Posts tagged ‘Goal zone’

March 30, 2018

Suggested introduction of a goal-zone Rewrite Rule 9.14.


A suggested rewrite of a Rule of Hockey.

The current Rule 9.14.

Players must not intentionally enter the goal their opponents are defending or run behind either goal.

Action. Amendment and Expansion, the introduction of a Goal Zone

Reason. A promise made in 1997, when Off-side was initially abolished:-

The (Hockey Rules) Board continues to explore ways of improving the flow of the game whilst retaining the fundamental pattern of play Having considered the results of world-wide trials of the offside Rule, the Board has to decided to introduce a mandatory experimental Rule under which “offside” is withdrawn. It is expected that the balance of influence will swing from defenders to attackers and will result in more goals, less congestion around and in the circle, and more flowing hockey with fewer stoppages. To prevent opponents from behaving in a potentially dangerous manner, their conduct near the goal will be subject to constraints. (my bold)

has not been honoured; there has been no Rule introduced to curb potential close in dangerous play by opponents, now free to position anywhere up to (and beyond) the baseline irrespective of the positioning of defenders. This is a huge additional advantage –  It is expected that the balance of influence will swing from defenders to attackers – No kidding? This does fundamentally change the pattern of play from what it was previously. The introduction of above shoulder playing of the ball and the development of edge-hitting  (and removing all previous control of) as well as permitting what is termed 3D hockey has also made defending the goal more difficult and dangerous than at any previous time.


This is new so untried and any suggestion to improve it is welcome. Obviously the first step is a trial.

A Goal Zone or Goalkeeper’s Zone marked out in a similar way to the marking out of the shooting circle, but with the measurement, from a point 5m out along the baseline from the inside faces of the goalposts.

The Goal Zone would serve as a miniature off-side area, no attacking player being permitted to enter it before the ball had done so and obliged to vacate it immediately the ball travels out of the Zone. Dribbling with the ball directly into the Zone would of course be permitted.

The Zone would prevent most of the physical blocking and crowding of the goalkeeper that now occurs frequently and also prevent opponent’s ‘goal-hanging’ prior to the ball being raised with a hit or flicked across the face of the goal by an attacker from a position on the base-line. Point-blank deflections into the goal, from attackers positioned on or very close to the goal-line before the ball was passed, would be largely eliminated.

The suggested wording:-

Rule 9.14 Players may not enter the goal zone of the goal their opponents are defending until the ball is in the zone.

Players must vacate the goal zone their opponents are defending immediately the ball is played out, or otherwise travels out of the goal zone. (For example, because (a) the ball rebounds from a goal-post, or (b) the ball is propelled into the zone, directly across and out again.

Players may not at any time enter the goal their opponents are defending.

No player may run off the pitch behind either their own goal or the goal their opponents are defending, and back onto the pitch on the other side of that goal.

(I don’t know why the Hockey Rules Board long ago considered moving around the back of the opposing team’s goal an unfair action by an attacker (there used to be a risk of tripping over guy ropes) but I have left this prohibition as presently given)

It is suggested that during a replacement for the penalty corner, that is a Power play within the 23m area (another long overdue change), the zone be used in a different way. During a Power Play only the goalkeeper would be allowed to occupy the zone. The other defenders would position along the base-line outside the zone at the commencement and would not be allowed to enter the zone until the Power play was completed.The same restrictions as in open play would apply to the attackers during a Power play. (I do not advocate this for the present penalty corner format because in many scenarios a shot at goal with only the goalkeeper able to defend between a shooter – with passing options – and the goal would occur and the award of a penalty corner would not be much different from the award of a penalty stroke in terms of score rate.) In the present penalty corner situation defenders could initially position on the goal-line but would be required to be clear the Goal-zone before a shot was attempted by the attacking side.

I have no doubt that what has been suggested above does not cover a multitude of reasonable “What ifs” you are invited to point them out and make further suggestions for Rule wording.…ewrite-rule-9-14/