Posts tagged ‘self-pass’

June 28, 2015

Field Hockey Rules. Revision of Rule 13 Free Hit. May 2015.

Rules of Hockey.   

Rule 13 :- the misnamed Free Hit – because the penalty is not necessarily taken with a hit. (A free ball that is raised directly, which may be done with a flick or scoop, cannot be hit; the intentional raising of the ball with a hit outside the shooting circle is prohibited by Rule 9.9)

The raising of the ball into the opponent’s circle with a hit.

The self-pass

Additions and alterations made to this article  Ist July, 2015

New link added 7th July, 2015.

The continued misnaming of the free ball is however the least of the problems that have beset this penalty since 2009 when the self-pass was introduced into mainstream FIH hockey. The self-pass is not of itself a problem, what is a problem is the raft of requirements and restrictions that accompanied it and also the prohibition of the taking of a free ball, awarded in the opponent’s 23m area, as a direct pass into the opponent’s circle.

The FIH Rules Committee have belatedly, May 2015, made changes to try to address some of the issues that have thus far been brought to their attention.

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Rule-13-Attacking-Free-Hits-within-5m-of-the-circle-for-UMs

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I shall make comment within a copy of the the document below. (Document original in bold blue text) and wander into other related areas.

Rule 13: Free hits awarded to the attack within 5 metres of the circle

The former requirement that a free hit awarded to the attack within 5 metres of the circle is taken at the nearest point 5 metres from the circle has been deleted.

Of all the measures that accompanied the introduction of the self-pass, that the ball be taken back 5m from the circle line was the only one that made good sense, it was a measure that should have been introduced at the same time the 5m hash circle line was added to pitch markings (2001). Even without the self-pass, allowing the attacking team the possibility of a free ball immediately outside the circle created the potential for ‘a scrum’ as both sets of players tried to be as near to the ball as they could be without being penalised.  

The new Rule indicates that free hits awarded to the attack within 5 metres of the edge of the circle are now taken from where the offence occurred (i.e. there is now no requirement to take the ball back outside the dotted 5 metres line around the circle). The Rules surrounding the entry of the ball into the circle still apply, as per Rule 13.2: –

Rule 13.2. still contains this real blocker to quick play and game flow:-  

From a free hit awarded to the attack within the 23 metres area, the ball must not be played into the circle until it has travelled at least 5 metres or has been touched by a player of either team other than the player taking the free hit.

This measure was, it is said, introduced for safety reasons but that does not make much sense because there is no restriction on playing the ball directly into the circle in any other phase of play and,  because of a quirk in the order in which Rules have been introduced and deleted, a ball that has been unintentionally raised into the circle with a hit in any other phase of play will not be penalised unless dangerous (define dangerous?  Quote “At the higher levels almost nothing will be considered dangerous” a daft but widely held and supported view which has been ‘cascaded’ down to club hockey)  – so it is not uncommon to see head high crosses made with a hit into the goal-mouth area and to see players hitting at a high ball in such situations. Is this not potentially dangerous?

Just as bizarre is that this restriction on the free ball exists alongside the present penalty corner and the drag-flick shot. The other attempt at restraint and player safety, which makes far more sense, the height restriction on the first hit shot taken during a penalty corner, introduced in the 1980’s, is now circumvented and is almost irrelevant, except for the fact that it is rigourously applied and can be pointed to and “Why is that there then?” can be asked of those who pretend that raising the ball towards other players is not a potentially dangerous action, or worse, that defending players are at fault either for being “in the way” or not possessing the skill to defend themselves on every occasion. When the ‘chip hitters’ of the 1980’s with their new carbon fibre reinforced sticks began hitting the first shot at a penalty corner (with the ball then stopped within the circle) through outrunning defenders and into the goal just below the cross-bar, it was seen that drastic action had to be taken before someone was killed. These days, now using the full composite stick, drag-flickers are often doing the same thing and nobody seems to have noticed or perhaps more accurately, to care very much.

In all of these video examples, most of which focus on the hit raised into the circle, there is displayed an application of the Rules which is slanted against the defending team, even to the extent of ignoring a Rule in the third video (forehand edge hit), and “an emphasis on safety” is entirely absent. Players just don’t seem to know (perhaps because they are rarely penalised for doing it) that intentionally raising the ball with a hit (commonly an edge hit) is, unless shooting at the goal within the circle (which is itself a safety issue when there are defenders between the shooter and the goal), contrary to the Rules of Hockey. Umpires on the other hand don’t seem to be able to recognise either danger or intent.

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The following video clip fits well with the last part of the previous one. Penalty corner awarded (of course there was a ball-leg contact ???) I would have been considering a red card and have asked for a video referral to be certain , the offences by the attacker (there was deliberate contravention of Rule 9.9 and a dangerous deliberate physical contact offence) certainly merited at least a 10min yellow.

Penalty corner awarded for dangerous play by the goalkeeper !! ???

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Goal awarded. ???

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The forehand edge hit seen in the following video is not very hard and the ball does not endanger other players, but the deliberate raising of the ball in this way is an offence. The umpire (perhaps following the controversial UMB advice  “forget lifted – think danger“, controversial because it contradicts the Rule wording ) ignores the offence and (after consultation with his colleague to confirm that there was a ball/leg contact – which in this case was not an offence) awards a penalty corner. A great many hits raised into the circle that hit defenders (disadvantage them) result not in a 15m free to the defence but to a penalty corner – the wrong action being seen as accidental and the no-fault action being seen as an offence.


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It would make far more sense, and be safer for players, if any raising of the ball directly into the circle with a hit pass was prohibited (and hits that caused a bouncing ball to be played into the circle were a matter of umpire judgement concerning potential danger) and the present unnecessary restriction on the free ball was removed ; so a ball hit along the ground directly into the circle from a free awarded in the opponent’s 23m area would not be automatically penalised irrespective of any danger caused. There could also (perhaps only when a free ball is being taken) be a limit (elbow height?) placed on the height of any ball played into the circle with any stroke other than a hit to reduce the potential for shots at the goal taken while the ball is still above shoulder height, which in my opinion should be prohibited in any case. Let’s have safety Rules, but not the present token in Rule 13 that just messes up the free ball and slows the game.

