The key rule changes which will be in play from the start of this season are listed below, with the latest set of FIH Rules of Hockey can be downloaded from the FIH website here.

Match Length

This will remain at 2 x halves of 35 minutes for all matches outside of the English Leagues and Tier 2 or below EH Cup Competitions. So there will be no change for any of our senior teams.

Goalkeeping vs. Kicking Backs

There will be no more kicking backs – you are either a goalkeeper or you are not!  From now on a team can play with 11 outfield players or 10 outfield players and 1 goalkeeper. If you have no goalkeeper then, at a penalty corner or for penalty stroke, the outfield player(s) are only allowed to wear their usual protective equipment and can only use their stick(s) to make a save.

Free Hits

There are two changes to the free hits rules.

    1. Firstly, the easy one, if there is a free hit awarded to the defence within the area it can now be either taken from anywhere within the area.
    2. Secondly, the more complicated one, concerns an attacking free hit that is within 5m of the area.  Currently, if the attacker takes a quick self-pass then the defenders can stay within the circle, within 5m providing they don’t interfere with play until the ball can legitimately enter the circle. This doesn’t change. However, now, if the attacker chooses not to take the free hit immediately, all other players (including defenders) must be at least 5m from the ball before the free hit is taken.

      Penalty Corners

      To even up things a little at penalty corners, if any attacker enters the area before permitted then the injector is to be sent to the halfway line and the penalty corner will be retaken.