The Executive Board of the European Hockey Federation agreed that the recent Rules of Hockey published by the FIH would come into effect in European competitions (clubs and nations) as of 1st January 2015.
The two Rule changes are as follows:
• The ability to take attacking free hits, awarded within 5 meters of the edge of the circle, from the point of the offence. The change states that the ball still has to travel at least 5 meters before it can be played into the circle, or alternatively has to be touched by another player of either team, other than the player taking the free hit.
• The second change concerns the re-start, after the ball has unintentionally been played over the back-line by a defender or deflected by a goalkeeper or player with goalkeeping privileges, and no goal is scored. Play will now be re-started with the ball on the 23 meters line and in line with where it crossed the back-line. Taking the re-start from the 23 meters line will open up the play and give more passing options.
Other rule changes to help improve player safety have also been made, including the rules governing the wearing of facemasks to defend penalty corners which have been amended to increase player safety. A wider range of masks, including metal grill masks, will now be allowed to be used.
The latest Rules of Hockey will incorporate the following Tournament Regulations:
1. Green Card – two minute suspension
The two minute green card will now provide an additional management aid to umpires at all levels.
2. Stick above the shoulder
The skill adds another dimension to the sport and provides excitement for fans and players alike.
3. Maximum length of Stick
The length of stick, as measured from the top of the stick to the bottom of the head, shall not be more than 105cm.
4. Breaking of a Penalty Corner
The breaking at penalty corners Regulation has effected a significant reduction in the number of breaks at Tournaments, by both attackers and defenders.
For a full set of Rules – Rules of Hockey