National masters selections hampered in southern hemisphere
Covid has implications for the selection of national masters teams in New Zealand, writes Bill Tomkins.
In New Zealand, the national women’s and men’s masters tournament for all age groups was due to start in February.
On Saturday evening, the tournament committee was made aware of a suspected COVID outbreak in Auckland and Hockey New Zealand had to make the very difficult decision to cancel the tournament to avoid any potential risk to players.
The tournament is now rescheduled a week earlier at the same location in Tauranga in 2022.
The implications not only affect the ability of players to meet and compete, but also pose future problems for selections in international tournaments.
Australia, which was also hampered by masters competitions, and New Zealand were in talks on the biannual Trans-Tasman series which had been postponed from March 2021. In addition, they were reviewing the initial selections of 2022 away training teams. World Cup tournaments.
The main question facing both countries is how to select the training teams when there is no national tournament?
From the broader perspective of the World Hockey Masters, what will be the possible non-inclusion of New Zealand or Australian teams in the 2022 Outdoor World Cup?
It will be interesting to follow the progress in each country and any roll-on effect.