THE FIH'S TAKE ON THE NEW ADVANCEMENT INTERPRETATION
Remarks by Juan Angel Calzado
President, Federation International de Hockeť
BRISBANE, June 17, 1999 ---In the recent past, foot/ball contact has been called very strictly by umpires. Virtually every time the ball touched the foot even if it was unintentional, insignificant and gave no advantage to the offender, it was penalised. In addition, attackers were manufacturing fouls in the circle to obtain penalty corners.
The result was too much whistling, too many stoppages and time wasting that excessively disrupted the flow of the game.
To correct the situation, without changing the Rule, it was decided to undertake a trial during the Champions Trophy to see whether it was possible to achieve fewer interruptions to the flow of the game. The aim was to make any possible modifications well in advance of the Sydney Olympic Games, and further, to allow elite level hockey nations to play a leading role in evaluating possible new developments.
We are awaiting observations and feedback from coaches, athletes, umpires and others participating here. But it seems clear that the pendulum has perhaps swung too far in the opposite direction. During the 1999 Champions Trophy, foot/ball contact has been treated very leniently, scoring has decreased, goals from penalty corners have been reduced and the attacking game is beginning to suffer.
Nevertheless, it is very clear that kicking, stopping and carrying the ball with the foot or leg is an offence, except when the foot touch is unintentional, insignificant and does not provide any advantage to the offender
Due notice of the situation has been taken, and further clarification and explanation will be provided in co-operation with the Hockey Rules Board - to obtain an effective and happy balance between the two extremes with the best interests of the athletes and the sport in mind.