Archive for ‘Stick Tackle’

January 28, 2019

Anticipating play

I have posed some questions about the situation in the picture below supposing the person replying to be the match umpire, but there is no need to be a full time umpire to give an answer, all participants in hockey matches are obliged to be aware of the Rules and perform according to them – so every participant should be capable of forming an opinion and most people who can read and write English should be capable of expressing that opinion.

What has been the response so far? There hasn’t been any, no one has ventured an opinion and I wonder why. Is it fear of ridicule, of being thought wrong by me or someone else? That seems unlikely because people have been only too willing in the past to tell me I am wrong when I have expressed opinion about the Rules of Hockey and I have to admit I am not perfect, I have on occasion been wrong. Is it ignorance? Are there people playing hockey who actually do not know the Rules of the game? I have come across question in hockey forums where the questioner could have found the answer within a minute or so of looking through a rule-book; that is just attention seeking (socializing) or laziness. Is it disdain, an unwillingness to bother to engage in debate or offer any sort of opinion; disinterest in and boredom with this kind of inquiry, arrogance of a sort? That said I cannot pretend to be surprised at the lack of response. On the typical Internet Hockey Forum a few people make hundreds or even many thousands of contributions but a great many  forum members post one or two or even none at all and they generally do not bother to read topic threads from beginning to end, they just skim through the last post made or only look at the last post a certain favoured individual wrote, because they know that the views of that individual will very seldom clash with their own and thinking or a changeof opinon will not be required. The general attitude to the Rules of Hockey among many participants is one of thoughtlessness and apathy, this is often covered by the cry “We  don’t want any more change”

There is something very wrong in the playing situation shown in the picture below because if the Rules of Hockey were being applied properly it shows positioning that would NEVER occur in any match played by competent players who were conscious of observing the Rules or of keeping the risk of being penalised for an offence to a minimum – and at international level one must assume players are more than just competent but such positioning frequently occurs and this is done deliberately.


Field Hockey Rules.

Suppose yourself to be the umpire appointed to officiate. The player in possession of the ball is a defender. What do you anticipate might happen next? (Consider both a breach of Rule by a tackler and a breach of Rule by the defender in possession of the ball)

If what you anticipate may happen does happen, a) describe it and b) state how you would respond to it (how penalise it) in both cases.

Think about how you would consider the intentions of the players.

Two of the most relevant Rules in the above situation – the fairly clear and very strictly applied Rule 9.13 which is supposed to be a balance for the very poorly written Rule 9.12 which is hardly applied at all, are presented below.

(For reasons for failure to apply the Rules see other articles on the Obstruction Rule such as :- )

9.13 Players must not tackle unless in a position to play the ball without body contact.
Reckless play, such as sliding tackles and other overly physical challenges by field players, which take an opponent to ground and which have the potential to cause injury should attract appropriate match and personal penalties.

9.12 Players must not obstruct an opponent who is attempting to play the ball.
Players obstruct if they:
– back into an opponent
– physically interfere with the stick or body of an opponent
– shield the ball from a legitimate tackle with their stick or any part of their body.

A stationary player receiving the ball is permitted to face in any direction.

A player with the ball is permitted to move off with it in any direction except bodily into an opponent or into a position between the ball and an opponent who is within playing distance of the ball and attempting to play it.

A player who runs in front of or blocks an opponent to stop them legitimately playing or attempting to play the ball is obstructing (this is third party or shadow obstruction). This also applies if an attacker runs across or blocks defenders (including the goalkeeper) when a penalty corner is being taken.