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FIH sweeps long sticks into touch

Hockey sticks will be limited to a maximum length of 105cm (41.3inches) at the 2014 World Cup.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has moved to clamp down on the ‘broom’ stick used by Racing Club de Bruxelles and Belgian international Jeremy Gucassoff at Easter’s Euro Hockey League.

Gucassoff switched to the long stick for shootouts where the extended reach was used to sweep the ball away from unwary attackers.

He was, however, not using the same stick in the Belgian finals in early May, So it seemed the word had already gone out.

The regulation limiting the maximum stick length will be applied as a tournament regulation – starting with the World Cup, May 31-June 15, 2014 – until the FIH rules committee has possible incorporation into the next edition of the Rules of Hockey.

“Together with the rules and competitions committees we have decided that there is an immediate need for this regulation,” said FIH president. Leandro Negre.  “We want to continue to honour our values of being progressive in our outlook, energetic in our delivery, inclusive in our behaviour and optimistic in our attitude. This also means that we believe in maintaining the spirit of the game.”

The regulation that has been modified will be implemented at this year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup under the below wording:

6        PLAYERS’ CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT

Rule 4.7d

The stick has traditional shape with a handle and a curved head which is flat on its left side: the stick must conform with the specification agreed by the FIH Rules Committee.

Regulation: 

The stick has traditional shape with a handle and a curved head which is flat on its left side: the stick must conform with the specification agreed by the FIH Rules Committee which is detailed in part 2 of the section on Field and Equipment Specifications of the Rules of Hockey, and in addition the length of stick, as measured from the top of the stick to the bottom of the head of the stick (line X in figures 3 and 4 on page 58 of the Rules of Hockey), shall not be more than 105cms.

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