The success of the Big Bash League has inspired Hockey Australia to review its existing product and launch a new elite domestic league – Hockey One.
Hockey One represents a major shift for Hockey in Australia as a re-imagined sport and entertainment product that puts fans first, with a new concept, new format, new club identities, new rule innovations and new access for fans with three home matchdays for every club.
The first edition of Hockey One later this year will feature seven new clubs based in Australia’s major cities playing home-and-away matches from late September before a finals series in mid-November, with concurrent men’s and women’s competitions played in a unique double-header format.
The new clubs are Adelaide Fire, Brisbane Blaze, Canberra Chill, HC Melbourne, NSW Pride, Perth Thundersticks and Tassie Tigers.
As the new name implies, Hockey One unifies and celebrates male and female Hockey as a truly gender-equal sport, with all clubs bringing together their teams under the one umbrella of one team name and always playing doubleheaders, enhancing the fan matchday experience.
Hockey Australia CEO, Matt Favier, said: “This is a significant and exciting announcement for Hockey in Australia as we strive to put fans first and showcase everything that is great about our game with this ambitious new league, Hockey One.
“The feedback we received from numerous surveys and research conducted in recent years with Australian Hockey fans, players and officials has shown there is an appetite for a new approach to our domestic Hockey league, much like other sports have adopted such as cricket’s Big Bash League,” Favier said.
“Hockey as a game is a fantastic entertainment product and we want to showcase that to the wider Australian public through Hockey One.
“Our slogan is it’s ‘Real Hockey, Reimagined’.”
The new league will also attract more commercial revenue for the code, with Kayo Sports broadcasting games live with the finals also to be televised live on FOX SPORTS.
“This is a major step forward in terms of visibility and exposure for Hockey in Australia and we’re delighted to be able to bring this unprecedented access to our real Hockey fans,” Favier said.
Head of FOX SPORTS Peter Campbell said: “We’re excited to partner with Hockey Australia and its Members in this new era for the sport with Kayo Sports to stream Hockey One men’s and women’s matches live and on demand, while FOX SPORTS will also televise the finals live.
“We’ve seen a real appetite for top-level hockey through our coverage of the Pro League on our FOX SPORTS and Kayo platforms this year.
“We are confident that Hockey One will provide compelling viewing for fans, with existing and future Kookaburras and Hockeyroos stars on show for our customers.”
The schedule for the inaugural Hockey One season will be confirmed in due course along with information on rules, coach appointments and player signings.