The West

WA gets grip on hockey event
WA gets grip on hockey event

An innovative hockey series, trialled during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last year, will become a permanent fixture on WA's sporting calendar.

The State Government, through its events marketing arm Eventscorp, will today announce a two-year sponsorship agreement with Hockey Australia to host the event at the Perth Hockey Stadium.

This year's International Super Series will be held from November 22 to 25 with television coverage to participating nations in Europe and Asia.

Hockey Australia chief executive Mark Anderson said everyone involved in last year's tournament thought the concept was successful and were keen for it to continue.

"It was a world first for hockey and seen as extremely successful internationally," Anderson said.

"As a sport, and Hockey Australia in particular, we want to be seen as being innovative and open to change which would allow us to present our sport differently by picking up on the components which sell, like high speed, high skill and lots of goals."

Hockey Australia will target the best teams from Europe and Asia who competed at the Olympics.

Australia's best players will be available, with a number of the top men returning from Europe.

"We will be putting out the best men's and women's teams to showcase the sport," Anderson said

The tournament will see starting line-ups being reduced from 11 to nine players and playing time cut from 35 to just 20-minute halves.

"There will be larger goals and a focus on high-energy hockey with a lot more goals," Anderson said.

The sport's international governing body, the International Hockey Federation, adopted one of the Super Series' rules, a new version of penalty corners, for the European Hockey League.

"They are watching us to pick up on the best aspects of the modified game to apply around the world," Anderson said.

The West Australian

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