Posted 1 years ago

Hockey General

The new format of the FIH Pro League

The new format of the FIH Pro League
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The upcoming season of the FIH Pro League is set to kick off soon, with India, Spain and New Zealand scheduled to face each other in Bhubaneshwar. With nine competing nations, India will look to grab the top spot, after it placed third in the last season.

The new season of the Pro League will include several changes in the format, most notably in the location of the games. While each team will play the other twice, there will be no home and away matches, due to financial and logistical challenges involved in doing so.

Instead, groups of teams will play each other in the same location, such as India, Spain and New Zealand who will face-off in Bhubaneshwar.

Furthermore, the league will also follow a system of promotion and relegation, with those at the bottom of the table relegated, and where the leaders qualify for the FIH Hockey Nations Cup, the inaugural season of which will be held next year. A win will earn 3 points, a draw will earn 1 point and there will be bonus points for winning via shootout.

There are additional perks as well, such as the winners of the Seasons 5 and 6 automatically qualifying for the 2026 World Cup, and winners of Seasons 7 and 8 qualifying for the 2028 Olympics. In all, the participating nations are defending champions Netherlands, New Zealand, Great Britain, Argentina, Belgium, Australia, Germany, and Spain.

The Indian team has also undergone a shuffle with Harmanpreet Singh named captain, while Manpreet Singh will be vice-captain, to rotate and develop leadership skills. The squad will also welcome newcomers who have made a mark, such as S Karthi and Mohammed Raheel, who was recently named player of the tournament in the FIH 5’s tournament in Lausanne.

India is also looking to use their matches against New Zealand and Spain as valuable training for the upcoming World Cup, where India and Spain are also placed in the same group. Tactically, India is expected to stick to its fast-paced game which focuses on pressing their opponents with dynamic forwards and midfielders.

Harmanpreet, who was the highest goal-scorer in the previous edition of the Pro League, will look to exploit his penalty shooting skills again. Other players to watch out for include forwards Abhishek, Mandeep Singh, Karthi and Sukhjeet Singh.

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