Budding hockey stars in the country vying to make their way into the national program will gear up for the marquee domestic championships, where national selectors will be present to find fresh talent.
The domestic season for this year will begin with the all-important 13th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2023 scheduled to begin on 15th February in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. Last year’s winners Odisha will be looking to defend their title, while runners up Karnataka will hope to avenge their 0-2 loss in the Final. A total of 29 teams will arrive in Kakinada to participate in the prestigious tournament.
Hockey buffs in Bengaluru will be treated to exciting action with country’s best PSUs turning up for the 3rd Hockey India Senior Men Inter-Department National Championship 2023 scheduled for 26th February. In the previous edition held in New Delhi, Railway Sports Promotion Board had defeated Petroleum Sports promotion Board 3-1 in a thrilling shootout to bag the top honours while Services Sports Control Board beat Punjab National Bank to claim the third place. It was after the first edition of this newly-introduced National Championships exclusively for PSUs that players like Jugraj Singh and Sukhjeet Singh got a call-up for the Senior National Coaching camp in 2022 and subsequently made their debut with the National team.
While March will see hockey action returning to Rourkela for the FIH Hockey Pro league home games with Germany and Australia, the domestic season will resume in April with the 13th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2023. Haryana were crowned champions last year after beating Tamil Nadu 3-1 in a closely-fought shootout while Karnataka had prevailed over Maharashtra 4-3 in the third-fourth placing match.
Talking about the commencement of the domestic season, Hockey India President Padma Shri Dr Dilip Tirkey said, “I wish all the players preparing for the prestigious National Championships the very best. These tournaments will be the stepping stone to the budding careers of several aspiring hockey players in the country. We have immensely talented players waiting to be noticed by the national selectors and these Annual Championships are crucial in terms of increasing the talent pool for the future. Hockey India, with the help of our host Member Units will ensure all the participating team have the best facilities to perform to their optimum.”
Hockey India will further announce the dates for other age-group and Inter-Academy Championships which will be scheduled for later this year.