14.08.2014-16 hockey nations will fight it out for the Hockey5s medals at the 2nd Youth Olympic Games

After months of intense preparation and countless hours training, the finest young hockey players in the world are gearing up for what is certain to be the biggest event to date in their fledgling sporting careers.

This weekend, the 2014 Youth Olympic Games will get under way in Nanjing, China. This hugely prestigious event gives young athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 the chance to compete across a range of sports, providing athletes with valuable experience at a major multi-sport event whilst also giving fans a glimpse of the stars of the future. Over 3,000 athletes will compete in 222 events across 28 sports, with Hockey playing a key role throughout the 13-day extravaganza.

The event in Nanjing is the second Youth Olympic Games, coming four years after the inaugural edition in Singapore. The Hockey competition was a massive success in 2010, introducing the world to a number of extraordinarily gifted individuals who would go on to achieve exceptional things over the next four years.

Two such players were members of Australia’s Youth Olympic Gold medal winning ‘class of 2010’: Jeremy Hayward and Daniel Beale. This year, Hayward played a starring role as the mighty Kookaburras triumphed at Rabobank Hockey World Cup, being named Hero Best Young Player of the tournament in the process, while Beale featured in the squad that stormed to Gold at the recent Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The event in Singapore also gave us a first look at Frederique Derkx and Marloes Keetels, two young women who showcased their huge potential by winning Gold with the Netherlands at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games before going on to fulfill their promise by becoming World Champions in The Hague earlier this year.

A significant change from the Singapore 2010 event is that the tournament in Nanjing moves away from 11-a-side to Hockey5s, the eye catching, action-packed format played between teams of only five on-field players. With shorter games and a smaller pitch, Hockey5s adds a new flavour to our classic sport, with rules specifically tailored to encourage skills and trickery, generating intense and highly entertaining play. It is certain to attract plenty of attention in Nanjing, and provides the perfect platform for showcasing the future stars of the sport.

The Youth Olympic Games Hockey5s competition consists of Men’s and Women’s events. Both events have the same format and rules. In the preliminary round ten teams are divided into two pools of five teams. Each team plays every other team in the pool (single round robin). To determine the final standings after the end of the preliminary round teams will play the finals and classification matches. The teams ranked first to fourth in each pool play in the quarterfinals, while the teams ranked fifth in each pool play in the classification match 9-10. The winners of the quarterfinal matches play in the semifinals and the losers play in the classification 5-8 matches. The semifinal winners play in the gold medal match and the losers play in the bronze medal match. The winners of the classification 5-8 matches play in the classification match 5-6 and the losers in the classification match 7-8.

The men’s competition features Spain and Germany representing Europe, Bangladesh and Pakistan from Asia, Canada and Mexico from Pan America, Australia and New Zealand from Oceania, and South Africa and Zambia representing Africa. In the women’s competition hosts China are joined by Japan, South Africa, Zambia, the Netherlands, Germany, Fiji, New Zealand, Argentina and Uruguay. Pool information for the men’s and women’s tournaments in Nanjing can be found below.

The tournament will take place at the Youth Olympic Sports Park Hockey Centre, a cracking new facility that was constructed especially for the Nanjing Games. The action begins on Sunday 17th August at 1600 (UTC / GMT +8), when the men of Spain take on Bangladesh in Pool A.

You can keep up to speed on all of the action from the 2014 Youth Olympic Games on the official event website – www.nanjing2014.org, with hockey specific info available by clicking here http://www.nanjing2014.org/en/en_sports/sportsIntroHockey.htm.

 

Have a look at the Dutch girls warm up game!

2nd Youth Olympic Games
17-27 August 2014
Nanjing, China.

Men
Pool A                                             Pool B
South Africa                                 Zambia
Bangladesh                                   Pakistan
Spain                                               Germany
Australia                                        New Zealand
Canada                                            Mexico

Women
Pool A                                             Pool B
South Africa                                 Zambia
Japan                                              China
Netherlands                                 Germany
Fiji                                                   New Zealand
Argentina                                     Uruguay

The very best of luck to Spain and Germany men and Netherlands and Germany women! Really looking forward to seeing some cracking hockey….

Source material: FIH.CH