45 second timer designed to speed up taking of penalty corners
Ahead of the upcoming Hockey World League Semi Final tournaments in Rotterdam, London and Malaysia, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has revealed that a Penalty Corner Shot Clock will be in use for the very first time.
The system has been designed specifically with the intention of quickening penalty corner completion times, allowing a maximum of 45 seconds for the set-piece to begin.
FIH.CH chatted with FIH Competitions Manager Martyn Gallivan to learn more about the thinking behind new system and how it will be implemented.
FIH.CH: Hi Martyn, thank you for talking to us. Can you us a little bit of background information about the Penalty Corner Shot Clock and how it came about?
Martyn Gallivan: “Initially, it was something that was picked up on during the reviews of the London 2012 Olympics, when we assessed what went well and what could be improved. We felt that one area that we could improve was the management of penalty corners. I think that over recent years, and certainly since the World Cup events in 2006, the time it takes from a corner being awarded to the injection of the ball has, in general, become longer. Some penalty corners were taking well over a minute, so we decided that we needed to do something about it. We talked about it internally and came up with the idea of a shot clock similar to what is used in basketball. That was agreed by the FIH Executive Board in March. Since then that time, all three hosts for the World League Semi Finals – The Netherlands, England and Malaysia – have confirmed that they can do it.”
FIH.CH: How will it work?
MG: “It will be managed from the technical table, and there will be a display that they will control. So, as soon as the penalty corner is awarded, the 45 second countdown will begin. At the end of the 45 seconds, both teams have to be ready for the penalty corner to take place. If the teams are not ready, then there is the possibility of personal penalties, such as a Green Card to the captain of the offending team. However if both teams are ready before the 45 seconds is over, the umpires will allow the taking of the penalty corner”
FIH.CH: Is it similar to the system which is used in the Euro Hockey League (EHL)?
MG: “Well, the EHL system is actually slightly different to what we are bringing in. In the EHL, penalty corners are not to be taken until the 45 seconds have elapsed, whereas we want the penalty corner to take place within the 45 seconds. The EHL does it for very good reasons, using the 45 seconds for television production purposes which allows them to show recaps of previous penalty corners etc. For us, we are trying to speed things up, so there is definitely a difference between the two systems.”
FIH.CH: So this will be the first time that this particular system has been used at an FIH event?
MG: “Yes. It will first be on show at the World League men’s and women’s competitions in Rotterdam, with the tournaments in London and Johor following suit. After the completion of the Semi Finals, we will sit down and review everything. As well as the Shot Clock we are also using the experimental regulation which allows players to play the ball above the shoulder, which is also going to be tested at the three World League Semi Final events. If we are happy, then we would like to use them at the World League Finals in Argentina and India."
A full description of the Penalty Corner Shot Clock can be found below. To see the recently updated FIH Tournament Regulations for Outdoor Competitions, which covers both the Shot Clock and the Above The Shoulder regulations, please click here.
PENALTY CORNER SHOT CLOCK
Regulation: When a Penalty Corner is awarded, Umpires shall (to permit defenders to put on protective gear etc) allow not more than 45 seconds to pass before allowing the Penalty Corner to commence. The engaged Umpire shall advise both the defence and the attackers as the shot clock approaches zero. If both teams are ready before the 45 seconds has expired, the Umpire shall allow the Penalty Corner to commence. Upon expiry of the 45 seconds the Umpire may allow the taking of the Penalty Corner, provided that both teams are ready.
Note: This regulation will apply only to the initial award of a Penalty Corner and not to any retake, or to any subsequent Penalty Corner awarded before the ball has travelled more than 5 metres outside the circle.
In case of breaches a personal penalty (i.e. a green card) will be awarded to the captain of the offending team, with an increased personal penalty (i.e. a yellow card) for repeated offences.