Irish hockey to implement new rule changes

For the 2012/13 season, the IHA have adopted a series of significant of rule changes that will impact on all levels of hockey throughout the country having previously been used at EuroHockey League and international level. Three main changes will come into effect from September 1.

Firstly, a player will now be allowed to intentionally raise the ball from a restart (a free, 16-metre free out, hit-off, sideline ball etc) but not by a hit. In other words, an aerial can be thrown directly from a dead ball with all the usual rules relating to danger applying.

Next off is the introduction of the ‘own goal’ rule across all levels of hockey. A goal can now be scored if there is any touch in the circle prior to the ball going into the goal, namely from an attacker’s stick or any intervention by a defender’s stick, foot or body or a goalkeeper’s padding. The latter method will be referred to as an ‘own goal’.

These two rules will be fully introduced across the board by the FIH on January 1 with the IHA pre-empting these changes for the new season.

The third change sees an experimental rule applied throughout all hockey in Ireland with a green card resulting in a two-minute suspension. A proposal about the management of this rule in games where a technical table is not available has been put forward to the IHA and is currently under discussion.

** If you have any queries about these rules, we have resident umpiring expert Ray O’Connor on hand to answer your questions. Also, if you have any questions arising from the recent Olympic Games and the umpire’s decision, drop us an email at and we will post the answers on The Hook.

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