Friday, March 1, 2024

Hockey four quarters: Where is the pressure to make changes coming from?

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Ten years ago, in 2014, the FIH announced its latest rule change to be used in international hockey. This is how THP reported on the major new ruling at the time

Matches will now be split into four 15-minute quarters with timeouts for penalty corner setup and after goals. The mathematicians among you will have noticed that this makes the game only 60 minutes long instead of the 70 we are all accustomed to. The FIH press release justifies this by saying “the new 60-minute format is primarily actual playing time and eliminates the dead time associated with penalty corner set up while allowing for teams to enjoy their goal celebrations.”

It is interesting reasoning, although I’ve never seen a team celebrate a goal so long or so vigorously that the officials have felt the need to stop the time, so I’m not convinced this is an issue that exists. I’ve long been frustrated by the amount of time it takes teams, especially at the top level, to get ready for penalty corners. The existing 45-second rule seems to help with that immensely, so again, it seems to me they are solving a problem that might not exist.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The 4×15 appears to have gone down well, with elite hockey well settled into its groove.

    But did FIH take it a step too far in 2019, trying to set 4×15 as standard across all of hockey – with time stopped for PCs? That partly worked, with 4 quarters widely accepted, albeit not completely. But stopping time for PCs? That seems to remain elite-only, with the entire rest of the hockey world opting out: time runs on, and where there are quarters, the 2×35 splits into 4×17.5.

    When it comes to 2025 Rules, what chance FIH accepts hockey’s judgement: deletes the stop time for PCs, bring the Rule into line with hockey-as-played?

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