FIH is going to introduce a shorter format hockey tournament this year. In this format, the teams will consist of 5 players. Each team will include a goalkeeper as well. Each match will last for 20 minutes with 2 halves of 10 minutes each. The first-ever short format hockey will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland. The field will also be a shorter one for this new and unique style of hockey. 4th-5th July are the dates for this shorter format hockey tournament.
The tournament of this format was to be held in 2021, but due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the event was postponed.
Why Hockey in a Shorter Format
Over the years we have experienced a dramatic decrease in viewership and an overall lack of interest in field hockey among the masses. Looking at cricket, it was initially a single formatted sport with six days of test matches. Over the years cricket has introduced more formats to gain the audience’s interest. Also, in football, we have futsal, seven-a-side football, beach football, and more formats, which attract more people.
Due to a drop in viewership and interest in the sport of hockey FIH has also taken a major step to regain the masses’ interest in the sport of ball and hockey stick. This will provide a chance for the audience to enjoy a full hockey match in a shorter time.
What Will Hockey Be Like
It is clear that hockey has lost its place and worth overall. This summer we will be witnessing a historical change in the sport of hockey. The world is expecting this format to be more open, attacking, and with lots of goals. There are entertainment and glamour factors to be expected in the new format. FIH will be looking to gain lots of financial income and audiences’ interest through the sport. TV broadcasters, media outlets, ads, endorsements, and other non-hockey factors are expected to be a big part of this tournament.
Pakistan and The Shorter Format of Hockey
The four-time world champions of the sports, the unit which has once ruled a whole era in the world of hockey. Pakistan is also participating in this unique tournament. Pakistan’s U-23 team will fly to Switzerland to take part in this tournament. Trials for the team have already been conducted in Lahore. A squad of 10 players will be finalized for the tournament. Former Pakistan hockey team captain Rehan Butt is appointed as the head coach of the Pakistani five-side team. Rehan has already coached Pakistan national hockey team in the past.
What to Expect from Pakistan in This Tournament?
This is a great opportunity for PHF and for the green shirts to regain their lost prestige in hockey. This is the first-ever hockey tournament of this kind. A good start in this format will definitely be a great boost for Pakistan to dominate hockey once again. Pakistan is generally good in holding position and maneuvering the ball quickly around the field and taking it high on the pitch, the issue with the Pakistani team lately is holding the position for a long time with consistency. So, the shorter format will suit Pakistani mental and playing styles. Pakistan team can achieve great success if they train well, go with the right combinations and execute the tactics right.
All the hockey fans around the world are anxiously waiting for this unique tournament to begin. We hope more and more tournaments of this format to be organized by FIH. A good performance from Pakistan in this tournament is what Pakistani fans are expecting, we hope the Pakistani team performs well and bring the first-ever five-a-side hockey trophy home.