Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ask Ray O'Connor... week two

After a great response to last week's 'Ask Ray O'Connor' piece, Ray is back, this time to deal with shots raised at goal:

The Query
“There was a powerfully struck shot on the penalty spot which went over the logged [I assume this means, a GK lying on the ground] keeper and was clearly goalward bound when it hit a defender, who was slightly over a foot off the goal line, in the chest.

“A free out was given for dangerous play. Now, I was of the impression that if a shot is clearly goalward bound it doesn't matter how high/hard/where it hits an opposing player, it's always a penalty stroke?”

Ray's response

An interesting question and never an easy one to deal with. First, I need to point out some very important points that an umpire must think about:

- The rules are written for all levels of capability (good and bad).
- When a ball leaves the ground the first thing an umpire must think off is danger.
- The next thing to think of is skill… never penalise skill!
- Players go into the goal by choice.
- The goals are 2.14 metres in height.
- The defending players are allowed to lift their stick to any height to defend a shot at goal.

What do I do to help me through all the above and be fair to all?

I use the guidance in Rule 13.3 (i): “if a defender is within five metres of the first shot at goal during the taking of a penalty corner and is struck by the ball below the knee, another penalty corner must be awarded or is struck above the knee in a normal stance, the shot is judged to be dangerous and a free hit must be awarded to the defending team.”

I hope this is of some help to players and umpires alike, to help all to deal with danger and shots at goal.


Anonymous said...

I'd have given a stroke in the example given.

I always thought it had everything to do with where the keeper is. If he's in a position behind the infringing defender to make a save then it's free out or a short corner depending on danger.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. There was no mention of it being a penalty corner situation in the question posed. Obviously the first shot in a penalty corner must be below a certain height but what about where it is open play??

Jason said...

So, if the shot is legally raised (i.e. second shot during PC or during open play) and narrowly misses the defenders chest or head, because the defender had lightning reactions to the shot or he was just lucky to move, the shot would be deemed skill and the goal would be awarded?

If so:

Forwards could be encouraged to raise the ball in this situation and aim just wide of defenders head to scare them from making a potential save.

And die hard defenders could be encouraged to take one for the team at all costs knowing that a free out would be given.


I take it this would also apply to a rebound situation where an attacker follows up with a raised flick on goal that has little or no power and hits a defenders arm, chest etc.?

Anonymous said...

How long before someone is seriously injured from a drag flick??

Will the rules have to be changed in the future to prevent someone loosing their manhood or eye?

Drag flicks in my opinion have out grown the current rules and have become dangerous due to the skill levels of todays players in conjunction with modern sticks!!!

What do others think?

Anonymous said...

my answer to that is, a face mask, a box and a glove, the rest is couarege and skill

Anonymous said...

time can be stopped during Penalty corners to allow them put on Protection, only problem is that the players can't leave the circle with the added protection still strapped to them (box not included obviously)

I think the main thing to concentrate on is "the first thing the umpire must think about is danger", if the defender has space between himself and the player then the danger is reduced so a stroke would be awarded, but it the defender is too close to react then its dangerous play from the attacker and a free would be given. IMHO

Though its relative to playing level the higher up you play the more skill is allowed that could be counted as dangerous play at lower levels

Anonymous said...

Short Corners are becoming more and more of a hazard.

What is so wrong with outfielders wearing face mask outside the D.

Surly the sensible thing to do is change the rule so that you can have 4 players on the pitch wearing a face mask at all times.

Deliberitly heading or playing the ball with face mask would then be a cardable offence.

I'd like to meet a defender who would put there body on the line to stop a goal I really would.

Its not as if face mask are chunky like GK helmets.

What do people think?

Stephen Findlater said...

A little off the point but here is an example of protective gear used in the US-

Anonymous said...

Jaysus, they look nearly as bad as the tackle about to happen half way up the stick...

Anonymous said...

i think it would be a bit mistake if they where to ban dragflicking or the sticks that are available, there is plenty of protective gear and time to put it on, i think it should be worn at all levels of the game and not just high level teams,maybe even making face masks compulsary for all short corner defencive team, you can take a nock to most other places but i think we need to make sure something is done to protect the head/face

Drag flicker

Anonymous said...

Have you ever worn a face mask?!?! when you have the ball at your feet you can't see a thing!! Completely unrealistic.

Anonymous said...

I think the current face masks do a good job but from a playing point of view and as a defender I'd prefer if the drag flick and dangerous shots like the one described in the post were outlawed as I've seen some pretty serious injuries resulting from shots on goal both from open play and during SCs. People seem to forget just how fragile the human head is.

That or we bring in better head protection even something similar to a scrum cap would protect most of the temple area. But ideally I'd prefer to ban the drag flick especially as it is often very hard to tell in what direction it will be released unlike most shots which allow time to get out of the way.

Anonymous said...

I think it was a PS based on what Ray said the shot was taken from more than 5mtr's and the defender had a chance to save and did not. Unlucky it is a PS do you agree

Anonymous said...

any news on Leinsters school teams for the John Waring?

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I think the answer is a cop out. The original poster says the ball was hit from the penalty spot. What chance does the defender have of getting out of the way of that? Do you think the defender really wants to get hit? It's dangerous, no question.

