For the first time, during the reign of Hockey India, the senior national tournament for Hockey is going to take place. The tournament will start from today, 10th June and will continue upto 19th June.
The Senior Nationals tournament, which will see the participation from 32 teams will take place in Bhopal in the artificial turfs Aishbagh Stadium, Mayur Park and Sports Authority of India centre. Among these the newly laid turf of Mayur Park will be used for the first time. Interestingly, IHF had conducted their version of the tournament, Rngaswamy Cup, at the same venue less than a year ago.
32 teams participating in this tournament are divided into 8 groups and the group leader from each of the groups will qualify for the quarter finals.
Pool A: Punjab, Tamilnadu, Gujarat, Uttarakhand.
Pool B: Chandigarh, Karnatak, Rajasthan, Assam.
Pool C: Delhi, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Bengal.
Pool D: Air India, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh.
Pool E: Services, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur.
Pool F: Haryana, Maharashtra, Goa, Meghalaya.
Pool G: Railways, Combined Universities, Puduchery, Tripura.
Pool H: Orissa,Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar.
This tournament will be a test for Hockey India, alongwith the players participating, as this is going to be the first step they take to improve the participation in the game. However, the things have not been highly encouraging as media coverage to the event is nit up to the mark and Hockey India could not do enough to promote the tournament so far.