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Focus on the shorter version of the sport as the FIH bets on Hockey5s Lausanne 2022


At a time when the shorter versions of major international sports are adding to their popularity, field hockey will unveil its shortest version on its biggest stage later this week and join the race for more eyeballs and support.

The sport hopes to emulate cricket, whose Twenty20 version has spawned leagues around the world and will make its debut at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, football, whose miniature futsal is already well established, and basketball, whose 3×3 version was very popular at the Tokyo Olympics last year.

The International Ice Hockey Federation (FIH) hopes that the Hockey 5s Lausanne 2022 event will be a world first, offering a showcase for ice hockey and bringing the sport to new audiences.

The FIH Hockey5s Lausanne 2022 is the first official senior World Hockey5s competition organized by the FIH and builds on the success of Hockey5s events that have taken place around the world, including the editions of the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (2014) and Buenos Aires (2018).

Hockey5s Lausanne 2022 will take place in the heart of the Olympic Capital, Lausanne, on June 4th-5th and will offer two days of hockey action, fun and entertainment.

The bout will pit men’s teams from India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland and Switzerland in a round-robin style tournament, with a final between the top two teams.

In the women’s competition, which follows the same format, home nation Switzerland meets teams from India, Poland, South Africa and Uruguay.

Spectators at the event can enjoy fast and skillful ice hockey action. Hockey5s is a shorter, more intense style of play. A game consists of two halves of 10 minutes and the ball is in play 90 percent of that time thanks to boundary lines that can bounce the ball.

There should also be a barrage of goals as players can shoot from anywhere in the offensive half.

This event and the increasing number of Hockey5s events worldwide is causing excitement among players and coaches, the FIH said in a press release on Tuesday.

South African coach Tsoanelo Pholo said: “Hockey5s is an initiator of ice hockey, a developer of the full field version. If you have a Hockey5s pitch in three or four places across the country, I’m telling you now, we’re going to have a lot more hockey players in developing countries.”

“As early adopters of Hockey5s, we want to give ourselves a competitive edge as a small country to get better quickly. Hockey5s is a fast-paced game that makes it intense for the players,” Swiss athlete Sae Fontana was quoted as saying in the press release.

At the Place de la Navigation near Lake Geneva, some established and rising superstars will demonstrate their skills.

For the Indian men, Dilpreet Singh is an exciting young player who has already played 63 times for the national team. He and Sumit, who will also be in Lausanne, won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. The men from India are among the favorites for the title.

If Dilpreet has 63 caps, Malaysia’s Nabil Noor is a true veteran of the game. With 239 caps, the captain will look to lead his side of talented players to their first title.

Pakistani men have been at the forefront of the sport throughout the 20th century and it’s exciting to see what this young team can achieve in a new game format. The speed and intensity will match the super close skills of the Pakistani team.

Both the Polish and Swiss men’s teams will try to transfer some of the skills and tactics of the indoor game to the Lausanne pitch. Poland are a specialist when it comes to the short form of the game and Switzerland, led by Sebastian Schneider, will have the advantage of a home crowd.

For the women, Uruguay brings South American flair to the ice hockey party. They will also bring a lot of experience, especially Manuela Vilar. Elisa Civetta was one of the Uruguayan stars of April’s World Youth Championship and will be eager to show off her goalscoring abilities.

Like their male counterparts, Switzerland will be happy to have a home crowd cheering them on. They are early adopters of Hockey5s and will relish this opportunity to play on the international stage.

Jade Mayne and Dirkie Chamberlain are veterans of the South African team and bring a wealth of experience to the table. With a convincing mix of veterans and youngsters, the African challengers will be looking to finish at the top of the podium.

Poland have the most experienced side overall in this competition and will look to use their indoor hockey skills and tactics to make a big impression in Lausanne. The Poland U18 team finished seventh at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires and will capitalize on that experience as well.

The fifth women’s team in Lausanne is India. After a silver medal performance at the Hockey5s in Buenos Aires in 2018 and fourth place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Indian women are determined to continue their upward trend.

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