Thursday, May 23, 2024

Penalty Corners: Keep the good, ditch the bad, keep it logical and simple

Every once in a while I get the opportunity to do some colour, co-commentary work and, as you could imagine, it’s hugely enjoyable. One thing I try and be aware of when describing a piece of play is to imagine I was talking to someone who hasn’t seen much hockey before. In my head, I think of someone who has stumbled on to our channel while surfing between a dull 0-0 football match and a 12-minute long scrum and who wants to watch a fast, exciting game with plenty of action and goals.

In that context, our rule makers have done a pretty good job over the years in making the game more simple and safer. Getting rid of offside and stopping free hits inside the 25 being smashed into the circle are good examples.

Even our video referral system is miles ahead of football, although I still think we can learn a lesson from rugby union where the referee is allowed to use all the resources at hand (including a big screen if one is there), to make their decision. Nothing against the video officials, I just think it makes sense to combine technology with the important factors like speed and intent that the on-field umpire will inevitably have the best sense of. 

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  1. After yesterday’s third goal for Belgium v SA men, it’s seems that not even a fast, high shot wide of the goals and being evaded by the post defender is dangerous if it incidentally strikes the evading defender’s stick. Whatever other changes are made to the PC rules, surely that shot must be dangerous!

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