Rules: Hockey looks to cricket for tech lessons |
August 17, 2003
|Planet Field Hockey
The Asian Age
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Amstelveen (Holland), Aug. 17: The case for third umpire in international hockey was strengthened following the controversial India versus Holland game in the 25th Champions Trophy tournament on Saturday.
And it was becoming increasingly clear that cricket, whose popularity has pushed India?s national sport to relative oblivion, could show the way.
On Saturday, Holland, trailing 0-3 with seven minutes remaining, snatched a thrilling 4-3 win. But the Indians hotly disputed the third Dutch goal saying that the ball had not crossed the goal-line when Baljit Singh Saini stopped and cleared a try by Floris Evers.
Bob Davidzon, chairman, marketing committee of the International Hockey Federation and former head of the rules board, said the third umpire was experimented with in the women?s World Cup and the Sultan Azlan Shah tournaments earlier this year. ?In the World Cup, the third umpire was referred to seven times in 42 matches. The pitch umpire was correct in five instances,? Davidzon said.
?In the Azlan Shah Tournament, the third umpire was called for on four occasions. The pitch umpire was right thrice,? he added.
He felt that the incident like last night?s in the India-Holland game, was a rare occurrence. ?We simply cannot start referring each and every decision to the third umpire as that would mean a match would last two hours instead of 70 minutes,? he said.
?Unlike in cricket, the decision of the pitch umpire in hockey is final and binding, and not that of the third umpire.?
Davidzon said the umpires at the women?s World Cup and the Azlan Shah tournaments were ?wired? so that they could communicate directly with the third umpire, as in rugby and American baseball.?In hockey, disputes over umpiring decisions mainly concern the penalty corner or, in the rare instance, as was the case last night, whether a goal was legitimate,? he said.
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