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6-a-side hockey in Mexico City

On February 27th, 2003, over 450 youngsters participated in a tournament to promote hockey in public schools in Mexico City. This 6-a-side event consisted of 50 teams of 9 players each, with 72 matches and only 8 umpires. The tournament included both girl’s and boy’s pools and was divided by school grades. Each match was 10 minutes long and the tournament system was 'round robin'. There were 12 matches played on each of the 6 pitches.

Only two schools participated in this event: Escuela Primaria 'Virgilio Uribe' and Escuela Primaria 'Jorge Alacio Perez'. Coaches Magdalena Navarro and Arsenio Lopez organized the tournament with conjunction with the Mexico City Hockey Association (AHDF) and the DGSEI (Direccion General de Servicios Educativos en Iztapalapa) who is the ruling Body of Educational Services in Iztapalapa, a district in Mexico City.

The event is the result of a project that has been going on for the last few years that makes hockey available in schools as a regular class and as an after-school activity. Youngsters in these two schools have two P.E. lessons plus a hockey lesson per week. The youngsters receive credits for taking the hockey lesson.

The event brought great satisfaction to all those involved with the program and the organization of the event as well as for those involved in one way or another with youth hockey. All the kids that participated in the event enjoyed it to the fullest. The tournament was fun and recreational for the kids, and hopefully in the future more events similar to this one will be organized in Mexico.

By Mario Rosado Fuentes

Americas Co-ordinator, FIH Youth Panel

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