FIH format change - for better or for worse?

FIH format change - for better or for worse?

As of 1 September, major FIH events such as the Champions Trophy, Hockey World League Final and Rio 2016 Olympic Games will assume a new format that includes moving to four 15-minute quarters and having 40-second time-outs when a penalty corner is awarded and after a goal is scored.

Do you think this a positive or negative for the future of hockey?

Sportplan TeamAdministrator, United Kingdom
Hockey CoachCoach

If this trickles down to lower levels in the game, it could present a timekeeping problem for some referees I know :o)

Will this mean the GK has to walk the length of the pitch for each quarter, or will the forst two quarters be played in the same direction with just one change of end?

How long will the break between quarters be?  Long enough to walk to the fridge for another beer and miss the adverts?

Hockey CoachCoach

Again the top of the sport is playing around the game.  What will they gain by reducing the time span especially as they now have larger squads at International level.  How will it help televison viewing, more cameras would help but less time

I would also ask why we have started to allow players to swipe at high balls, modify the rule to allow them to stop it overhead if the throwing skills is putting too much pressure on defenders but swiping will lead to somebody getting a mouth full of ball. 

Look forward to the debate.  Perhaps we could start one on the single system

Hockey CoachCoach

I think the FIH is playing too much around with the game. So many rule changes in such a short time is changing the very nature of hockey. For example self pass is very disadvantageous to defenders inside the D as they are more often not given time to retreat. Stopping the ball above the head does away with the skill of controlling the ball below the shoulder level. The time changes will surely put a check on the rhythm and pace of the game and make it more boring. the players can get more time to recover taking away the advantage of the fitter teams.

Jon RoyceCoach, England

Hockey has become so fast that there is insufficient time to show a replay before the next shot at goal occurs at the other end of the pitch. The 15 minute halves give a good chance to review the action and build interest in the sport with expert comment - analysis builds interest and is seriously missing in hockey coverage at present. 

The 40 minute time outs are necessary to put on all the kit to defend a penalty corner.

Further down the sport, the FIH must appreciate that pressure on pitches means that matches must be able to be fitted in to a 90 minute slot, open-ended finish times will chause chaos in clubs, especially those that book sports centres.

Gerald's poinrt about other rule changes is valid, the FIH have been victim of umpires deciding on rule changes for far too long. They should have 2 votes in 24, arguably less if you include coaches and spectators. The players should decide the future direction of the game. Umpires like coaches serve the game although it seems many believe the ARE the game.

Victor HardemanCoach, Canada

It is becoming more and more an ice hockey game, shoot outs, stick above the head, and now this new time change. what is next play with both sides of our stick, be able to stop the ball with your feet.

I get more and more the feeling the FIH is copying ice hockey to the field

Hockey CoachCoach

it used to be so much fun now it gets complicated. Think of the food bill at small clubs with all these breaks in a game it may even mean toilet breaks for everyone.

mind some people take those now but umpires seem to miss that bit too.

I am sure we will all do as we are told because the powers that be will just ban non conformists.

i dream of grass and mud - aah happy days

Gus McVeyCoach, England

Why do we want hockey to be like football or any other sport we have a format that works! Leave it be. Would rather though put into hockey being shown on TV alot more with a highlights section with the goals at half time!!  Then it's popularity would expand to the youth and clubs would grow. Why do we want comentators babbling about nothing to fill in the time being wasted.  

Hockey CoachCoach

it may reduce the importance of physical stamina and make it easier for weaker teams to get a result.

Hockey CoachCoach

Like most people here, I'm against this new format, as are so many hockey peopleI've spoken to about it. FIH need to stop tinkering, and get the opinion of their grassroots members before they impose new rules. I don't have a problem with the stick above the shoulder rule were it applies to a defender trapping a shot on goal, after all, a keeper is allowed to do it. But if players are allowed to do it in the field of play, injuries WILL increase. Finally, a number of non-hockey people I've spoken to have commented on how fast the game is in comparison to most other sports. Pretty soon we'll have 4 umpires instead of 2 just to keep up with the ace of the game. Then what?

Hockey CoachCoach

Have to say we have 4 quarters for our under 13's only for the first three weeks as a means of allowing the coach to help new players etc. AS for playing in the big world - obviously this is for TV and ratings and entertainment value of our sport. But it is not for the better of the sport, AS Deryck H says, sticks above shoulder in field will result in more dental work. Having 4 quarters means time for more commentary, firstly need some quality commentators. Talking about their past careers (see AFL in australia) is tedious and  mind numbing- so catering for commentators is foolish. We watch hockey for the speed, skills and thrills not to listen to someone's life story every week.

And finally NFL in Armerica is 4 x 20 minutes quarters ( I think), but watch match on TV and it runs for 120 minutes with the breaks the , timeouts etc; again good for advertising and tv rights but boring for the viewer, Thats my rnat for now thanks for  reading.

Neil McLennanCoach, Canada

Worse. Not sure what the rationale is..if it is TV commentary then that is a poor excuse...just get better commentators. Amongst everthing else the playing time is now 10 minutes less. Do not mind the short time out to re-start the game after PC but it should not be long enough to allow "Coaching" from the bench. With larger rosters at international level it cannot be a fitness issue

Hockey CoachCoach

Negative. I can't see a compelling reason to introduce this change.  If the desire is to increase TV audience numbers and potentially number of players, then I think this badly thought through.

In UK, hockey is rarely on TV, and any clips of UK hockey are on youtube and with a camera behind each goal. 

For this to work, needs a complete overhaul, i.e. better TV production, sscheduling programmes when players aren't playing, promoting the game to become professional in all countries.

Why can't we use technology more, e.g. interactive TV, picture in picture, facts appearing on the screen, using youtube as TV channel. Shouldn't this be the focus, versus a complete overhaul of the game?

Ian ManhireCoach, Australia

I agree with John Royce I can understand the puritans will be up in arms about changes but I believe to build interest in our game and to keep our top quality players in the game and in there own countries it has to be financally viable and that means we need to make the game interesting and at times more exciting and attract sponsorship for our game to grow and continue. 

I agree waving sticks around for all is not the way to go and yes more injuries are inevitable. I love the game of hockey and have been coaching and playing for over 30 years, but I'm sure a lot will agree outside the hockey fraternity especially in some countries not is known about the exceptional players in our sport.

I'm constantly concerned abou the rising fees and cost associated even playing at the highest level and this has turned away a lot of our grass root players for cheaper alternatives.  This doesn't mean I'm for every change that comes along but consider with an open mind about the continuing longevity and viability of our sport.      

Hockey CoachCoach

Having recently watched Euro League and International games, on Eurosport and Sky respectively, I don't think the change to 4 quarters has made any difference to Hockey as a spectator event. 

It doesn't address the inability of TV cameras to keep up with the ball. This maybe a Catch 22 situation in that unless the sport becomes more popular TV companies won't invest cash to improve coverage capability.

From a pesronal perspective I don't see how the change can be implemented at grass roots levels for the many reasons that previous contributors have highlighted.

All in all I think the change won't make it past the more elite levels of our game

Ejaz SyedCoach, United States of America

The format will bring more money at the game without changing equipment, skils, and playing rules.

Overall a positive change for the sport.

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