World hockey has opened up its consultation on the penalty corner to all in a bid to collect views on the future of how the routine should look in the future.
The project aims to strike a balance between safety and the spectacle of the penalty corner.
Previous reviews have led to the introduction of strikes having to hit the backboard and to leave the D before a shot taken before the current plan looks at changing, if any, rules to stem potential dangers at hitting at the top and to protect the line runners.
The world governing body said that “all ideas will be considered” from the form, together with safety and scoring statistical analysis, with the potential for experimental trials.
Any new rules, the FIH said, will not be brought into hockey at all levels until after the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Why the FIH is trialling potential changes to the penalty corner ruling
The power and strength of athletes, combined with advances in stick and turf technology, has led to faster high shots at goal (drag flicks), increasing the danger and potential seriousness of injuries to defenders.
This has been combated by allowing defenders to wear additional protective equipment (masks, gloves, knee pads etc) which gives the image of hockey being a dangerous sport, detracting from parents wanting their children to start playing.
In addition, after a penalty corner, large amounts of protective equipment get discarded in an untidy manner, with equipment being thrown in the air and often left lying around the circle causing danger as well as an unsightly appearance for the sport.
This protective equipment gives players an unnatural sense of safety, meaning some put themselves into more dangerous positions, and at domestic level, where the protective equipment is not always of the highest quality, they are therefore more likely to get injured.
Less goals are now being scored from penalty corners as protected players run directly at drag flickers, reducing the penalty of conceding a pc.
We must consider making changes to the penalty corner rules before serious or fatal incidents occur and not wait to react until afterwards.