Hockey India to organise Khelo India Women's League

The Under-21 league would be held in three phases across three different venues – Delhi (March 23-), Bengaluru (July 13-19) and Bhubaneswar (November 22-29).

While the Central government, along with various state governments, have been organising Khelo India events across age-groups, this is the first time a single-sport league has been finalised and organised by a sports federation.

In a first-of-its-kind partnership, Hockey India in association with the Sports Authority of India would organise the first Khelo India Women's Hockey League in phases, starting later this month and continuing till November 2020.

The Under-21 league would be held in three phases across three different venues – Delhi (March 23-), Bengaluru (July 13-19) and Bhubaneswar (November 22-29). “The number of national-level competitions currently being held in women’s hockey is limited and we felt the need to create this league so that more talent could be identified,” Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said.

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The first two phases would see 14 teams divided into two pools of seven each playing in a round-robin format. Phase three would include classification matches and finals based on the rankings after the frist two phases. The teams would be drawn from registered academies and Public Sector Units and finalised on a first-come-first-serve basis subject to confirmation of acceptance of the terms of participation.

While the Central government, along with various state governments, have been organising Khelo India events across age-groups, this is the first time a single-sport league has been finalised and organised by a sports federation. “With this new initiative, we want to provide a platform to young women players to play at a high level consistently across the year and potentially becoming a part of the National team set-up in the future,” Hockey India president Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said.

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