The proposed trials for changes in the penalty corner rules have been abandoned, said FIH President Tayyab Ikram at Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai on the sidelines of the Asian Champions Trophy on Friday.
“The FIH has decided to put on hold or even abandon the new penalty corner trial. The format we proposed before, we will not consider for trial. We will deliberate on further options but we are in big favour to keep the penalty corner in same format, “ said Ikram.
“If we change it, it will be around the same format with more dynamic ways. In any case, we will not compromise on any measures which will lead to dangerous play and challenge the safety of our athletes. That’s something we want to ensure.
“There was no pressure from anyone. It is a genuine evaulation. Main thing is we want to keep penalty corner as compact as possible. It not only enhances goal scoring, it also gives glamour to our sport. We want to keep it that way. But we need to continue working to enhance the safety of our athletes.”
What changes had the FIH proposed?
In a press release, the global governing body for the sport had proposed the following changes in the Penalty Corner routine:
- The set up of the Penalty Corner is the same as the current rule but the ball must travel at least 5m outside of the circle, beyond the 5m dotted circle, before a goal can be scored
- Number of defenders remains at 5, all starting behind the back line
- Number of attackers is at the discretion of the attacking team
- All attackers except for the initial injector must start 5m outside the circle (dotted line)
- When the ball is played from the baseline, all players are able to move and play as normal
- No restriction on height of shots at goal once the ball has travelled outside the 5m dotted line and returned inside the circle. Normal rules of hockey apply regarding dangerous play
- Defenders are permitted to wear additional protective equipment as per the current Rules, however, this is only for the purpose of the trial. The intention is to remove the need to wear any additional protective equipment for a PC
Why did FIH want to change the PC rules?
- Maintain the current set up of a Penalty Corner but reduce the danger by removing the direct shot and therefore, no need for defenders to run towards an attacker shooting at goal
- Change the emphasis to using the overload of players and options rather than a straight strike at goal. More similar to normal hockey play, with a significant advantage of more players available to the attacking team
- Remove the need for additional protective equipment to be worn by field players, reducing the barrier to entry of having to purchase further equipment and improving the safety, and the safe appearance, of hockey
- At International level, the time permitted for the teams to set up once a PC is awarded can be reduced from 40 seconds (to 20 seconds) speeding up the game and reducing delays
What current and former players had to say about the proposal?
German dragflick specialist Gonzalo Peillat - “Is it a joke? Looking forward to see what the corner def says”
Former Pakistan goalkeeper Salman Akbar - “International Hockey Federation (FIH) FIH Academy Kindly rethink. This will limit the influence of goalkeepers in winning the tournaments. Drag flick is an art and has equal influence in winning tournaments. Eliminating this battle between PC defense and attack will not bring any attraction or benefit to this beautiful sport.”
“Hockey India welcomes the decision taken by FIH in respect of abandoning the penalty corner trials & appreciates its leadership for timely intervention. This decision will maintain the dynamic character of sport of Hockey maintaining its agility & speed without compromising the safety of athletes,” said Hockey India in a social media statement.
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