Over the next month, as we build towards the first-ever Premier Hockey League, Hockey New Zealand will be releasing more details around the teams and players who will be taking part in this incredible new league.
You will see the best 160 players from across the country (80 Men and 80 Women) competing against one another on the highest domestic stage. There is even more on the line this year with selections on the line for the Vantage Black Sticks as they build towards the postponed Tokyo Olympics and FIH Hockey Pro League.
North Harbour Hockey will play host at the newly built world-class stadium which played hosts to the Olympic and World Champions earlier in 2020. It will be fantastic to see this incredible venue utilized to launch such an important event for our players who are pushing for selection in the National Squads.
The matches at North Harbour will be free to attend, and we would love to see the wider hockey community get along to the series and check out the incredible hockey that will be on display. If you can’t make it don’t worry as Sky Sports New Zealand will have all the games live-streamed on their Sky Sport Next platform as well as select games on Sky Sports Television.
The competition will see four men’s and four women’s teams play a round-robin competition over two extended weekends in August and September. The final weekend will culminate with a Sunday Finals day to decide the inaugural Premier Hockey League champions.
As the Premier Hockey League is preparing our top players for the rigours of international hockey as well as for the Olympic Games next year the level of competition must meet that need. Teams will be selected via the Hockey Premier League draft. With the majority of players selected as protected local players who will not be entered into the draft and will play for the team representative of where they play their representative hockey. The draft will then select the remaining players into teams and must include two goalkeepers.
To facilitate environments that will be ideal preparation for the International Game as well as ensuring a high pace of play the following adaptions will be made to the rules of the game for the Premier Hockey League.
Every game will be played in four, 15-minute quarters. If a match is drawn, it will result in a best of three penalty shootout.
Each squad will have a maximum of 20 players; however, during any match, they will only be able to have 18 players including two goalkeepers.
This is the first representative domestic hockey league that will be resuming around the world so make sure you follow along to see our current and future Black Sticks players battling it out as they push their case for higher honours.