The Hockey India National Championships 2021 will commence in March with a new format aimed at maximising participation so that the sport continues to develop at the grassroots, Hockey India have announced.
It is welcome news for all stakeholders as many national tournaments had to be shelved in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The first event will be Sub Junior Women National Championship, which is slated to start on March 10 in Simdega, Jharkhand.
The men's event will be held in Narwana, Haryana starting from March 17 to March 25. Hockey India is looking to spread the sport across the length and breadth of the country and hence has given the opportunity to Jharkhand and Haryana to host their first-ever national championships.
The association has also introduced an academy championship at the national level to provide an incentive to the bodies to work more aggressively at the grassroots. The Junior & Sub-Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021, will be held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, from March 17.
Whereas, the Junior Women National Championship will be held in Simdega, Jharkhand from April 3 to 12.
"We are very happy to resume the domestic calendar after the pandemic halted all the sporting events last year," stated Hockey India's President Gyanendro Ningombam.
The selection committee members will be present at the venues and will keep a close eye on the participants.
"While hundreds of talented players missed out on showcasing their performance last year due to the pandemic, I am hopeful they have will be able to excel at the forthcoming events and perform their best. Hockey India selectors will be closely observing these nationals in order to induct new talent into the national programs," he said.
All events will be hosted following Covid-19 protocols as laid down by the respective state governments and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), to ensure maximum safety.
"There is strict emphasis on host states, participating teams and officials involved in the national championships to follow all the protocols and SOPs laid out not just by Hockey India but also the MHA as well as respective state governments."
The schedule of senior national championships will be announced later after consultation with all participating members.
Below is the schedule for 2021 Hockey India National Championships
· 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2021, Simdega, Jharkhand -10 to 18 March 2021
· 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2021, Narwana, Haryana - 17 to 25 March 2021
· 1st Hockey India Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021, Bhubaneswar, Odisha - 17 to 26 March 2021
· 1st Hockey India Sub Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021, Bhubaneswar, Odisha - 17 to 24 March 2021
· 11th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2021, Simdega, Jharkhand - 3 to 12 April 2021