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Hockey India to try out innovative mixed-gender format, keeping an eye on Olympics

506   //    14 Nov 2017, 16:40 IST

15th Asian Games Doha 2006 Hockey

Hockey India are looking at an innovative new format for the game (Representational Image

What’s the story?

Keeping an eye on the growing significance of gender-equality at the Olympics, the Hockey India will be organising a 5-a-side mixed-gender tournament at Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex in Pune on Saturday.

In case you didn’t know

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board had approved a major review project regarding gender equality in the Olympic Movement. With the help of its partners, the Summer and Winter International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the IOC decided to undertake a comprehensive review of the current state of gender equality in the Olympic Games with a mandate to produce action-oriented recommendations for change.

The work is conducted by a Working Group chaired by IOC Member and president of the International Triathlon Union Marisol Casado, and comprising IOC members and NOC and Summer and Winter IF representatives.

Heart of the matter

Hockey India general secretary Manoj Bhore informed that the event in Pune will be watched by IOC observers.

“The aim is to pitch this format for the 2024 Games. Since many individual sports like tennis, shooting, badminton have been attaining gender equality at the Games, we at Hockey India thought of bringing a concept that is faster and will fulfill the equality criteria,” Bhore was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

Each team will comprise of nine players, five men and four women. Five players will take the turf and atleast two women players have to be playing all the times.

Bhore was backed by an International Hockey Federation (FIH) official, who said the world body of the sport is keeping a close tab on the progress of the format.

What's next?

This particular event, which is part of the 5-a-side nationals, will be held on Saturday, giving ample scope to the authorities to judge its prospect.

Author’s take

Hockey India has taken a proactive step by involving itself in a new and innovative format of hockey. As the IOC is also interested in welcoming gender-equality in different Olympic sports, this will give India a head start to push for an inclusion.

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