The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced six rule changes to Indoor Hockey following approval by the FIH Executive Board.
These changes will come into play for international hockey from January 1st 2016. National Associations will have a choice of when these rules will be implemented at national level.
- Return to six players on the pitch.
- Attacking Free Pushes awarded within three meters of the circle will now be taken from the point of offence. This will ensure a consistent approach between outdoor and indoor hockey.
- Players are banned from ‘Trapping’ players in the circle or against the side-boards. This was first introduced at the 2015 Indoor World Cup in Leipzig, Germany. Players who ‘trap’ an opponent in possession of the ball either in the corner of the pitch or against the side-boards with a flat stick will now be penalised. They will have to be left with an outlet for the ball. At the Indoor World Cup 2015 this resulted in fewer ‘bullies’ and a more attractive game.
- Players who aim to gain a ‘bully’ by deliberately trapping the ball between their and an opponents stick will be similarly penalised.
- Teams will now be limited to two substitutes per match of their fully kitted goalkeeper off the pitch for either another field player or a player with goalkeeping privileges. This effectively means that substitutions between fully kitted GK’s no longer count towards the total number of allowed substitutions.
- There will be ‘No extraneous equipment’ allowed inside the goals which is aimed at making the goal area cleaner and a lot easier for both spectators and officials to see.