Sunday, July 21, 2024

Penalty corner future: ‘Safety first, but we need to keep essence of the sport’

The future of the penalty corner is set for possible changes – but not before the Paris 2024 Olympics – with world hockey launching a consultation project to stem danger but to keep the excitement.

The FIH has outlined that the penalty corner will remain, but change is likely to be implemented. Players and fans have had their say…

The important thing is the safety and protection of the players. Example ice hockey, car racing, etc. Technology evolves and helps improve sport and the safety of those involved, keeping the essence of the sport.
Gonzalo Peillat

40 seconds to get yourselves prepared to defend against a free shot… and you are forcing players to sacrifice safety over a few seconds. I understand it is there to make it more exciting and reduce time wasting; however, it is a dangerous rule! Protect the players!!!
Brendan Creed

An important project for our sport. Penalty corners are an exciting part of the game but we can make it safer at all levels. Strict regulations on protective equipment is essential as is the length of time allowed to put on the PCD kit.
Ian Sloan

Hockey fans have also had their say on social media…

Perhaps PCs should become shootout (1:1 with goalie) so there are no more specialized drag flickers, reduces injuries and increases the odds for the goalie to deny a goal for just putting the ball on someone’s leg.
Aras Kannu

Use tech and innovation! Then make good kit affordable so International to grassroots level reap the benefits…
Sophie Weaver

I think the short corner is substantial for our hockey. It’s like a trademark for hockey. We should not do without it. However, I see the increasing danger for the defenders and fear a serious accident at some point, which will damage the reputation of hockey. In addition, the equipment is becoming more and more expensive. Why don’t we do it like in training. One passes the ball in, the player in front of the circle stops the ball (one touch), pulls the ball into the circle (2nd touch), shoots immediately.
Wolfgang Weiler

I think drag flicks should have to hit the backboard in the same way a hit does. You should also prevent runners going ‘down the barrel’. And there should be less need to if the shots are lower.

The current rules are dangerous. When I was taken to hospital this season after a short corner injury (facially scarred) there were 2 other players from 2 different fixtures and leagues at the same time. Leagues could keep stats on the number of hospital treatments caused.

Stay in the know with our Safety in Hockey coverage

Total Hockey



  1. Yes, modifications to the Penalty Corner (PC) rules need to be considered…it’s basically a ‘free shot’ situation against a concentrated group of defending players and the occasional head – or heart – strike is inevitable. Back in the late 1980s, a young Austrian goalkeeper lost his life defending a PC, ‘logging’ without having suitable kit, we don’t want another of those.

  2. Umpires govern from a safety first position. PC’s are inherently dangerous and yet the rules permit it. Drag to hit backboard and runners start outside the goal should create more goals with less danger.


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