Elite level hockey will be reduced to a 60-minute game for the build-up to the 2016 Olympics as part of the changes that come with dividing the game into four quarters from September 1, 2014.
The FIH has followed the lead of the Euro Hockey League and Hockey India League by dividing the game into four periods but has reduced the time from from 17 and a half minute sectors to 15 minutes with a view to improving “the flow and intensity of the game and increase the fan experience”.In addition, 40-second time-outs following both the award of penalty corners and the scoring of a goal will be implemented with the idea that the 60-minute game time is maximized for actual play and not consumed with penalty corner set up or other dead time when the ball is not in play.
Speaking about the decision, FIH President Leandro Negre said: “This demonstrates our commitment to fan engagement. With the additional breaks, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy more replays and be more engaged with the event, whether in the stadium or watching from a far, while hockey commentators will be allowed more time to provide sport analysis between plays.
“In addition, coaches and players will see improvement in their performance with the additional opportunities to re-hydrate and re-strategize.”
After the first and third quarters, there will be a two-minute break while the existing 10-minute half time will remain unchanged.
The new regulations will be applied to the upcoming Champions Trophy, World League Round 2, World League Semi-Final and Final, all continental Olympic qualifying events as of 1 September 2014 as well as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
As for the 40-second stoppage times, the FIH say this will “allow for on-field team celebration time, video replays and analysis for televised matches, as well as additional opportunities to engage fans”.
As the announcement was only made this morning, it is not confirmed whether this will affect all levels of competition.
** What are your thoughts on these latest changes? Do you think these are good developments for hockey?