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Ball "deliberately" over the backline by a defender

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  • Ball "deliberately" over the backline by a defender

    According to facebook this site is up and running as of 4 hours ago, so hoping I am not shouting into the void here, but . . .

    I caused minor uproar among the defence yesterday, when awarding a PC against my own club for deliberately putting the ball over the goal line. There was a cross in from the attcking right side, about 1 or 2m back from the goal line. One of our defenders was running back directly towards the goal line, and played the ball directly off the back. Obviously you had to be there, but in my view he had not tried to trap the ball, he pushed his stick at it as though trying to bat it away. The ball hit his stick flush on the face so it was not an unlucky deflection or anything like that, and he made no obvious attempt to trap it or keep it in play. Mindful of the notes in the current rules that we should be stricter about penalising deliberately playing the ball over the goal line, I gave a PC. Fair to say that none of the defence was happy, and argued the toss with me rather more than I would have expected given that it was a friendly.

    At the end of the game, one of our senior defenders, who is by no means a regular whinger and who has played at a very high club level, contested it with me again. He claimed that I should have made allowance for the defender's run, and hence the momentum of the tackle or interception, which is what took the ball over the line. He claimed that this was in the rules guidance. I have been through it all but cannot see anything which says that, just the note about applying the rule more strictly.

    So on balance I am thinking it was a tight call, certainly, but that I would make the same call again. Any thoughts?

    If it makes any difference, this was roughly Regional Division 3 standard, and I am a Level 1.

  • #2
    Mate. Understand one thing about me. I am a goalkeeper, always have been, always will be. I am genetically disposed to hate umpires and all of their decisions. However, you called that correctly in my self-esteemed opinion.


    • #3
      This is one of the Rules that irritates me because it is unjust and unreasonable - a free shot at goal for something that isn't even an offence???.

      I see no reason whatsoever why it should not be legitimate play for a defender to deliberately put the ball out of play over the base-line - I would however draw a line at a defender intentionally playing the ball over the part of the base-line that is the goal-line and award a penalty corner for that action.


      • #4
        Obviously there is a large amount of YHTBT. But if the defenders momentum meant that any rich was going to take the ball over the backline then it is probably a bit harsh to give a PC against him.

        One good piece of advice I got is to think "what was the defender trying to do?" If they were trying to make sure the ball didn't reach an attacker, and the ball happens to go off the backline, then don't give a PC.


        • #5
          Thanks Nerd_is_the_word, I think that is sound advice. Having re-read my post, I probably over-stated it a little in that he was sprinting rather than running, and making a legitimate attempt to intercept a dangerous ball across his goal. It was therefore highly likely that it would go over the back line, but his alternative was to say "I cannot intercept that without putting it out, therefore I will let it run across the goal", which is a bit of a non-starter.

          I guess I am really struggling a bit with the interpretation of "deliberate", and the advice in the latest rules to tighten up on it. "What was he trying to do" does sound like a decent rule of thumb, thanks!


          • #6
            Originally posted by Animal View Post
            . I am genetically disposed to hate umpires and all of their decisions.
            Originally posted by Animal View Post
            .However, you called that correctly in my self-esteemed opinion.
            It's great that your honesty and your sense of humour has not changed.

            I don't hate umpires, I feel sorry for most of them, having to pretend they know what they are doing and why, when they clearly, one soon discovers, generally have no idea at all. I do wonder why some of them persist with it when 'hatred' (mockery) of them is so widespread. The real fault lies I think with the FIH, who have yet to devise a cogent and sensible set of Rules for the game - no-one can apply the current concoction of disjointed statements and contradictions and be taken seriously.

            Back in the period after the drag-flick was introduced I can recall frequently making myself very popular on Talking by pointing out that the drag-flick stroke, as it was practiced up until 2004 was often illegal because we had a Rule which stated in plain English that any raising of the ball towards another player was an offence. Distance and height were not mentioned at all in that Rule (and velocity never has been and still isn't mentioned in any Rule). Eventually the FIH Rules Committee 'solved' this problem by deleting that Rule.

