Extraordinary

https://martinzigzag.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/questions-from-a-new-umpire.pdf

The above link to the above extraordinary Internet hockey forum thread from 2014 appeared on my Word Press stats page on Friday 18th October 2019. It is headed with the following statement (coloured text), which appears to come from ritualhockey .com

Initial post 28th April 2014 leading to an extraordinary statement from Gingerbread on the 30th. Extraordinary because it is true — there is no generally observed Rule about a dangerously played ball.

“The problem is you can never have a ‘’catch-all’’ guide to “danger / no danger on the line” when there is nothing to support it in any written rule, interpretation or edict – you have to look at practice and advice from your peers and player expectation or your local organisation”

What is even more extraordinary is that not only is this situation accepted it appears to have been deliberately set up, despite the clearly stated rules, principles and aims published by the FIH Executive Board, with regard to the Rules of Hockey and to player safety.

The opening post on the topic thread from a contributor with the tag Pharoah was as follows:-

Higuys

I’ve decided to get my Level 1 Badge here in Qld so I can get a bit more confidence in umpiring. I have a few questions which I was hoping the more experienced umpires on this forum could answer – I have read the rules but wanted to ask anyway so please ‘be gentle’.

Questions/clarifications:

1. within the 23m line, balls cannot be hit directly into the circle unless they go Sm. However free hits outside the 23m line (ie. even just 20cm past the 23m line) can be hit directly into the circle right? (I see this happen all the time where attackers are hesitant to shoot directly into the circle from just past the 23m line)

2. You CAN raise the ball into the D, as long as its not dangerous right?

3. A shot at goal (hit) that is rising and ends up in the top right/left comer of the goal should be disallowed right? This is diff to a raised/flicked ball.

4. Hockey sometimes moves at terrific speed, esp within the D – what do you do if (heaven forbid) you are unsighted and there is a foul which stops the game?

5. An attacker has had a shot on goal and the goalie has dived on the ball to stop it…is obviously trying to get up but the ball is being pushed below him by everyone fighting for the ball — PC right? He is unintentionally obstructing the ball plus to avoid injury I think.

Thanks all – if I have any more niggling questions, I’ll post them here for advice, etc.

Two of Pharoah’s statements surprised me. The first was that he has read the Rules, because the first four of his five questions can be answered by obtaining a common sense understanding of the published FIH Rules of Hockey by reading them, and the second, that he was apparently umpiring competitive matches without having previously obtained his Level One Badge. That is a safety issue.

But before looking in more detail at Pharoah’s questions, a look at what Gingerbread wrote:-

“The problem is you can never have a ‘’catch-all’’ guide to “danger / no danger on the line” when there is nothing to support it in any written rule, interpretation or edict – you have to look at practice and advice from your peers and player expectation or your local organisation”

Is this true? “you can never have a ‘’catch-all’’ guide to “danger / no danger on the line” That is not entirely true because the Royal Dutch Hockey Federation have issued an edict via letter to umpires in the Netherlands instructing them that legitimate evasive action does not apply to defenders on the goal-line during a penalty corner.

Koninklijke Nederlandse Hockey Bond

https://www.knhb.nl/

AGREEMENTS CLUB SAFETY ARRANGEMENTS (FIELD) SEASON 2018 - 2019 

AFSPRAKEN CLUBSCHEIDSRECHTERS (VELD) SEIZOEN 2018 – 2019

Wees Alert!

– Ook een schot op doel kan gevaarlijk zijn. Het schot op doel is gevaarlijk wanneer spelers een terecht ontwijkende beweging maken (dit geldt niet voor de lijnstopper bij een strafcorner-situatie);

Obviously inaccurately translated by Google Translate below, but the message is clear enough for comprehension.

— A shot on target can also be dangerous-

The shot on target is dangerous when players make a rightly evasive move
(this does not apply to the line stopper in a penalty corner situation).

