Rule Changes 2015-2016

Need to understand the new rules? See this explanation.

As you are, or not be, aware, as of the 1st July 2015, there are several new rule changes that have come into force at all levels of hockey within England.

This link gives a good explanation of how they should be applied. Any questions please speak to your club coaches.

http://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/present/rules/#/

Rule 13: Free hits awarded to the attack within 5 metres of the circle
The former requirement that a free hit awarded to the attack within 5 metres of the circle is taken at the nearest point 5 metres from the circle has been deleted.

The new Rule indicates that free hits awarded to the attack within 5 metres of the edge of the circle are now taken from where the offence occurred (i.e. there is now no requirement to take the ball back outside the dotted 5 metres line around the circle). The Rules surrounding the entry of the ball into the circle still apply, as per Rule 13.2: – From a free hit awarded to the attack within the 23 metres area, the ball must not be played into the circle until it has travelled at least 5 metres or has been touched by a player of either team other than the player taking the free hit.

If the player taking the free hit continues to play the ball (i.e. no other player has yet played it):

  • That player may play the ball any number of times, but
  • The ball must travel at least 5 metres, before
  • That player plays the ball into the circle by hitting or pushing the ball again.

Alternatively:

  • Another player of either team who can legitimately play the ball must deflect, hit or push the ball before it enters the circle, or
  • After this player has touched the ball, it can be played into the circle by any other player including the player who took the free hit.

Commentary and additional guidance: –
The intention of the Rule change is to assist game flow, such that the attack is able to take a quick free hit from the point of the offence, rather than have to take the ball back to the dotted 5 metres line.

All players other than the player taking the free hit should be at least 5 metres from the ball. If a player is within 5 metres of the ball, they must not interfere with the taking of the free hit or must not play or attempt to play the ball.

If this player is not playing the ball, attempting to play the ball or influencing play, the free hit need not be delayed. A player within 5 metres of the ball at the taking of the free hit is not allowed to engage with play prior to the ball having travelled at least 5 metres.

However, at a free hit the ball cannot enter the circle until it has travelled at least 5 metres if the same player continues to play the ball or it has been touched by another player of either team. Defenders who are inside the circle within 5 metres of the free hit are therefore not interfering with play and may also shadow around the inside of the circle a player who takes a self-pass, provided that they do not play or attempt to play the ball or influence play until it has either travelled at least 5 metres or alternatively has been touched by another player of either team who can legitimately play the ball.

Players inside the circle who were 5 metres or more from the point of the free hit are not allowed to move and remain in a ‘set’ position within 5 metres of the ball when the free hit is taken.

Other than indicated above, any playing of the ball, attempting to play the ball or interference by a defender or an attacker who was not 5 metres from the ball, should be penalised accordingly.

The Rules Committee will continue to monitor the application and interpretation of this Rule change, based upon feedback from Tournaments, National Associations, Officials and other parties.

FIH Rules Committee

Leyland and Chorley Hockey Club