Ever wondered who makes the decision to deploy tournament officials to FIH events all over the world?
This important responsibility is overseen by the FIH Appointments Committee, and they have just lifted the lid on how the process works by publishing a special document on the FIH website.
In a quick-fire Q&A to mark the occasion, FIH.CH speaks to Willard P Harris, the Chairman of the Appointments Committee, about the important role that his seven-strong team plays within the sport.
A link to the Appointments Process document can be found both at the bottom of this page and in the Appointments section of this website.
FIH.CH: Hi Willard, thanks for talking to us. Firstly, can you give us a quick summary of what the FIH Appointments Committee is for?
Willard P Harris: “The chief objective of the FIH Appointments Committee is to appoint Technical Officials for outdoor and indoor hockey tournaments. This is something which is required by the FIH Chart of Responsibility as well as contracts with the hosts of tournament and our own policies and procedures. Technical Officials include Tournament Directors, Technical Officers, Judges, Medical and Media Officers, Umpires, Umpires Managers and Assistant Umpire Managers, all of which are essential to ensure the smooth running of our events.”
FIH.CH: How do you go about selecting people to fill the positions at each event?
WPH: “Nominations and their rationale are received from the Competitions and Umpiring Committees the Medical Advisory Panel. The appointments are made based upon set criteria which are appropriate to each particular type of tournament. These include things like the required quality of the panels, neutrality issues, the global spread of officials, development, education and many other factors including the cost implications for host organisers.”
FIH.CH: Are there a lot of tournaments to plan for?
WPH: “In short, yes! The Committee appoints to all FIH World Level events, including the Olympic Games, World Cups and all of the qualifying tournaments for those two pinnacle competitions. The Committee also oversees appointments for the new Hockey World League competition, Indoor World Cups, Junior World Cups, Champions Trophies, Champions Challenge l & ll, Youth Olympic Games as well as other multi-sports events such as the Commonwealth Games”
“We also cover FIH Invitational Tournaments and Inter-Continental Nations competitions which generally have between three and eight participating teams. We appoint Tournament Directors, Umpire Managers and Neutral Umpires as appropriate to the number of participating teams. In terms of the Continental Federation competitions which are qualifying tournaments for FIH World Level Events, the Committee will also appoint Tournament Directors, Umpires Managers and Neutral Umpires, as well as approving the nominations of other Technical Officials.”
FIH.CH: Who currently sits on the Committee?
WPH: “As well as myself, the current Committee members are Lyn Farrell from New Zealand, Brian Fernandez of Malaysia, Ghana’s Nii Quaye-Kumah, Horacio Servetto from Argentina, Ana Tuero of Spain and FIH Officials Manager Richard Wilson, who is the secretary of the Committee."
FIH.CH: Finally, what is the reasoning behind making the Appointments Process more transparent?
WPH: “The Committee feels that the transparency of the appointments process and procedures is extremely important to all of the sport’s stakeholders. We believe that publishing the FIH Appointments Process document on the FIH website is a major step forward in achieving this.”
Further information about the FIH Appointments Process can be found in a specially created document by clicking here. The document was approved by the FIH Executive Board on 9 June 2013.
Photograph: Russia's Elena Eskina in discussion with with goalkeeper D'HOOGHE Aisling, BEL (COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK/ EHF)