FIH slices the game to size

Hockey

Taking a cue from Hockey India League, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Thursdat made significant changes in the structure of the game, moving away from two 35-minute halves to four 15-minute quarters each in a match.

As per the new format, overall game time will move from 70 minutes -- previously two 35-minute halves -- to a 60-minute affair where there will be a time-out for penalty corner set-up and goals. After the first and third quarters, each team will have a two-minute break, while the existing 10-minute half-time will remain unchanged.

The HIL, which has completed two editions so far, plays in a four-quarter format of 17 and a half minutes each in a match.

The FIH, which took the decision on Thursday in its Executive Board in Lausanne, said that the change will improve the flow and intensity of the game and increase the fan experience and opportunity for game presentation and analysis.

“Following the already-existing formats of several other sports such as basketball, American football and netball, the FIH Executive Board has decided to move hockey into a four-quarter format,” the FIH said in a statement.

The new regulations will come into force from September 1 and thus will not be implemented at the World Cup to be held in The Hagu, The Netherlands, from May 31 to June 15.“The new regulations will be applied to the upcoming Champions Trophy, World League Round 2, World League Semifinal and Final, all continental Olympic qualifying events as of September 1, 2014 as well as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” the FIH said.

Supplementing the new regulation, there will be a 40-second time-out when a penalty corner is awarded. Additionally, a 40-second time out will also be added when a goal has been scored. Both time-outs allow for on-field team celebration time, video replays and analysis for televised matches, as well as additional opportunities to engage fans.

The time-outs ensure that the new 60-minute format is primarily actual playing time and eliminates the dead time associated with penalty corner set-up while allowing for teams to enjoy their goal celebrations.

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