HONG KONG -- As the birthplace of the famed Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, it should be no surprise that the Hong Kong Football Club is continuing to break barriers in the short format of major sports. The latest sports innovation from the Club is on the hockey field at the 2013 Hong Kong Football Club Hockey 6s March 28-30.
Already playing host to the first ever World Hockey Challenge featuring 25 of the world’s premier hockey stars, the HKFC Hockey 6s has now been tapped by hockey’s world governing body, the FIH to trial the first international 5s competition.
In 2012, the FIH proposed the 5s format for the next Youth Olympics to be hosted in Nanjing, China in 2014. The Hong Kong Football Club Hockey 6s presents FIH with a unique opportunity to trial the format using some of the world’s premier players appearing at the HKFC Hockey 6s.
Due to the greater accessibility of short-form hockey for youth and the ability to play it on non-regulation hockey pitches, the hockey 5s format is seen as a key element for the future development and growth of the sport worldwide.
Making use of the star players appearing in the HKFC Hockey 6s and the World Hockey Challenge Hong Kong, a special mini-series of Hockey 5s will be trialed for the first time at the Hockey 6s.
Players from the four international teams (Australia, Great Britain, Holland and the Asian Barbarians) participating in the HKFC Hockey 6s will be split into four five-aside teams, taking on unique team names representing the four traditional Chinese elements: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water, to compete in the 5s exhibition.
“The HKFC Hockey 6s is a great setting to give the Hockey 5s format a trial run,” said FIH Sport Director David Luckes. “With the calibre of players at the Hong Kong tournament combined with the timing of the event, we felt this was the perfect opportunity to get meaningful feedback on the format before the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.”
Mr Patrick Watts, Chairman of the HKFC Hockey 6s organizing committee, said:
“2013 is shaping up to be a milestone year for the HKFC Hockey 6s. Our long-running social tournament will still feature the 6s format launched by Hong Kong Football Club, which has proven extremely popular, but we are also extremely excited to be the first international event to officially trial the 5s format.
“It is a great opportunity for us to introduce the format to the hockey community in Hong Kong and Asia, particularly ahead of the Youth Games next year in Nanjing. We are honoured to have been asked to trial the format for FIH and we look forward to audience and player feedback.
“From a player’s perspective, the two formats are similar in many respects and we are confident that the 5s exhibition series will provide even more excitement in what is already a jam-packed event,” said Mr Watts.
The international 5s mini-series will be played within the Hong Kong Football Club Hockey 6s from March 28 -30. The Mini 5s matches will feature three, ten-minute periods and will be played on the following schedule.
Friday 29th March 7:00- 8:30pm
Saturday 30th March 1:30-3:00pm and 6:30-8:00pm
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