There are grumblings I’ve heard about outdoor hockey being boring to watch because it is being played like team handball when teams are defending. Coaches are seeking a result at every level, whether it is in school leagues, promotion/relegation club hockey, and winner take all tournament hockey. In a lot of games, from the moment the result is at hand (which could be from the opening whistle), all players are instructed to defend well inside their 23m space and just in front of their circle.
Whenever a discussion happens on the subject, the solution offered to the handball defending conundrum is to bring offside back to outdoor hockey, because of the belief that with offside there is space behind the defence that the attacking team can exploit, and so more attacking play will occur.
Unlock our ad-free, premium content and get use of our subscriber-only app. Use coupon 3FOR1 to get 3 months for only £1!
Already a subscriber to our website? Login
Peter D’Cruz is the founder of the Hockey Curriculum for Players & Coaches