From January 1, international hockey match across all age groups and all levels will be of four quarters of 15 minutes duration each. The international hockey federation (FIH), which had introduced the 60-minute (four-quarter) format on experimental basis in 2015, decided to regularize it and made it universally binding for all international competitions.
The decision was taken by FIH at its executive board meeting in Dubai three weeks back but made public only on Thursday.
While the decision to universalize the 4 x 15 format was agreed in November, as the change was made too close to the start of the Hockey Junior World Cups, those competitions were played as per the old format of two halves of 35 minutes each.
World Cup format changed
The executive board also decided to make key changes to the format of the 2018 World Cups – the men’s competition will be played in Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16 while the women’s will be organized at London from 7-21 July.
As per the new format, 16 teams will be divided into four pools of four teams each with the pool toppers clinching direct spots into the quarterfinals, the FIH informed in a press release on Thursday.
Teams placed second and third in each pool will play crossovers to decide the other four quarterfinalists. This round will be followed by knockout quarterfinals, semifinals and final.
It was also decided that the 2022 World Cup would also be a 16-team competition, per gender. As a result, the next two editions of the event will be staged over 16 days.
The FIH also decided to introduce a new Code of Ethics and updated anti-corruption regulations from next year.
The new Code will be fully in-line with the new IOC Code of Ethics and cover the areas of conflicts of interest, confidentiality, integrity (including bribery, gifts and hospitality; match-related integrity and betting), elections and bidding for events.
An FIH Ethics Panel, with the members to be selected from a pool of independent experts, will also be created.