Naturally this instruction has ‘evolved’ or has been ‘developed’ and is often also applied in open play, and there is now a situation where the bizarre and utterly wrong “An on target shot at goal cannot be considered to be dangerous play” which was invented during the 2008 Beijing Olympics (but has never been an FIH approved Rule), seems to have again become the norm in Dutch hockey (and elsewhere too).
I wrote to the FIH about this edict in May 2019 and was informed that the KNHB did not have the approval of the FIH and Executive or of the FIH Hockey Rules Committee to issue it and that they, the FIH, would look into the matter. The FIH should reprimand the KNHB and instruct them to withdraw this evasive action edict, which is of course illegal, but as far as I can see from watching Dutch League Hockey, the FIH have not done so. The KNHB web-site is naturally written in Dutch, which I cannot read, so it is difficult for me to check if the edict has been withdrawn. Maybe a Dutch reader, perhaps an umpire, can help me out?

The machinations of the KNHB aside, what is the Rule situation regarding a dangerously played ball, particularly in regard to a shot at the goal?
There are in fact two Rule ‘catch-alls’ to guide ‘dangerous’ decisions. one can be found in the Explanation of Application given with Rule 9.9. the Rule concerning the intentionally raised hit.

Players are permitted to raise the ball with a flick or scoop provided it is not dangerous. A flick or scoop towards an opponent within 5 metres is considered dangerous.

That’s a severe Rule, it prohibits all raising of the ball towards an opponent within 5m with a flick or scoop, there is no mention of height or velocity. The Rule does not mention raised hits (and is therefore badly written) but as the clause is contained in the Explanation of Application of the Rule concerning an intentionally raised hit, it seems common sense to include in the prohibition hits which raise the ball towards opponents who are within 5m. Not to do so would be absurd.

The second guide is ‘legitimate evasive action’. A ball played in a way that causes an opponent to take legitimate evasive action is dangerous. There is no distance limitation on legitimate evasive action, but it requires a subjective judgement from an umpire. Was the evasion legitimate? So it is necessary to ask “What does ‘legitimate’ mean?” Trying to avoid being hit with the ball can never be considered to be an illegal action so we can dispense with legitimate meaning legal (as it does in other Rules such as the Obstruction Rule). The next most obvious choice of meaning is ‘genuine’ i.e. not false or acted. So a genuine fear that he will be injured if hit with the ball indicates legitimate evasive action in any particular incident of a ball raised towards an player by an opponent. How does an umpire gauge the genuine fear of injury in a player when the ball is raised at that player? Well, in the absence of other objective criteria, height and ball velocity might give an umpire a clue. Do umpires make these judgements? Generally no. They usually follow quite bizarre umpiring practice and weird player expectation along the lines of “Asking for it” or “acceptance of risk” from defenders. Some see defensive positioning as evidence of an intent to use the body to stop the ball. The acceptance of risk argument has even been used by FIH Officials but is it obviously a nonsence. No player in any sport can be obliged to accept any risks created by the deliberate illegal (contrary to Rule) actions of opponents, acceptance of risk from a legal standpoint can only be applied to accidental actions. Propelling the ball with a flick at high velocity towards the head of a defender on the post during a penalty corner, especially in high level games where a high level of skill may be expected from the participants, cannot be assumed to be accidental, especially when it happens so often and so consistently.

There is, however, no guidance on height or velocity in rule 9.8 or 9.9 (???) but it has become common practice to ‘borrow’ “within 5m and at knee height or abovefrom the Rule concerning a first hit shot at the goal during a penalty corner, but this is often ignored in open play. Despite their being no distance limit on LEA the majority of umpires would not I think consider any raised ball dangerous to a player if it was raised at him from more than 5m, even if it was at his chest height or head height. Many umpires, as was demonstrated in Beijing and later, will not penalise an attacker who raises the ball high towards the goal if it hits a defender within 5m of their position. Some won’t penalise any ball raised towards an opponent in the opponent’s circle when they would probably do so if a similar ball was raised at an opponent outside his circle. ‘Interpretation’ is random and a mess based entirely on personal opinion i.e. how the umpires feels about it at the time or alternatively (and worse) what he or she has seen other umpires doing i.e. there is no judgement of the facts at all. This is laziness.

