The London 2012 Organising Committee has revealed that the hockey pitches at the Olympics will be blue.
This will be the first Olympic or world event to be played on a different coloured synthetic turf to the traditional green.
The colour change is designed to improve viewing for players, officials, spectators and broadcasters alike.
It provides a strong contrast for players against a white ball and white lines.
The pitch run-off areas will be pink, providing a striking difference to the playing area.
Kelly Fairweather, chief executive of the International Hockey Federation stated: “The playing performance and quality of a pitch are our primary concern.
“In addition though, we’re keen to innovate in the presentation of hockey to ensure, among other things, that spectators either in the stadium or on television get a good view of the exciting field action.”
Debbie Jevans, LOCOG Sports Director, said “ we have carried out research with athletes and broadcasters and are looking forward to world class hockey on the innovative blue pitches”
The hockey centre is due to be built next Spring and will be a temporary 16,000-seat outdoor stadium in the Olympic Park.
OCI Chief Executive Stephen Martin said, “hockey as a sport has always lead the way in terms of innovation; for example rule changes such as no- offside . The FIH and LOCOG should be congratulated for their latest efforts to make the game more appealing to play and to watch. This latest innovation after research between the athletes and broadcasters will be welcomed.”
It will feature two pitches; one will be used to stage all 76 matches, while the other will be used for training.
Ireland hope to qualify a men’s or ladies team from either the 2011 European Championships or through winning one of three Olympic qualifying events scheduled in the first quarter of 2012.