Friday, June 12, 2009


The time has come for changes to be made to the rules of hockey to make it more interesting as well as spectator friendly.

And with the speed of the game increasing each day, not only will rule changes allow more free flow of the game but also contribute towards reducing the number of injuries.

In calling for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to have a serious look at making changes, renowned hockey coach Terry Walsh said that small changes made to the rules could lead to the sport flourishing, both in terms of spectator interest and higher quality matches.

Among the rules that Walsh would like to see changes too is the number of players on the pitch during a match.

“I hope that one day it will be reduced to just eight or nine players playing at any one time,” said Walsh.

“This will give more space to the players as with the current system of 11 players per team we find the space to be rather limited.

“Confining 22 players to the current pitch reduces free flowing hockey and there are just too many stoppages due to the infringements.

His reasoning to reduce the number of players as opposed to increasing the size of the pitch makes sense as it will be cost effective rather then laying new pitches.

Another rule that Walsh proposes to do away is the obstruction rule as it is pointless given the present circumstances.

This, Walsh contends hampers the flow of the game as players can shield the ball provided they move in one direction.