Rumours Trouble at FIH?

Discussion in 'General Hockey Chit-Chat' started by Diligent, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    Two blog posts note worrying discord at the top of FIH - with multiple departures.

    Ashley Morrison from Australia - Who's left?
    Ernst Baart from Belgium - Who's right?

    As I see it, the disruption stems from the tension between the traditional responsibility to organise hockey as a participant sport, and the exciting and, for some, lucrative world of producing entertainment. The tension is greatest in national governing bodies, where players cross from the grass-roots (more participants than fans) to the elite (more fans than participants). But the cracks can spread, clearly.
     
    #1 Diligent, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  2. Nij

    Nij FHF All Time Great

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    It's a shame that so many senior directors have left, especially if the rumour about Jason is true.
    I can only hope it leads to the HPL shutting down and Batra being ousted (not allowed to walk off and rinse his hands - his cowardice and backdealing is a disgrace, and furthers the stereotype of biased or plain corrupt officials associated with Indian sports).
     
  3. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    There again, take a look at FIH's 'our strategy' page. It's all about the product, the fans, the money.

    Grass roots? What are they - we are the Federation Internationale, don't you know?

    I'm not a fan.
     
  4. Craggsy

    Craggsy Beikou Hockey founder
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    Without the grassroots the top doesn't exist, without the top their is no money. However without money grassroots is going to struggle. Its a cycle and as always it can be improved, I feel the issue is grassroots is down to the individual nations where as the FIH are imposing how the top end works. I'd like to think that with more money being brought in from the new Pro League it will filter down to the local clubs that are the key part of the sport, but I feel its more down to national bodies (look at Holland and Belgium, good links with sponsors and very strong clubs), to sort the money our and even impose their own structures to grow the sport. With England hockey it feels like they're only bothered on the good juniors and getting players who can play at an olympics not everyone else.
     
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  5. MikesDad

    MikesDad FHF Top Player

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    This is worrying news for anyone who looks at the big picture and can only lead to uncertainty which is biggest thing that scares off sponsors and tv companies.

    If I had to bet, I would say the HPL will not happen.
     
  6. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    It's hard to know what to read into the changes although i am sad to see i will be losing one of my better midfielders having just been appointed director of sport. I hope he can work from home...

    However taking the interpretations offered above which whilst varying in their degree of scepticism seem more or less aligned on their take on the general philosophy behind many of the changes, it seems entirely in line with how many sports of the nature of hockey operate.

    The governing body worries about exposure, cash at the top and elite saleable competition and leaves the local associations to do the grass roots work.
    You can see an example of how well that works in English cricket. Clubs are required to pay into the national association who administer the county game but receive almost nothing in return in many cases because the national associations naturally try to ape the worldwide federation and often prioritise the local elite game to the detriment of the grassroots.
    So as an unintended consequence of the international governing body attempting to put the onus on national governing bodies to deal with the grassroots, the need for cash and exposure induces the national bodies to also race to the top and leaves the clubs or local regions to worry about the grassroots.
    Sadly local bodies or clubs have generally very limited resources and may be forced to prioritise kids over being any good or focus on getting their 1st teams to as high a level as possible but at the detriment of grassroots play.

    As always, the dash for cash cuts off the supply of talent in the long term, but because the short to medium term can look peachy no one takes any notice till it is too late.
    That then has the effect of narrowing the pool of talent at the elite level and you get what you see with the GB men's team where mediocrity rules and there are limited if any players who can challenge the players who have been incumbent at the top for 15 or so years. A sport where the Middletons (for example) are still possibly the best available players in their positions after what seems like decades at the top is not a healthy one. With the greatest respect and reverence to their talent and dedication over a long time and services to our sport, the fact that some young whippersnapper has not ousted them* suggests that the grassroots are not healthy.

    *i have not checked if that is indeed still true at the time of writing but my point still sustains either way and can be observed in more than one case.
     
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  7. Stuart Burnside

    Stuart Burnside FHF All Time Great

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    There’s not really much cash at the top though, is there?

    How many international sides could fully cover their costs from ticket sales and sponsorship?
     
  8. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    But for those who run a pro competition, there is cash, even if the professionals themselves are scraping by.

    Which must make the urge to ‘productise’ all but irresistible to those who find themselves in leadership of an international sport. Welcome to the 21st century.
     
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  9. Stuart Burnside

    Stuart Burnside FHF All Time Great

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    Ok but the pro competition and the international amateur game are different things aren’t they?

    Even in pro, what cash is this? The only material cash I can think of is the money that the club owners put in. That’s rich men playing with something - it isn’t a business that’s generating much money of itself. And that’s not all that different than it was last century, is it? What am I missing?
     
  10. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    Is the salient question a nation has to ask itself something along the lines of: "shall we breed success through breeding large generations of players and cream the best off for our national teams and pro(or am) top league or do we concentrate on a small more or less pre-selected group and invest heavily in them to squeeze every bit of ability from them for as long as possible?"
     
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  11. Stuart Burnside

    Stuart Burnside FHF All Time Great

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    Only if you see participation and performance as alternatives rather than co-dependents. The salient question as you term it is expressed in FHF like that fairly frequently, but I don’t think it right.

    Participation is 1 people wanting to play and 2 being able to do so. 1 is partly people “selling it” whether this is clubs reaching out or schools and partly inspiration - far more demand after an Olympic Gold for example. 2 is infrastructure - both facilities and coaches.

    1 includes quite a lot of variables that aren’t things that cost money per se. Hockey being taught (or not) in schools is not just about money.

    PS Clubs are every bit as “bad” at concentrating resources on the top end rather than growth.
     
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  12. Ernst

    Ernst FHF Starter

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    Hi all,

    In case you're following international hockey and the "trouble" within the FIH... I've written a follow up on my Who's right blog mentioned in the first post of this thread.
    This one is called :

    To Batra or not Batra.... that is the question following the lettre from R. David Balbirnie asking Batra to resign.

    And I will follow up this one in a couple of days with some more views on how I think the KISS principle is the way forward for hockey...
     
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