Hockey World League tourney starts today at Mona
Shayne Fairman, Gleaner Writer
Action in the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) World League round one qualifying series will begin this morning at the Mona Hockey Field starting at 9 o'clock.
Jamaica's teams will bow into action later today. The women's team will face the Dominican Republic at 4:30 p.m. before the men oppose Barbados at 7 p.m.
The Hockey World League is split up into four rounds that last over a two-year cycle. For one cycle, the World League will serve as the qualifier for the World Cup, and in the next cycle, it is the qualifier for the Olympics.
Jamaica's teams will gain FIH world-ranking points from participating in the World League.
National men's coach Aubyn Ferguson believes team Jamaica is ready to give a good display.
"It will be a tough competition, challenging for that one men's spot. Only one team will qualify for the next round, so we are driving to be on top of the points standing and qualify," he said.
"We've had some intense training sessions despite limited resources. We hope the hard work pays off," Ferguson told The Gleaner.
Other games to be contested on today's opening day include the scheduled 9:00 a.m women's curtain-raiser between Barbados and Venezuela. Other matches are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
The tournament will run until Sunday, October 5. The general cost of admission to the respective matches is: $2,000 for a season pass; $500 daily for adults; students with identification - $300; children under 12 - $200.
Other participating teams in the tournament include: Barbados, The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Trinidad and Tobago in the men's category and Barbados, The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago in the women's.
The sponsors of the six-day tournament are Jamaica National, WATA, Music 99, Jamaica Producers, The Gleaner, St Mary's Banana Chips, the Jamaica Olympic Association, New Era Fencing, and LIME.