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Next season's rules announced

Georga Reed profile pic
Georga Reed
Umpire Development Officer

England Hockey have announced how the new rules, introduced in January by the FIH, will be applied at club level for the upcoming 2019/20 season.

In December 2018, England Hockey made an announcement that the rules would not be introduced for the remainder of the 2018/19 season, but reviewed ready for next season.

Last week England Hockey confirmed that it supports the implementation of all the rule changes with the exception of one via an article on their news feed. They have chosen not to stop the game clock for penalty corners or implement quarters below tier 1.

Game Times

  • WHHC club games will continue to be two 'unbroken' halves of 35 minutes.

  • The M1s might play four 'unbroken' 17.5 minute quarters, otherwise halves as above.

The Rule Changes

Defensive Free Hits awarded within the defensive circle

Defensive free hits (aka "16's") remain the same when awarded outside of the circle.

However from this free-hits awarded within the circle can be taken:

  • either traditionally i.e up to 15 metres inline from where the ball went off.

  • or from anywhere inside the circle.

Amendments to Attacking Free Hits within the 23m

All players, other than the free hit taker, must now retreat 5m from the free hit.

For free hits within the dotted line this means defenders can no longer stand or track at the top of the circle, unless the ball is played quickly by the attacker.

Amendment to ruling around Attackers entering the circle early at a Penalty Corner

This change means that if an attacking player breaks the circle before the ball is taken, the injector is removed to the half way line; not the offending player.

Amendment to when a Penalty Corner is completed

The ball may now leave the circle unlimited times and still be a penalty corner as long as the ball stays within the 5m dotted line.

A penalty corner is now deemed to have ended when:

  • A goal is scored.

  • A free hit is awarded to the defending team

  • The ball travels more than 5 metres outside the circle

  • The ball is played over the back-line and a penalty corner is not awarded

  • A defender commits an offence which does not result in another penalty corner

  • A penalty stroke is awarded

  • A bully is awarded (except at the end of a half/quarter).

Removal of Player with Goalkeeper Privileges (PwGKP)

Teams can now play with either a fully kitted goalkeeper or play with 11 outfielders who are only permitted to use their stick.

An outfield player defending a penalty stroke may wear the same protection as on a short corner i.e a face-mask, box, outfield gloves.

Remember: you can still substitute on a penalty stroke, so can bring back on a padded keeper.

More Details

Full details of the new changes can be read on England Hockey's post or by using the FIH rules of hockey app.

Georga will also be hosting more umpire 101's at the clubhouse this season, keep an eye out in the WHHC newsletter for more details.

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