            Rules of Hockey 2003
            13.1.3 Raised ball
            . A player shall not:-

            a. intentionally raise the ball from a hit except for a
            shot at goal
            To raise the ball unintentionally from a hit, including a free
            hit, anywhere on the field is not an offence unless it is
            dangerous or likely to lead to dangerous play.

            b. intentionally raise the ball so that it lands directly in
            the circle
            Not every ball entering the circle off the ground is
            forbidden. A ball which bounces into or lands in the
            circle after a short distance must be judged solely
            on the intent or danger.
            A ball raised over a player's stick or body when on
            the ground, even in the circle, must be judged solely
            on danger.

            c. approach within 5 metres of a player receiving
            a falling raised ball until it has been played and
            is on the ground.

            d. raise the ball at another player.

            The vandalism of the rule-book carried out in 2004 (which was called a rewrite) included the deletion of 13.1.3d. (all part of the emphasis on safety don't you know) and this made the high drag-flick, as a first shot at goal (but also at a defender), legal for the first time, simply because it was not a hit shot (even if it can now be used, due to dedicated training in technique and to stick development, to propel the ball at greater velocity than a raised hit ball). Prior to 2004 the height restriction on a first hit shot during a penalty corner and the drag-flick were (in theory, but not in practice) in sync. So 2003 was the last year in which (in theory) we had a consistent dangerously played ball Rule.

            Rule 13.1.3b was also deleted (not sure when), possibly because it was considered redundant because of 13.1.3a. (that was in my opinion a mistake, the prohibition on raising the ball into the opponent's circle should have been amended by removing the word 'intentionally' from it and confining the prohibition to raised hits - this is something that should now be done in a restored Rule).

            My apologies for mixing two topic threads, it is something that happens a lot in Rules discussions and can be difficult to avoid.
            Last edited by Conundrum; 01-12-2022, 11:35 PM.


            • #7
              As a defender and certainly not an umpire, I’d accept a pc in the situation described.

              I’ve had a pc called for less - similar situation but turned at 90 degrees to the line, called a pc for a deflection.


              • Conundrum
                Conundrum commented
                Editing a comment
                What happens in circumstances where you do not want to accept the decision the umpire has made?

                Yes silly question but I have frequently seen a obviously incorrect decision by an umpire called 'accepted by the players' and this given as a reason to consider the decision correct. Players have no choice but to accept a decision that cannot be referred to a video umpire (and in most club and all International team set-ups a player who randomly (or without permission) protests umpiring decisions, quickly finds himself deselected following a collection of cards for his behaviour)

                The award of a penalty corner for a defender deliberately playing the ball out over the base-line is not a restart that is subject to video appeal because if it has occurred is a subjective decision by an umpire. Video Umpires are not permitted (See Tournament Regs) to make subjective judgements.

                (which means that in many instances they should not be asked to make a call on an appeal for ball/foot contact because offence in these cases is a purely subjective matter - ball/foot contact is not automatically an offence just because it has happened - even if it occurs off a defender in the defended circle - there are subjective criteria to be met before there can be an offence).

                I estimate that at least 75% of penalty corners awarded for foot contact are awarded incorrectly and a high proportion of those are awarded in circumstances where the correct decision would have been a free ball to the defending team for forcing (an offence which is supposed since 2011 to be penalised under other Rules) or for raising the ball into a close opponent (which is a dangerous play offence and therefore incidentally also a forcing offence).

                The problem with the 2011 rule-book declaration that forcing ("any action of this sort") could be penalised ("dealt with") under other Rules is that there never has been a Rule which forbade the playing of the ball along the ground into the feet of an opponent as long as it is not done in a reckless or dangerous way e.g. . at high velocity (which possibly goes back to the time - the 1930s - when it was perfectly legal to trap the ball under the sole of a boot or with the use of the instep, only propelling the ball with the foot - kicking it in a direction - was not permitted). The FIH RC have not noticed this oversight and have anyway placed no further reference to forcing in a rule-book since 2011 - a wondrous negligence.

            • #8
              The trouble with using the word deliberate is it gives a slightly different nuance to the rules which talk about intentional. Deliberate suggests actions which will lead to desired outcomes. Intentional, for me anyway, means doing things where there are choices not taken. In this case, the direction of defenders travel, angle of stick tend to make me think intentional. what was the level of play, the better the player the more intentional it's likely to be. However, how far was any attacker from making contact at same time, could this have therefore been a tackle but for a split second, and given the speed of ball, defender and his stick was the direction of ball inevitable or might it have been caught slightly differently and spun away elsewhere. I think either decision is ok here, at the end of the day it's a judgement call so you can't be wrong😂


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