Tournament director Adrian Nichols (right) and Barbados Hockey Federation secretary Kofi Hinds sharing a light moment during the player draft. (GP)
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The Wonder Barbados Road Hockey 5s Tournament will now include a junior division.
This was revealed by meet director and hockey coach Adrian Nichols.
“This year we will have a junior division with players between the ages of 11 and 16 and we plan to make that a regular part of the tournament,” he said.
Nichols told MIDWEEK SPORT that the presence of the juniors would augur well for hockey’s future.
“The reason for incorporating the youth is because the long-term goal is to have all stages of hockey playing, not just the seniors, in the draft. We want to create continuity throughout the game and boost the sport,” he added.
Once again this year the competition is expected to have peewees or exhibition matches which will allow the juniors to be seen and recruited to make their teams stronger.
Nichols said they were hoping to attract between four to six teams in the junior division.
He added that the senior tournament, which is in its fourth year, was expected to be refreshed.
“What we did this year with the drafts is what you call a reset. For the past two years the teams would have kept franchise players, but everyone is back into the pool and they have to draw again fresh,” he said.
Numbers are also up, with the addition of four new teams: the Panthers, Renegades, Lupes and Green Fit.
Nichols said the match structure was the same as last year, with three periods and 13 players per side.
Warrens has been added as a new venue and the others have been selected based on the biggest turnout of supporters last season – Dover, Bagatelle and Salisbury hard courts.
The tourney is expected to last two weeks, with play on April 6, 7 and 8 before recommencing on April 12. (RG)