Bangalore: The second men`s senior National Hockey Championship would be held here from September 23.

The matches will be played at the city hockey stadium and MEG Grounds, Hockey Karnataka Secretary and former India goalkeeper A B Subbaiah told reporters.

Haryana had won the inaugural edition held at Bhopal last year. As many as 36 teams, including defending champions Haryana, have confirmed their participation in the championship, Subbaiah said.

The teams also include five teams from institutions like Air India, Services, Indian Universities, Indian Railways, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Hockey Bhopal, Subbaiah said.

The teams have been divided into eight groups, which would battle to get to the top to qualify for knockout quaterfinals stage, he added.

The quarterfinals are scheduled for September 30 followed by semifinals on October 1 and the final on October 2.

Players like ace playmaker Sardara Singh, drag flicker Sandeep Singh and Tushar Khandekar would participate in the event.

Hockey India`s selectors BP Govinda, Balbir Singh and Syed Ali besides government nominees Harbinder Singh and Dilip Tirkey will be attending the event to identify promising talent.

Tournament Director Mohammad Muneer said the Championship will employ rules proposed by FIH, like the free hit goal, where a player can push or scoop a dead ball and own goals, where ball hit from outside the 'D' deflects off the stick of a defender or the pads of the goal keeper, will be implemented in the event.

The groups:

Group A:Haryana, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Bengal, Hockey Bhopal
Group B:Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram
Group C:Punjab, Services, J&K, Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh
Group D:Jharkhand, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Sashastra Seema Bal
Group E:Air India, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Nagaland
Group F:Indian Railways, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Tripura
Group G:Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat
Group H:Bihar, Combined Universities, Manipur, Andaman & Nicobar.


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