There are clearly insufficient safeguards in place for reasonable player safety and there is an urgent need for addition guidance about a ball propelled towards a player from significantly beyond 5m – up to 15m – arriving at the defending player above a particular height – say sternum or elbow height – in other words reasonable objective criteria.

At present defenders are being obliged to attempt to play at high shots raised directly at them because successful evasion simply leads to the award of a goal, and unsuccessful evasion, not only usually leads to injury but to the award of a penalty stroke. That is the opposite to the supposed emphasis on safety which the FIH espouses, and which all participants (including umpires) are obliged to comply with. It is also contrary to the consideration for the safety of other players which all players are required to demonstrate in appropriate circumstances (most participants consider this requirement to be something that need not be taken seriously, a joke from the FIH who are seen to be just ‘covering their backs’).

Let’s take a look at the questions Pharoah put to the forum.

1) A free ball awarded inside the opponents 23m area cannot be played directly into their circle. That is the (very silly) Rule. I would like to see it deleted along with the raft of 5m restrictions on the free ball (especially when taken as a self-pass) currently in place.

2. You CAN raise the ball into the D, as long as its not dangerous right?

No, that is incorrect. The ball may not be raised into the circle with a hit if the ball has been raised intentionally. None of those who addressed this question on the forum mentioned the appropriate Rule 9.9. An intentional ball raising hit action must be penalised if it is dangerous in itself or leads to dangerous play or if it disadvantages opponents. The advice in the UMB “forget lifted – think danger”, which is too simplistic and which contradicts the Rule, should be withdrawn.

Other than dangerous or leading to danger there is no restriction on raising the ball into the opponents circle with a flick or scoop. That needs to be revisited in view of the facility granted to players to play at the ball at above should height – which also needs reconsideration. I think that players should be prohibited from playing or playing at a ball at above shoulder height when in the opposition’s  circle.

3. A shot at goal (hit) that is rising and ends up in the top right/left comer of the goal should be disallowed right?

No, not unless it has endangered an opponent during its flight.

4. An FIH Technical Delegate and an FIH Umpire made a joke and a tongue in cheek (I hope) reply to this.
What do you do if (heaven forbid) you are unsighted and there is a foul which stops the game?

Another contributor answered correctly, that the umpires should consult, and if fault cannot be established, there must be a bully restart.

5. An attacker has had a shot on goal and the goalie has dived on the ball to stop it…is obviously trying to get up but the ball is being pushed below him by everyone fighting for the ball — PC right?

Not necessarily. If the goalkeeper has not obstructed an opponent before moving off the ball, the opponent/s trying to play it ‘through’ him while he is on the ground could be considered to be committing both a physical contact offence and an impeding offence. This was the only question of the five that received properly considered reply from any contributor to the forum.

The most extraordinary statement from Gingerbread was this, his second one:- ….when there is nothing to support it in any written rule, interpretation or edict – you have to look at practice and advice from your peers and player expectation or your local organisation”

“It” appears to be an opinion or a feeling by an umpire that an an action is dangerous, so where does that feeling come from if not from information gleaned from a reading of the Rules? I find it impossible to think of a dangerously played ball situation (other than the falling ball) where the ball has not been propelled directly at or into an opposing player and those situations are covered by the two ‘catch-alls’ mentioned above, imperfectly to be sure, but sufficiently for an umpire with common sense to take personal responsibility and make a Rule based decision. What we see far too often in hockey matches is umpires who base their decisions not on an understanding of what is given in the Rules of Hockey, but on common umpiring practice and advice from peers and player expectation or local umpiring organisations. Of the three only the local Umpiring Association is worthy of further consideration because their advice should come from experienced umpires and be based solely on the Rules of Hockey.

BUT I was once told by the secretary of a local umpiring association that he did not want me to umpire according to what was given in the rule-book (I was applying the ball-body contact Rule as it was written in the rule-book at the time) but to do what other umpires were doing. He had already ‘hung himself’ with his opening sentence, so I replied to him that I would have no problem doing what other umpires were doing as long as they applied the Rules as published by the FIH. That presented him with a ‘chicken and egg situation’ which he did not appreciate. But as far as I was concerned it was the other umpires who needed to change their ways. I could not care less if applying the Rules correctly conflicted with player expectation and players sulked because of that.

