Hockey will no longer be a game of two halves at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, with the sport announcing a change to a four-quarter format to broaden its appeal to broadcasters and fans.
The International Hockey Federation, FIH said in a statement yesterday that four 15-minute quarters would replace the previous two 35-minute halves.
Playing time will be maximised, however, with the introduction of 40-second timeouts following the award of a penalty corner and the scoring of a goal.
FIH president Leandro Negre said that after the first and third quarters each team will have a two-minute break, with a 10-minute break at halftime. He said, the new format would make the game faster and more exciting while allowing organisers and broadcasters to develop more engaging fan experiences, both at the venue, on TV and online.
The four-quarter format has already been tried out in the Euro Hockey League and in India. It will apply to all continental Olympic qualifying events as of September 1.