Danger arising from a ball played along the ground from beyond 5m of the circle is in any case generally going to be caused by the action of a player receiving or trying to intercept it and that is a situation that can arise from any ball played into the circle in any phase of play. If danger does arise because of a deflection within the circle, deliberate or otherwise, it can and should be dealt with by umpires as a matter separate from the playing of the ball into the circle if that is done along the ground.  If umpires are able to make “dangerous” (or more usually “not dangerous”)  judgements when a ball is ‘accidentally’ (ha ha) raised into the circle with a hit, they can certainly do so when the ball is hit along the ground during the taking of a free ball 5m or more from the circle.

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Demanding that the taker of a free within the opponent’s 23m area  move the ball 5m with a self pass or pass it to another player, who was initially 5m away, before it can be played into the circle led I think to the self-pass being used far more often then it would otherwise have been. But the self-pass is also restricted in much the same way as the direct pass  – there is a demand for 5m of ball travel before the ball may be played into the circle (a requirement imposed so that there is consistency between Rules); so the aim of the taker of a self pass from a position close to the circle most often becomes to ‘win’ further penalty (a penalty corner) rather than to skilfully dribble through a ‘stacked’ defence and create the space to make a pass or to take a shot – the latter a clearly very difficult task in such circumstances (the task of defenders is much easier with the 5m ball travel requirement in place because they know that a self-passer cannot play the ball beyond them into the circle even if creating the opportunity to do so). The deletion of the forcing Rule in 2011 coupled with umpires habitually penalising all ball-body contact makes for an easy decision for the taker of a self-pass about what to ‘reasonably’ attempt when a free ball is taken close to the opponent’s circle and also for some very unattractive hockey.  

If the player taking the free hit continues to play the ball (i.e. no other player has yet played it):

  • That player may play the ball any number of times, but
  • – The ball must travel at least 5 metres, before – That player plays the ball into the circle by hitting or pushing the ball again Alternatively:
  • – Another player of either team who can legitimately play the ball must deflect, hit or push the ball before it enters the circle 
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  • – After this player has touched the ball, it can be played into the circle by any other player including the player who took the free hit.

That the ball be played – passed to – a second player, before being played into the circle is an option that is clearly  available and it is odd that it is so seldom used.  It would have been interesting to see the result if, instead of a 5m ball travel requirement, a pass to a same team player was compulsory before the ball could be played into the opponent’s circle, but then the requirement that same team players be 5m from the ball at the commencement of a free awarded in the opponent’s 23m area would become a much more critical obstacle than it is at present – perhaps we don’t need to look too far to see why the option is not more often explored.

That a self-pass taken while properly retreating opponents are still with 5m of the ball should be treated as an advantage played and normal play should resume as soon as the ball is moved by the taker is something I have been advocating since the self-pass was introduced into the European Hockey League back in 2007. The present interpretation and application is farcical because it is inconsistent and so often clearly plain wrong. Making correct decisions is not assisted by the conflicting coaching videos presented by the FIH Umpiring Committee via Dartfish .com (caused by trying to keep up with the many changes of ‘interpretation’ but without removing videos showing previous ‘outmoded’ inventions – the direction in which a defender was permitted to retreat from a self-passer, for example) or by the long video explanations that have been presented by various National Hockey Associations such as those of Australia and the USA. Application of part of a Rule about the taking of a free ball should not require a twenty minute video (that does not cover all the possibilities). 

Commentary and additional guidance: –

The intention of the Rule change is to assist game flow, such that the attack is able to take a quick free hit from the point of the offence, rather than have to take the ball back to the dotted 5 metres line.

The wrong change has been made, taking the ball back a couple of meters is no more onerous and takes no more time than same team players getting 5m from the ball as required.  It is the demand for 5m of ball movement and the prohibition on a direct pass into the circle that stops the quick pass and ‘kills’ game flow.

All players other than the player taking the free hit should be at least 5 metres from the ball. If a player is within 5 metres of the ball, they must not interfere with the taking of the free hit or must not play or attempt to play the ball. If this player is not playing the ball, attempting to play the ball or influencing play, the free hit need not be delayed.

A player within 5 metres of the ball at the taking of the free hit is not allowed to engage with play prior to the ball having travelled at least 5 metres.

As long as that player is properly retreating as soon as aware the penalty has been awarded against their team then he or she is not interfering with or delaying the taking of the free – all that the Rule demands of defenders in the situation, –  advantage can then be played (opponents in contravention of a Rule requirement but not disadvantaging the side in possession of the ball). Otherwise the umpire probably needs to intervene, either immediately if the interfering is critical or at the first ‘dead-ball’ opportunity if play can continue despite interference.

I think that in any case the introduction of the self-pass into FIH hockey (after two years in the EHL) should have been accompanied by the introduction of a second whistle. Compliance with 1) a stationary ball  2) in the correct place, had already become issues of concern and the only other way to properly deal with contraventions is with resets or reversals (and umpires are far from consistent in this area – even in the coaching videos). Ignoring the Rule requirements demanded of the side awarded a free ball  “so  that they are not disadvantaged by having to comply with the Rule” (a justification for such inaction offered by a senior umpire) cannot be an option.

A first whistle to stop play and indicate penalty – a second whistle to resume play immediately the umpire is satisfied that the ball is stationary and within reasonable distance (playing distance or less than 2m?) of the place of the offence (ensuring rapid compliance from the team awarded the penalty) would be an easy simplification of the present situation.

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The two paragraphs, directly below, particularly the first, bewilder me, I am left wondering from which language they were translated. The second seems to be saying that the defending players who are 5m from the ball when a free ball is awarded must remain 5m from the ball until it is played by the taker, an unnecessary repetition. A simplification and clarification of both paragraphs would be appreciated.

However, at a free hit the ball cannot enter the circle until it has travelled at least 5 metres if the same player continues to play the ball or it has been touched by another player of either team. Defenders who are inside the circle within 5 metres of the free hit are therefore not interfering with play and may also shadow around the inside of the circle a player who takes a self-pass, provided that they do not play or attempt to play the ball or influence play until it has either travelled at least 5 metres or alternatively has been touched by another player of either team who can legitimately play the ball.

