Monday, April 15, 2024

Readers’ View: How to make the game more interesting with less injuries

I have read the comments about reverse stick and the injuries with interest. I am sure that many more head or face injuries have taken place and not reported.

This is not only in the UK and am sure this has occurred all over the world. It is the duty of all the federations to report to FIH and then it is the duty of the technical committee to study and take necessary steps as soon as possible before a player dies on the field or is in hospital.

The FIH is responsible to make changes. When first they allowed the reverse stick hit (known as Argentinian hit) the players were not using it, but after years it was perfected and it’s too dangerous in my eyes.

Read our Safety in Hockey coverage

When I was playing and umpiring, undercut was not allowed and then they introduced the back board and any ball above the board was not a goal.

We had wooden sticks, but aluminum sticks also came into the game and it was dangerous, so they stopped and did not allow. As a result we got fibre reinforced sticks and now composite sticks. These sticks are very strong and the hits are also powerful and the ball travels much faster than the wooden sticks or fibre reinforced sticks. If you get hit the injuries are 10 times worse.

We are talking about wearing masks, but the photos used in The Hockey Paper last edition is really against the sport’s tradition. Next you will say that the ball has hit the chest and the player has been taken to hospital because he broke his ribs or hits on the left side and the heart stops and needs special attention. We will then say we need chest protectors.

Next will have thigh protectors, knee protectors and so on. As a result hockey will be like soldiers going to war with ball instead of sword fighting.

– We need to improve rules, be in line with football and we should have only long corners, no short corners and the player can score from any part of the field like football.

– If we bring back the offside rule, the umpires have to be more vigilant and active. At present it is easy and if they can’t decide, they just refer to the video umpire.

– If there are any fouls in the D it should be a penalty or hit from outside the circle. But a penalty would be appropriate and more goals scored.

– If sent out of the goal line, a long corner as usual. This way when more goals are scored there is excitement and more fun.

I am sure many friends will agree that the game will then become more interesting, with less injuries and also easy to umpire.

Jim Jamaspian

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