Media facilities at the hockey World League in Valencia
Valencia’s Campo de Hockey is a tight, compact ground near the University. With netting surrounding most of the pitch and seating it did pose a few problems. But, in all, this was a well-run tournament.
There was an efficient press room, run by a local freelance journalist, situated pitch side with easy access to the mixed zone, a 10-second walk away.
With few print journalists outside of local Spanish hacks, it was difficult to get players to come through the mixed zone immediately afterwards, especially at the back end of the tournament. A minor grumble given the intimate, relaxed atmosphere.
In the media room, one area of concern that is likely to pose problems in the future – and already has to some degree given the FIH’s priority towards television – is the complete lack of statistical hand outs.
Yes, we were given the team sheets and match result hand-outs. But while TV was able to portray a plethora of penalty corners, circle penetrations and historical head-to-heads before and during matches, there were no such luxuries for non-broadcast media. From my point of view it meant searching on the FIH’s TMS (tournament management) site and even then there was a distinct lack of detail.
I understand there was a fire at FIH HQ a while back and it will take some time for all these archival head-to-heads to be manually input before we can view online.
On the photography side, there seemed to be a conflict with the organisers over the small confines laid out for a working view, with tape marking out the perimeters.
There were only two corner sides where photographers could shoot from and, as the day wore on, it largely meant shooting into the sun.
One American photographer called it “ridiculous”, claiming that their work area was put in place so they wouldn’t be seen on TV when the cameras panned round. In all, there were only six positions with a workable view.
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