The FIH announced several changes to the rules of hockey for 2015. Here is a basic overview of the main changes, as they are being adopted in Victoria.
Instead of using the mark on the sideline in the corner of the pitch, ‘long corners’ will now be taken from the 23m line, in line with where the ball crossed the baseline (like with ‘16s’).
Can I hit the ball straight into the circle from a new long corner?
No. Just like with the old long corner, the ball has to either go 5m or be touched by another player before being played into the D. And both teams need to stay 5m away from the spot of the free hit.
(‘On the 23m line’ means ‘inside the 23’. This applies even if the ball happens to be placed slightly outside the 23m line for the purposes of a long corner)
What’s the signal for the new long corner?
Technically it’s still the same as the old one. But don’t get too concerned with it – as long as everyone is clear on what the decision is, that’s what matters.
Previously, a free hit to the attacking team that was within 5m of the outside the D had to be taken back to the 5m marks. Now, the free hit is to be taken from where the offence occurred.
So can I just dribble straight into the D?
No. Just like before, the ball still has to go 5m (or be touched by another player) before being played into the D. So you’ll have to either run backwards or sideways for a bit, or pass it off.
Since they can’t dribble straight in, can I stand just inside the D?
No. Players from both teams still have to get 5m away from where the free hit is taken before they are allowed to engage in or influence the play.
(Note: If a player is within 5m but not influencing or attempting to influence play, that’s okay, play can continue. This is the same all across the pitch and no change from the existing rules.)
Green Cards now mean a 2 minute suspension, in all grades. They’re useful for managing with lesser offences that don’t really warrant a yellow card, but still need to be dealt with in some meaningful way.
e.g. knocking the ball away after the whistle, minor dissent, deliberate offences that (because of the context) don’t have much of an impact on the match (it’s just someone acting a bit stupid or grumpy).
Some rule changes only apply to the top levels of hockey.
Sadly, you are still not permitted to play the ball when it is above your shoulder.
On advice from Hockey Australia, HV is only allowing this in Premier League (and PL Reserves).
(Note: playing the ball above your shoulder does/should not automatically mean a card. It depends on intent and context: it could be just a free hit, or a green card, or a yellow card.)
This is only being used in some international tournaments, and AHL.
We’re still playing 35min halves as per normal.
James Stewart (19)