Skipping past the first sentence and the first part of the second :which I cannot make sense of :-

Who can define “influence play”? Why add another layer of difficulty, permitting ‘shadow marking’ but not ‘influencing play’ ? What is the difference between them? Why would a defender ‘shadow’ a player in possession of the ball if doing so does not in any way influence their play ?  

Players inside the circle who were 5 metres or more from the point of the free hit are not allowed to move and remain in a ‘set’ position within 5 metres of the ball when the free hit is taken.

What is perhaps not appreciated from the wording of the above paragraph is 1)  that defending players who are more than 5m from the ball may move towards the player in possession of the ball and close to attempt a tackle or block with the stick, immediately the ball is played by the taker 2) these Rule compliant defenders may be moving towards the ball from several different directions while 3) defenders who were within 5m of the ball must allow the taker to move the ball a distance of 5m before  interfering or trying to influence play (however ‘influence’ is defined) and these player/s too may be in any position surrounding the taker, not necessarily between the taker and the goal. In addition to this the umpire has to be aware of the positions and movement of same team players, who are also not permitted to be within 5m of the ball before it is played. It is this complexity, some players having to move away while at the same time some of the same team can be closing on the ball, with the umpire also having to judge exactly how far the ball has been moved (and that need not be in a straight line), which makes being aware of the positions of players when an aerial pass is made ‘a piece of cake’ in comparison – much more space and time – and umpires have declared that to be “too difficult”.

The following video is a diversion from the topic but it serves well to illustrate the above point, the difficulties umpires have with the judgement of timing, distance and the movement of players (the application of the Obstruction Rule also provides a multitude of examples of misjudgement of distance and timing). The umpire concerned had a clear view of the only two players involved and could see where they both were when the ball was raised (a critical thing to note) and where they were when it landed – and where in relation to the initial positions of the players it landed – but he did not make note and he made the wrong decision. How on earth would he cope correctly and consistently with the complications and speed of a quickly taken self-pass from just behind the hash-circle line when there maybe ten or more moving players within 8m of the ball?  The answer is, “He will not.” I doubt anyone can.

This is one of my reasons for advocating an “advantage played” approach to the taking of a self-pass when retreating opponents are still within 5m of the ball – the judgements of distances while the ball is being moved and the connected timing issues would simply become unnecessary, they would be irrelevant.

Here is an example of the kind of farcical situations that arise when both defending player and umpire need to decide both 5m from ball and 5m of ball movement  – and this example involves just two moving players. Both a foreshortened view and distance from the incident may make either one of these judgements very difficult for the umpire. Is the solution, to ensure certainty, to mark a hockey pitch with a 5m grid or to abolish the need for 5m of ball movement or something else?

http://www.fieldhockeyforum.com/threads/when-is-it-intentional.33092/ .

It is in any case the choice of the taker to play the ball before opponents have been given opportunity to comply with the Rule requirements; why should they be penalised again because the penalty taker will not allow them to comply with the requirements of the Free Hit Rule?. The original reason for the ‘need not delay’ clause – which was that attackers would not be disadvantaged by waiting for Rule compliance from opponents and also so that game flow would not be compromised – has become inverted and its main use now is as a means of ‘winning’ a penalty corner by force .

Other than indicated above, any playing of the ball, attempting to play the ball or interference by a defender or an attacker who was not 5 metres from the ball, should be penalised accordingly.

Fine – if a defender does not, on award of penalty against his or her team, immediately retreat to attempt to get 5m from the ball, it is right that they be penalised and more so if they instead of retreating, close on the ball-holder – that too is an encroaching offence.

But I don’t think it necessary that same team players be 5m from the ball provided the ball is taken back beyond the hash circle to take the penalty the part of the Rule that has just been deleted. 5m distance was a necessary requirement for a same team player when a free ball could be taken from just outside the circle, but when the ball is withdrawn 5m it then becomes ‘belt and braces’ and umpires have another unnecessary set of 5m compliance to watch for. (That same team players should retreat 5m from the taker of any free ball awarded to their team was introduced into the Rules of Hockey in 1997 and was very quickly abandoned because it was clearly of disadvantage to the team awarded a free – it still is even if confined to free balls awarded in the opponent’s 23m area – why should this means of disadvantage have changed since 1998?)

The Rules Committee will continue to monitor the application and interpretation of this Rule change, based upon feedback from Tournaments, National Associations, Officials and other parties.

That’s good, I count as “other parties”; everybody does.

FIH Rules Committee 23 May 2015

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I have focused in this article, as far as raising the ball with a hit is concerned, on the playing of the ball into the circle, the self pass and various 5m requirements, because it is to these areas that the most recent changes to Rule 13 are related, but Rule 9.9. also needs revision. There really isn’t any good reason why intentionally raising the ball with a hit in the area of play outside the shooting circles should be completely prohibited. (which is why we have the conflicting  forget lifted – think danger in the UMB)

Back in the 1980’s, when carbon fibre was first used as a reinforcement for wooden hockey sticks, its use on sticks enabled the chip or clip hitting of the ball over great distances (75m or more) at great height (the ball reaching a height of fifty or so feet ). Problems arose when club level players tried to emulate the skills of the elite players: the dangers were obvious to all (pre-match ‘warm-ups’ of a goalkeeper could consist of trying to hit the ball under the cross-bar from behind what was then the 25yd. line).  Besides that it was sometimes the case that there wasn’t much hockey being played in the area between the circles when two international teams (or domestic teams with international players) had chip-hit experts in their ranks – it was spectacularly boring, perhaps only the fact that there was then an Off-side Rule prevented a complete absence of mid-field play following a 16 yard hit or a free awarded in the defended 25 yard area (after a short pass to circumvent the prohibition on raising a free hit, extant at the time). The FIH HRB response was an unnecessary ban on all raising of the ball with a hit except when shooting at the opponent’s goal from within their circle. A better course of action would have been to place an absolute limit (a limit applied irrespective of any danger caused) on the height a ball could be raised to with a hit in the area outside the opponent’s circle. Shoulder height would probably have been an acceptable and workable absolute limit for a raised hit that did not endanger another player.

