The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced that New Zealand is one of 15 National Associations to advance in the selection process for the global Home and Away League, which is due to begin in 2019.
Thirteen National Associations remain part of the selection process for the women's league, with 12 still in contention for places in the men's league.
With a maximum of nine teams taking part in each league when it commences, the process remains particularly competitive going into the final assessment stage for this ground-breaking competition.
New Zealand, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, England, Germany, India, Ireland, Netherlands, and Spain submitted applications for both their men's and women's teams. China, Japan and USA for their women's teams and Malaysia and Pakistan for their men's teams.
The latest phase of the application process required the National Associations to complete an extensive online questionnaire before the deadline of the 30th April 2017 providing the FIH Event Portfolio Implementation Panel (EPIP) with in-depth information based on various aspects of their hosting and participation capabilities.
This included 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.
The FIH has also been undertaking extensive discussions with broadcasters regarding exposure and media coverage of hockey within each of the nations as well as working collaboratively with the selected National Associations on all aspects of the bid process including, but not limited to, match scheduling, player welfare and commercial terms.
The online questionnaires completed by the 15 National Associations will now be evaluated by the FIH EPIP, who will finalise their recommendations when they meet in Lausanne on 27-28 May, 2017.
"To have 15 National Associations still in the running at this stage of the assessment process is fantastic news for the Home and Away League, a game-changing competition that is central to our 10-year Hockey Revolution Strategy", said FIH CEO Jason McCracken.
"The depth of information that we required the National Associations to provide was extensive and the quality of submissions received was outstanding. I would congratulate and thank the National Associations for their work ahead of what will be a very thorough and competitive assessment process.
"The FIH continues to work in close collaboration with the National Associations as the sport looks forward to taking advantage of the growing interest, excitement and engagement in this competition from fans, broadcasters and commercial partners."