It has been four years since the four quarter format lasting 60 minutes of play was introduced in field hockey at the London Olympic Games, but strangely the domestic competitions in this country are still being played under the old format. The 51st Bombay Gold Cup tournament, being held here currently, is being held as per the discarded (by International Hockey Federation) two-halves format lasting 70 minutes in all. Asked about the reason, tournament organisers - Mumbai Hockey Association Limited - said it was being done as per the directive received from Hockey India. "We have been told to hold the tournament only under the old format by Hockey India as all domestic tournaments are being conducted under this format only," said MHAL secretary Ram Singh Rathore today. Other MHAL sources told PTI that this question had been put to HI but there has been no reply on the rationale behind this decision. Significantly, the Hockey India League is being conducted over the years on the four-quarter format, much before it was put into practise at the international level. Even the senior nationals are being played under the new format, informed sources said.
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