At its meeting in November 2009, the FIH’s Hockey Rules Board took the decision to amend the interpretation of Rule 13.2.h – the rule relating to the procedures for taking a free-hits.
The rule itself is unchanged but the following interpretation has been added: “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 that the ball is not legitimately playable inside or above the circle by another player during its flight.”
The main ruling is as follows: “Procedures for taking a free hit, centre pass and putting the ball back into play after it has been outside the field : 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 5 metres or has been touched by a player of either team other than the player taking the free hit.”
This interpretation will be applied with effect from January 1, 2010 (ie it will not be applied at any FIH tournaments conducted before 1 January 2010).
The Rules of Hockey 2009 are available by clicking here.