Hockey India unveils 2021 calendar, National Championships to start in March
New Delhi, February 26, 2021
The National Hockey season will commence next month in a new, restructured format with the 11th Sub-Junior Women National Championship to be held at Simdega in Jharkhand from March 10-18.
Unveiling the calendar for 2021 here on Thursday, Hockey India said that, this year, the new format aimed to maximise athlete participation and develop the game in the States, Union Territories, institutional units and academies.
"We are very happy to resume the domestic calendar after the pandemic halted all sporting events last year," stated Hockey India's President Gyanendro Ningombam.
"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," he added.
According to him, the Selection Committee will be closely observing the talent at these championships and wished all the athletes the best in their preparations.
"While hundreds of talented players missed out on showcasing their performance last year due to the pandemic, I am hopeful they will be able to excel at the coming events and perform their best. Hockey India selectors will be closely observing these nationals in order to induct new talent into the national programmes," he said.
The 11th Sub-Junior Men National Championship 2021 will be held in Narwana district in Haryana from March 17-25.
This will be the first time that Simdega and Narwana will be hosting a Hockey India National Championship.
The inaugural edition of the 1st Junior Women Academy and 1st Sub-Junior Women Academy National Championships will be simultaneously held from March 17-24 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
This will be followed by the 11th Junior Women National Championship at Simdega, Jharkhand from April 3-12.
The National Championships will be resuming after a span of one year. In 2020, the 10th Senior Men and Women Championships (A Division) as well as the 10th Senior Women National Championship 2020 (B Division) were held in January and February 2020 while the remaining National Championships were cancelled due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Hockey India has laid emphasis on ensuring guidelines by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as well as by the respective State governments too are followed by everyone who is part of the National Championships.
Ningombam said: "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 protocols are different in each state and it is important these SOPs are followed to the T to ensure players' safety. In order to ensure all these parameters are kept in check and all protocols are met at each of the National Championships, we have instructed all State Members to appoint a Hygiene Officer at each of the National Championships to assist with implementation of the SOPs."
The dates for the remaining Hockey India National Championships for 2021 will be announced once there is confirmation from all participating members.