The FIH have implemented two major changes to the rules of Hockey (with reference to the numbered Rules in the 2011 edition) which are as follows:
Rule 8.1: method of scoring. The way a goal is scored is amended; it now includes what is sometimes referred to as an “own goal”. That is, a goal can now be scored after the ball is touched in the circle by either an attacker or a defender. It is anticipated that the detailed text will read: 8.1 A goal is scored when: a the ball is played by an attacker, or touches the stick or body of a defender, within the circle b after either of these actions, the ball does not travel outside the circle before passing completely over the goal-line and under the cross-bar. This is described as a “Mandatory Experimental Rule” so that it applies at all levels of hockey but, because it is a significant change, it will be monitored closely. After a period of review, the FIH Rules Committee will decide whether or not it becomes a permanent change to the Rules.
Rules 13.2.d and e: procedures for taking a free hit, centre pass and putting the ball back into play. The ball may now be raised intentionally and directly using a push, flick or scoop action; this action must be conducted safely. This is essentially an evolution of what is known as the “self-pass” from a free hit. By having the option to raise the ball immediately, opposing players will not have had the opportunity to get closer than five metres; a raised ball should be safer. It is anticipated that Rules 13.2 d and e will read: d the ball is moved using a hit, push, flick or scoop e the ball may be raised immediately using a push, flick or scoop but must not be raised intentionally using a hit.
Rules 13.2.f and g: as a consequence of the changes above, these Rules have been deleted.
The FIH have indicated that new Rules books incorporating these changes will be available in the autumn