FIH Announce Changes to Hockey Turf and
Field Standards

In June 2021, the FÉdÉration Internationale de Hockey (FIH) changed their classification methods for hockey pitches around the world – but what does this mean for you?

Using the old system, hockey pitches were classified into the following categories:

  • Global Elite
  • Global
  • National
  • Community

Global Elite water-based pitches were eligible for International Tier 1 televised hockey (such as the Olympics), whereas Global water-based pitches were eligible for National & Tier 2 International competitions and training.

National (Sand-Dressed) hockey pitches were eligible for National & Local competitions.

Community pitches are generally Sand-Filled hockey surfaces, which are deemed suitable for community and the education sector competitions and training, as well as to 3G multi-sport pitches, which would be primarily designed for large ball sports, using hockey as a secondary sport.

The new system may seem confusing at first, but in fact it is a simple restructure, and make the system easier to understand in comparison to the old one. The new classifications are as follows:

  • Category 1 (Formerly Global Elite)
  • Category 2 (Formerly Global)
  • Category 3 (Formerly National)
  • Category 4 (Formerly Community)
  • Category 5 (Formerly Community)

In terms of the type of pitch assigned to each category, from Categories 1-3 the changes are straightforward, with Cat. 1 and Cat. 2 being water-based, and Cat. 3 being sand dressed – the changes from Global Elite down to National are a straight swap. However, the Community classification has now been split into 2 levels, in the forms of Cat. 4 and Cat. 5. Essentially, a Category 4 pitch must be sand filled at least, whereas Category 5 will be assigned to those that are 3G multi-sport pitches intended for hockey as a secondary sport.

We offer all 5 different kinds of hockey pitches, with our Category 3 sand dressed pitches being a popular choice for our clients.

McArdle Sport Tec recently resurfaced the FIH Global water-based hockey pitches at the University of Birmingham which have now been re-certified as FIH Category 2.  We were delighted to refurbish the two iconic pitches which are being used for the televised 2022 Commonwealth Games hockey competition phase.  For more information on our pitch at the university, you can read our case study here

For more information on our different kinds of hockey pitches we offer, check out the Hockey section of our website here.