Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Should hockey use a shot clock to make our game more entertaining?

Field lacrosse in America recently introduced a shot clock to make their sport more entertaining, writes Peter D’Cruz

Final score, Pistons 19 – Lakers 18. This was an NBA final game score before the introduction of a shot clock in basketball in 1954.

The NBA’s introduction of a shot clock and other rule changes to encourage attacking play led to the popularity of basketball worldwide as an entertainment product. The NBA banned zone defence to ensure attacking play wasn’t restricted.

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Peter D’Cruz is the founder of the Hockey Curriculum for Players & Coaches

Total Hockey



  1. Why the American obsession with winners and the glory of goals. A draw between two skillful sides can be just as valid and satisfying as a one-sided high scoring game. We don’t need basketball style scores to make hockey attractive but need to get spectators to appreciate the skills on offer and the subtler side of the game that high definition cameras now make possible.

    • Absolutely agree. Hockey is far more skilful and exciting than soccer or indeed netball. Leave the game that has improved in its skills requirements enormously since the advent of water based pitches to attract a wider and more diverse participant base.

    • Guess the reason is to maximise money from sponsorship that can only come from a wider audience, spreading the sport of hockey to people who aren’t used to the nuances of hockey skills. However at a grass roots level it would be fraught with problems for players and umpires and quite possibly put off a lot of the current hockey population.
      But we do need to find a better route for investment in the sport as a whole, whilst also fostering hockey at club level.

  2. Understand the sentiment, but the level of skill required for top hockey is hard to appreciate if you’ve never played the game. If we want to open our game up to a wider audience we need to consider ideas like this.

  3. I’m guessing it’s a long time since Peter D’Cruz played in a complete mismatch as his suggestion simply implies even more misery for the weaker team

    I remember playing at Nottingham Uni in the old 3rd team Premier Div, the students didn’t bother picking a goalie and as we never got in their D their decision was proven a sensible one. I can’t remember the score, but it was lots to nil even with 11 players defending. If we had been forced to defend with only 9 and they had no goalie, so allowing them to attack with 11 outfield players, the game would have descended into farce

    Excitement for who? Not those playing

  4. I had to check the date in case we were in April already.
    How many 0-0 games are there? Not many if you look through the scores.
    Hockey is a pretty free scoring game these days thanks to progressive rules such as the self pass.
    No need to tinker with the scoring (and that includes more points for a field goal rather than a penalty corner).

  5. It could only possibly work at the elite level which in turn would cancel out the grass roots and junior level which in turn would cancel out the up and coming player base. Who benefits? Not the players. Hockey is a family sport, this could ruin the game as we now know it. My playing days are over but I still love to watch the game and follow my children and grandchildren, I have also travelled to Olympics and various parts of the world to watch hockey as it is played now, I would not be interested in show boating American style stuff, hockey is a skilled game. Definitely a No from me.


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