Am I out of order? The game the umpire advisor was talking to me about was a club 4th team match, and one side beat the other 12 – 0, so it was unlikely that my refusal to penalise accidental foot contacts that did not disadvantage opponents, influenced the result. I applied this approach evenhandedly.


The match shown below is one played during the 2016 Rio Olympics between Belgium and New Zealand. I would not suggest to any umpire that they follow the umpiring seen in it. Sadly it is very easy to find blunders of similar magnitude relating to nearly all the Rules of Conduct of Play during the Rio Olympics (I don’t recall a player throwing an object at another player or an umpire, or a back-sticks offence that was poorly umpired, but every other Rule was undermined with invention or neglect on several occasions in the matches during the Tournament)

.

This sort of decision making is the norm in ball-body contact incidents. The Rule has become a farce designed to produced goals by increasing the number of penalty corners awarded (often without any justification at all).

Player expectation is created by their coaches and prior umpiring decisions, and umpiring decisions (umpires say) are then influenced by player expectation, eventually it is team coaches and players who will be deciding (the latter by their behaviour) which of the Rules will be observed and which not: that cannot be accepted. There is an example of this sort of thing in a previous post (in which I make suggestion for an amended Ball-body contact Rule)

https://martinzigzag.com/2019/06/20/ball-body-contac…hould-be-amended/ ‎

where someone commented that not awarding a penalty corner following a ball contact forced onto the leg of a defender in the circle would infuriate the attackers – yes it might, but that’s just too bad, it’s the only way to change the expectations of players who do not know the Rules. Changing the habits of umpires is a much more difficult problem.

I have been attacked in the comments section below by someone who believes I was wrong to apply the Rules as they were published at the time and says that I ruined the enjoyment of the game for the players.

My view is that I had no right not to apply the Rules as published, so I didn’t. I advocate a rewrite of most of the Rules and the making of amendments to others, but I have never invented Rules while umpiring or applied those that no longer existed, sadly most umpires do both of these things.

12 Comments to “Extraordinary”

  1. Yeah, because strict adherence to your interpretation of the rules is much more important that people enjoying the game they are paying large sums in order to play.

    Even if your interpretations (and yes they are interpretations, everybody’s reading is simply an interpretation) are correct. Do you actually think that it is fair to ruin a game for players so that they can learn?

    Firstly, we are not talking about a situation where once they learn how to play the new way it will be more enjoyable for them, trials have been done with a reduced number of foot contact “fouls” blown and mostly it just lead to tacklers using their feet as an obstacle when tackling.

    Secondly, how on earth would these players “learn” when by your own admission, the next game they play will be umpired the alternate way and those players will need to adjust back.

    By steadfastly refusing to umpire the way the players and coaches want, you are not only deliberately putting your agenda ahead of people’s enjoyment of the game, you are in fact wasting the money that those people are paying to play the sport.

    • Quote “Even if your interpretations (and yes they are interpretations, everybody’s reading is simply an interpretation) are correct. Do you actually think that it is fair to ruin a game for players so that they can learn?”
      I did not suggest a new interpretation of the existing Rule but a new and different approach to the Rule – a rewritten Rule.

      Following your reasoning no change to the Rules could ever be made because that would spoil the enjoyment of players who preferred to play to a previous version of the Rule. We would still have off-side (with three defenders goalside of the ball), a sticks Rule, roll-ins from the side line with a 7 yard ‘tram-line, eleven back for a long corner, no height limit of a first shot made during a penalty corner with the ball having to be stopped dead within the circle, all top level matches played on grass pitches and so on. No new Rules, no self pass, no direct lift from a free, no playing the ball above shoulder height and so on.

      Why should not penalising forced contact and accidental contact by players not in possession of the ball lead to widespread deliberate use of the feet to stop the ball? You make an assertion without any evidence for it at all. I did not suggest not penalising intentional ball-body contact.

