Friday, April 19, 2024

Why we should change the penalty corner in outdoor hockey

PETER D’CRUZ outlines a working draft for the 21st Century Penalty Corner

The Challenge

A new way of conducting the penalty corner in hockey should provide a solution that works at every level of hockey and all age levels.

But, the most important thing that needs to be addressed is the safety and well being for everyone who plays, practices and enjoys hockey.

No one should be placed in a situation of danger where a life threatening injury or a permanent disability is an outcome. 

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

Total Hockey


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  1. An interesting concept which, in my view, has much merit. Rules for the current PC have evolved to allow skills of the top team and players to develop. These are dangerous at all levels but particularly in the lower reaches of the grassroots game.

    One rule change which would also help is the reintroduction of the manufactured foul e.g. an attacker aiming to play the ball on a defenders foot to gain a PC. This would stop teams playing solely to get a PC and encourage the to score from open play. Attackers playing for a foul in the D is seen at all levels, international down to lower team grass roots and indeed actively coached by some.

    One issue I do see with the proposal is a required rule change to pitch markings. Currently the 5m dotted lines outside the D are only mandatory for senior international games (rule 1.4d of the Field and Equipment Specification section the the rules). On multi sport use pitches these are often not marked with both cost and practicality issues of doing so.

  2. Umpire nightmare- what is manufactured, what is not?

    If a forward skills the defender that should be valued. The defender needs to be better at protecting their feet.

    Straight strike taken by the player who created the corner, only the gk on the line, the ball can be struck anywhere in the goal. If saved the same player can take the rebound, while all others start behind the 25 and only play the rebound once the ball has been struck. No face masks needed as no defenders, gets rid of any risk.

  3. I think this is a really good idea. I completely agree with moving on from the current penalty corner. We can still create drama, just without the delay, danger and subsequent need for body armour. I wanted something similar, and have been calling for this for a long time – I would have all attacking players beyond the 23, and all defenders not engaged beyond the half way line. You then simply play. So no rules about “is the corner over”. I’m not really a fan of the 5 or 4 defenders. Just make it 4 and be done with it. I also don’t see the need to do away with the penalty stroke.

    It would also really help junior hockey. Removing the “big kid” syndrome from every level from u8 to u16. And that can only be good to develop talented players. In fact at junior level I have proposed doing away with corners and moving to shuttles, but this might be a good alternative. How this would work in 7 a-side without another line on the pitch might be tricky.

  4. Hi,
    I definitely agree with Soma, in that the creator of the short corner can then take a free hit from top of the D circle, with just goalkeeper in goals. This eliminates the danger and injury to the defenders. This would also speed up the time wasted with short corners under current rule.
    Other change I would make to create more goals in open play is, enlarge the D area upto the 5 yard dotted line. With the bigger D area, the defenders would have to come out, thus creating more space for attackers to take a shot. This would result in more open play goals, and then not depend on short corner outcomes.

  5. Putting to one side that most of the cons of current PCs and benefits of the ‘solution’ listed on this article are tenous at best, there are much more straight options.
    For example, set up the same as normal but the second player to touch the ball must carry or play it 5m. Removes the traditional drag flick routine and creates more imaginative PCs.


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