Junior World Cup: Format riles many

The format of the competition with games to be played in the older format — 70 minutes with two-halves-of-35 minutes each — has drawn criticism from many.

“I think both formats have their advantages and disadvantages but whichever is used at one level must be followed at all levels," German coach Valentin Altenburg said.   -  Getty Images

The one thing that has not gone down well with several people across teams is the format of the competition with games to be played in the older format — 70 minutes with two-halves-of-35 minutes each. While the FIH has insisted on playing international hockey in the same format at all levels, the HJWC 2016 is likely to be the last major competition in this format.

"The 2016 Junior World Cups were not included in the original decision to trial the 4x15 format and all qualifying and preparatory events have been played in the traditional 2x35 format, where the clock is not automatically stopped after a goal is scored or a penalty corner awarded.

The FIH Executive Board considered whether or not to play it for the Junior World Cups, but as all teams had been preparing for the 2x35 format and that the first of the two Junior World Cups was scheduled to start 14 days later, it was decided not to implement the change. This decision was supported by the FIH Athlete representatives,” the FIH said by way of explanation.

German coach Valentin Altenburg said: “I think both formats have their advantages and disadvantages but whichever is used at one level must be followed at all levels from the highest to the lowest, it is important for continuity and also in terms of preparing players for the top level."

The FIH release added that the decision of four quarters was originally applied only for top level competitions till Rio Olympics and was reviewed thereafter, being confirmed as permanent from January 1, 2017, by the FIH Executive Board last month. The next edition of the tournament, therefore, would be in the new format.