THE International Hockey Federation (FIH) has revealed the full schedule for the ground-breaking inaugural season of the Hockey Pro League to begin in January 2019.
Australia are among nine women’s and nine men’s teams who will be competing for the Hockey Pro League title, playing eight home and eight away matches throughout the first six months of every year.
The top four teams will then compete to determine the winner in a grand final later in June.
One hundred and 52 matches have been scheduled between January and June across the world as part of this new game-changing competition.
Australia’s first fixtures are due to occur in early February on home soil, with both the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos, which includes Gerringong’s Grace Stewart and Ulladulla’s Kalindi Commerford, scheduled to commence the campaign against the Netherlands on Saturday, February 2.
Men’s matches against Belgium, Pakistan, Germany and England along with women’s matches against Belgium, China, Germany and England are due to be played over the following fortnight in Australia.
The Kookaburras will also play home matches against Spain, Argentina and New Zealand in Australia in March, along with Hockeyroos matches against US, Argentina and New Zealand.
Hockey Australia are currently in the process of finalising the venue agreements for home games and having these venues confirmed by the FIH.
It is anticipated that an announcement about the venues for the 2019 Hockey Pro League will be made in March.
Australia’s away matches will all occur after the February-March fixtures, with trips to New Zealand, Argentina, USA and China in April, May and early June respectively.
The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will also play their European matches against England, Spain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands in June before the finals.
“We’re delighted to publish this schedule as the world can now visualise the scale of this new global home and away league,” FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said.
“Organising such a complex timetable involving a number of stakeholders took some time but it was refreshing to witness to amount of collaborative working throughout the process by both participating teams and broadcasters.
“This announcement means that fans can now lock dates into their diary to ensure they don’t miss any of the world’s top nations visiting their home turf.
“It also allows both our participating nations and FIH to really push on with the development of this competition as we look to finalise broadcast and commercial partnerships across the world over the coming months ahead of next January’s launch.”
Hockeyroos fixtures (home country first, all venues TBC):
Saturday, February 2 2019 – Australia v Netherlands
Sunday, February 3 2019 – Australia v Belgium
Saturday, February 9 2019 – Australia v China PR
Sunday, February 10 2019 – Australia v Germany
Saturday, February 16 2019 – Australia v England
Saturday, March 2 2019 – Australia v USA
Saturday, March 16 2019 – Australia v Argentina
Sunday, March 17 2019 – Australia v New Zealand
Thursday, April 25 2019 – New Zealand v Australia
Saturday, May 4 2019 – Argentina v Australia
Friday, May 10 2019 – USA v Australia
Sunday, June 2 2019 – China PR v Australia
Sunday, June 9 2019 – England v Australia
Sunday, June 16 2019 – Germany v Australia
Wednesday, June 19 2019 – Belgium v Australia
Sunday, June 23 2019 – Netherlands v Australia