      The only trial of not penalising accidental or forced foot contact I am aware of was conducted during one short tournament and then abandoned. Other trials are announced in the rule-book well in advance, so players and umpires have time to become aware of the new conditions and practice them in training for a few months – and then the trail (called a Mandatory Experiment) lasts at least a year (the edge hitting trials lasted three years) – so not penalising a player who has had the ball forced into his or her feet has not been the subject of a Mandatory Experiment – a fair trial – at all.

      I really can’t see what enjoyment defenders get from having the ball played into their feet when they attempt to tackle for the ball in the circle – especially when they are then penalised with the award of a penalty corner. Is enjoyment of the game only for attackers? Often said “Avoiding being hit with the ball is a skill” So is eluding an opponent while in control of the ball, so is accurate, timely passing, and spectators would much prefer to see that than the ‘winning’ of a penalty corner by ‘finding a foot’.

      Did you look at the video of the umpire in Rio awarding penalty corners instead of 23m restarts. Are you happy with this standard of understanding of the wording of the Rule? The ‘automatic’ penalising of ball-body (foot) contact with any regard for the criteria for offence (not my interpretation – but what is clearly set out in the Explanation of Application of the Rule in plain English)

      • Good job missing the point of the post.
        You ruined that game of hockey for 22 people, to prove a point that wasn’t aimed at them.

        And regarding your overall point of rule changes, do you actually think that the first the FIH hears of any rule changes is when the rulebook is published? they have multiple trials at various tournaments in various forms and levels. They dont publish a list of all the trials that are conducted, because its not really a concern of anyone, but the first time a rule is used is rarely after the publication of a rulebook.

        Lanco Super series was not the only time that a reduced foot foul rule was trialled.

      • I didn’t ruin a game of hockey for anyone. Foot contact does not occur that often and forcing disappeared in the first few minutes of that game when it was realized by the teams I would not penalise a player hit in this way. This realization actually greatly improved the game as players in possession of the ball looked for passing opportunities knowing that if confronted by an opponent they did not have the easy (lazy) ‘finding of a foot’ to ‘win’ a free ball and retain possession.
        I applied the Rule properly as it was written at the time (intentional and voluntarily made contact were the criteria for offence) and I was not making a point or aiming at anyone, I was umpiring in the normal way and did not expect anything I did during that game to influence anything or anybody. Umpires are obliged to apply the Rules as they are presented to them by the FIH Rules Committee and as published in the rule-book. That the Chairman of the FIH Umpiring Committee disagreed with the change and did what he could to reverse the application of the change in practice was irrelevant, the Rule was still published without ‘gains benefit’ and it was not restored (as ‘gains an advantage’) to the rule-book until 2016, nine years after it was deleted – so the FIH Rules Committee were obviously unimpressed by his behaviour.

        I happened to disagree with the deletion of ‘gains benefit’ and wrote articles in this blog to explain why. It certainly needed amendment to get it applied properly (it was common for umpires to regard any contact made as the gaining a benefit for the team of the player hit with the ball (whether it was or not) and penalise it – that approach is still common), but it was an approach which made a nonsense of the criterion “if benefit is gained”. There were and are (now that we have ‘gained an advantage’) contact situations in which an unfair benefit is gained and they should be penalised. I mention one in the suggested Rule rewrite. I was however even more disenchanted with the open rebellion of the Chairman of the FIH Umpiring Committee and his obvious influence on the practice of umpires, who at his bidding, did not follow the Rule published by the FIH Rules Committee, who are the ONLY body authorized to make Rules or Rule amendments or produce Interpretation, the FIH Umpiring Committee does not have that authority. Unfortunately the FIH Rules Committee are not responsible for the making of umpire appointments or upgrading umpires or for the coaching of umpires

        I don’t know where you get your information about the conduct of trials and Mandatory Experiments, I suppose you invented it as it bears no relation to what actually occurs. Trials are the concern of all participants, the process is consultative.

