Forum: Have modified competitions to let athletes play competitively

It is great that the Singapore Hockey Federation has come up with new competitions for athletes to participate in, as the pandemic continues to hinder the local sporting scene (3v3 as hockey gets creative, Jan 26).

This is especially beneficial for school teams and student-athletes, after the National School Games (NSG) were called off last year and postponed this year, and with multiple sports being omitted as well.

Going nearly two years without playing against other athletes of similar age in a highly competitive setting would hamper the development of those athletes, some of whom may have aspired to make the national teams.

Knowing that there is a competition there for the winning, teams can now train with a solid objective in sight and be more motivated.

This is why I hope to see other sports follow in the footsteps of Singapore hockey sooner rather than later, in particular those that have been omitted from the NSG. For example, football may also be played between smaller teams across a smaller playing area, similar to futsal, or like how the football competition was organised for Pesta Sukan at GetActive! Singapore in 2019.

Netball can feature in the form of a modified 3v3 street netball competition, which was suggested not long ago when the Netball Super League was affected by the pandemic.

A 3v3 format also sounds feasible for volleyball and it can be modelled after beach volleyball, which is 2v2.

While all these suggestions are easier said than done, I do hope that the various National Sports Associations can come up with competitions to give local athletes opportunities to play competitively, even if it is an abridged version of the regular sport for now. As we move on and live in a "new normal", having new formats and rules is both essential and beneficial for our sporting fraternities.

It will take time for everyone to adapt, but I believe it will provide the boost our local athletes and sports teams need.

Henry Choong Kun Lin

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