Posts tagged ‘Free-ball’

September 18, 2019

Did you get that.

Rules of Hockey.

Attackers Free Hit in the 23m area.

Not one of my videos. This well presented coaching is an indication of the state of the game when no though is given to the consequences of Rule changes.

https://youtu.be/nm08bW8XkR0

There is no Rule requirement that when a free ball is taken just outside the hash circle all defenders must move clear of the direct run path to the circle of a player taking a self-pass. This appears to have been an ‘interpretation’ of influencing invented by umpires (probably originating from an umpire manager) so it had no authority whatsoever. I use the past tense because this ‘interpretation’ has not been applied as far as I can tell for at least two years, having been allowed to fade away into the mist from which it came.

The prohibition on playing the ball directly into the opponent’s circle from a free ball awarded in the opponent’s 23m area is one of the worst impositions by the FIH Rules Committee in many years (exceeded in ‘daft’ only by the contradictory, and now withdrawn, ‘own goal’ Rule, which encouraged attackers to blast the ball as hard as they could into the circles in open play – How’s that for consistency of approach to potentially dangerous play, especially when coupled with “forget lifted” in regard to the raised hit?).

The silly ‘spin offs’ from the misnamed Free Hit Rule, a number of different 5m restrictions imposed on attackers and defenders, are clogging and slowing the game in critical areas of the pitch – and making umpiring more difficult.

An early taken self-pass, one that is one taken before defenders, who ARE retreating, have been given opportunity to get 5m from the ball, should be treated as a advantage played (in any area of the pitch)and normal play should resume as soon a the ball has been moved by the taker. An early taken self-pass is reasonably viewed as an advantaged played, why else would a taker, given the choice, take a self pass early (taken when opponents have not fully complied with Rule) but to gain an advantage by doing so?

I would also like to see a second whistle sound used (the first to stop play and indicate penalty) the second whistle to be sounded the moment the ball is stationary and the umpire is satisfied with the positioning of it, to restart. (That should encourage the side awarded a free ball to comply as rapidly as possible with both of these free ball requirements – which they frequently don’t do at all.)

(Note Free Ball not Free Hit – because “a free hit can be raised with any stroke except a hit” is an obvious nonsense – somewhat similar to calling a 23m restart a long corner.)

There are a great many people who say that they are fed up with Rule changes and want no more, they now want a Rule change moratorium. I say “Sure let’s have that, just as soon as the mess of the game that has been made because of Rule changes going back to 1995 has been put right.” In other words “Up yours.”

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June 23, 2019

Free Hit Rules should be amended or deleted

Rules of Hockey

Much of the previous post was about penalties but I here want to explore the Conduct of Penalties. 1) The Fee Ball (presently misnamed the Free Hit). 2) The Penalty Corner (a strange name, but never mind) and 3) the Penalty Stroke.

The Shootout is not a penalty but it is a very structured procedure and I will find something to write about it.

The Free Hit back in the days when the term Free Hit (in men’s hockey) was not an obvious misnomer was a relatively short and simple Rule but in 2001 I started to push on Internet Hockey Forums for the introduction of two changes. The reintroduction of the Direct Lift (it had previously been allowed with a flick stroke in women’s hockey as long as the ball was kept below knee height) and the introduction of what I termed the Self Pass. (By that time men;s and women’s Rules had been amalgamated – The men’s Rules were kept and the women’s Rules where they differed, discarded. This was because it was felt that the men would be unable to adapt to any changes made to their Rules.).

Oddly, the easy to assimilate Direct Lift, a change which was an obvious to make safety measure, was not adopted until two years after the Self Pass was adopted. ‘The powers that be then’ proceeded to make a ‘dog’s dinner’ of the Self Pass.

The Self Pass was first introduced into the European Hockey League in 2007 and then adopted into Full FIH Rule in 2009. By which time it had been so hamstrung with addition Rules and five meter limits that it was not much like the improvement to the game I had envisaged. But as a completely new Rule suggested by an ‘outsider’ (who had been living in Cuba, Canada and the USA between 1994 and 2001 – mostly Cuba) this adoption was remarkably quick.

As comparison I can point to have spent ten years trying to get any sort of stick diagram included in the rule-book (first achieved in 2000 and it was awful – see graphic) and have since been trying, without success so far, to have a good clear stick diagram, that explains the permitted limits of dimensions, included in the rule-book: that’s twenty-nine years in total – but the sky has yet to fall.

