Development Coaching Course, with twenty participants from all five Continents, took place successfully in Cologne during the European Women's nations Cup. Conductors were Rodolfo Mendoza and Ruediger Haenel. The DHB facilitated and organised the course excellently.
A FIH Special Coaching Course took place from 5-12 September in conjunction with the All Africa Games. There were 30 participants expected, predominantly from several African countries. The South African Hockey Association facilitated the course, which was conducted by Bert Bunnik, Rodolfo Mendoza and Avtar Singh Sohal.
A model and terms of reference are being developed to create good co-ordination of the work of the different Groups in FIH-DCC and the Brussels staff.
Contract renewal - The DCC is very pleased with the renewal of the contract with Gabrielle van Doorn, Development Projects Manager, as decided in the June meeting of the Executive Board.
Synthetic Pitches - Pitch maintenance is of extreme importance for the lifetime of the pitch. Information will be collected from the manufacturers on their requirements/recommendations for the different climatic zones. Based on this information a checklist will be composed for assistance of National Associations and venue owners.
A new generation of pitches with a low and/or invisible fill of sand and/or rubber is in the market with identical playing properties as unfilled pitches but approximately 40% less cost. Generally, this type of pitch does not need watering for training sessions which is attractive from a water conservation and cost point of view. The Equipment Committee will investigate whether this category of pitch should be considered for (qualifying) global competitions. Also, the possibility of staging a tournament on a sand dressed pitch to assess international playability is to be considered.
In response to requests from countries that have little or no experience with the base construction of synthetic pitches, documentation will be composed to assist them. Documentation from the French Ministry of Sport has been translated and ISA Laboratory has been ordered to compose a reference book for sub base construction. This documentation will shortly be available from the FIH office in Brussels.
A briefing note on the use of the use of second hand synthetic pitches has been composed and is available from the FIH offices in Brussels.
Protective Equipment - The second draft of European standards for goalkeeper equipment (except helmet/masks) has been issued for comments. Final document expected in 2000.
Indoor Hockey - The "non specific" requirement policy for indoor floors will be maintained. Most facilities have other sports as dominant users and their requirements are sufficient for indoor hockey.
Sticks - In close co-operation with the Hockey Rules Board, a final wording has been agreed for Rule 4 "The Stick" - including test standards - and has been forwarded to the Council of the FIH for endorsement during its October meeting.
Media & Public Relations Committee
Media & PR Strategy - The Media & PR Committee has prepared a first draft of a comprehensive Media & PR Strategy with the following primary communications objectives: To help raise the profile and perceived value of hockey throughout the world; To enhance the corporate profile of the FIH and its standing in the world of sport; To communicate clearly the various activities of the FIH; To ensure clear and effective two-way communication with the FIH's internal and external audiences. A small strategy group comprised of Committee members will further develop the Plan, which will be presented initially to the FIH Executive Board and Committee Chairpersons in October.
Media Representative Network - The FIH National Association Media Representative Network is now being formed as a vehicle for sharing information on Media and PR issues between the FIH and the Media Representatives of FIH Member Associations. The first step in the process is to identify National Association Media Representatives, and to that end, a brief questionnaire was distributed to all FIH Member Associations. Initial response has been encouraging, but many replies from many countries are still outstanding. Countries that have not responded are asked to do so immediately.
International Player of the Year Awards - The Media & PR Committee is pleased to be instrumental in the realisation of the FIH International Player of the Year Awards, which will be given for the first time during the celebration of the FIH's 75th Anniversary taking place in Alexandria, Egypt. The Committee wishes to acknowledge and thank member David Agius (Malta) for his diligent work in making the awards a reality.
The Medical Committee wishes to express its sincere sympathy to the family of former colleague, Dr. Albert Dirix of Belgium . Committee members share with them in their sorrow at his passing.
The Umpiring Committee addressed the following during its most recent meeting in Brisbane, Australia:
Revision of grading rules for Umpires - These have been further revised to provide more opportunities for umpires to progress up the international ladder. The revision allows for greater use of test series and top club hockey to be taken into consideration, while maintaining standards by requiring the assessments are undertaken by neutral assessors. Each National Association has received a copy of the revised grading rules.
From the Continents
Africa - Courses are planned for Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. An Umpire Coaches Course was held in Johannesburg during the Africa Games between September 8th and 18th 1999. Also, a new Umpiring Committee is being formed and will be ratified at the African Congress due to be held in September 1999.
Americas - A seminar was held in Barbados April 7th and 8th.
Europe - A seminar was held in Padova with a promising list of umpires. Twenty-five were expected with Ray O'Connor and Edna Rutten conducting it.