In an endeavour to maximise athlete participation and further develop hockey among the States, Union Territories/ NCTs, Institutional Units and Academy Members, the Hockey India Executive Board has announced the Hockey India Annual National Championships 2021 to be restructured with dedicated events for the various Member Units as per the following: -
1. National Championships for Hockey India registered State Member Units only, for the categories Sub Junior, Junior & Senior National Championships for both Men and Women.
2. National Championships for Hockey India registered Public Sector Units/ Departmental Units only, for the categories Junior & Senior National Championships for both Men and Women.
3. National Championships for Hockey India registered Academy Member Units only, for categories Sub Junior & Junior National Championships for both Men and Women.
Furthermore, an athlete will only be eligible to represent his/her team in only one of the events listed above at serial number 1, 2 and 3. Further, an athlete will only be allowed to participate in one of the age-group categories i.e. Sub Junior or Junior or Senior to ensure that more athletes are given the opportunity to participate in India’s top level domestic events.
Further as part of the qualification process for the State Member Units to participate in the Hockey India National Championships, it will be mandatory for each State Member to conduct their State Level Championships in each category i.e. Sub Junior/ Junior / Senior - Men and Women prior to the annual National Championships.
"Over the past decade, Hockey India has meticulously worked towards the revival of the sport in the country and has successfully built a domestic circuit that has in-turn helped produce match-winning players for the national teams (both Junior and Senior men and women). Moving ahead, the Hockey India Executive Board has taken this decisive measures that will help grow the sport further and maximise player participation in the Annual National Championships across various events & categories," stated Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India
He further explained that the previous system of hosting National Championships in A and B Division for various age-groups will no longer prevail. "The previous system of A and B Division will no longer prevail but instead we have categorised the annual National Championships where all State Members Units will compete in Sub-junior, Junior and Senior age-groups for Men and Women while all PSUs and Departmental Units will come under a separate category and compete among each other in Junior and Senior Category (Men and Women) and a third category that is exclusively for Academy Member Units who will compete in the Sub-Junior and Junior National Championships (Men and Women)."
"By this restructuring, we want to encourage more and more states, Union Territories/ NCTs, Institutional Units and Academy Members to pursue hockey and develop players from their regions. Hockey India will be closely working along with its respective Member Units towards the launch of the restructured annual National Championships from 2021," he added.
Tournament policy and guidelines, on the other hand, will continue to remain the same and every National Championship event will be played on a league-cum-knock out basis, with pools depending on the final numbers of teams participating and will be conducted strictly as per latest FIH Rules of Hockey as applicable, the latest FIH Tournament Regulations as applicable and Variations in FIH Regulations applicable to Hockey India.
The classification format and eligibility ranking of the participating teams in the 11th Hockey India National Championships 2021 will be taken from the final results of the last Hockey India National Championship conducted prior to 31 December 2020.