        Can you name the Tournaments in which experiment with the ball body contact Rule was carried out or give the approximate dates? My previous observation that there has been no adequate trial holds good. I would not expect players to adjust to a reversal of previous common practice in only a week, even if they played several matches in that week.
        On the subject of player anger. I was for several years furious as a player to have to put up with umpires who had no clue about how to apply the Obstruction Rule. I retired from playing with that problems getting worse year on year. Now I can’t even enjoy watching much of the hockey played because I know what the Rule is and I can see it being flouted with impunity. I am astonished that you find the prospect of unpenalised ball-body contact so appalling, but make no comment about the current failure to apply the Obstruction Rule (or the Rules concerning the dangerously played ball).

  2. Im sure that you believe that you didn’t ruin the game for anybody, but you did. If I turned up to umpire one day and steadfastly refused to blow the whistle, the teams would adjust to it, but that does not mean I have improved the game.

    This discussion is not about whether the deleted of “gains benefit” is valid, or what it meant. You have made your opinions clear on that and nobody at this point takes notice.

    “My previous observation that there had been no adequate trial holds good.” Based on…? the fact that you don’t know at all what trials were had?

    It was trialled at the Brisbane Champions trophy in 1999, all reports that I have seen have said that it was a complete failure as defenders, knowing they didn’t have to stop the ball from hitting their feet, were able to essentially make their tackling radius wider, as the attackers couldn’t go near their feet.

    • In my opinion the game I umpire was improved because the players in possession of the ball looked for passing opportunities rather than opportunities to ‘win’ a free by forcing a ball-foot contact. As I was there and you were not my opinion on this point is relevant and yours is not.

      Central to this discussion is the way in which ‘gains benefit is applied, it is a criterion of the Rule which is presently very badly applied – see the Rio Penalty Corneres video. You may not want to take notice of this point but many others do.

      Allowing the ball to hit the feet is intentional use of the feet. It looks as if the briefing of the umpires at the Brisbane Tournament was poor, not that the idea or the trail was a failure for attackers, who apparently didn’t have the skill to evade defenders who had what you describe as a wide tackling radius (allowing forcing to occur without penalising the forcer, does not permit defenders to fully focus on the ball or adopt a balanced stance for a tackle attempt and unfairly disadvantages them). It seems this very short experiment was a success for the defenders, not a failure for all, attackers need to up their game if they are not allowed to cheat.All forcing actions should under “dealt with” (penalised as appropriate) under “other Rules”

      I get it that attackers find it useful to be able to ‘win’ a free ball very easily if they are confronted by a defender and don’t like it when that option is not available, but that does not mean allowing forcing is fair or improves the game in any way – in fact it means the opposite – but there we differ. That does not mean I am wrong or you are wrong, we just differ but, I can provide reason in Rule for my views and you can’t.

  3. “I get it that attackers find it useful to be able to ‘win’ a free ball very easily if they are confronted by a defender and don’t like it when that option is not available, but that does not mean allowing forcing is fair or improves the game in any way – in fact it means the opposite – but there we differ. That does not mean I am wrong or you are wrong, we just differ but, I can provide reason in Rule for my views and you can’t.”

    You mean in a rule that was deliberately deleted by the FIH multiple rulebooks ago?
    Or do you mean in the guidance that was produced around the deletion of the rule that also disappeared years ago?
    You cannot mean a rule in the current rulebook that says that playing the ball at a defenders feet is inherently illegal.

    Because those are not rules, so to say that you can provide reason in the rules would be incorrect. Where as I can say that the rules clearly are designed to make hockey a game that excludes ball-body contact in nearly all ways.

    • “Where as I can say that the rules clearly are designed to make hockey a game that excludes ball-body contact in nearly all ways”.

      Nearly all is not all (in fact your statement is untrue) The exceptions are both clear and important. Offence occurs ONLY if there is intentional use of the body to stop or deflect the ball by the player hit – something which seldom happens – or if the team of the player hit gain an advantage from the contact. The judgement of this latter criterion is currently a bad joke. umpires usually don’t bother to assess if an advantage was gained, simply penalising the contact. (Whether or not there was intention or an advantage was gained, is never part of the question in a video referral to ascertain if there was a ball-foot contact) This is a simple objective judgement (contact) compared with a possibly difficult subjective judgement (advantage), umpires will always prefer the easier task even if it is incorrect. Again see Rio Penalty Corners video for crass examples (and many more examples can be provided).

