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Hockey’s new penalty corner rule: Defenders can keep wearing protective face gear inside 23 metre area

This decision was under trial in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar in December 2021 and received unanimous support from coaches, athletes and officials.

SportsTiger Staff Administrator

Updated - 19 January 2022 10:26 am

In an attempt to make sports for its players involved safer, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has allowed players defending penalty corners to keep their protective equipment on even after the ball goes outside the striking circle, but must remove them at the first opportunity inside the 23m area. Earlier, the players defending penalty corners were bound to remove their protective equipment immediately inside the circle once the flick was executed.

However, the world sport governing body announced its modification of Rule 4.2 which governs the removal of the penalty corner protective equipment.

FIH Sport Director and double-Olympian Jon Wyatt announced in a statement, “Rule 4.2 has been changed to allow for defending players using Penalty Corner protective equipment to continue to play the ball outside the circle after an interception during the taking of a penalty corner. Players can now continue to run with the ball while keeping their protective equipment on but they must remove that same equipment immediately after, at the first opportunity to do so and always inside the 23m area.”

He further stated: “No player using PC protective equipment can play the ball outside the 23m area at any time. This has been introduced to protect athlete safety so that the focus can be on the ball and the play, and not on removing protective equipment during a pressurised defensive situation.”

Decision was under trial in FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup

This decision was under trial in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar in December 2021 and received unanimous support from coaches, athletes and officials.

Notably, The FIH Rules of Hockey are updated every two years in the month of January following the Olympic Games or FIH Hockey World Cups. The FIH Rules Committee undergoes an extensive consultation and discussion process with athletes, coaches, National Associations, officials and spectators together with match and competition reports, video analysis, rules trials and tournament regulations which vary the rules, as part of the review, that ultimately leads to any changes.

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