Pandemic-hit hockey nationals to begin in March

Pandemic-hit hockey nationals to begin in March after a year's break

Representative image/Credit: AFP Photo

The restructured Hockey India National Championships will restart in March after a hiatus of one year following cancellation of last year's events due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The domestic competitions will resume in a new, restructured format this year, as HI looks to maximise athlete participation and develop the game in the states, union territories, institutional units and academies.

The season will kick-start with the 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2021 to be held in Simdega, Jharkhand from March 10 March to 18, followed by 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2021 scheduled to be organised in Narwana district of Haryana from March 17 to 25.

The inaugural edition of the first Hockey India Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021 will be held from March 17 to 26. The women's event in this category will run simultaneously from March 17 to 24. Both the competitions will be played at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

This will be followed by the 11th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship at Simdega, Jharkhand from April 3 to 12.

Last year, only the 10th Hockey India Senior Men and Senior Women Championship 2020 (A Division) as well as the 10th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2020 (B Division) were held in January and February before the pandemic wreaked havoc worldwide.

"We are very happy to resume the domestic calendar after the pandemic halted all the sporting events last year," HI president Gyanendro Ningombam said in a statement.

"The season will begin in an all-new avatar with the restructuring of events for sub-junior, junior and senior national championships for both men and women as well as Hockey India registered State Member Units, Public Sector Units/ Departmental Units and Academy Member Units respectively," he added.

With the threat of pandemic still looming large, the national federation has instructed the host state associations to appoint Hygiene Officers at every venue.

Besides, following HI's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a must for all participating teams, tournament officials as well as host states.

HI further stated that the dates for the remaining National Championships for 2021 will be announced later, after receiving confirmation from participating teams.

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