      The fact that the FIH have not included their reasons for deleting the Rule (but not the offence) in subsequent rule-books does not mean that the reasoning is no longer applicable. There is a great deal of Rule which is not presented in the rule-book (as well as a great deal of applied explanation that has been deleted for more than a decade). I have been trying to change that for some years now. For example a player who is behind the play, that is not his own goal-side of the ball, cannot be obstructed by the positioning of an opponent who is in possession of the ball. This is long established practice, but there is no mention of it (and never has been any) in the Obstruction Rule or even the UMB.
      The assertion I previously made is not incorrect.

      To what were you referring when you wrote “Or do you mean in the guidance that was produced around the deletion of the rule that also disappeared years ago?

      “You mean in a rule that was deliberately deleted by the FIH multiple rulebooks ago?
      Or do you mean in the guidance that was produced around the deletion of the rule that also disappeared years ago?”

      Were there two ball-body contact Rule deletions?”
      “You cannot mean a rule in the current rulebook that says that playing the ball at a defenders feet is inherently illegal.”
      No of course not, I have pointed out in my article how sloppy it was of the FIH Rules Committee not to include the initial guidance, as part of Rule 9.11, in subsequent rule books. The reason for the deletion remains the reason for the deletion.

  4. All of your first paragraph is a wonderful way to point out that there are exceptions, which is why I said “nearly.” but it does not even slightly resemble a reasoning within the rules, of why forcing is illegal.

    All your other paragraphs do the exact same thing. Nowhere in there are you able to establish, within the rules, why you believe that forcing is still illegal.

    All you can do is claim that the FIH was “sloppy” in deleting guidance multiple years ago that you claim they intended to still be in effect. You have no ability to show that the deletion of the guidance was not intentional, but have simply stated it as you believe to be.

    Please dont pretend that you can back things up with rules if you don’t intend to use rules to back them up.

    • You know the application of the ball-body contact Rule is a farce but sadly you defend that farce as enjoyable hockey and you are critical of efforts to get a fair and fairly applied Rule established.

      In other areas umpires are applying Rule Guidance that was deleted in 2004, for example the requirement for a tackler to go around to reach the ball when it is shielded from him – which is still trotted out by umpires as reason for not penalizing for Obstruction, but you will not allow clear instruction from the FIH Rules Committee in the Preface of the 2011 rule-book – that forcing should be penalised under other Rules – because they have not followed up on that instruction by making the necessary addition to Rule 9.11. Okay, you are right, the instruction is not in the current rule-book, but you are also very wrong.

      I have already pointed out to you that ‘gains benefit’ was not in any rule-book issued from 2007 to 2015 (it was restored to the rule-book as gains an advantage in 2016 but was applied from May 2015 on instruction from the FIH Executive in a Circular). You apparently have no issue with that eight year gap when ‘gains benefit’ was not in the rule-book, perhaps because it fits your perception of the ball body contact Rule, even if that fact contradicts the point you make in your last post.

      The intention of the FIH RC in 2011 was clear and the situation we now have should be remedied, not continue to be ignored. The forcing of ball body contact has always (for at least 150 years) been considered an offence and for good reason. It is still an offence and not penalizing it as a foul is, in my opinion, ruining the game.

  5. “You know the application of the ball-body contact Rule is a farce but sadly you defend that farce as enjoyable hockey and you are critical of efforts to get a fair and fairly applied Rule established.”

    No, I am critical of efforts that are coming from an umpire umpiring local fourths who thinks they will change anything. If changes are to be implemented, they need to start at an FIH level and get filtered down. If people choose not to filter it down then that is on them.