That then would have ‘opened the door’ (because the various elements of hitting cannot reasonably be acted upon in isolation) to considering what height might be deemed to be dangerous play –  using any stroke at any distance and in any circumstance (including shooting at the goal), when the ball is played at high velocity towards (at) another player. I have long advocated that sternum or elbow height would be a suitable ‘dangerous’ level. That leaves raising the ball into a player from close range (3m rather than 5m), the present commonly used knee heigh (‘borrowed’ from the Penalty Corner Rules) seems to be an acceptable height.

Intentionally forcing the ball into an opponent’s body from close range,even without raising the ball at all, should of course be restored as an offence.

Then we would have a situation where the ball may once again be raised with a hit except into the opponents circle but, differently, all raised hits would also be subject to criterion independent of the subjective judgement ‘dangerous’ – so there should be be consistency of application and, just as importantly, the opportunity for all players in a match (and not just an individual umpire) to know when a ball had been played either dangerously or in a non-compliant way or both together..

May 25, 2014

Field Hockey Rules: ‘Free Hit’. Free-ball as Self-pass.

Rules of Hockey.   ‘Free Hit’.    Free-ball as Self-pass – with analysis of all the umpire coaching videos on the self-pass presented by the FIH on the Dartfish website.

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Main premise of this post.  There are unfair situations that occur because a defender has been given no opportunity to retreat before a self-pass is taken. If the taker of the free-ball decides not to wait until all properly retreating opponents are (or any retreating opponent is) 5m from the ball, but to  take advantage of the time, space and opportunity immediately available to progress an attack, than the taker has played an advantage, one possibly not available had the taker waited until opponents were the required distance from the ball. That is the choice of the taker. Having made the choice not to wait for defenders to retreat 5m, the taker should not, in fairness, also demand (the umpire demand on the taker’s behalf) that 5m of free movement with  the ball be granted.

Additional Suggestion

Although when I suggested the self-pass, back in 2000, I did not anticipate the introduction of a Rule prohibiting a direct pass into the circle from a free-ball awarded in the opponent’s 23m area (or obviously, the ‘inventions’, called interpretation, that would spin-off from that). I did anticipate that a player awarded a free-ball might be so keen to take advantage of a self-pass opportunity immediately, that the ball would often be some distance from the correct place and/or not stationary when a self-pass was taken, and for that reason I also suggested a second whistle when a free-ball was awarded.

The first whistle would stop play, the second would restart play when the umpire was satisfied that the ball was in the correct position and stationary (an incentive to the side awarded the free-ball to comply as rapidly as possible). The second whistle would therefore in most instances follow closely, without delay, on the first one. I am now more convinced, than I was when I first suggested the idea, that a second whistle signal would be a useful, and is possibly now even a necessary, control tool for umpires.

Conclusion.  The Rule ban on playing the ball into the opponent’s circle directly from a free awarded in the opponent’s 23m area and the practice of demanding that retreating opponents ‘caught’ within 5m of a quickly taken self-pass allow the ball to be moved 5m before attempting to influence play (not a Rule), are both impediments to the ‘flow’ and proper conduct of play and should be discontinued.

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When a Rule or a Rule clause is given an explanation of intended application (eight of the seventeen Rules of Conduct of Play – Rule 9 – have additional instruction – called explanation or guidance) that explanation is generally set out directly beneath the related Rule or Rule clause. The explanation or instruction will contain either specific examples of the conduct of play which is the subject of the Rule or give exceptions to the Rule or Rule clause – or both. For example:- General action. Rule 9.2 Players on the field must hold their stick and not use it in a dangerous way. (Example) Players must not lift their stick over the heads of other players. The example is obviously not a complete list of all possible dangerous use of a hockey stick but it gives an umpire advice that this specific action should be penalised and sets a ‘benchmark’ – which is that a player need not actually hit or trip another player with the stick to use the stick in a dangerous way.

And so to the Rule and explanation I am examining in this article – and the new significance of the term ‘influencing play’ (which has been seen as a bane by many in soccer since it was introduced into the Off-Side Law),  This is not a Conduct of Play Rule but Rule 13.2 Procedures for taking a free hit, centre pass and putting the ball back into play after it has been outside the field : – which now impinges greatly on conduct of play.

In 2009 A Mandatory Experimental Rule introduced the Self-pass into the FIH Rules of Hockey. Link:-        fih_free_hit_rule_2009 This is now part of the current Rule and this is the part of Rule 13.2.b. (in the red frame) the interpretation of which has since become critical to conduct of play whenever there is a free-ball, corner or side-line re-start. The Rule wording is exactly the same as it was before the self-pass was adopted.Free Hit  Procedure  Clauses a and b. There are two Rule clauses that are very specific and unambiguous instructions.

13.2. a the ball must be stationary

13.2. b opponents must be at least 5 metres from the ball

More specific instruction follows  If an opponent is within 5 metres of the ball, they must not interfere with the taking of the free hit or must not play or attempt to play the ball. (Then there is an Exception) If this player is not playing the ball, attempting to play the ball or influencing play, the free hit need not be delayed.    (interfere with, because it implies physical contact or obstruction, seems to be a clearer phrase than “influencing play” because being between an opponent who is in possession of the ball and any team mate of that that opponent, may influence the play of that opponent at any distance).  So – to be clear as is possible – if none of these prohibited actions are taking place the team awarded the free-ball can go ahead and take it, even if there is an opponent who is within 5m of the ball: the taking of the free ball in these (exceptional) circumstances is not prohibited.

It is not possible to be completely clear because what would constitute influencing play is not specified, but that (used to be) not of great concern, because whatever it may be it, does not effect the right of the team awarded the free-ball to take it if they want to and if they can do so: the taking of the free-ball need not be delayed even if opponents are in contravention of clause 13.2. b.

The umpire can also in any case penalise an opponent’s contravention of 13.2.b. either before the free-ball is taken (personal penalty and/or penalty corner – when within the 23m area – are the options) or after it has been taken and an advantage has been allowed (personal penalty is the option) or reset the re-start (perhaps having issued a personal penalty).

The exception does not however give permit to the opponents of a team taking a restart to be within and/or remain within 5m of the ball, they must still attempt, in compliance with the Rule Clause 13.2.b. above, to get 5m from the ball as quickly as is reasonably possible when the signal for a penalty or restart is given – they cannot deliberately delay the taking of a free-ball or legitimately ‘hang’ (go inactive) in close proximity to the ball, especially in a place where they might influence the play of the taker. Not being able to get 5m away before the free ball is taken is not an excuse for not attempting to do so.

