Hockey Embraces Dry Turfs for Sustainable Future

Hockey Embraces Dry Turfs for Sustainable Future

Hockey is undergoing a significant transformation as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) transitions from water-based synthetic turfs to environmentally sustainable dry pitches. This shift aims to reduce the sport’s water consumption, which currently stands at approximately 6,000 liters per match.

The move towards dry turfs was prompted by the need to address the excessive water usage associated with hockey matches, particularly in water-stressed regions like India. Despite advancements in turf technology, the amount of water required to lubricate a hockey field remains substantial.

To ensure a seamless transition, FIH has established innovation standards for dry turfs, focusing on factors such as speed, gripping, bounce accuracy, and aerial ball performance. These standards aim to replicate the playing conditions of watered surfaces.

GreenFields, an FIH supplier, has developed a dry turf called Pure EP, which has been installed in the Netherlands. Additionally, dry turfs have been inaugurated in South Africa and Namibia. The recent FIH Hockey5s World Cup was played on a dry turf, providing valuable feedback on its performance in warm climates.

The transition to dry turfs requires adjustments in footwear and equipment. Players may need protective undergarments to prevent injuries when sliding on dry surfaces. Stick manufacturers may also need to incorporate coatings to reduce friction.

FIH is targeting the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics as a potential milestone for the widespread adoption of dry turfs. In India, where there are approximately 150 hockey turfs, the new technology is expected to gain traction due to its water-saving and cost-effective benefits.

India Slips to Fourth in FIH Men's Hockey Rankings, Germany Moves Up

India Slips to Fourth in FIH Men’s Hockey Rankings, Germany Moves Up

India’s men’s hockey team has slipped one spot to fourth in the latest FIH world rankings, while Germany has moved up to third place following their impressive performance at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers. India had already qualified for the Paris Olympics through an Asian Games gold last year and did not participate in the Olympic Qualifiers.

Germany, on the other hand, went unbeaten at the Olympic Qualifiers in Oman and followed that up with two wins and two draws against Argentina and a young Belgian side during the Santiago del Estero mini tournament in the FIH Pro League to surpass India.

Netherlands continues to sit at the top of the rankings, while Belgium holds on to second place. Australia has leapfrogged England into fifth place, while Argentina and Spain remain in seventh and eighth positions respectively.

In the Women’s Rankings, India is ranked ninth, while Netherlands remains clear of the chasing pack. Argentina and Germany have moved ahead of Australia into second and third places, while Australia is now fourth. Belgium has dropped a place to fifth, while England remains sixth. Spain has closed the gap to England thanks to a strong showing at the Olympic Qualifiers in Valencia, where they finished second to qualify for Paris.

The closely contested nature of international women’s hockey is evident, with less than 100 points separating England on sixth and India on ninth.

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