The amendment to the Free Hit that introduced the Direct Lift is as follows:-

13.2.e  the ball may be raised immediately using a push, flick or scoop but must not be raised intentionally using a hit.

Which leads to “A Free Hit (the start used in all but one of the other Rule clauses, so the FIH RC are obviously aware of the anomaly, but choose to circumvent it rather than resolve it) may be intentionally raised immediately with any stroke except a hit.” which is an obvious nonsense, which is why I suggest the penalty in now misnamed.

(But hey ho, a restart to the attacking team on the 23m line is still called a corner and what Cris Maloney has described as the broken windmill signal is used to indicate the award of it – What’s wrong with a right arm pointing directly towards/over the base-line? That’s very unlikely to get confused with any other signal. I notice a few FIH Umpires, like Christian Blasch, already use this signal to indicate a 23m restart.)

A Rule which used to be set out in less than a page of a smaller rule-book now occupies more than two pages of the larger format. I have highlighted in red the parts I believe should be deleted.

13.2 Procedures for taking a free hit, centre pass and putting the
ball back into play after it has been outside the field:
All parts of this Rule apply as appropriate to a free hit, centre pass and putting the ball back into play after it has been outside the field.

a) the ball must be stationary

b) opponents must be at least 5 metres from the ball
If an opponent is within 5 metres of the ball, they must not interfere with the taking of the free hit or must not play or attempt to play the ball. If this player is not playing the ball, attempting to play the ball or
influencing play,the free hit need not be delayed.

c) when a free hit is awarded to the attack within the 23 metres area, all players other than the player taking the free hit must be at least 5 metres from the ball, except as specifically indicated below for attacking free hits awarded within 5 metres of the circle

d) the ball is moved using a hit, push, flick or scoop

e)  the ball may be raised immediately using a push, flick or scoop but must not be raised intentionally using a hit.

f) from a free hit awarded to the attack within the 23 metres area, the ball must not be played into the circle until it has travelled at least 5metres, not necessarily in a single direction, or has been touched by a player of
the defending team
– that player may play the ball any number of times, but
– the ball must travel at least 5 metres, before
– that player plays the ball into the circle by hitting or pushing the ball again.

Alternatively :

– after a defending player has touched the ball,it can be played into the circle by any other player including the player who took the free hit.

At an attacking free hit awarded within 5 metres of the circle, the ball cannot be played into the circle until it has travelled at least 5 metres or it has been touched by a defending player. If the free hit is taken immediately the defenders who are inside the circle within 5 metres of the free hit may shadow around the inside of the circle a player who takes a self-pass, provided that they do not play or attempt to play the ball or influence play until it has either travelled at least 5 metres or alternatively been touched by a defending player who can legitimately play the ball.If the attacker chooses not to take the free hit immediately, all other players must be at least 5 metres from the ball before the free hit is taken.

Other than as indicated above, any playing of the ball, attempting to play the ball or interference by a defender or an attacker who was not 5 metres
from the ball, should be penalised accordingly.

It is permitted to play the ball high above the attacking circle so that it lands outside the circle subject to Rules related to dangerous play and so
that the ball is not legitimately playable inside or above the circle by another player during its flight.

A suggested rewrite introducing “advantage played” during a self-pass and restoring the moving of the ball to outside the hash circle when a free-ball is awarded to the attacking team within 5 metres of the shooting circle.

13.2 Procedures for taking a free ball, centre pass and putting the
ball back into play after it has been outside the field:
All parts of this Rule apply as appropriate to a free-ball, centre pass and putting the ball back into play after it has been outside the field.

a) the ball must be stationary

b) opponents must be at least 5 metres from the ball
If an opponent is within 5 metres of the ball, they must not interfere with the taking of the free-ball and must not play or attempt to play the ball.

If an opponent who is within 5 metres of the ball is not playing the ball, attempting to play the ball or influencing play, the taking of the free-ball need not be delayed, but that opposing player must be attempting to get 5 metres from the ball as quickly as he is able. Standing still and demonstrating that no attempt is being made to influence play is not sufficient to comply with this Rule.

d) the ball is moved using a hit, push, flick or scoop

e) A free-ball may be raised immediately using a push, flick or scoop but must not be raised intentionally using a hit.

f) the taker of a free ball may play a pass to himself – take a self pass –  by moving the ball from its stationary position, rather than pass the ball to a team-mate, and can then immediately continue with play.

