Rules of Hockey.
The confusion caused by the current determination to see any ball-body contact as an offence.
Edit. Comments made and replied to 18th and 19th June 2015.
Addition to article made 20th June 2015.
Incident in this evening’s summer league. Open play somewhere between the half way line and the 23. 2 players challenge for a loose ball that is on the ground. Player B lifts the ball with a hit into player A who fearing for his safety turns and the ball hits him in the middle of his back and bounces free. Team B all stop expecting the whistle for the foul. Team A pick the ball up and attack the circle in a break away, ball ends up in the net.
For me, the foul is by team B, team A has not got an unfair advantage given that the problem was caused by team B not playing to the whistle = brilliant advantage = goal.
If the same scenario happened near or in the circle then I would blow the offence (the dangerous lift) as an attacker is not entitled to an unfair advantage by playing the ball with his body despite the fact that he was taking LEA.
Do people agree or disagree, If you disagree please explain why.
Rules of Hockey 2015 –
12.1 Advantage : a penalty is awarded only when a player or
team has been disadvantaged by an opponent breaking the Rules.
This is clearly correct:-
For me, the foul is by team B, team A has not got an unfair advantage given that the problem was caused by team B not playing to the whistle = brilliant advantage = goal
If the same scenario happened near or in the circle then I would blow the offence (the dangerous lift) as an attacker is not entitled to an unfair advantage by playing the ball with his body despite the fact that he was taking LEA.If the same scenario happened near or in the circle then I would blow the offence (the dangerous lift) as an attacker is not entitled to an unfair advantage by playing the ball with his body despite the fact that he was taking LEA.
makes no sense at all.
LEA means ‘legitimate evasive action’ : if an action is legitimate it cannot be at the same time be a breaking of the Rules. Legitimate means ‘legal’ as well as meaning ‘genuine’ or ‘necessary’ (to try to avoid injury).
It is not necessary for evasive action to be successful to remain legitimate: a player hit with a dangerously raised ball he or she is legitimately trying to evade has been fouled against, not committed an offence. That the ball subsequently falls to the advantage of the team of the player initially offended against does not give cause to penalise the player hit with the ball (anywhere on the pitch), it gives opportunity for the umpire to properly apply the Advantage Rule and allow play to continue in a fair way.
In the instance described above it would be perverse to stop play to award a free ball for dangerous play because the team offended against had gained an advantage following the foul committed against them. The principle is an easy one to follow; (where possible) the penalty awarded – or other decision made – should be the one which gives the maximum permitted advantage to the team offended against and also the restart or continuation least wanted by the team of the offender; this is not “brilliant”, it is plain common sense.
20th June 2015.
I am bewildered by the change of attitude to unintentional ball-body contact, particularly ball-foot or ball-leg contact, following the deletion of forcing as a separate Rule in 2011.
Prior to the the deletion of the forcing Rule, in theory i.e. according to the published Rules of Hockey, if a player in possession of the ball intentionally played it into the body of an opponent that would be a foul and the player who carried out the forcing action would be penalised for it, unless the team of player hit with the ball were not disadvantaged, i .e. the player hit with the ball or another player of of his team were able to play on with advantage.
In practice umpires pretended they had great difficulty in determining the intention of a player in possession of the ball to play the ball into the feet or legs of an opponent and they did not apply the forcing Rule.
But then what did they do? Well a ball-body contact had to be some-one’s offence, didn’t it? (The answer to that question is “No“) and there was of course no difficulty whatsoever in deciding that a defending player had intentionally used his body to make contact with the ball – even if he was clearly trying to avoid being hit with it. ??? (Why the intent of – particularly a stationary player – to use the body to make contact with the ball was considered easier to determine than determining the intent of a player in possession of the ball to play it into the body of an opponent is a mystery). If a defender tried to play with his stick a ball propelled at him but missed the ball and was hit with it, it was decided that he had positioned with the intention of using his body to play the ball, simply because he had been hit with the ball.
Now of course there is no difficult in seeing if a player in possession of the ball has intentionally played it into the feet/legs of a defender. There is now no attempt to disguise such actions as ‘passes’ and even pride taken in the ‘skill’ of ‘finding a foot'; attacking players are even chastised by their coaches if they attempt to shoot at the goal when they could create a more favourable shooting opportunity for the team by ‘winning’ a penalty corner.
