Archive for ‘Terminology’

January 5, 2019

WT…FIH

Rules of Hockey

Replacing an error and ambiguity with a fudge.

I must confess to having looked at Terminology many times in the past years and missing that the description of a Push contained within it did not correctly describe a Push. What was wrong?

Terminology 2017

Push
Moving the ball along the ground using a pushing movement
of the stick after the stick has been placed close to the ball.
When a push is made, both the ball and the head of the
stick are in contact with the ground.

That is an easy question with an obvious answer when the fact that there is an error is pointed out. A push is not made by placing the stick-head close to the ball and then sweeping it through the ball, that is a hit.

The wording ‘close to’ is ambiguous and that is a problem. Is ‘close to’ 5mm or 30cms or more. Other use of “close to” in the Rules is described as being “within playing distance”. The problem is even more obvious when the description of a flick is considered. 

Flick
Pushing the ball so that it is raised off the ground.

I will not know how long the error has been there until I do some research but it may have been many years. I do know that there has been error in the description of the ‘permitted deviation’ to the edges of hockey a stick since 2004. I know that because a former Hon. Sec. of the HRB the late George Croft, asked me to write the original specification, because he was unable to do so and, of course, I noticed that it changed after 2003. I have asked the FIH why it was changed several times and have yet to receive an answer to that question. It is likely that no one has a reasonable answer to it.

P.S.  It seems that a Definitions or Terminology page was first added to the rule-book in 1987 – effective Sept 1986 – and the “close to” wording has been used since then, but the reference to a moving ball it originally contained was dropped by 1990.

I suppose an ‘eagle eye’ somewhere pointed out that there was a problem with the use of “close to”, so a conservative within the FIH addressed the matter, but did not really understand the issue. The result is the fudge below.

Terminology 2019

Push
Moving the ball along the ground using a pushing movement of the stick after the stick has been placed in contact or close to the ball. When a push is made, both the ball and the head of the stick are in contact with the ground.

Both the ball and the head of the stick may be in contact with the ground when either a slap-hit or an edge-hit are made, but this is not a defining feature of a push.The head of the stick being in contact with ball before the stroke is executed (and during the first part of the stroke) is defining. As it happens this error is not too critical, an incorrect definition may have existed in the rule-books for some years without the sky falling down, but the ‘solution’ now offered is symptomatic of a general malaise in the accuracy of the wording of Rules and the Explanations that go with them.

“Slap” hitting the ball, which involves a long pushing or sweeping movement with the stick before making contact with the ball, is regarded as a hit.

That does not help much.The word “long” is as vague as “close” is (although the context helps) and any sweeping motion (or punt motion) of the stick-head towards the ball before contact is made with the ball must, I think, be regarded as a hit.

I note in passing that the FIH RC continue to ignore the existence of the drag-flick. It is not listed in Terminology (it gets one mention in the Rules of Hockey:- a penalty stroke cannot be taken using a drag-flick) Nor, I suggest, can a penalty stroke be taken by placing the head of the stick on the ground close to the ball and then sweeping it through the ball. The ‘close to’ wording needs to be deleted to provide correct terminology, a simple task (that will not be carried out).

 

Tags: ,