The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has concluded that elite level televised hockey is best played on single colour blue fields using white hockey balls.
The FIH choice affects both the field of play as well as the perimeter margins. The decision means that in from now on combinations like blue and green or blue and pink (as was used during the 2012 London Olympics) will no longer accepted.
FIH’s decision is a recommendation for the time being. ‘We do recognise that many venues we use for these top events have relatively new hockey turfs that do not justify being changed immediately. We are therefore asking that when the hockey turfs at these venues are replaced or when new venues are being designed they have all blue hockey turfs installed,’ the message to the members of the FIH Quality Programme reads. ‘Moving forward, the FIH will therefore be incorporating this conclusion into our competition and stadium specifications for our top events such as the FIH World Cups and Hockey Pro League, etc.’
Research by the FIH has shown that the best shade of blue for hockey is that commonly known as London Blue. However, FIH recognizes that small colour variations between hockey turf manufacturers and even within production from a single manufacturer can result in small colour variations. ‘Therefore, again based on the research, several alternative shades of blue have also been approved for use on fields intended for high level FIH competitions’
FIH warns installing companies that from 1st June 2018 only hockey turf products that meet the requirements of the 2017 Standard will be approved. Based on recent enquires FIH will continue to certify new fields during 2018 that have hockey turf products that are currently approved (i.e. according to the 2013/2014 handbook) providing the tender/contract to build the field was awarded before 31st May.