By Richard Bright
Players will be handed a two-minute suspension for spitting or nose blowing without a hankerchief or tissue under new guidance for the 2020/21 English hockey season – with offenders left to clean up the affected area before play can continue.
England Hockey said that spitting or nose blowing “poses a significant risk and must stop in our sport” as it bids to stamp out the risk to other players following the pandemic.
The national governing body added that repeat offenders will be subject to personal penalties under the FIH rules while consistent offenders would be subject to due process under the England Hockey Code of Ethics and Behaviour, Red Card, MMO and/or Disrepute policies.
In advice to umpires for the upcoming season, England Hockey is also making officials aware of player crowding or surrounding the umpire.
“Due to the importance of safety in these cases, umpires are advised to follow guidelines from the FIH to avoid crowding and offending players are to be given a 2 minute (Green Card) temporary suspension,” the edict reads.
Bad language or shouting towards an official will also receive short shrift from umpires and players will be reported to England Hockey’s disrepute panel.
Umpires hare have been reminded to use their voice and low-level management skills for safety purposes “and only to resort to stricter levels of management if absolutely required.”
The new guidance is part of England Hockey’s return to play roadmap with the sport on the cusp of returning to full competitive play in league hockey.
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