It’s the announcement that will send chills down the spine of hockey fans across the country: Hockey Australia has launched a new, revamped competition that will be hockey’s version of cricket’s T20 Big Bash League.
Titled Hockey One, the new elite domestic league will have a new set of rules, concept, format, club identities and facelift compared to the now binned Australian Hockey League.
The competition will shift to a six-week home-and-away season with three home games per club, which will see male-female double-headers, running from mid-September to late November.
All seven clubs will boast new identities and have their men’s and women’s sides under one banner. Gone are the days of the Canberra Lakers and Canberra Strikers, as the nation’s capital will be represented by the cool, new, cold-as-ice Canberra Chill.
The Chill will host three home-and-away matches at the National Hockey Centre in Lyneham, with all games broadcasted live on KayoSports and finals televised on FoxSports.
Though the new rules will be confirmed at a later date, Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier believes the new format will engage existing hockey fans and the next generation of supporters.
“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,” he said.
“The feedback we received from numerous surveys and research conducted in recent years with Australian Hockey fans, players and officials have 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.
“We’ve worked with our member associations on their club identities which are fantastic and full of life and colour. They are sure to engage existing hockey fans and the next generation.”
Hockey ACT’s CEO Gavin Hunt is excited about a new era for hockey in Australia.
“The team’s identity pays homage to Canberra and the surrounding capital region, the landscape, climate and the way the Canberra region plays hockey,” Mr Hunt said.
“The team logo and colours are loud, bold and innovative, which is exactly how the Canberra Chill will play hockey.
“It shows our junior players that there is a pathway to play elite hockey not only within Australia but for their home region whilst also creating an engaging fan first experience for the regions hockey fans to come and support their team.”