The stage is set for state units across India to compete for the 12th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship 2022 which is set to begin in Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.
30 teams will compete in the tournament starting from May 17, 2022, with the final of the competition to be played on May 29, 2022. The participating teams have been divided into 8 pools of four teams each, with Pool A and Pool B serving as exceptions with three teams.
Defending champions Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Himachal make up the teams in Pool A. Chandigarh, Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have been grouped together in Pool B.
Odisha, Le Puducherry, Rajasthan and Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu will battle it out in Pool C, while previous edition's runners-up Haryana, Manipur, Kerala and Tripura bring up the teams in Pool D.
In Pool E, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Arunachal will vie for the top spot. Punjab, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Mizoram will battle in Pool F, while Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Goa are set to compete in Pool G. The last group; Pool H comprises Delhi, Karnataka, Uttarakhand and Gujarat.
"The facilities prepared for this tournament are in top class condition for the players. A new turf has been laid out on the pitch, which is in prime condition and will allow the players to perform at their best level. All teams have arrived and settled into their respective accommodation facilities at the venue, and there is excitement all around for the tournament to begin tomorrow," said tournament director Rakesh Bhatia in a statement.
"This competition is a great platform for the young players to showcase their talent at the national level. The biggest motivation for the players is to perform well and secure a spot in the national camp in the coming years, as there are many scouts who are assessing the performance of players in this tournament," he added.
The teams which secure the top spot in their respective pools will advance to the quarter-final stage, set to begin from May 25, 2022, followed by the semi-finals on May 27 and the final on May 29. (ANI)