New Delhi: A total of 34 teams, including three new entrants, will vie for top honours in the fourth edition of the Hockey India Sub-Junior Men National Championship which will begin in Vadodara and Ranchi tomorrow. Three new teams namely Vidarbha Hockey Association, Hockey Citizens XI and Hockey Gangpur-Odisha have been added in this season making the championship more exciting.
The 34 teams participating this year are divided into two divisions - A and B. While Division A will have 16 teams, Division B will consist of 18 teams. Division A will further be divided into four pools consisting of four teams each. In Division B too there will be four pools with 5 teams each in the first pool and four teams each in the next two.
The matches will be played in a phased manner with Division B first completing its sets of matches from May 10 to 18 at Kala Bhavan Hockey Ground and ONGC Pavilion Ground in Vadodra, Gujarat. The games of Division A will start in May 17 and will continue till May 25 at Morabadi Hockey Stadium in Ranchi.
The inaugural match of the season of Division B will be played between Assam Hockey and Vidarbha Hockey Association on Pitch 1 and Hockey Himachal Pradesh and Citizens Hockey XI on Pitch 2.
Defending champions Hockey Odisha will play their first match against Chhattisgarh Hockey on the first day of Division A.
Speaking on the occasion Elena Norman, CEO, Hockey India said: "These championships are a big platform for young players to showcase their talent and we always aim at giving such opportunities to these players which helps them go forward and make a career in this game."