Teams from 30 registered state member units of Hockey India will lock horns for championship honours at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri, near Pune in the 11th Hockey India Senior Men’s National Championships, which is set to begin from December 11.
The event coming after India’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic bronze medal-winning performance, will be hosted at the twin-township of Pimpri-Chinchwad, situated in Pune, and is set to witness top action as Hockey India tries to put the calendar in shape after the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 10-day event, conducted by Hockey Maharashtra and co-hosted by the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, will conclude with the final slated for December 21.
AS decided by Hockey India, the nationals will follow a new format wherein only State units will be seen in action. Earlier, institution units were also part of the event which was played as one combined championship. The format was later changed to two tiers — Division A and Division-B. But Hockey India had a few months back decided to conduct separate nationals for institutional teams.
Krishna Prakash IPS, Chairman Organising Committee and Associate Vice President of Hockey Maharashtra, said “it’s an honour for me to take on the responsibility to do my bit for a sport that has brought a smile to the millions for its exploits over the years.”
Meanwhile, the corporation on its part has spruced up the hockey stadium in a bid to provide the best for the best descending for the competition.
The Championship will be played on a league-cum-knockout basis, with the 30 participating teams divided into 8 groups of 4 teams each, of which two groups — Group ‘A’ and ‘B’ — comprise three teams each.
The group toppers will advance to the quarterfinals as the 10-day championship will witness over 50 matches.