Pune, 13th November 2017: After tasting success in their 1st edition last year, the futuristic Hockey India 5-a-side Senior Hockey National Championship 2017 (Men and Women) is back with its second edition starting in Pune, Maharashtra on Tuesday, November 14 at the Shivaji Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Boxing Hall.
The six-day domestic extravaganza will see teams vie for top honours in three categories – Men’s, Women’s and the all-new Combined Men & Women event which will see men and women play in a combined team on November 18.
Hosted by Hockey Maharashtra, the 2nd Hockey India 5-a-side Senior National Hockey Championship 2017 will see a star-studded line-up with members of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team, who recently created history by clinching the 2017 Asia Cup in Japan, turn up for their respective state teams.
The Combined event is pegged as the most exciting event of the tournament which will put both men and women on an equal pedestal to showcase their talent in the most exciting format. A team participating in this category will feature a minimum of either 4 men or women in their team of nine member 5-a-side team. In this category, Hockey Haryana, Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Odisha and Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu form Pool A whereas Hockey Maharashtra, Hockey Karnataka, Hockey Punjab and Hockey Jharkhand are in Pool B.
In the Men’s category, Hockey Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh Hockey, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu and defending Champions Hockey Maharashtra are placed in Pool A while Hockey Haryana, Hockey Odisha, Hockey Jharkhand and Hockey Punjab will lock horns in Pool B.
In the Women’s category, Hockey Haryana, Hockey Karnataka, Hockey Odisha and Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu will make up Pool A while Hockey Punjab, Hockey Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh Hockey and Hockey Jharkhand are in Pool B.
This exciting short format is played on a 38.5 meter x 22.5 meter size indoor court. In this format, each team consists of 9 members, out of which only 5 members can be present on the court at any given time of the match which includes one goalkeeper. The duration of the match is 30 minutes which is divided into three periods of 10 minutes each with an interval of 3 minutes between the periods.
The key differences from outdoor field hockey are in terms of the way the goals are scored and penalties are imposed. A goal is awarded when a goal is scored from anywhere on the court which is unlike traditional hockey where you cannot score directly from outside the circle. In addition, the ball is moved using a push, scoop or flick and no hitting is allowed as it is played in an indoor arena.
In terms of fouls, only free hits and challenges are awarded for respective offences by an attacker or defender. A Challenge is similar to the way shootouts are conducted in modern hockey. Free hits and fouls follow the same rules as modern hockey as well.
“This shorter version of the game is very innovative, fast-paced and thoroughly exciting for a spectator and it has the potential to attract a global following and help in promoting the sport where players can play on any surface and also on different sized pitches. Hockey is a non-contact sport and on a social level many countries play combined competitions with men and women in the same team. This will be the first time it is being formalized and structured and Hockey India is proud to set this in motion. If any lessons learnt, would certainly be implemented in future tournaments including providing a detailed feedback to the FIH (world governing body for hockey). The Hockey Maharashtra have left no stone unturned in their preparations for the event to become successful. I wish all the participating teams the best,” stated Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India.