If the forward had the chance again, would he/she do the same thing? I think they'd probably choose to flick the ball somewhere where the defender wasn't next time.

FHD every time - reward skill. It's not a skill to hit a defender with the ball at chest height.

Anonymous said...

based on 9:52 if a defender can just get their body in the way of the shot it will be a free out????.

Anonymous said...

11:20 - gaining benefit from playing the ball with your body is a foul, so in your ridiculous example, no, it obviously would not be a FHD.

Being hit by ball at close range - wherever it happens on the pitch - should not be a foul. Next time you're at practice get someone to hit a ball powerfully (from the original post) at your chest from the penalty spot. Then let me know if you think that is dangerous or not and how easy it was to get out of the way.

Anonymous said...

If you have a good enough number 1 runner, then the line men won't have to worry about face masks and cups etc etc.
Definitely something that teams could work on

Anonymous said...

who would be the best defensive corner line-up?

No.1 Runner:
No.2 Runner:
Post Man:
Pads Man:

Anonymous said...


No one is forcing you to stand in the goal, if you want to go in there to try stop a goal you are putting yourself at risk.

If you don't want to get hit, stay out of there.


Anonymous said...

I think facial protective gear should be compulsory. The rules say that a goalkeeper must wear at least a helmet and stick so why not apply that rule to defenders but not with a helmet but with a face mask

Anonymous said...

To 11:48, it's possible that a defender might have just made a tackle and the ball bounced free to another attacker giving no time to get away from the area in front of the goal.

Just demonstrating that there are times when a defender could be in front of the goal when a shot is being taken without initally putting himself in harms way.

Anonymous said...

if you don't want to gt hurt go and play touch football. But to the people who posted at 7:01 and 11:29, this may be a little bit rough for you as well!

I totally agree that if you don't want to put yourself at risk then it is simple, dont!

Getting hurt is a risk that you take with every sport tht you play. Honestly get over it!

Anonymous said...

2.17 standard ignorant response

From the rule book: 9.8 Players must not play the ball dangerously or in a way which leads to dangerous play.

Until a sub-clause appears banning all but the toughest of butch manly men from playing the game I'll stick to the rules that actually are there.

Anonymous said...

Toughness is an attitude not a physical characteristic. Stop going on about trivial interpretations of the rules, and start playing the game. The rules are there to protect the players as best they can, but playing a game with a hard ball and sticks is inevitably going to result in an injury or two.
For those people too faint of heart for hockey, there is always chess...

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Stephen and Ray for putting your time into this. It is great to be able to open a dialogue on these issues, and getting an opinion from such an experienced source is fantastic. Hopefully this will allow us all to understand the game better.

Anonymous said...

Firstly if an attacker gets the opportunity to either score a goal or hit the defender, I'm sure that they would all choose the goal option! Whether you're an attacker or a defender, you will do whatever is necessary to win the match, but obviously never intentionally injure another player.

As a defender in a SC, I would personally put my body on the line to prevent a goal, knowing that another PC or PS could ensue. I know that getting hit is an inherent risk, and I happily accept that.

With regard to the face mask, what is the problem! No defender in their right mind wants to "play" with one, as it completely obscures vision once a SC is broken down. The choice to wear one is there however, and I think it should be up to the individual player whether they use one or not.

Anonymous said...

I love how all the outfield players are so concerned with masks obscuring their vision... Try being a GK! :D

The rules are set in place to protect the players, but also to improve the quality of the game and enhance the enjoyment that comes from spectating.

A shot fired point blank at the defender is obviously dangerous, but if the defender is on the goal line or behing the GK then I think a PS should be awarded if the ball hits the defender's body. If you find yourself in the goal mouth, you should accept that you could be hit with any manner of shot.

We mustn't allow over-zealous safety concerns detract from the skill and spectacle that is inherent in modern hockey. People need to take appropriate measures to protect themselves. Lightning fast reactions and strength also tend to help when a ball gets fired at you, so keep on training!!

Anonymous said...

To try and bring closure to this question.

I think we all agree that the high shot should stay???, all things being equal, the attacker has taken a high shot under control, the defender on the goal line has had some chance to see the shot coming (i.e. min 5mtr's) and it hit's the defender high on the body which stops a certain goal from being scored. I believe a PS should be awarded.

I hope this helps in some way?.

I am fully aware that a ball off the ground is potentially dangerous but I think we must find a way of keeping the high shot in the game.

I hope I have some support for this view out there in our local game?

Ray O'Connor

Jason said...

What was the last post about? Was that Rays closing response to all the comments above?

Slightly Confused.

Stephen Findlater said...

Just to confirm the post at March 1, 2009 11:45 AM was Ray's wrap-up on the question.

Anonymous said...

Just how is it "under control" if the shot has hit someone on the chest? "Under control" implies that the striker intended to hit it where it went, which we all know can't be possible because no-one would ever try to actually hit anyone with the ball.

So logically does that not mean that the shot wasn't actually under control and therefore shouldn't be rewarded because it wasn't skill?

Skill would be to miss the defender on the line, not hit them. (and no, this is not an argument that would lead to players making walls and lining up behind the GK)

Anonymous said...

Why Not?.. they will never score if you jump into the line of the shot.

Some teams will do that to win a game??