The tournament sees Australia’s men's and women's national hockey teams take on some of the world’s best teams including India, Pakistan, Malaysia and New Zealand.
Fans will experience hockey like they have never seen it before with a new set of rules and format created by Hockey Australia and national coaches Ric Charlesworth and Adam Commens set to demonstrate the best aspects of hockey.
The tournament will be shown live on ABC and delayed on Fox Sports, with the new rules designed to make the game more broadcast friendly. New rules include:
• Each match consists of two 15 minute halves (instead of 2x35 minute halves) with only a five minute break for halftime
• All teams have a maximum of nine players on the field (instead of 11 players)
• One player from each team must remain in the forward half at all times
• Each team can use up to 18 players (instead of 16)
• The penalty situations have been simplified to make it more broadcast friendly and easier to understand for new viewers:
– Penalty corner three attackers vs two defenders + goalkeeper
– Penalty strokes have been replaced with 1-on-1 “Face-offs” between a player and the goalkeeper with the player starting at the 23 metre line and having a 1-on-1 challenge against the waiting goalkeeper
• A penalty corner has a 25 second countdown clock – if the team does not execute their corner in this time they will loss possession
• The 1 on 1 faceoff has an 8 second countdown clock – if the player does not execute a shot in this time they will loss possession
• More tolerance of foot & stick contact to reduce unnecessary stoppages in play. If the ball hits the foot outside the circle and it doesn’t influence play – ie non intentional use of foot it will be called play on. Normal foot rules apply as normal in the circle
• A bully will be used after each goal to give both teams an opportunity to gain possession
• If the ball crosses the goal-line off either a defender or attackers stick from anywhere in the field of play it is a long corner. (If the ball comes off an attackers stick inside the circle a normal goal will be awarded). The goalkeeper therefore must keep the ball in play at all times if the ball is going to cross the goal-line.
How will the teams adapt to these new and unique rules?
Given that no team has ever played in this type of tournament, it’s hard to tell who are the favourites. With fewer players and one player having to remain in the forward half at all times, there will no doubt be extra space. This rule change will certainly benefit teams with solid fitness. And with limited time to get a winning score on the board, teams with a lot of fire power up forward will also excel.
The Australia v New Zealand match will be of interest given both teams just completed a best of three series in Hobart for the Oceania Cup. India will also be out for revenge against the Australia after suffering an 8-0 defeat at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
On the women’s side of the tournament, Austrlia will be wary of the always-dangerous Indian team who have constantly improved over the last two years. Malaysia enters the tournament as a bit of an unknown.
For a full fixture of the tournament click here
Hockey Australia media release
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