Friday, December 1, 2023

‘I may be very wrong, but I don’t see Hockey 5s as a viable Olympic threat’

In an exclusive interview with Surbiton coach Mark Pearn this week, we also asked his thoughts on safety in hockey, Hockey 5s and if England can ever win a global title

In 2014, England Hockey stated its aim for the club game to be professionalised. Will the English club game ever go this way?

I don’t think it will ever happen. It is a pipe dream. We need to make do within the parameters we are in. I don’t think the FIH Pro League has financially been a success and we won’t be professional anytime soon. Yes, there are a few clubs who have a lot of money. It’s a great aim but we shouldn’t be pinning our hopes on it. Club hockey has a bigger role socially as a community over being professional.

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  1. Hockey5s inclusion in the Olympics depends on a number of factors-
    1 Does it bring more T.V and social media attention than the regular game. The hockey5s world cup in 2024 will give us some idea of that.
    2 The reduction in cost as compared to regular hockey is huge. For hosts that is a blessing. Will the hosts have more sway in the decision making process in the future ? If so, then almost all non hockey playing hosts will push for hockey5s to cut costs.
    3 Most important, How well does Asia, particularly, India , Pakistan and Malaysia do in this format of the game? If they do well, hockey5s will explode in popularity with consequences for revenue generation. If Asia supports this format, then it will get FIH to do so also. It will forge alliances with Africa and Latin America to thwart possible European opposition. The new FIH president won the election through such alliances even though many European members opposed him.


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