Archive for January, 2023

January 17, 2023

Making penalty corners less dangerous.

The above title is the title of an article published in on 17th January 2023.

From what I read of the little of the proposals revealed thus far I am not very hopeful. Nothing will be done before the Paris Olympics (so not until after they have concluded) and the proposals look like making the taking of a penalty corner slightly more complicated, which means complying with more Rules, which umpires will have to properly apply.

Nothing it seems is being done about second and subsequent shots made during a penalty corner, which are almost always made in crowded circumstances, just as first shots are. Of course – “but these must not be made in a dangerous way” will still apply exactly as it does now – which is not encouraging.

What I find the least satisfactory is that there is no mention of introducing objective criteria to define and control dangerous playing of the ball, and it seems that the ‘tennis serve style smash’ from well above shoulder height will continue to be permitted when shooting at the goal in any phase of play outside of the first hit shot at goal during a penalty corner. The drag-flick also remains untouched.

Another shot height circumvention is not addressed. The ball apparently propelled towards the goal or just wide of as a shot, which is in fact intended as a pass – a pass that will generally be deflected high at the goal from close range. In these circumstances the deflection is clearly the first shot – are such deflections to be height limited as they should be. I doubt it, introducing that clarification has probably not even been considered.

Empty promises? We shall see.