New Zealand has progressed to the next round of selection for the forthcoming International Hockey Federation (FIH) global Home and Away League due to begin in 2019.
New Zealand is one of 18 National Associations alongside Argentina, Australia, Belgium, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, South Africa and Spain who were all successful with applications for both their mens and womens teams.
China, Italy and USA were successful with applications for their womens teams and Malaysia and Pakistan for their mens teams.
All of the successful applications met the four defined criteria outlined in the first stage of the selection process. These included FIH Hero World Ranking, the provision of suitable venues, their ability to host up to eight matches at home and play eight away, and their commitment to ensure leading players are available for participation.
The applications were evaluated by the FIH Event Portfolio Implementation Panel consisting of FIH Competitions Committee Chair Ken Read; FIH Acting CEO David Luckes; FIH Executive Board Members Alberto Budeisky and Marijke Fleuren; FIH Athletes Committee Co-Chair Annie Panter and CEO Group Representative Elena Norman.
The FIH are also recruiting for an independent member who will join the Panel at the beginning of February 2017 in time for the candidate phase of the evaluation process.
The next stage will see the selected National Associations submit in-depth information based on various aspects of their hosting and participation capabilities.
This will include information about financial sustainability, commercial vision, legal compliance, proposed venues, organisation and personnel, event delivery and presentation, team performance history, marketing strategies, motivation for participation, the proposed legacy impact and any added value they can bring to the competition.
FIH will also undertake extensive discussions with broadcasters regarding exposure and media coverage of hockey within each of the selected nations.
The deadline for submitting the next application information is 30 April 2017. Before then, candidates will be assisted with their applications through support from FIH and other experts via regular conference calls plus a workshop at the FIH Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland in March.
The final evaluation process will then take place over the following months before the participating teams are officially announced at a launch event in June 2017.