Friday, January 21, 2022

When goalkeepers slide and forwards go to ground, controversy follows

TALKING HOCKEY: Are slide tackles in hockey a keeper?

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Rupert Barker
Rupert Barker is a former premier league player with University of Edinburgh and has player coached at several clubs across the south of England. He is currently Wallingford 1s player-coach and founder of Hockey21, bringing hockey into the 21st century by creating hockey computer games.

Robert Black, the Old Georgians and Scotland over-45’s goalkeeper, has seen an “extreme shift over the last three years” in the umpiring of keepers’ sliding. The experienced campaigner feels that there is a random nature to the decisions and the variation from umpire to umpire is too great. Some, he says, feel that a goalkeeper has privileges in his area and that contact is part of the contest. Others decide that “going to ground causes danger.”  

Challenges between goalkeepers and forwards have always been the source of controversy – and often pain for the attacker. Since the proliferation of astroturf pitches throughout the sport, goalies have been able to slide and inevitably collisions occur. 

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