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Brazil Olympics 2016 - Is Field Hockey In Jeopardy?

Nov 12, 2014

Just a few days ago the FIH released some interesting news about the sport of field hockey and where the organization hopes to see the sport in the next few years. For those of you who may not know what news we are talking about, the FIH (International Hockey Federation) has been dealing with issues in regards to marketing the sport of field hockey and making it more appealing to viewers around the world. Although hockey is the second most popular sport in terms of people playing the sport in many different countries around the world, that does not mean it is most popular in terms of television and broadcasting.

A lot of the focus has been on making the sport more marketable for TV and the FIH has recently stated that they are still working to come up with ways to fix this issue. The FIH is working very hard to come up with new strategies to ensure that these issues dwindle before the next Olympics. All of the recent media coverage on the sport has come to light following the London Olympics when field hockey was almost dropped from the Olympic Games for good. This was a wake up call to many countries and the FIH as a whole.

The efforts have already begun to help ensure that the sport is moving in the right direction. We can see evidence of this with the new format of the games, as it has switched from 35 minute halves to 15 minute quarters. This was most likely changed in an attempt to make the game faster and also to fit into TV slots more efficiently for larger, televised tournaments.

The Women’s National Team has briefly spoken about the changes to the game and how we see the four quarters as a good and bad thing. We are still getting used to the change and are trying to figure out the best way to handle the shorter game length. Along with adjusting, we have also discussed the importance of change and that in reality if the FIH does not change things to the game of hockey, then it may not be in the Olympics for much longer. This entire situation has been a wake up call and now we are just trying to make the game as fun and enjoyable as we can for our spectators.

Playing in the Olympics is the ultimate sporting event for any athlete who aspires to represent their country. When the news about field hockey potentially being dropped from the Olympics was announced, everyone was surprised and was curious as to what would happen going forward. I do not think anyone really felt at jeopardy, but there was a sense of shock to the whole team.

Going forward the sport will change and adapt to what it needs to become in order for the sport to evolve and become more enjoyable to a broader audience. One of the key things the Women’s National Team is focusing on at the moment is getting our name out there and trying to make ourselves more prevalent in our communities. Ultimately we think that this will only help the sport of field hockey and also help increase the popularity of the sport in the United States, if not the world.

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