All that is (or was) straightforward, especially before the introduction of the self-pass, here are the relevant clauses of Rule 13.2. prior to 2009:-

a    the ball must be stationary

d    after playing the ball, the player taking the free hit must not play the ball again or approach within playing distance of it until it has been played by another player

e    opponents must be at least 5 metres from the ball.               If a player is standing within 5 metres of the ball but not influencing play, the free hit need not be delayed.

The word “influencing” is there, however it clearly relates to action before the free-hit is taken. But then after the adoption of the self-pass into FIH Rules in 2009, the Umpire Manager’s Briefing for FIH Umpires at FIH Tournaments (the UMB) (which is advice for FIH Tournament Umpires published by the FIH Umpiring Committee), in effect added a further clause to the 2009 Rule explanation. This slight change of wording and extension to the existing published rule-book clause – is not part of the Rules of Hockey, it appears only in the UMB – has become an ‘accepted’ part of ‘umpiring practice’ (because for some unexplained reason the UMB seems to ‘trump’ the FIH published Rules of Hockey). The interpretation of “influence play” – a very vague term – went from being almost insignificant to defenders, to being critical to their defending of set-pieces.  UMB.  Free HIT In all situations – if taken quickly and a player is within 5 metres of the ball but is not playing, attempting to play the ball or influencing play, the taking of the free hit does not need to be delayed; this same player can play, attempt to play the ball or try to influence play, once the ball has travelled 5 metres   (my underline and bold to highlight the addition).

‘Umpiring practice’,  the (many) ‘interpretations’ of the above unauthorised expansion of the ‘explanation clause’ has radically altered conduct of play in relation to a free-ball (A ‘free hit’ is more sensibly called a free-ball after the introduction of the direct lift in 2011 – a free-hit has never had in any case to be hit , so the term ‘free-hit’ was a misnomer anyway). 

Besides questioning on what authority wording is added to that given in the rule book and presented as if Rule, I see a contradiction in the addition – “once the ball has travelled 5m” – and also a misapplication of advantage.

To be fair, the UMB addition is clearly an attempt to limit the exclusion from play of players ‘caught’ within 5m of the ball when a self-pass is taken but ‘in practice’ it is not often working in that way, usually because of the interpretation of “influencing play” – and sometimes because “can” is acted upon (‘interpreted’) as if it means “cannot”.

Any free-ball, including a self-pass, is ‘taken’ as soon as the ball has been moved by the stick of the taker – not ‘taken’ only after the ball has been moved 5m –  and if a free-ball is taken quickly (immediately) it is obviously not delayed because of any action by opponents. What is presented as, and at first reads, as if an exception to Rule 13.2.b. (this same player can play etc. etc. the ball) and is obviously intended to convey that once the ball has been moved 5m then even a player who has always been within 5m of the ball is permitted to resume normal play – tackle etc., is in fact applied as a severe further prohibition on the actions of defenders, that is in a prohibitive way i.e. these same players cannot play the ball etc. etc. until it has travelled 5m.

If defenders are within 5m of the ball when a restart is taken, they cannot try to play the ball or even try to influence play until the ball has been moved (has travelled) 5m – and often considerably beyond 5m. The emphasis an umpire favours “can play when ” or “cannot play until” although meaning exactly the same, seems to influence their application of the Rule (and their estimate of 5m). An example of how far (the undefinable) “must not influence play” and also “5m” has being taken can be seen in the first video clip below.

Some participants still seem to have the idea that if a player does not at some point get 5m from the ball (even after a self-pass has commenced – been taken and the ball has been moved 5m) they cannot at any point engage the player in possession of the ball (the taker of a self-pass) but that is simply not true – not at all what the UMB has added – in fact the opposite to  “this same player can.” However, the fact that a player who has not retreated 5m from the place of the offence can legitimately contest for the ball once a self-passer has moved the ball 5m (this is total movement of the ball – not necessarily a straight line between the place the self-pass was taken and the place the ball sic now is) is sometimes abused by defenders who do not at any point make any attempt to get 5m from the ball. It is therefore necessary for an umpire to (be able) to differentiate between a player who has been given no opportunity to retreat or even attempt retreat and a player who simply doesn’t bother to retreat much beyond playing distance of the ball or deliberately (for tactical reasons) does not retreat as far as is required – and to take appropriate action.

The FIH Umpiring Committee have approved the production of a large number of umpire coaching videos, which are published via Dartfish.com. There are presently twenty-one videos related to the conduct of the self-pass. (If only the same effort was put into explanation and clarification of the Obstruction Rule – ball-shielding to prevent a tackle attempt – as has been put into complicating the simple matter of the conduct of a self-pass, the game could be much improved)  I have tried to analyse and compare the Dartfish videos in this article. A careful study of them the ‘Interpretation’ presented with them leads, however, only to confusion. A decision made after a particular incident in one video can often be matched with a different, even opposite decision, following a similar incident in another – with both declared in the given ‘interpretation’ to be correct. (I came across a similar situation when analyzing the videos in the ‘ball off the ground’ section

I have embedded text frames within the videos presented but they are not always easy to read, (in fact some are near impossible) even if the video is paused, so I have posted the same text ‘stills’ outside each video here (and also added a pdf text link so the stills and text can be greatly enlarged for ease of viewing). The Interpretation with each (white text on black) is that provided with the original video. I have expanded the relevant parts of the original videos (after initial presentation of the original footage) by adding repeats of the action in slow-motion and also added ‘stills’ and comment. Most of the videos will be supplemented in the article with ‘stills’ from within them.

I started by posting the videos in numerical order as given within Dartfish.com. but amended the order as I came across interesting contrasts of interpretation or decision. I have also added some player coaching notes and a few videos of interesting self-pass incidents that are not included in the umpire coaching collection presented on Dartfish.com.

     fih_free_hit_rule_2009 The wording of this aspect the ‘Free Hit’ Rule now, in early 2015, is exactly as it was when the wording of Mandatory Experiment was drafted in 2009 (the only change being the introduction of facility to raise the ball directly from a free-ball, with any stroke except a hit which was added in 2013).

