What is the criterion for a dangerously played ball?

“Rule 9.8 Players must not play the ball dangerously or in a way which leads to dangerous play.”

Explanation”

A ball is also considered dangerous when it causes legitimate evasive action by opponents.”


Despite the FIH Rules Committee having stated in the rule-book that the Rules of Hockey apply to all participants and officials at all levels (worldwide). The Royal Dutch Hockey Board have instructed umpires in the Netherlands that legitimate evasive action does not apply to defenders during a penalty corner, effectively meaning that any raised shot at goal from beyond 5m of a defender cannot be considered to be dangerous play, even if it is made directly at a defender who is forced to evasion.


Whether or not the KNHB would consider a player who has been hit on the head with the ball and seriously injured from such a raised shot, to have been endangered, is unknown. But no doubt if such a thing were to happen they would deny any responsibility for an injury resulting from their permitting/encouraging shooting of this sort, however they would probably need the services of immoral and capable lawyers.


The FIH RC and the FIH Executive who are well aware of the illegal instruction the KNHB have issued, and who have done nothing to ensure that it is withdrawn, would also be culpable for any injury that resulted from this negligence.


Given that the FIH are at present ¬£500,000 ‘in the red’ it would be wise of them to take action to ensure that a legal action against them claiming damages due to injury, is a remote rather than a strong possibility due to the very large number of penalty corners that are awarded every year.

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