Chennai: Top-rung state teams and two institutional squads from Steel Plant and the Services would vie for honours in the fourth Hockey India Junior (U-19) national hockey championships for men, scheduled to be held from March 24 to April 6.
M Renuka Lakshmi, General secretary of Tamil Nadu units of Hockey India and organising secretary V Nandakumar, said at a press conference that for the first time the tournament would be held in a new format where the top 16 teams in the country were classified a `A` division (total four groups) and the remaining 19 teams were classified as `B` Division, to avoid one-sided matches.
As per the new format, the two teams that finish in the bottom of the `A` Division would be relegated to the `B` Division and the top two teams from `B` Division would be promoted to `A` Division next year.
Renuka Lakshmi said the tournament would be held in league-cum-knockout basis and the top teams from each group in both the division would qulaify for the semifinals. The `B` Division matches would conclude with the final on March 31.
The `A` Division final would be held on April 6.