The first three videos below are from matches played in or prior to 2010. They demonstrate the need for change to the Rule wording by the FIH Rules Committee in the published Rules of Hockey. The present ‘practice’ seems to be to allow changes in ‘interpretation’ via the UMB, which is not good enough, because the UMB is not the Rules of Hockey and players are not likely to be aware of the wording of the UMB (which changes and is re-published about every six months by which time is has often being left behind by ‘practice’) and certainly not familiar with the parts that are ‘cascaded’ verbally to, in and between, umpiring organisations.

The CHN player, caught out in the incident below, would have had no idea what instructions the match umpires had received from the Umpire Manager in that Tournament regarding the 5m requirement and the self-pass – she would (or should) have been aware of the Rules of Hockey and she would have known that she had reasonably complied with what was given in those Rules.

Link to pdf:– Self-pass 2010 Interpretation. Stills the pdf can be used to scale the text and pictures up for easier reading. Click on the link text NOT on the thumbnail picture. Self-pass 2010 Interpretation Stills And now for something completely different. CHN v ENG.

There doesn’t appear to be any requirement in the above match that an opponent move away to get 5m from the place of an offence or stay away that distance until the free-ball is taken. The message is clear enough: the Rule is what the umpires decide it is, but that does not help tactical preparation of a team or facilitate a knowledge of the Rules. I am not sure if the above match was played before or after the one shown in the previous video. One question that arises from the above play is: Is it necessary to require retreat to 5m? There has been no experiment with any other distance. 


  A clip from a European Hockey League match. .

Link to pdf:-Self-pass & Influencing Stills 2 Influencing Combination 2 Link to pdf:-Self-pass & Influencing Stills Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture.   Influencing Combination

Link to pdf:-       Self-pass 2010 – ‘ Influencing’ Stills Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. Self-pass  2010  'Influencing' Stills


Moving onto post-2011 Elephants in the Room


Self-pass 27 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

27  Self pass Interp It is extraordinary that the safe execution of the scoop pass was commented on and that a stick tackle by the Pakistan player was seen to be the reason for the award of a free-ball to India, but the obstruction of the PAK player, both stick and body, carried out by the Indian player were completely overlooked. A case of willful blindness? The actions may have been missed by the match umpires but they are ‘crystal clear’ from the camera view of the video – and the Interpretation given above is derived from that viewpoint. 

Link to pdf:–       Self pass 27. Prior Obstruction Stills Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 27  Self pass - Prior Obstruction Link to pdf:–       Self pass. 27 Combination Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 27  Self pass. Combination Stills Self-pass 9 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

Link to pdf:–            Self pass 9 Stills  Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 9 Self pass Stills Combination It is also noticeable, comparing the video above and the previous one, how different decisions are on the different sides of the circle. It is obvious that additional officials, as previously suggested, would help to resolve inconsistency caused by remoteness of the Umpires from the action, particularly in the left-side corners of the pitch. I have always though it daft that umpires are advised to position near the base-line and the right-flank goal-post, (so that they can see if the ball crosses the goal-line?) that job could be done by a line official and is probably unnecessary where video replay is available – but I digress. 

 It’s not difficult to find opposite approaches and interpretations among these videos being declared as correct (and by some even as “definitive”). 

Self-pass 14 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

14  Self pass Interp Link to pdf             Self pass 14 Stills             Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 14  Self pass Combination 14  Self pass - As I see it Self-pass 22  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

22  Self pass Interp Link to pdf:    Self pass 22 Stills  Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 22  Self pass Combination Self-pass 23 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

23  Self pass Interp There an astonishing amount of the action missing or ‘glossed over’ in the above ‘Interpretation’   – but no more than usual.

Link to pdf: Self pass 23 StillsClick on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 23  Self pass Combination Below is an example of the kind of umpiring question the present ‘interpretation’ of the conduct of the Self-pass still raised,five years after its introduction, and a reply that was given:-

Question . I had a debate yesterday with an umpire of similar experience (up to UK regional Div2) and we had a difference of opinion on this one. If a player is within 5m of a free hit, and is not attempting to play the ball or influencing play (just retreating let’s say), when are they allowed to make a legitimate attempt to play the ball or influence play. One opinion said when the ball has travelled 5m. The second opinion said not until the defending player had given 5m at some point…so running close to (but not influencing play) for 5m, 10m, 20m…they would still not be allowed to make a challenge legitimately.

Reply. When the ball has travelled 5m. The other interpretation existed when the rule first came in but was changed some time ago.

Really? Who by? (At one time shortly after the the Self-pass was adopted into FIH Rules there was yet another ‘interpretation’ (invention), which related to the direction in which a retreating defender was permitted to retreat in front of the ball. Thankfully that nonsense, like the other mentioned above, soon disappeared from ‘practice’ – neither were anywhere set out in writing i.e. were not in the published Rules of Hockey – so ‘un-knowable’ to players and coaches – but apparently agreed between umpires or imposed by Umpire Managers )


The NZ player retreats; the ESP player charges at the NZ player and intentionally plays the ball into the feet of the retreating player (such forcing was an illegal action at the time – 2010).  Free ball awarded to ESP – apparently because of the direction in which the NZL player was retreating ???

Self-pass 1 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis  I Self pass - Interp Self-pass 25 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis  A comparison with the play and decision made in Self-pass No.1.

Link to pdf :-Self pass Comparison No.1 with No 25  Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. Self pass Comparison No.1 with No 25 Unless it is to avert an obviously dangerous situation developing, for example player congregating beneath a falling ball, I don’t like to hear umpires giving players advice on how to play when the ball is ‘live’. It is very difficult to distinguish between this sort of advice and coaching, which of course umpires are forbidden to engage in. When the ball is ‘dead’ is another matter. Advising a player to ‘give 5m’ or take the ball back beyond the hash line when an offence has occurred within it for which they have been awarded a free-ball, is I think reasonable. In fact I believe the introduction of a second whistle, when a free-ball is awarded, to signal resumption of play when the ball is stationary and in the correct place, would improve the management of the game without the need for such advice to be given verbally.