If this self pass is taken very quickly and a properly retreating defender is ‘caught’ within 5 metres of the ball that defender is no longer obliged to continue to retreat but may immediately seek to challenge the ball holder for the ball.

It is assumed that a self-pass will be taken very rapidly only in order to gain an advantage in space and time for the team of the taker by his doing so. Therefore a quickly taken self-pass, taken before properly retreating opponents have been given opportunity to get five metres from the ball, will be regarded as an advantage played and normal play will resume immediately the ball is moved by the taker – just as it would if all opponents had been 5 metres from the ball at the time the self-pass was taken.

g) when a free-ball is awarded in the area between the shooting circle and the hash circle the ball will be taken back outside the hash circle to a position opposite where the offence occurred and the free-ball taken from there.

It is permitted to play the ball high above the attacking circle so that it lands outside the circle subject to Rules related to dangerous play and so
that the ball is not legitimately playable inside or above the circle by another player during its flight.

 

 

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August 26, 2018

Free ball PLEASE

FIELD HOCKEY RULES

Can we have our Free-ball back?
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The above video is based on a 2009 video about the introduction of the Self-pass which even then was a revised edition. There have been many other changes to the Free Hit Rule made since the 2009 video for the Sydney area was produced. I have noted most of them within the above video. The video may need pausing from time to time to read text for which I have allowed insufficient reading time. The exceptions to that are the three frames of text I included at the end of it. I have reproduced those three frames below. My previous article https://martinzigzag.com/2018/08/24/circular-reasoning/  contains the unlettered explanation text following Rule clause 13.2.f so I have not repeated that in this article. I can’t explain that text: I believe it to be inexplicable because of the logical fallacy and circular argument used within it to justify its existence: the justifications provided don’t make any sense to me.


The suggestions made above are not new (and to them can be added a restoration of an old Rule, the prohibiting of raising the ball into the circle with a hit in any phase of play – intention to do so being irrelevant) I have posted them many many times before, but I can only bear in mind, with hope, as I continue to do so, that these things take time. I was suggesting the Self-pass and Direct Lift in 2001; that is for more than six years before somebody with authority at the EHL took notice and acted. It took the FIH HRB another two years before they initialed the 2009 Experiment. The Self-pass did not become accepted as Full FIH Rule until 2011, but too much time has been allowed to pass with an unsatisfactory state of Rule.

The present complicated mess which is Rule 13.2 must be simplified, made workable, that is easy to apply and comply with, to produce hockey which is fair, sensible and attractive when a free ball is awarded.

The reasons for awarding a free ball and other penalties could do with some revision too. Have I mentioned the Rules concerning the Dangerously Played Ball, the Ball-Body Contact Rule and the Obstruction Rule?

https://martinzigzag.com/2018/08/26/free-ball-please/

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August 24, 2018

Circular reasoning

FIELD HOCKEY RULES

I have been trying to write an explanation of the notes that follow Rule 13.2.f (which is about the permit to remain within 5m of the ball when within the circle and shadow an opponent, in possession of the ball, who has taken a self-pass). I think what is written following 13.2. f   contains two logical fallacies which are not explained away by the words “On this basis” and “are therefore“.

I can see that “are therefore not interfering with play ….provided that they do not play or attempt to play the ball or influence play” (my bold) is true, but it is a circular argument. It uses the premises as the conclusion and would work just as well (badly) in either direction. It does not explain why 13.2. c   is being overridden when there is an offence committed between the shooting circle and the hash circle. Can anyone put the ‘explanation’ that follows Rule 13.2.f  into simple Plain English and (more importantly) provide any reasonable justification for including it in the Rules of Hockey?

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What was wrong with taking the ball outside the hash circle when a free ball was awarded between the shooting circle and the hash circle? That seemed very sensible to me (especially compared with the alternative we have been provided with). Defenders could then defend to the edge of the circle without getting within 5m of the ball and the umpire’s task was easier. 

Is the explanation given in the video below real?  “It didn’t look good on television“.  Does shadowing – but forbidding a tackle – look any better or even understandable on television? No, it looks very strange, especially when a defender is penalised for even attempting a tackle. I agree that placing the free outside the circle created a great deal of forcing of penalty corner awards but that was because it was not (still is not) possible to play the ball with a pass directly into the circle, so self-passers tried to dribble the ball over the circle line while also “trying to find a foot” or force some other kind of infraction from defenders. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the free had to be taken 5m from the circle.  The newly introduced facility to take a free ball from just outside the circle is not going to improve the previous situation. Why should it? A pass still cannot be made directly into the circle: if anything it makes the attacker’s task more difficult: there is in that situation, no or very little forward space into which to move with the ball.