    “In other areas umpires are applying Rule Guidance that was deleted in 2004, for example the requirement for a tackler to go around to reach the ball when it is shielded from him – which is still trotted out by umpires as reason for not penalizing for Obstruction, but you will not allow clear instruction from the FIH Rules Committee in the Preface of the 2011 rule-book – that forcing should be penalised under other Rules – because they have not followed up on that instruction by making the necessary addition to Rule 9.11”

    Yet again, I am not talking about the implementation of other rules, or my opinion on them. I am talking about the rules as they stand.

    “I have already pointed out to you that ‘gains benefit’ was not in any rule-book issued from 2007 to 2015 (it was restored to the rule-book as gains an advantage in 2016 but was applied from May 2015 on instruction from the FIH Executive in a Circular). You apparently have no issue with that eight year gap when ‘gains benefit’ was not in the rule-book, perhaps because it fits your perception of the ball body contact Rule, even if that fact contradicts the point you make in your last post.”

    I do have an issue with that 8 year gap, but clearly different than your issue. I have provided you with multiple examples of times when trials were done with reduced rules and you have simply ignored all of them and decided that your way is better. Despite having no actual evidence to back it up, and evidence existing to the contrary.

    Also, for your information, the place where I was playing did try implementing the rule as per your interpretation at the start of our 2007 season. It lasted two weeks before a decision was made by all clubs and associations concerned to go back to the old way as basically nobody (not even defenders) were enjoying the new rule. Two weeks after that the same directive came down from the association above us informing us of the same thing.

    “The intention of the FIH RC in 2011 was clear and the situation we now have should be remedied, not continue to be ignored. The forcing of ball body contact has always (for at least 150 years) been considered an offence and for good reason. It is still an offence and not penalizing it as a foul is, in my opinion, ruining the game.”

    No it wasn’t. You assumed that the offence that you call forcing was the same one that the FIH was talking about. But all you are going on is what you want, you literally have no other evidence.

    • “I have provided you with multiple examples of times when trials were done with reduced rules and you have simply ignored all of them and decided that your way is better. Despite having no actual evidence to back it up, and evidence existing to the contrary.”

      “Multiple” as in two short tournaments but now you mention a two week trail as if that was of great significance when such a short period is of little use in changing long term habits, but also brush aside an eight year period when gains benefit was not in the rule-book but applied as if it was.
      It’s true I have no evidence, other than the current farce to point to in order to demonstrate that what I have suggested might be an improvement, because what I have suggested has not been trialed at all, but my suggestions could not be worse than the nonsense in this area that now passes as part of the sport of hockey.

      Your description of me as a fourth team umpire (who is trying to change the world) is not very flattering, in view of my wide high level experience in hockey, and my previous success in introducing Rule change, this however is not about me but about the game.

      “You assumed that the offence that you call forcing was the same one that the FIH was talking about.”
      I am writing about the Rule that was deleted in 2011. which Rule are you referring to?
      From the Rule Changes in the Preface of the 2011 rule-book.

      The Rule which used to say that “players must not force an opponent into offending unintentionally” is deleted because any action of this sort can be dealt with under other Rules

      Which clearly indicates that the offence was not deleted even if the stand alone Rule was. Deleting the Rule in these circumstances made no sense, but I have become accustomed to nonsense, particularly when comparing the Rules of Hockey with the UMB and with the practice of FIH Umpires.

      I have no other evidence of what? The stupidity of the above deletion was obvious within days of it happening. I have dozens of video examples of the unfairness of it – which you of course will not accept as valid evidence.

      It is obvious that the people who insisted, despite the deletion of ‘gains benefit’ by the FIH RC, on having the Rule applied as it had been in 2006, with all its flaws (not the least of which was umpires seeing all contacts as a gain of benefit, the major reason for the deletion – a deletion which should not have happened, just an amendment to ‘gains benefit’ was required) were the same people who initiated the deletion of forcing as an offence, when it should not have been deleted. It is a move in the same direction. The aim is also obvious, to increase ‘spectacle’ and ‘excitement’ by dramatically increasing the number of penalty corners awarded, thereby also increasing the number of goals scored: sod fair play and skillful hockey.

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