Tuesday, June 18, 2024

FIH: Hockey5s is an excellent springboard to 11-a-side

International Hockey Federation chief executive Thierry Weil spoke of the new format Hockey5s’ future following its recent senior event launch in Lausanne

What do you keep in mind from this first Hero FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2022?

What I particularly enjoyed was the fact that people having a walk at the Place de la Navigation around the lake in Lausanne, stopped, looked at what was going on and eventually decided to move into the stadium and watch the games! This was exactly the purpose of this event: bringing hockey to people.

Then of course the huge enthusiasm of the players to play this format – for some of them for the first time – as well as the intensity of the matches were a blessing.

India men – considered as pre-tournament favourites – won. But for the women, the winners were Uruguay, therefore confirming that Hockey5s enables nations who are not necessarily regarded as powerhouses of world hockey to excel. How do you look at this?

Here again, this is fantastic since one of the main reasons why FIH has decided to boost the promotion of Hockey5s is precisely because this format enables some smaller nations to play at the same level as the traditionally bigger ones and even beat them! Extrapolating from this, it means that numerous nations in the world could start hockey with Hockey5s, which it’s simpler and cheaper to put in place.

How can Hockey5s support the overall growth of hockey?

Hockey5s is a great lever to boost the growth of hockey at the global level. Thanks to its less restrictive infrastructure – smaller field – but also to the required number of players, the practice of Hockey5s can be a real development asset for many nations in the world.

Developing the sport is the No 1 mission of any international federation. The same goes for FIH. This is why, among other things, the FIH has decided to create a Hockey5s World Cup (first edition in 2024).

In addition, the size of the field also makes it possible to anchor the Hockey5s in the heart of cities, giving it an urban dimension that is very fashionable and attractive, especially among young people. Finally, Hockey5s is an excellent springboard, a “gateway”, to 11-a-side hockey.

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  1. If Hockey5s and regular hockey could co-exist harmoniously, it would be wonderful. The world already has numerous examples of such co-existence like cricket and T20 cricket, rugby and rugby7s, football and futsal etc. The worst scenario for world hockey would be a war between the two camps with countries like Germany, Spain, England etc in regular hockey camp, Countries like Poland, Switzerland, Uruguay etc in the Hockey5s camp. Countries like India, Netherlands, Pakistan, Argentina etc straddling both camps. The division and strife in such a bleak scenario will damage hockey’s global standing.

  2. But the format is awful – dangerous and monotonous. It’s so bad to watch. It will turn people away from hockey, not attract new players. It is a novelty for FIH to appeal to IOC with. Young people don’t want to play it. Maybe we can watch Thierry and others receiving under the counter payments play it in 2028. Noone will watch that either. Why is the Hockey Paper promoting this rubbish. Are you in need of funds too?

    • Agree fully. Awful version of hockey that loses the intelligent tactics used in 11-aside and indoor. If you get in trouble just tomahawk it towards the goal. Dangerous! Can see it being popular in certain parts of the world where they’ve always favoured individual skill over team play though.

  3. Sue Sturrock, I don’t think you have ever watched a match of hockey5s. I would be obliged if you would read this-

    or this


    or this


    or watch this



    When was the last time you saw so many fans in a hockey match and that too in a non hockey playing nation like Switzerland. Hockey5s after Lausanne is not going to be stopped. It is out in the open, hockey fans and even non fans can see that the hockey5s format is much faster that regular hockey 11s, easier to understand and chock full of goals.
    I have loved and followed regular hockey all my life but I confess that at times it is difficult to watch or make others watch. Hockey5s makes hockey simple and attractive.

  4. We have a short format already. 5s offers nothing over Indoor. It’s peculiar, dangerous and not exciting. Most continue to wonder why the FIH keep trying to force this Frankenstein’s monster on us.


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