The Indian men’s and women’s teams will participate in the inaugural World Hockey5s event scheduled to be held on September 11 and 12 this year in Lausanne, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced.
Apart from India, national teams from Switzerland, England, Germany and Malaysia will compete in the men’s tournament. The women’s event includes national teams from Switzerland, England, Germany and South Africa, along with India.
The inaugural Hockey5s event will be played at Place de la Navigation, an iconic location near Lac Leman, bordering the Olympic Capital in Lausanne. To make the tournament more accepted among the masses, a Hockey5s World Tour can be expected in the near future.
“It provides non-stop end-to-end action, since the ball is in play for about 90 per cent of a match, thanks to rebound boards placed against the outside of the sidelines and backlines,” a statement from the FIH read.
“Furthermore, there are usually more goals with Hockey5s than with the more traditional 11-a-side format, since players can score from anywhere after the attacking line. Also, Hockey5s is played on a smaller pitch, which enables to bring hockey to people in new and unexpected venues, sometimes even at the heart of the cities,” the FIH statement further added.
Swiss women’s national team player Sae Fontana stated that Hockey5s being a faster game, it will keep the players on their toes and also creative at the same time. The new format will also provide players with more opportunities to score goals.
“I’m really excited about playing some of the best teams of the world Hockey5s is definitely a faster game, which makes it very intense as a player,” said the 22-year-old Fontana, who represented Switzerland in both indoor and outdoor hockey.
“Also, there are many more possibilities to score a goal, to get creative. The individual skills of each player are quite important, and there is more ball contact for each player since there are fewer players on the field,” she added.
The FIH Executive Board in 2019 has decided to organize a FIH Hockey5s World Cup in an attempt to boost the development of the game. The inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey5s World Cup is planned for 2023.
What is Hockey5s?
Hockey5s is played on a rectangular field 55 meters long and 41.70 meters wide. The two teams must have five players each during the time of play with four substitutions allowed per team. A match consists of three periods of 15 minutes with an interval of two minutes between each period.