Steve Horgan, USA Field Hockey Director of Umpiring in a recent article published on March 20 listed all the potential rule changes for the 2019 season. All USA Field Hockey sanctioned events will be under the new rules. The NCAA will review and as has been the case in previous years implement them for the fall season in April or May. I am told by several head coaches the new rules are usually adopted by the NCAA after acceptance by USA Field Hockey. However, I am also told it might be a close vote.
The changes are significant. Horgan emphasizes, ” that the changes were discussed and voted on in a proper manner for the betterment and successful future of field hockey.” ” Safety is paramount,” Horgan adds, ” and Field Hockey is increasingly under scrutiny to evolve with the times to ensure the rules allow for the game to be exciting, yet safe without losing the iconic aspects established over the years.”
The most important change is for Hockey to be played in the four quarter system, (15 minutes per quarter) stopping the clock when a penalty corner is called. The majority of Coaches who are in favor of the change note it will allow teams to play at their best for the entire match minimizing the loss of endurance. Those opposed say this will reduce the eventual participants in a game. The clock stoppage will assure that time is not lost when the penalty corner is being set up. Horgan notes it takes 30-45 seconds to set up the corner and is lost during a game. Undue time in setting the corner would be penalized. Time starts with a whistle not the insertion.
The second and more complicated change will be with the player with goalkeeping privileges or kicking back. The change is made with regard to safety. The concern is that the designated player has no protection. Teams will make a decision if they want to play with a player advantage. When a team plays with only field players no one on the team will have the ability to play like a goalkeeper even on a corner.
Also during free hits close to the circle, all players must be 5 meters from the attacker.
It is not a forgone conclusion that all these rules will be implemented for NCAA games but they enjoy the support of a majority of Coaches. Dissenters feel that moving away from the 35 minute half will limit playing opportunities, and point out the rules differences that exist between professional men’s basketball and the college game with regard to the quarter system professionally, and the 20 minute halves in the college game.
I’d be interested in what you think. You can place a comment below!!
In the meantime the Leopards return to Rappolt Field for a spring game with Monmouth on Friday March 29th at 6;30 pm. Good weather is promised!!