Field Hockey’s governing body, FIH, International Hockey Federation have implemented the new rules advocated by the (FIH) Rules Committee in 2018, including the introduction of the four quarters match format as standard.
The Committee recommends changes to the rules every two years, with the latest changes getting underway.
All International matches are being played with four quarters for some time, but the FIH have now decided to put into practice the same format at all levels to get regularity. "The four quarters has additional advantages at junior levels of the sport in which coaches often umpire youth/school matches and the additional breaks provide for coaching opportunities," the FIH said in a statement released.
Another change which is prominent is the removal of goalkeeping rights for a substitute outfield player. Earlier, teams were permitted to replace their goalkeeper for an outfield player who would keep goalkeeping privileges such as the ability to use his/ her feet to save shots at goal. The rule was very much evident in the World Cup and used by teams trailing late in a match and the player who would don the role of a goalkeeper would often be called as the "kicking back".
The FIH has now announced, however, a "mandatory experiment" has come into force which removes this option. From now on, teams either must continue with a goalkeeper in full protective gear or substitute them and play with no goalkeeper at all. The FIH hope the change will make the game safer as outfield players will not be entitled to use their body to stop shots at goal.
The other new rules see changes to both attacking and defensive free hits. It has now been made clear that players other than the attacker taking the free hit must be at least five meters away, including when they are in their circle. Likewise, a defender may now take a free hit awarded in the circle anywhere inside the circle or up to 15 meters from the back-line in line with the location of the offense, parallel to the sideline.
About the Author
Suposh Sharma, keenly follows Hockey, Athletics, and other Olympic sports. He also has a penchant for writing humour and is an avid traveller