Field Hockey Rules: Barging; Backing-in; Obstruction; Physical contact; Dangerous play; Injury.
Two incidents from the London Olympic Games.
First the Rule and relevant parts of the embedded Guidance (the part concerning ‘third party’ has been omitted)
9.12 Players must not obstruct an opponent who is attempting to play the ball
Players obstruct if they :
- back into an opponent
– physically interfere with the stick or body of an opponent
– shield the ball from a legitimate tackle with their stick or any part of their body
A player with the ball is permitted to move off with it in any direction except bodily into an opponent or in to a position between the ball and an opponent who is within playing distance of the ball and attempting to play it.
Self inflicted injury by obstructing player
In this incident ball shielding by positioning (turning) between the ball and an opponent who is within playing distance of the ball and attempting to play it; there is also a backing-in offence. (What was the ball holder trying to do?)
Obstructed player hit in the face with a stick while attempting to tackle.
and here ball shielding, again by positioning the body, between a close opponent who was attempting to tackle, and the ball, and also interference with the stick of the same opponent (followed by dangerous play).
Makes one wonder what part of the Rule the umpires concerned did not (do not) understand or, assuming they do understand it (and why not?), why the Rule is not applied? Is it “too difficult” ?
As for the players, neither one with any idea of using stick-work, footwork and speed to elude an opponent when they choose not to pass the ball.
Link to Index of Rules http://wp.me/p3tNmd-3