Obviously the way forward is to withdraw this ban, which is irrational anyway when compared to with playing the ball into the circle in open play or the setting up of deflections during a penalty corner (it is the possibility of dangerous deflection, a potential danger, which is said to be in-back of the prohibition). It would make far more sense to ban the raising of the ball into the circle with a hit of the ball away from the continued control of the hitter, in any phase of play, that is prohibit a raised hit pass rather than 3D dribbling with the ball, including dink hits which do not propel the ball beyond the immediate control of the dribbler. Maybe that isn’t as obvious to others as it is to me. This might explain why the FIH RC persist with the present knot of interpretations; including forget lifted-think danger (which also forgets that an action which is contrary to Rule – an intentionally raised hit, not a shot at the goal – which disadvantages opponents, has unfairly disadvantaged opponents and should be penalised) It is a long standing principle of fair play that no player should gain an unfair advantage from a breach of Rule.

In soccer it takes at least two minutes to set up a free kick within 25m of the goal (with the referee having to mark the ground with a spray), that also looks terrible on television (besides treating professional players like unruly kids)- but what wonderful tension – just as with a hockey penalty corner, FIFA are not going to change this, they don’t care what it looks like on television.

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https://martinzigzag.com/2018/08/24/circular-reasoning/

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March 3, 2018

Where the offence occurred

FIELD HOCKEY RULES
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9.9. Players must not intentionally raise the ball from a hit except for a shot at goal.

A raised hit must be judged explicitly on whether or not it is raised intentionally.

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

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

The penalty is awarded where the action causing the danger took place.

13.1 Location of a free hit :
a a free hit is taken close to where the offence occurred

‘Close to’ means within playing distance of where the offence occurred and with no significant advantage gained.

 When any play is dangerous play in midfield a similar play when a shot at the goal is taken  has also to be considered dangerous play – the same play must be treated in the same way in both circumstances.

The legality of a lifted hit is an entirely different matter from dangerous play – although a raised hit may be directly dangerous to another player or lead to dangerous play, it may not always do so. I have yet to see a raised hit-shot at a goal that was hit above the standing head height of a defender or a drag-flick that was going over or, not close to but past the head of a ducking defender on the goal-line, penalised as dangerous play – and it is unlikely I ever will, because evasive action is not necessary in such circumstances and therefore cannot be legitimate (necessary, genuine, rather than legal, evasive action is always legal).

The word ‘also’, recently added to the Explanation of Application of Rule 9.8. A ball is also considered dangerous when it causes legitimate evasive action by players. although useful in other circumstances ‘muddies the water’ a bit in the scenario shown in the video, but there should be no confusion if common sense is applied. (An impossibility I know)

The correct location of a free ball (or penalising the right team for the wrong offence) may seem trivial matters, but if umpiring is seen by players to become this sloppy or mistaken  they quickly lose confidence in the judgement of umpires and this can have an effect when the umpires are making more important – game result changing – decisions.

The free ball should have been awarded for the intentional raising of the ball with a hit, not for dangerous play – as it happened the danger (if there was any danger) was not caused at the place it occurred – a distinction lost on those who do not understand that there is a difference between the meanings of ’caused’ and ‘occurred’ –

It is interesting that the umpire who did not penalise the hitter (or was it the other way about?) did not intervene when his colleague ordered a free ball taken, for an offence that did not occur, about 20m from where it should have been taken for the offence that did occur. A double ‘brain fade’ or umpires so intent on supporting each other that one would not correct the other even when the mistake made was obvious? There is an element of this apparent in some video referrals: it should not happen, the umpires should work together to achieve the correct decision – not just to spare each others blushes.

Even if there was endangerment of the NED midfielder the free ball should have been awarded for the intentionally raised hit – it would have been the first offence and much the nearer to the BEL goal – so a penalty awarded where the offence occurred and the more advantageous positioning for the team offended against.

Here is another similar type of odd decision about the placement of a free ball following an intentionally raised hit. The first offence was the illegal hit not the illegal contesting for the aerial ball at the place it was landing. The free ball was placed some 40m behind where it should have been.

 

https://martinzigzag.com/2018/03/03/where-the-offence-occurred/

 

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