England: New rules give clubs a headache x5|
December 18, 2002
|Planet Field Hockey
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By Claire Middleton
Two experimental rules, which will be incorporated into all international competitions from Jan 1, will not be introduced in England until next season, Hockey England's management board decided yesterday.
It means clubs competing in European championships at Easter and over the Whitsun holiday will have had little practice under the new regulations, which will particularly affect corners.
The rules state that it will no longer be necessary to stop the ball dead at penalty corners but it will be possible to stop a shot at goal with the stick above shoulder height. Previously, only goalkeepers could do so.
"We asked other nations when they were planning on introducing the new rules and none of them answered," said Jane Nockolds, Hockey England's umpiring development manager. "Our clubs in Europe will be exposed to it and they might feel disadvantaged if they've only been able to practise them in training while their opponents have had several months playing them competitively.
"But it's difficult to introduce something like this domestically, mid-season, and it has never been done before." The board opted to start on Sept 1, 2003.
Slough women and Surbiton men, England's representatives in the European Cup-Winners' Cup in April, will be the first to play competitively under the experimental changes. Reading men and Olton's women, in the European Clubs Championship, in June, will be next.
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