New penalty corner rule will not be implemented anytime soon: AHF official Elisabeth Fuerst

Chennai, Aug 6 (PTI) The proposed new penalty corner rule will not be implemented anytime soon, Asian Hockey Federation’s (AHF) event and sport director, Elisabeth Fuerst, said on Sunday.

If introduced, the rule will make the role of drag-flickers redundant and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) also believes that it could protect the defenders from getting injured while a drag-flick is taken.

Asked about the rule, Fuerst said it will undergo several phases of trial before being implemented.

“It’s a very early-stage trial. It’s not a rule that will be implemented in the next couple of weeks or months. If it turns out to be successful in its early stages, there will be more phases of trial before it ever gets implemented,” she said during an exclusive interaction with PTI.

“On one hand, there are, of course, the safety and security aspects for players. The drag-flicks are quite powerful and quick. So, it can be very dangerous for the defenders.” As per the proposed rule, during a penalty corner, all attackers except the pusher at the backline must start at least five metres outside the striking circle – called the ‘D’. The ball must travel outside the fiver-metre dotted line – which is beyond the ‘D’ – before it can be played back into the ‘D’ for a shot on goal, and give defenders more time to react to situations.

Elisabeth emphasised the fact that the change is being contemplated mainly keeping in mind the safety of the players, as well as the officials. It also has something to do with the gameplay.

“The other issue is that the protective equipment that the defenders are wearing is becoming more and more of a problem. There are a lot of times when they get lost as they put it on and off.

“They have to continuously wear it if the penalty corner continues, and then, they have to get it off by finding the right time,” she added.

“There have also been issues with players discarding the protective equipment by just throwing it behind them blindly, hitting other players and also the umpires. There were also some injuries caused that way. And, of course, that is something not good for the game.” Elisabeth is in the city to run a technical certification course for match officials in India. Elaborating on the same, she said that it is being done mainly to have more officials at the national level, as well as internationally.

“The idea is to give more information and training to the national technical officials so that they can do a better job and grow and learn and develop at the national level, and also, of course, in the longer term to hopefully see some people rise in the international level,” she concluded.

Source: PTI News


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