Organisation, Players, Umpires & Officials

FIH Rule Changes for 2019/2020 Season

The FIH have approved Hockey Wales and England Hockey’s request to continue to play 35 minute halves (not 15 minute quarters) next season (2019/2020)

As the majority of our leagues are combined with England, we thought there should be a consistent approach with regard the 2019 rule changes and have been waiting for a decision from England Hockey and approval from the FIH

Hockey Wales and England Hockey support the implementation of all the rule changes, as published by the FIH in December 2018, with the exception of rule 5.1

The following (major) changes will be implemented from the start of the 2019/2020 season:

  • Removal of Player with Goalkeeper Privileges*
  • Amendments to Attacking Free Hits within the 23m
  • Defensive Free Hits awarded within the defensive circle
  • Amendment to ruling around Attackers entering the circle early at a Penalty Corner

The exception is Rule 5.1

A match consists of four quarters of 15 minutes, an interval of 2 minutes between quarter 1 and 2 and between quarter 3 and 4 and a half-time interval of 5 minutes between quarter 2 and 3

For teams playing in the Investec Women’s Hockey League (Swansea HC) and the Men’s England Hockey League (Cardiff & Met and Cardiff University), league matches will be 17.5 minute quarters (without the clock stopping at Penalty Corners)

For teams playing in Hockey Wales Cup competition semi-finals and finals, matches will be 15 minute quarters (with the clock stopping at Penalty Corners) unless otherwise specified in the Regulations for a particular competition

All other matches, will consist of two periods of 35 minutes and a half-time interval of 5 minutes unless otherwise specified in the Regulations for a particular competition

Please note – if playing two periods of 35 minutes and a period of suspension finishes during the taking of a penalty corner, the offending player cannot resume play until the penalty corner has been completed or another penalty corner is awarded

Please note *In all youth matches, teams must play with a fully attired goalkeeper at all times

If you are a WHUA member and have not yet received a copy of the 2019 FIH Rule book, or if your club or school would like a copy, please email jane.price@hockeywales.org.uk

Key Changes
2.2 – Mandatory Experiment: a team no longer has the option to play with a player with goalkeeping privileges. This means that teams either play
with a Goalkeeper, or 11 outfield players  

5 – timing of matches to be more closely aligned with the international
game as seen at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup or FIH Pro-
League. See above / below for further details.  

6 – wording change around the start and re-start of the match to reflect
the change to quarters in the rule book.  

9.12 – Very minor clarification of third party or shadow obstruction
during a penalty corner on defenders (and goalkeeper).  

11.6 – wording added to this rule to show that Umpires blow the whistle for the start / end of each quarter and for the stopping / re-starting of
time around a Penalty Corner.  

12.4 – clarification added to the awarding of a Penalty Stroke if the ball
hits a piece of equipment lying in the circle and a probable goal is
prevented, a penalty stroke may be awarded.  

13.1 – A free hit awarded to the defence within the defensive circle can be taken anywhere in their circle OR taken up to 15 metres from the back-line in line with the location of the offence, parallel to the side-line.  

13.2 – Additional wording in the guidance concerning the re-start after awarding a Free Hit to the attacking team within 5 metres of the circle they are attacking. The introduction of a quick self-pass for these Free Hits allows the defenders to stay within the circle, within 5m and not interfere with play until the ball can legitimately enter the circle. If there is no
quick self-pass, then ALL defenders, regardless of location in the 23m, haveto retreat 5m if they wish to legitimately play the ball once the Free Hit is taken.  

13.3.g – Clarification on defending team’s responsibilities when defending a Penalty Corner when playing with no Goalkeeper.  

13.5 – Removal of previous rule of when a Penalty Corner is finished if time has already lapsed and clarification that if play during a Penalty Corner is stopped because of an injury or for any other reason during the taking of a penalty corner at the end of a quarter or half and a bully would
otherwise be awarded, the penalty corner must be taken again.  

13.6.e – change to current rule, now if an attacker enters the circle at a
Penalty Corner before permitted, the player taking the push or hit from
the backline is required to go beyond the centre-line and the Penalty Corner is taken again.  

13.7.e – if a team has chosen to play with eleven outfield players and no goalkeeper, if they concede a Penalty Stroke then this explains what protective equipment is permitted for the defender.
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