India to compete in inaugural FIH World Hockey5s event

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Tuesday announced the hosting of the inaugural senior World Hockey5s event on September 11 and 12 this year in Lausanne, Switzerland.

India will be among the five competing countries in the men’s and women’s categories in a tournament which will be a ‘mix of competition, entertainment and demonstration activities to showcase the sport’.

Besides India, the other countries who will send their national teams are Switzerland, England, Germany and Malaysia, while in the women’s section the national teams of Switzerland, England, Germany South Africa and India will compete for the title.

Hockey5s is played with five athletes per team. “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,” said the FIH.

“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 said.

The inaugural tournament will be held at the Place de la Navigation, an iconic location near the Lac Leman, bordering the Olympic Capital in Lausanne.

In 2019, in order to boost the development of hockey globally through Hockey5s, the FIH executive board had decided to create an FIH Hockey5s World Cup — with the inaugural edition planned in 2023. In the near future, a Hockey5s World Tour will consist of events similar to Lausanne’s.

Swiss women’s national team player Sae Fontana said, “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. 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.”

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