With tournament host walking away with the title consecutively for the past few years, the players and coaches of several other universities participating in North Zone Inter-University Hockey Tournament at Panjab Agricultural University (PAU) have questioned the "authenticity" of such tournaments.
In the last tournament host Aligarh University won the title, while prior to that host Jamia Millia University bagged the title.
In 2008 tournament, host Haridwar won the title, followed by Jamia Millia in 2010 Kurukshetra University in 2012.
Sukhveer Grewal, hockey olympian, said, "This has become a trend. The body who conducts these tournaments should ensure a fair play and equal opportunity for all teams."
Without naming any particular team, he said, "In the past five years, several undeserving teams have managed to win the title. This somehow defeats the purpose of competition and requires stringent measures so that the problem can be solved."
One of the coaches on condition of anonymity said, "The hockey fraternity has even termed it as 'field the shield', meaning who has the field, walks away with the shield."
Meanwhile, Simran, who has been representing PAU hockey team for the past six years said, "The final results of the tournament are decided before commencement of the event. Hockey is a popular game among Punjab, GNDU, Punjabi University and PAU and they have strong teams, but whenever these universities play outside Punjab, their performance and results suddenly come down.