Self-pass 2 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

Link to pdf:Self pass 2 Stills 

Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 2 Self pass - Stills Combined


Self-pass 3 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

3 Self pass Interp - Should be about obstruction 3 Self pass - My view The rapidly taken self-pass has become a means of ‘manufacturing’ a penalty-corner; a free ball is often taken as quickly as possible with a self-pass, with no other aim in mind but to ‘win’ the penalty. This is very noticeable when corners are taken or when there is a side-line ball awarded in the opponent’s 23m area within 15m of the base-line: a place where shielding the ball against the side-line (as in the above video) has also become a common practice of attackers (because the offence of ball shielding, to prevent an opponent attempting a tackle, is being ignored) .

Self-pass 4 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis  

4 Self pass Interp - incredible The comment about the moving ball is very strange ‘interpretation’. It is a Rule condition of the ‘Free Hit’ that the ball be stationary. Umpires sometimes ‘bend’ this Rule if there is clearly an attempt made to make the ball stationary (something that has ‘wandered in’ from indoor hockey) but ignoring the requirement, because complying with it might disadvantage the taker, is not an option. There is a coaching video (Self-pass 8 below) showing the opposite – and Rule compliant – approach, which might seem very ‘picky’, but if players get into the habit of making the ball stationary (which can be done in an instant) the problem doesn’t arise.

 Link to pdf:–            Self pass 4 Stills             Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 4 Self pass Combination An alternative, and Rule compliant view, of failure to stop the ball before taking a ‘Free hit’

Self-pass 8 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis  

8 Self pass Interp 8 Self pass snap 1 with writing . . Self-pass 18 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis   .

18  Self pass Interp 18  Self pass snap 1 .


An approach similar to that seen in Self-pass 4  

The umpire fails to control the taking of a Self-pass. If all restrictions on the actions of the side taking a free-ball are removed then, for fairness, nearly all restrictions imposed on the defending side must be removed – but such ‘seamlessness’ between penalty and continuation, although desirable, is unworkable in practice. (In an ‘ideal world’ there would be no offences committed – contests would be displays of pure skill.)

Some umpires seem reluctant to award a free-ball for an offence and then always insist that the side awarded the penalty also comply with Rule requirements concerning placement and the moving ball. They seem to be concerned about appearing pedantic and/or removing any advantage the awarding of the free-ball may have given the team offended against – overlooking the fact that a free-ball is usually awarded because an advantage, possession of the ball, has been lost or compromised. and the award of a free-ball may not otherwise have been necessary.  The result of this reluctance, that is not enforcing penalty procedure, not only often penalises the team the free-ball has been awarded against twice or even three times over – which is unfair (especially when, as is often the case, the ‘offences’ have been intentionally forced) – it is also a cause of umpires getting rushed and being unable to keep up with the play they themselves have been a party to creating.

It is not possible to award a free-ball and at the same time allow ‘advantage’ to be played:  if an advantage could have been played a free-ball should not have been awarded.

Others go to the other extreme, reversing a free-ball because it was taken (quickly) in the wrong place, when a re-set would probably be the fairer option.

Self-pass 5 FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis The Interpretation provided with Self pass 5 is also wildly inaccurate – the ENG player closes down on the side-line ball from considerably beyond 5m – after the ball has gone out of play. But the Interpretation provided ‘bends’ the facts and supports what the umpires awarded. It is not often that a defender – who in this case has done exactly what she is forbidden by Rule to do – is so fortunate, quite the contrary.

Self pass 5 Interpretation Link to pdf.          Self-pass 5 Combination             Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. Self-pass 5 Combination The match umpires can perhaps be forgiven for not at the time noticing the position of the ENG defender and the fact that she closed on the ball from beyond 5m of it after it has gone out of play and a side-line ball to GER had been awarded – but it is incredible and unacceptable that someone writing an interpretation of the action seen in a video intended to be used for umpire coaching purposes, has missed such an obvious breach.  

Rule 9.11 in relation to the accidental ball-foot contact was also misapplied by one of the match umpires (an unintentional ball-foot contact was not in any circumstances an offence at the time this match was played) and that misapplication not pointed out (disapproved of as it should have been) in the ‘interpretation’ provided with the video.

Self-pass 6.  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis


6 Self pass - Interp 6 Self pass - As i see it Self-pass 7.  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

7 Self pass Interp Link to pdf:–                   Self pass 7 Stills                    Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 7 Self pass Stills Combination


There can be no disputing that if an opponent intentionally remains within 5m of the ball i.e. does  not immediately retreat from the ball when a free-ball is awarded and does not genuinely attempt to put 5m distance between the ball and themselves, then that opponent may be subject to further penalty – a card – but to be an illicit action I believe that such interference must occur before the taking of the Free or as it is being taken, to influence or prevent the taking; not after the free ball has been taken i.e. the ball has been (and is being) moved, because then the taking of the free-ball has not been delayed.

The critical point is:- When has a free-ball been ‘taken’ by the taker? Demanding 5m of ball movement when  a properly retreating opponent is ‘caught’ within 5m (and that is often made unavoidable) has in effect, even if not in fact, ‘blurred’ the matter of “taken”.

A retreating opponent, who has retreated at once and at reasonable speed (a speed commensurate with a need to maintain self-defence – the player may be running backwards so that the stick can be positioned for protection) has done no wrong, even if not 5m from the ball when the taker decides to play the ball. Such a player, providing the retreat is as rapid as is reasonable possible, has done nothing to unfairly influence or delay the taking of the free-ball   – and that, retreat to attempt to get 5m from the ball and not  interfere until the free-ball is taken, is all the Rule actually requires of the players defending a free-ball.

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From the opposite perspective to that of defenders failing to retreat far enough and in a timely way. There are unfair situations that occur because a defender has been given no opportunity to retreat before a self-pass is taken. If the taker of the free-ball decides not to wait until all properly retreating opponents are (or any retreating opponent is) 5m from the ball, but to  take advantage of the time and space and opportunity immediately available to progress an attack, than the taker has played an advantage (one possibly not available had the taker waited until opponents were the required distance from the ball). That is the choice of the taker. Having made the choice not to wait for defenders to retreat 5m, the taker should not, in fairness, also demand (the umpire demand on the taker’s behalf) that 5m of free movement with  the ball be granted. 

