Thursday, May 23, 2024

Safety in Hockey: FIH aims to strike balance with penalty corner spectacle

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.

Our Safety in Hockey coverage
Why we should change the penalty corner in outdoor hockey
Why penalty corners remain stategic art

Total Hockey


Most Popular


  1. Why not replace with the penalty shuffle, player v keeper, maybe increase the time allowed to score, allow the attaching team to be on 23M line and the defensive team 4 on 23M line and rest on half way line, and ball becomes live to everyone after the keeper touches it or the time period passes .

  2. Peter Richardson
    Why not do Away with penalty corner and replace with free hit 5 meters outside circle and the ball must go at 5 meters similar to existing rule, but still for deliberate foul in 25 yards or a foul in the circle, and only allow 4 players and Goalkeeper in the circle the rest behind half way line. This does away with extra protection needed, so not as expensive to play. Speed up game at short corners, it is a simple change of the rules. No rubbish left around the pitch. Numbers in goal area could easily be changed 5 players and a goalkeeper.

  3. 5v3, ball injected to 23m line. Open play attack (all other players on half way).

    Could experiment with 6v4 to maintain the same number of defensive players.


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