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SBD Global/December 18, 2013/Events and Attractions

International Hockey Federation To Introduce Hockey5s To Revitalize Sport

The Int'l Hockey Federation (FIH) "has drawn up a strategic plan to revitalise the sport in the coming years and it includes the introduction of Hockey5s," according to Y. B. Sarangi of THE HINDU. After the uncertainty over wrestling’s tenure in the Olympics earlier this year, "the FIH has woken up to take the sport to a wider audience and make it more contemporary." FIH President Leandro Negre said, "We had some challenges this year with the (Int'l) Olympic Committee. I can assure you that [field] hockey is not in danger. But we need to learn that we cannot be in a siesta." Among several initiatives taken up by the FIH, Hockey5s -- "which promises a faster, higher scoring, action-packed format played with five players per team on smaller pitches for shorter duration" -- has an important role to play as it is aimed at attracting youth and non-traditional spectators. Negre said that in the FIH's scheme of things, India, which has been assigned some major int'l events in the next five years, "would play a big role." Negre: "India is the key for hockey, not only for the best of hockey in India, but for hockey all around the world. Now with new technologies, everybody looks for figures -- figures in television, figures in Twitter -- and only India can give that to hockey" (THE HINDU, 12/14).
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