“Two halves, sir?”
“No, I’ll have four quarters please.”
The FIH has just published the biennial update to the Rules of Hockey which will take effect from 1 January 2019. The biggest change is that all 11 a side hockey will now be 4 quarters instead of two 35 minute halves. That means two more opportunities to hear words of wisdom from your captain. Time for a poll I think.
It may also be the end for the kicking back, as a mandatory experiment teams will only have the option of playing a goalkeeper or 11 outfield players, no more goalkeeping privileges for the kicking back. Seems fairly sensible to your author.
Defensive free hits given inside the circle will now be able to be taken from anywhere inside the circle. You will still have the option to take it up to the 16 but that will still have to be in line with the offence. That makes sense too for me.
Free hits within 5 metres of the D - all players must now be 5 metres from the ball when the hit is taken even if they are a defender in the D. If the hit is taken immediately thus not giving defenders time to retreat, then defenders within 5 metres may still shadow inside the D as they do now. Again makes it simpler.
Completing short corners - the rule that a short corner after the end of the half was over if the ball went outside the D a second time has been deleted. A short corner is over
1. When the ball has travelled 5m beyond the D (i.e. crossed the 5m dash line
2. when the ball has crossed the back line (must be unintentionally if done by defender),
3, when a goal is awarded
4. when a foul is committed by an attacker.
The official FIH announcement is available on their website and the full rules are due to be published 21 December 2018.
England Hockey's response can be found HERE
Updated 20:25 - 30 Jan 2019 by Barry Coe