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Hockey Australia to try new international format including 'tolerance' to foot contact
The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will be taking on international sides under an experimental set of rules in October.
The games will be nine-a-side with two 15-minute halves and two players having to remain in the attacking half during play. India, Pakistan, Malaysia and New Zealand will be among the opponents in the 'International Super Series' in Perth on October 20-23, which will co-incide with the 2011 CHOGM (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) .
More tolerance to foot contact outside the circle is promised (although we have heard that before - ed). Penalty strokes will be replaced by one-vs-ones with the keeper and penalty corners will be four attackers on three defensive players.
Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth said the new rules were sure to create an exciting spectacle for traditional hockey fans while also engaging new fans who like to see fast competition.
“Hockey is already obviously a very fast-paced sport with lots of excitement and intensity. These rules will increase the pace of the game and result in a more attacking style, which is obviously going to make for great viewing and undoubtedly help us gain a few new fans along the way,” said Charlesworth.
Hockeyroos captain Madonna Blyth said the players were looking forward to trialling the new format.
“It’s great to see Hockey Australia being proactive in trying to engage new fans and show them how great our sport is. The new rules will make the game much faster and I’m really looking forward playing in what will be an exciting tournament,” said Blyth.
New rules for the International Super Series include:
- Each match consists of two 15 minute halves (instead of 2x35 minute halves) with only 5 minutes break for halftime
- All teams have a maximum of 9 players on the field (instead of 11 players) with 2 players having to stay in the attacking half at all times
- The penalty situations have been simplified to make it more broadcast friendly and easier to understand for new viewers:
Penalty corner Four attackers vs two defenders plus goalkeeper
Penalty stroke 1-on-1 “face-off” between a player and the goalkeeper with the player starting at the 23 metre line and having a 1-on-1 challenge against the waiting goalkeeper
- To end a drawn match, use of a 'sudden death' system with 1-on-1 face-offs until one team fails to score
- More tolerance of foot and stick contact to reduce unnecessary stoppages in play. If the ball hits the foot outside the circle and it doesn’t influence play – ie non intentional use of foot it will be called play on. Normal foot rules apply as normal in the circle
- Players and coaches interaction to give fans an inner sanctum view of how the best teams in the world operate
- A goal inside the circle will be worth two goals. A goal outside the circle up to the halfline will be worth one goal. The ball must enter the circle no higher than knee/ backboard height from outside the circle for it to count as a goal