People don’t like change… hockeypeople are no different. Allthough… sometimes we seem to be the exception to the rule. Our sport has proven to be very innovative and not scared to change the rules to improve the game… and to abandon these changes if they do not work out. I love this!
Let me suggest another change
Like most sports we enjoy some variations to our game. Beach hockey has become popular these last years, the Aussies are testing Hockey 9’s and the FIH will be testing Hockey 5’s at the next Youth Olympics. Honestly? I’m somewhat sceptic these will be an improvement on the game as we know it. But maybe that’s my own reluctance to change… But enthusiastic or sceptic it’s always worth the test to see what catches on and what can be learned from these new formats. The most well known variation on our sport is indoor hockey. Also governed by the FIH and locally by the regular federations, played by the same clubs and the same players… It’s a fully recognized sport with real national championships and world championships, so not like the variations mentioned above.
Maybe it’s time we separate indoor hockey from outdoor hockey. And by this I mean a truly separate competition. Not looking for those couple of weeks of the year where the regular outdoor game is not being played but a competition on its own. Maybe even with different clubs and players who do not play the outdoor game… not excluding existing clubs, nor the outdoor players of course. But also not limiting the game to those rare free weeks without outdoor hockey. An indoor competition that lasts at least 6 months every year with weekly games leading up to a play off to decide the champion. Maybe in some cases a modus vivendi can be found where players can play both the outdoor and the indoor competition. After all most of us combine several sports already today (tennis, golf, sailing, fitness, other teamsports or other hobbies…). Maybe playing evenings during the week? But the separation of these two variations of the game should end up in specialist indoor hockey players.
So let’s give indoor hockey the opportunity to develop as an independent sport, not taking into the account the calendar of other sports… only looking out for its own interests. It could thrive and grow into maybe even an Olympic sport on its own… Similar to regular volleyball and beach volley… So maybe in a couple of years we might enjoy two variations of hockey on the Games, instead of being worried about the status of our outdoor game.
Dare to dream… ;)