The sixth annual beach hockey tournament is set to entertain holidaymakers at Mount Main Beach from 9am today.

Event organiser Kate Savory says a record 20 teams have entered meaning two pitches will be used to double the entertainment for the expected good sized crowd of holidaymakers watching from the grass areas.

"It is exciting that we are progressing. It will be a bigger and better event for everyone really," Savory said.

"We have two fields and more teams than last year all trying to win the Giant Jandal and the title of New Zealand Beach Hockey champions. They have come from all over the North Island with more local teams this year."


Savory says feedback from past tournaments has been very positive.

"I think they love the location, the people, the fun fast game and the excitement. They like the social aspect as well. It is an active day in the sun and just a good day at the beach.
"I have had people asking me back in October when is beach hockey as they were booking accommodation to spend a weekend at the Mount."

Beach hockey is attracting people of all ages from many sports, not just field hockey players.

"We are trying to attract non-hockey people to the game of hockey to show them it is a lot of fun and is a great social sport. No prior hockey experience or beach hockey experience is required," Savory said.

"The local businesses have been great providing us with lots of spot prizes."

The mixed five-a-side games are played over five-minute halves inside an inflatable surround, with specially made beach hockey sticks and a ball similar to a mini soccer ball.

With soft sand underfoot, most of the play is aerial, providing plenty of fast-paced, skilful action.

Play begins at 9am today and ends around 5pm.