Penalty-corner rule amended

May 17, 2004 16:40 IST

A changed interpretation of the execution of a penalty-corner will come into effect on June 1 for all international matches, the International Hockey Federation announced on Monday.

The change, designed to maintain the spirit of fair play, is being introduced in time for this year’s Athens Olympics.

The new interpretation will address the situation wherein a defender runs directly at a shot at goal from a penalty-corner with the clear intention of allowing himself to be hit by the ball. This could then either block the shot or, under the current rules and interpretations, could result in a free hit being awarded to the defending team.

The FIH believes this action is contrary to the spirit of the game and considers it unacceptable that a player intentionally puts himself in danger of injury.

From June 1, umpires will penalise a defender who runs at a legitimate shot at goal during a penalty-corner with the clear intention of blocking the shot with his body. The defender will be cautioned and another penalty-corner will be awarded to the attacking team. If the practise continues, a penalty-stroke and/or suspension of the defending player will be considered by the umpires.

FIH honorary secretary-general Peter Cohen said: “The FIH continuously monitors the way the game is played, including its presentation to the world at large. The rules and their interpretation is monitored through the expertise of the Hockey Rules Board.

“Hockey is a sport well-known for its spirit of fair play and we want to ensure this continues. The Olympics is an excellent time to showcase the best in hockey to the world, which is why we are introducing this new interpretation in June.”