FIH hold up their hands on indoor hockey rule changes

[img_assist|nid=6293|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=48]LAUSANNE, October 11 – The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has put the proposed 2013 indoor hockey rule changes on hold after a backlash from the hockey community.

The biggest point of contention was a new ‘hand on the ground’ rule that would have outlawed a hand touching the court, even if it were holding the stick. (Using a hand not on the stick to support the body is already not allowed – the so called ‘three-point rule’.)

Apart from the proposed rule being almost impossible to umpire, the left hand being very close to, and at times touching, the court is a widely practised indoor defensive technique.

The implementation of the 2013 indoor rulebook has now been postponed indefinitely after “feedback from national assocaitions”. This means the less contentious ‘own-goal’ rule is also out the window – making for a rather glaring inconsistency with the outdoor rules.

The FIH states: “Continental Federations and National Associations should therefore continue to use the current Rules of Indoor Hockey, which have applied since 1 January 2011, for their 2012/2013 tournaments and competitions.

“This delay will allow the FIH to convene a taskforce of indoor experts drawn from playing, coaching, umpiring, rules and competitions backgrounds, to consider the proposed rules changes and their implementation date as part of a wider review of the game of indoor hockey.

“It is anticipated that any new implementation date will take account of the dates of the indoor seasons in as many of the Continental Federations as possible.”

The FIH Executive Board will discuss this at their upcoming Board Meeting due to take place on November 4, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur (MAS).