Once the advantage of such an immediate ‘take’ has been played, the umpire should not, I believe, then insist (be advised within the UMB) that the original 5m requirement of the free-ball be maintained while the ball is moved, unchallenged, a distance of 5m. To repeat:- the Rule explanation of application states only that the taking of the free-ball sic (Free Hit) need not be delayed if opponents are still within 5m. – not that it cannot be considered taken until the ball has been moved 5m, by any player who was within 5m of the ball at the time it was played (but can be considered ‘taken’ by opposing players who were beyond 5m of the ball at the time).

This ‘advantage played’ view ‘hangs’ of course on the immediate retreat with all due speed of the players of the penalised team. Defenders who make no attempt to retreat as required (or are tardy in movement) cannot be allowed to interfere with the playing of the ball by the taker. In fact such tardy defenders should be further penalised either during the self-pass or at the first ‘dead ball’ opportunity, whichever is of more advantage to the team awarded the free-ball.

Self-pass 15.  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

Link to pdf.               Self pass 15 Stills              Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 15  Self pass - Combination 15  Self pass Interp - is  ball not moved 5m 15  Self pass - As I see it - 2 15  Self pass - As I see it - 3


Self-pass 16.  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

16  Self pass Interp Link to PDF:-             Self pass 16 Stills             Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 16  Self pass - Stills Combination


Self-pass 17.  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

17  Self pass Interp Link to PDF:–            Self pass 17 Stills              Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 17 Self pass - Stills


Self-pass 24  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

24  Self pass Interp  2nd whistle Link to PDF:-           Self pass 24 Stills              Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 24 Self pass - Stills


Self-pass 21  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis .

21  Self pass Interp Link to PDF:-           Self pass 21 Stills                     Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 21  Self pass Stills Self-pass 20  FIH Umpiring Committee umpire coaching video – Analysis

20  Self pass Interp Link to PDF:-           Self pass 20 Stills                   Click on the link text not the thumbnail picture. 20  Self pass Stills


Umpires are presently being advised that to award a free-ball when there is an offence by the defending team inside the 23m area and especially when it occurs close to the circle, may be a greater advantage to the attacking team than allowing play to continue, because of the availability of the self-pass option. This advice, however, overlooks that in open play – and also when an advantage is allowed following an Offence – the ball may be played directly into the circle at any time: the so called ‘Free Hit’ is very restricted by comparison – it’s not at all ‘free’.

  The result of withdrawing the ban on direct playing of a free-ball into the circle should be to persuade the taker to take a more considered approach – instead of immediately charging towards retreating opponents as rapidly as possible -(in the hope of ‘winning’ a penalty corner) when the free-ball is awarded in the opponent’s 23m area , there should then be the (restored) option of a direct pass into the circle to consider, as well as the possibility of the direct-lift of the free ball and the self-pass. The ban on a direct pass into the circle (which is said to have been put in place for safety reasons) could reasonably and more sensibly be replaced with a ban on any raising of the ball with a hit into the circle in any phase of play – and also prohibiting of the raising of a free-ball (to above knee height) into the opponent’s circle with any other stroke.

That would in turn allow the amendment of the Rule concerning intentional raising of a ball with a hit (Rule 9.9), which could drop the word ‘intentionally’ and the raised ball (using any stroke), with suitable criterion added, could become part of Rule 9.8. Dangerous play. The present Rule 9.8 and Rule 9.9 are a mishmash which requires sorting out. There is no good reason to forbid the raising of the ball in the outfield or in a player’s own circle as long as other players are not endangered and there is a height limit imposed to prevent the near pitch length hits which were ‘in vogue’ for a few years prior to 1988. The same height limit (shoulder height?) could also prevent the present ‘accidental’ clearances using an edge hit, which are quite clearly deliberately made despite the existence of a Rule banning any intentional raising of the ball with a hit unless shooting at the opponent’s goal (How strange it is that players are only permitted to intentionally raise the ball with a hit in the place it is most likely to be dangerous to their opponents).  

Although when I suggested the self-pass, back in 2000, I did not anticipate the introduction of a Rule prohibiting a direct pass into the circle from a free-ball awarded in the opponent’s 23m area (or obviously, the ‘inventions’ that would spin-off from that). I did anticipate that a player awarded a free-ball might be so keen to take advantage of a self-pass opportunity immediately, that the ball would often be some distance from the correct place and/or not stationary when a self-pass was taken, and for that reason I also suggested a second whistle when a free-ball was awarded.

(There have since been some quite extraordinary incidents in which umpires have penalised defenders with a penalty corner – for not retreating 5m – for example when:- a) the  self-pass has been taken 10m or more in advance of the place of the offence for which it was awarded, and/or  b) there was not even an attempt to make the ball stationary before a self-pass was ‘taken’ and the ball was ‘run into’ retreating defenders – sometimes two or three times in succession with the aim of ‘winning’ a penalty corner. The umpires being either unable or unwilling to take control of the taking of the penalty – and when necessary order a retake or reverse it

In incidents where an offence has been committed against a player in possession of the ball and that player is able to play on immediately, it will usually be the case that umpire intervention was unnecessary anyway; in such circumstances advantage can generally be allowed and the offence dealt with later, if considered appropriate,with a card. When an advantage is played, instead of a free-ball being awarded following an offence by opponents, there is  no requirement that opponents retreat from the ball or allow the side in possession to move it 5m without challenge, play just continues. The same should happen if, as defenders are properly retreating, a free-ball is quickly taken as a self-pass to obtain an advantage from the quick take – normal play should resume immediately – that is fair, the choice to take the free quickly, that is before opponents have been given opportunity to retreat the required 5m, is with the side awarded it: they are not allowing their opponents to comply with a Rule requirement, why should their opponents be penalised for that?


Players look at the umpire, the ball is in the correct place and stationary;  the offending player retreats quickly and the other plays a self-pass before the opponent is 5m away; “advantage played,  play on”, normal play resumes, everybody is happy: with the addition of a second whistle, why should this be a problem?


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Using ‘accepted’ Rule invention to manufacture a penalty corner . Related articles. Raised Hit suggestion.                      http://wp.me/pKOEk-1zh.                          Dangerously Played Ball suggestion.  http://wp.me/pKOEk-1yV