Silly Rule and confusing yellow card.

Correction edit added

The draconian enforcement of one of the silliest conventions in the Rule book. Excellent play by the defender penalised as if a crime. Fortunately it occurred in a match in which the Netherlands team were missing on most cylinders when in front of the goal, and they missed yet again from the penalty corner.- a good save by the ARG keeper.

I have noticed that of late umpires have been more inclined to award a penalty corner following a tackle from which a defender sends the ball – often apparently inadvertently – out of play over the base-line. In this same match this umpire’s colleague awarded a penalty corner following such a tackle. His characterization, to the player involved, of the tackle stroke used, as a long sweep at the ball, was wildly inaccurate. I wonder have Umpire Managers told umpires to be more strict about applying this very silly and unnecessary Rule.

Making defending as difficult as possible is becoming ridiculous. Defenders near their base-lines already have to contend with players shunting into them while shielding the ball and opponents trying to play the ball into their feet. They are likely when shunted into, to be penalised for a contact tackle and when the ball is forced into their feet, in both instances with a penalty corner.

The defender is more and more restricted while attackers seems to have no restrictions at all imposed. Even raising the ball into a defender is viewed as the defender’s fault – he shouldn’t be there. The most difficult and necessary part of the game is being made near impossible, that is not going to improve the skill levels of attackers or make the game more interesting for spectators.


I got this completely wrong, the card was not for the knock off the base-line but it would seem (I am not certain) for a much earlier contact tackle attempt near the half-way line by the ARG No.5. (see link below) But there was no advantage signal given and the umpire did not communicate clearly why he had stopped the game or quickly explain why he had issued the card. He actually told the ARG captain to “Go away” when asked by him why the penalty corner was awarded. Allowing the advantage was correct but other umpiring actions were done out of proper sequence and communication was very poor.

My comment concerning the justness of a penalty corner award for a defender (intentionally ?? ) playing the ball off the pitch during a tackle are remain as stated. In my view this non-offence should be dealt with by awarding a restart for the attackers on the 23m line.

9 Comments to “Silly Rule and confusing yellow card.”

  1. I don’t think that the Yellow Card was given for anything that happened in the video. The umpire appears to point towards a completely different player to the defender who made the last tackle. I think if you go back to the lead up play you might see an incident that was potentially YC worthy. I can’t do that as the video is not up on Youtube and in my country I would have to pay for access to the full game videos.

    • Correct there is nothing in the video to justify the award of a yellow card. But I now regret not showing more of the lead up play. You are confusing the umpire dealing with the player who put the ball off the pitch and his reaction to the Captain of the ARG team, who came to ask the umpire why a yellow card had been awarded to one of the team, and was told to go away. There was nothing in the play in the preceding thirty seconds or so to justify any penalty at all.

      • Ok, Yes I agree with you that IF the card was given for the ball off the backline, then it seems rather harsh.

        What I am trying to say to you is that the umpire clearly points to a player that is not number 17 (the player that played the ball off the backline) before showing the Yellow Card, he then gets into (quick) discussions with both 17 and 5 and points towards the area where the 25m meets the sideline, finally the commentator even comments that it is not Lopez but Ibarra that is walking towards the chair. The match overview confirms that it was Ibarra that got the yellow card.

        All of that indicates to me that the yellow card was given for an entirely different event than the ball off the backline. If you can post the previous 30 seconds or 1 minute of play then we may be able to find the incident that was being penalised.

      • If it was not for the knock off and a different player was carded then it seems likely that the card was issued for an inadvisable comment made by the carded player. I went with the view of the commentator that the card was issued because of the knock off (which would have been incredible), hopefully it was for something else. If it was for comment ten minutes seems excessive anyway, but no one knows what was said by who to who, except for the obvious “Go away” from the umpire to the team captain (which was out of order). What makes me doubt the comment theory is that the ‘stop time’ signal was given by the umpire immediately the ball was played out over the base-line, time is not normally stopped before a penalty corner is awarded. There is nothing in prior play that could come anywhere near the award of a yellow card, but then I don’t see anything in the play in the clip to justify such penalty, the umpire apparently did.

  2. Might I suggest that you review the play immediately prior to your clip and check out the tackle made by the ARG No. 8 on a NED player midway between the half way and 23m line, which takes the NED player to ground, and then the yellow card might make rather more sense to you. The PC is for deliberately playing the ball over the back line and the yellow card for the tackle by the ARG No. 8, who is also their captain. You might then need a review of your text deriding the umpire’s decision-making!

    • Okay, you are suggesting a very long advantage played but in that case the stop time signal as the ball went out of play does not make sense because the ball was obviously going out of play and there would have no need to stop the game to award a card

      But if you are referring to the NED player falling as he makes the last forward pass you are grasping at straws, he just went off balance as the stroke was made there was no opposition influence that caused that NED player to fall, no tackle, no contact.

      Going back before that and close to the half-line there is a contact tackle attempt from the ARG no.5, no signal from the umpire, and play continues the NED side not having been disadvantaged in any way. Was that what the ten minute yellow was for? Then why could the umpire not have explained that to the ARG captain instead of refusing to talk to him and then telling him to go away? The umpire did not not communicate what could otherwise have been a good decision.

      Was it the ARG No.5 who was sent off? If so this muddle of talking and pointing mixed up with a ball out of play penalty might begin to make sense.

  3. Sorry, my typo … the tackle midway between the half way and 23m line was made by the ARG No. 5 (and not No. 8), who is the captain. It would have been neater to first give the PC for the ball over the back-line, and then the YC (rather than the other way around).

  4. 1. The yellow card was a good call for a brutal tackle that took the player down
    2. The PC was also a good call since the defender intentionally swept the ball across the goal-line. That is the rule (17.4c)
    3. When the Arg captain spoke to the ump, the ump DID respond to him and appeared to explain, for about 8 seconds, why the Yellow was awarded but the Arg captain persisted. Only then was he asked to move away.
    Good umpiring

    • The yellow card was an appropriate response to the contact tackle, but the umpire gave no indication that he had seen that incident – no advantage signal was made, so the players had no idea that was why the yellow card was awarded following the playing of the ball out of play over the base line and they naturally assumed it was given for that action.

      The umpire made no attempt to explain his decision to the ARG Captain, he was simply and immediately told “Go away”.

      Very poor umpiring i.e. no useful communication at all.

      The award of a penalty corner for intentionally putting the ball out of play over the baseline (which is not an offence) is, in my opinion, silly and draconian. I think the appropriate restart to be a free ball to the attackers on the 23m line (the same as unintentionally putting the ball out of play in this way) . How we got from a bully 5yds from the circle to a penalty corner for this play is one of the mysteries of hockey.

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