Following the FIH’s latest updates to the rules of hockey announced last year, England Hockey has finalised over the summer how they will be applied in our leagues for the season ahead.
The good news is that at our level they have decided to stick with the existing match format of two halves of 35 mins each, rather than switch to the 4 quarters of 15 mins which you may have seen during the FIH Pro League and recent Euro Hockey Championships. This should make life easier for our umpires who don’t have the luxury of technical match officials doing centralised timing!
However, there are a number of changes which will affect us and it is really important to be familiar with all the changes. The significant ones are:
- Removal of Player with Goalkeeper Privileges (PwGKP). This is pretty straightforward – no ‘kicking back’ or similar.
- Amendments to Attacking Free Hits within the 23m. This takes a bit of understanding – the introduction of a quick self-pass for these Free Hits allows the defenders to stay within the circle, within 5m and not interfere with play until the ball can legitimately enter the circle. If there is no quick self-pass, then ALL defenders, regardless of location in the 23m, have to retreat 5m if they wish to legitimately play the ball once the Free Hit is taken.
- Defensive Free Hits awarded within the defensive circle. A free hit awarded to the defence within the defensive circle can be taken anywhere in their circle OR taken up to 15 metres from the back-line in line with the location of the offence, parallel to the side-line. So our attackers need to beware of where opposition defenders may take a ’16’ hit from, and our defenders can be more creative when taking a quick hit of our own.
- Amendment to ruling around Attackers entering the circle early at a Penalty Corner. If an attacker enters the circle at a Penalty Corner before permitted, the player taking the push or hit from the backline (the ‘injector’) is required to go beyond the centre-line and the Penalty Corner is taken again.
England Hockey’s full explanation of all changes can be viewed here.
Image source: England Hockey