Indian women’s team will soon be playing in this new variant of field hockey.
The sport of hockey, field hockey in particular has a shortened variant known as Hockey 5s. The FIH website describes the format as, “ Hockey5s is a super-fast, highly skilful, short format of hockey which is designed to be adaptable to multiple surfaces, environments and space. Hockey 5s is an invasion game played between two teams with 4 field players and a goalkeeper.”
According to its format, this variant has five players on either team including the goalkeeper. Instead of four quarters of 15 minutes each, Hockey 5s has three 12-minute periods with an interval of two minutes between them.
Moreover, the playing area is almost half the size of a standard field hockey pitch. It is 55 m long and 41.70 m wide, so the play area is less. The new format aims at making hockey quicker, more entertaining and more attacking-minded than the regular format. Furthermore, the players can attempt to take a shot from anywhere on the field, instead of having to enter the shooting circle in field hockey.
There are no penalty corners and penalty strokes are replaced by a “challenge”. They look similar to the one-on-one method used in a penalty shootout. In its brief history, the format was used in an Asian qualification tournament for two places at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. 2015 Pacific Games during a Youth Olympic hockey tournament also used the Hockey 5s format.
The FIH Women’s Hockey 5s Tournament
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) will hold a Women’s Hockey 5s tournament in Lausanne, Switzerland from June 4 to 5. India is one of the participating nations in the tournament. For that purpose, Indian Hockey named a nine-person team. The experienced goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu will be the captain of the side. Also part of the team is Mariana Kujur and Mumtaz Khan who played the Hockey 5s format at the Youth Olympics Hockey 5s competition.
“I have never coached Hockey 5s in an official tournament so it will be an interesting experience for me. We have picked a team with variety,” said Janneke Schopman, the head coach of the Indian women’s team. Apart from India, countries like Uruguay, Poland, South Africa, and host Switzerland will also be part of the competition.
The Indian Squad
Goalkeeper: Rajani Etimarpu (captain)
Defenders: Rashmita Minz, Ajmina Kujur
Midfielders: Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Mahima Choudhary (vice-captain), Preeti
Forwards: Mariana Kujur, Mumtaz Khan, Rutaja Dadaso Pisal
Standbys: Suman Devi Thoudam, Rajwinder Kaur.