The new league, which is due to launch in January 2019, will see the nine best men’s and women’s teams from around the world play each other both at home and away every year, across a total of 144 one-off matches. The fixtures will take place in national stadiums, week in, week out, from January to June.
The confirmation of teams follows approval from the FIH Executive Board. Their decision was based on recommendations from the FIH Event Portfolio Implementation Panel (EPIP) who were tasked with assessing each of the candidate applications against defined participation criteria.
The name was selected as it captured the entertainment-focused nature of the League. Using the word ‘Pro’, this highly positive and upbeat message indicates it will feature the very best in the sport - ‘the pros’. It is also indicative of the increased professionalism that fans will start to see coming into the League.
“We strongly believe that this new competition will fuel the growth of our sport for many years to come, significantly increasing revenues for hockey. As a result it will make hockey a career choice for athletes who will regularly be given the opportunity to perform in big, bold, packed and loud venues both in their homeland and overseas. It will also allow fans to engage with more world-class hockey more often, whether on TV or live at their national venue. We now look forward to working on delivering a truly exceptional League whilst also ensuring we raise the standard and profile of our other international competitions across all levels of the sport.”
FIH president, Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra added: “The Hockey Pro League represents the first major milestone for the Hockey Revolution. It embodies everything our 10-year strategy aims to achieve – making hockey a global game that inspires the next generation. Whilst only nine teams have been selected for each League, the quality of information and enthusiasm shown by those who missed out indicates that our sport is developing in an extremely positive way, which clearly shows that hockey has an exciting future ahead.”