Today, England Hockey announce that it will become a part of the new International Hockey Pro League, to begin in January 2019. The new league, which is due to launch in January 2019, will see the nine best men's and nine best women's teams from around the world play each other home and away every year, across a total of 144 games. The fixtures will take place in national stadiums, week in, week out, from January to June.
As the Hockey Pro League will provide teams with a way of qualifying for the Olympics, both the England men's and women's teams will become Great Britain in the two years prior to the Olympic Games.
Winners of the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup (playing as Great Britain) and bronze medalists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, England's men are a team that has huge ambitions to get into podium positions at major hockey events. Currently ranked seventh in the FIH Hero World Rankings, at both the Hockey World Cup in 2014 and the EuroHockey Nations in 2015, England finished fourth.
England's women won the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in 2015 and a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Playing as Great Britain, they won gold at the Rio Olympics and moved to second in the world rankings as a result.
The confirmation of teams follows approval from the FIH Executive Board. Their decision was based on recommendations from the FIH Event Portfolio Implementation Panel (EPIP) who were tasked with assessing each of the candidate applications against defined partici-pation criteria.
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