The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has launched a Quality Programme for Hockey Turf aimed at ensuring good quality hockey fields are built for all levels of play, from elite level competition to community development, around the world.
This internationally recognised quality-assurance programme provides consistent and dependable industry standards for the performance, construction and durability of hockey turf installations worldwide and ensures the appropriate quality for the intended level of play. As a result, it will help inspire more people to play hockey, promote player welfare and protect the investment of those funding hockey facilities.
Categories of certification include Global, National and Multi-Sport, which are awarded to Hockey Turf products and installed fields after independent testing by FIH Accredited Test Institutes.
The programme also includes Certified Manufacturers, Certified Field Builders and Preferred Suppliers (global companies that manufacture and build hockey fields) meaning that investors in hockey fields can now specify they require a FIH Approved Hockey Product laid on a field built by a recognised specialist contractor.
The programme is an integral part of the FIH's Hockey Revolution, a 10-year strategy that aims to make hockey a global game that inspires the next generation. As part of the overall strategy, a major initiative was launched to increase the degree of professionalism in hockey. The new Quality Programme is one of the first results of this initiative.
The programme is also in-line with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Olympic Agenda 2020 recommendations to improve sustainability, not only in relation to the Olympic Games (Recommendation 4) but also to Recommendation 5 in reference to Olympic Movement stakeholders and the integration of sustainability within organisations and operations.
Speaking of this programme, FIH President Leandro Negre said: "We believe that the long-term success of our sport lies in the quality of hockey facilities around the world. As part of the Hockey Revolution we want to create international standards ensuring the sustainability, affordability and accessibility of hockey fields worldwide."
He continued: "As a result, we have launched the FIH Quality Programme for Hockey Turf, developed with the best interest of hockey players at its heart. This programme will have a significant impact on the next generation of hockey players, the future of our sport, who will be able to learn and develop their hockey skills in safe and reliable environments."
Alastair Cox, FIH Facilities Manager, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for suppliers, manufacturers, field builders and field owners to become part of an official quality-assurance programme. In doing so they can be confident that their field performs correctly, is safe, built to specification and maintains performance. As a result this will improve the sustainability, affordability and accessibility of hockey turf fields around the world, which is key to the long term development of hockey."
The programme will be officially launched at the International Trade Fair for Amenity Areas, Sports and Pool Facilities (FSB) in Cologne, Germany between 27-30 October 2015, where FIH will be exhibiting in Halle 10.2, stand B12 / C15, alongside FIFA and World Rugby.
For more information about this programme, visit the new Hockey Turf section of FIH website by visiting fih.ch/hockeyturf.