Soft hockey launched in Jharkhand x2|
August 31, 2003
The Times of India
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RANCHI: Soft hockey, a shorter version of field hockey vis-a-vis time, length of the playing field and number of players and played with a soft ball, was launched here on Sunday by the Congress Rajya Sabha MP R K Anand.
Anand also formally announced formation of the Federation of International Soft Hockey Association and Soft Hockey Federation of India. Anand is president of both these organisations.
Other Rajya Sabha MPs including Vijay Mallya and Sanjay Nirupam also hold key positions in FISHA. While Mallya is the working president of FISHA, Nirupam is one of the associate vice-presidents.
Anand said besides India, UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Egypt, Bangladesh, Italy and Thailand are already affiliated to the FISHA.
Among Indian states, Bihar, West Bengal, Haryana, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand are affiliated state units of SHFI, Anand said.
Soft hockey is played on a 40 by 20 metre square field with five players on each side and with a soft ball made of compressed rubber.
As a player is allowed only to push the ball and dribble, this game will help in reviving the skill that was associated with Indian hockey, he said.
Anand said this style of the game would act as a stepping stone for field hockey because it is a non-stop game played over 30 minutes. This will help in improving speed, stamina and skill.
Earlier, the game was launched with two exhibition matches at the Jharkhand Armed Police ground.
In one of the games, three girl hockey players on each side played with boys, which, according to FISHA rules, is permissible. This aspect is one of the specialities of soft hockey.
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