Osaka, the newest brand shaking things up in the hockey market, wrote it on it’s new T-shirt line “If #hockey was easy, they’d call it football” . A bold statement some might say. But most likely you’ll support it if you have experienced hockey… However the latest change in rules, the so called “own goal” rule undermines this IMHO…
I think all of us in the hockey family would agree the recent rule changes have made our sport more exciting, both for players and supporters. It is one of the distinct advantages our sport can be proud of. The ability to reinvent ourselves step by step, little by little. Keeping up with the fast-paced world. A feature so cruelly lacking in the world’s most popular sport football… Some of these rule changes that had a major impact on our sport were:
- The cancellation of the off-side rule, allowing teams a choice between playing more compact or spread out and a greater variety in tactics.
- The introduction of substitutions without limitations to add even more energy to the game.
- The self pass allowing for even more speed and less interruptions.
However not all rule changes were equally well received. The reception of the high ball, although not that complicated, is not being judged consistently by referees already in trouble of following a high speed game. And therefore is not only frustrating for the players but hard to follow even for the experienced hockey supporters. But by far the most disputed rule change is the one from the “own goal rule”. It has always been a crucial part of our game that a touch within the “circle” by an attacker is mandatory to count the goal. The new so-called “own goal” rule changed that fact to the ball needing to be touched in the circle, it doesn’t matter anymore if this is an attacker or a defender. A small change maybe but it makes a big difference on the pitch.
A reason often stated in favor of the new rule, allowing for own goals, is that it would make it easier for spectators not used to the sport to understand the game.
The major reason against would be it making the sport more dangerous again. Another and somewhat disputed rule change from some years ago intended to prevent free hits near the circle to be hit very hard directly into the circle towards a group of players hoping for a touch. They even created new markings on our pitch for this (the dotted line 5 meter from each circle) so free hits would not be drilled in anymore. Main reason for this was making it less dangerous. The own goal rule has exactly the opposite effect. From almost every game situation it is an invitation to fierce hits into the circle, preferably aimed at a group of players and as hard as you can hoping for a bad control from whomever, deflecting the ball into the net at lightning speed. No one will dispute it creates dangerous situations…
I understand the need to make our sport more “media-friendly” and am not opposed to sometimes trying out something new, even if it’s seem to change the essence of our sport at first glance. However… once it is clear it is not a good rule it should be back to normal as soon as possible. I have not met a top coach who agrees this own goal rule is a good one and as for the players themselves? Well nothing illustrates it better than this one tweet from a recognized top player (5 times best player of the world) :
— Jamie Dwyer (@JamieDwyer01) May 8, 2013
Not all changes work out for the best. If people from outside of hockey don’t understand the simple rule that a ball has to be touched by an attacker in the circle to score a goal… well frankly that’s their problem. I have never understood the game of cricket and still it’s thriving in the world. Golf is a game full of quaint little rules but still one of he fastest growing sports all over the world. If you’re interested in our fast paced game, well make the effort and learn some of the basics to enjoy the game.
Back to normal : “Kill the own goal rule! Please!”
Let’s start by congratulating Belgium for their amazing progress resulting in a well earned silver at the Rio Games in 2016 and a first gold medal at the most recent World Cup. The secret to their success is a simple formula : a stronger domestic league + an ambitious long term plan/vision not just on […]
Jason McCracken & Marc Coudron : the future of hockey
Mar 27, 2017 •
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** A very special edition for Hockey5.TV aired live on 2017-03-27. Instead of top players we had a talk with two top administrators for our game of hockey. Jason McCracken is the newly appointed CEO of the FIH, the international hockey federation. Marc Coudron is the…
The future of hockey
Mar 27, 2017 • 00:44:13
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** We discuss the future of hockey with Jason McCracken, CEO for the FIH and Marc Coudron, president of the Belgian hockey federation and board member at the FIH. We talk about the new event the FIH will launch for 2019, the impact of this on…
Manu Stockbroeckx over Bloemendaal en de Red Lions
Oct 10, 2017 • 00:42:12
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** Onze wekelijkse talkshow heeft deze week Manu Stockbroeckx te gast, net gekwalificeerd voor de #KO16 van de #EHL vorig weekend met zijn club Bloemendaal. Presentators Floris Geerts & Ernst Baart. Ook te zien op video : https://studiohockey.com/video/hockey5tv/manu-stockbroeckx/
Xavier Reckinger over de start van seizoen 2017-2018
Oct 2, 2017 • 00:40:24
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** Bij de start van het nieuwe seizoen 2017-2018 praten we met Xavier Reckinger over zijn nieuwe carrière als coach bij Racing, over de start van het seizoen in België, de aankomende EHL en de transitie van speler naar coach. Met als vanouds Floris Geerts als…
Robert van der Horst about EHL and more
May 8, 2017 • 00:30:09
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** Robert van der Horst from HC Oranje-Rood talks about the EHL and the upcoming Final 4 for them. Mats Grambüsch from HC Rot Weiss Köln was supposed to join in but had some technical difficulties. Presentation by Floris Geerts and Ernst Baart. Also available on…
Monologue: The end of hockey...
Jul 5, 2018 • 00:12:19
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** Monologue by Ernst Baart on the so called “end of hockey”… or at least the end of hockey as we know it. Read all about it at be-hockey.com, as well as the answer from Thierry Weil, CEO at the FIH.
Simon Letchford about play off and EHL with Racing
May 15, 2017 • 00:36:55
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** English born coach Simon Letchford talks about the end of his last season at the helm of Racing, the play off, the EHL and his move to the coaching staff of the Red Panthers, the national women’s team of Belgium.
Xavier Reckinger en Tommy Willems
Apr 10, 2017 • 00:28:05
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** Xavier Reckinger haalt met Herakles de play off en Tommy Willems kreeg met Leuven een pak slaag van de ploeg van zijn vader. Presentatie in handen van Floris Geerts en Ernst Baart.
Thomas Briels en Amaury Keusters
Mar 20, 2017 • 00:41:48
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** Briels van Dragons en Keusters van Herakles praten bij over de Belgische competitie en de Red Lions… Presentator van dienst is Floris Geerts, bijgestaan door Ernst Baart.
Cédric Charlier and Florent Van Aubel
Apr 3, 2017 • 00:40:25
**Estimated reading time: 4 minutes** Charlier from Racing and Van Aubel talk about their competition games and the Red Lions. Hosted by Floris Geerts and Ernst Baart. Talk held in the French language.
During the EHL of October 2023 in Barcelona I met up with Marcos Hofmann, newly elected president of EuroHockey. The interview with the title “You can not live in a permanent revolution” is published in the magazine from Hockey World News, episode 28, which was published today. It can be found here: https://studio.hockey/HWN28
Marcos Hofmann comparing 11v11 and hockey 5s
Some quotes and a short video to give you a taste…