Two of Australia’s best hockey umpires have been selected by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for what is a first in top tier international hockey.
Steve Rogers and Aleisha Neumann will officiate a match of their opposite gender at today’s FIH Pro League matches between New Zealand and Belgium in Auckland.
Rogers will take charge of the women’s match alongside South Africa’s Wanri Venter, with Neumann to officiate the men’s fixture together with fellow Australian umpire Adam Kearns.
Never before have females umpired a men’s top tier international and vice-versa, meaning Rogers and Neumann will create their own slice of history.
“This is great recognition and a memorable moment for two of our elite officials and also for our sport,” said Hockey Australia CEO Matt Favier.
“Hockey proudly boasts genuine gender equality and equal billing between the men’s and women’s game, so this initiative and move by the FIH only enhances that reputation further.
“On behalf of Hockey Australia I congratulate Aleisha and Steve on their appointments and wish them all the best as they go about their business in the matches between New Zealand and Belgium.”
Every FIH Pro League match, including the ones between New Zealand and Belgium that Rogers, Neumann and Kearns will be officiating, can be seen LIVE on Kayo.