So we have arrived at a situation where the ball is being unashamedly played into the feet/legs of opponents and there is no difficulty at all in seeing that this is happening – but why are those who play the ball into the body of an opponent awarded any penalty against the team of the player hit with the ball? The same criterion for offence by a player making ball-body contact existed after the forcing offence was deleted as existed before the deletion (at the time positioning with the intention of using the body to stop, deflect or propel the ball – still extant – or voluntarily using the body in this way) . When the ball is obviously deliberately played into the feet/legs of a defender, the umpire may no longer penalise the forcing player (unless the forcing is done dangerously), but why on earth should the player hit be penalised if there was no clear positioning with the intention of using the body and ball body contact was clearly not made voluntarily?
There is no satisfactory answer to that question, so in 2015, I believe in order to avoid the public embarrassment of umpires who consistently and persistently penalised all ball-body contact (that is nearly all umpires) the Rule was “clarified” (that means it was changed to follow what umpires, but especially international level umpires, were doing, but that cannot be admitted: – “gain an advantage” replaced voluntary contact as one of the two criteria for a ball-body contact offence). As “gain an advantage” can mean just about anything an umpire wants it to mean there is created the perfect excuse (it’s a matter of opinion so video referral would not be available to dispute it) to penalise nearly all ball-body contact (the only exception might be – and I mean might be because the player hit is now always treated as if he has committed an offence – is if there is dangerous play by an opposing player while he is forcing ball-body contact).
So back to my initial bewilderment; why is an action, forcing ball-body contact, that was considered an offence by a player in possession of the ball, not the player hit with it, now considered to be an offence by the player hit with the ball? What happened to “No offence – play on” an entirely reasonable middle ground? Why the leap from one extreme to the opposite extreme? Has a player who has had the ball deliberately played into his legs while he is trying to tackle for it (it’s impossible to reach for the ball with the stick in a tackle attempt and at the same time ‘defend’ the feet with the stick) positioned with the intention of playing the ball with the body (that is very difficult to determine unless the tackler goes to ground – dives for the ball and blocks it with his body) or gained an (unfair) advantage (that seems unlikely)? Why in any case should a player in possession of the ball who deliberately plays it into the feet/legs of an opponent and in so doing disadvantages himself, (and usually makes no attempt to continue playing) be awarded a free-ball or a penalty corner for this lack of stick-ball skill?
Deliberately playing the ball into the body of an opponent, including the feet and legs, in the expectation of penalty award against the player hit should have no place in hockey.
Here we have another idiocy:
Just watching a recording of HWL match USA v IRL. Can only find highlights online, but for those who recorded it, with about 7:45 of Q2 remaining, USA crossed ball in to IRL circle, it hit an IRL stick and went off the back line. The umpire then awarded a PC thinking the ball hit an IRL foot. Referred to video umpire who quickly spotted the ball did not hit the IRL foot. Play then resumed with a FHD to IRL. .
Had the ball not been deflected by anything it would have gone off the pitch over the baseline and a 15m restart would have taken place. There is however a deflection off a defender before the ball goes out of play. The discussion was then about the award of a 15m to the defenders when video referral revealed that there had been no foot contact but a stick contact by the defender. No one questioned the initial award of a penalty corner if there had been an unintentional foot contact by the defender – why not?
Why was anyone even considering a ball-body contact offence by the defender ?
There is no indication that either of the criterion for a ball-body contact offence were met:-
1) positioning with the intention of using the body to (in this case) deflect the ball. and/or
2) the gaining of an advantage.
In fact a foot contact, had one occurred, would have disadvantaged the defending team because the restart should then (there being no offence by the defenders) have been by the attackers on the 23m line, in line with the place the ball went out of play, and not a 15m for the defenders; that would have been correct only if the ball if had not been deflected at all by a defender.
Of course World Tournament level umpires must.be correct when they make a decision, especially when it is made with the assistance of a video umpire. ??? This might be the case if they not only knew but applied the Rules of Hockey as published. I bet no-one on the above forum will point out that even if there had been an unintentional foot contact by a defender there would have been no offence, and in that case – there being no advantage gained by the defending team – a restart by the attacking side on the 23m line is the only correct decision possible under the published Rules of Hockey. (Tournament Regulations allow for an alternative restart in International Tournaments but I don’t understand why this should be the case).