Incheon, South Korea: India will start their elusive quest for the Asian Games men's hockey gold in a new format of the game when they take on minnows Sri Lanka in their Pool B opener at Incheon on Sunday while the women's team begin their campaign on Monday.
The Asian Games will be the first major international hockey competition to feature the new format where the duration of the game has been reduced from 70 to 60 minutes and from two halves of 35 minutes each to four 15-minute quarters with 40-second time-outs when a penalty corner is awarded and after a goal is scored. (Proud to be India's flag-bearer, says Sardar Singh)
The logic behind additional time-outs for penalty corners and after goals is to ensure 60-minute actual playing time by eliminating the dead time associated with set pieces and also allowing the teams to celebrate after scoring a goal, the International Hockey Federation has reasoned. (India aim to make mark with big medal haul at Incheon)