Manawatu club hockey returns with restructured women's competition
There will be two womens players lining up in the men's grade as Manawatu club hockey gets underway this weekend.
Black Sticks Pippa Norman and Michaela Curtis will both play for the High School Hockey Club as they chase a higher level of opposition to prepare them for representative hockey.
Curtis also played in the men's grade last year.
In the opening round, defending men's champions College play Palmerston North Boys' High School.
Last year's finalists Massey then take on the new-look High School Hockey Club.
There are six teams this year with the return of Tech College Old Boys which cancels out the bye.
Tech take on Marist on Saturday in Whanganui.
The Levin men's team have withdrawn from division 1 this year moving down to division 3.
The move increases that division up to 12 teams.
The men's championship season will consist of three rounds with one weekend off, followed by semifinals with the final on August 26.
The main change this year sees the division 1 players playing four 15-minute quarters to bring them into line with international rules.
Hockey Manawatu is on the lookout for umpires and coaches for all grades.
The Womens Championship has seen a change of format after Palmerston North Girls' High School wanted to move down a grade this year leaving only three teams contesting for the championship.
Hockey Manawatu in consultation with the affected Clubs reformatted the season with division 1 and 2 being combined into three pools headed by College, Massey and HSHC. Teams from division 2 were allocated depending on where they finished 2016 season.
The teams will now play non competition games this weekend except for PNGHS who play College at 3pm, as their pool has five teams.
The rest of the competition games start the following weekend.
The women play a round of pool play before they split in two and continue the competition.