Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ask Ray... about auto-passes and captains

Two questions this week for Olympic and World Cup final umpire Ray O'Connor to dig his teeth into:

Query 1: Can we get some clarification on the five yards on the auto pass rule from Ray? I was at a game on Saturday where a team were constantly being penalised for not being five yards away from a free that was taken quickly, yet they did not interfere with the play.

Ray's response: You must be five metres for a free hit at all times when it is for the other team, that sounds simple!!!. If the player takes the free quickly (this is to be encouraged) and you do not have a chance to retreat five metres, you must not influence in any way that free.

You would influence how the free is taken by running a long side the free taker and stop them from going in any direction they wish, this should be strongly discouraged.

Having said all the above, the free taker also has responsibilities. They must take the free hit from a place close to where the free hit was awarded. If it is a self pass, they must make a effort to stop the ball, they must make two distinct movements with the ball while taking the free. The free taker must not move directly into the path of the other players with the intention to manufacture a foul.

Umpires must not look for ways to slow down the game. The new rules are there to make the flow better, we should all work together to make this happen.

Query 2: Why was the TRR captain sent off in the IHL game [against Glenanne]? And does this mean he will miss the next game?

Ray's response: This is one of the more unfortunate things that can happen in hockey. Like in any game/sport we all have a job to do, that may be an umpire, captain, team manager or coach.

Within all of these jobs there are boundaries/responsibilities. The captain is responsible for the behaviour of all his/her players and team officials. The team manager should support the captain by looking after all the people on the team bench. The coach must only coach their own team, they must not in any try to influence the opposite team or officials.

This is always a difficult situation for an umpire to manage. The only person that the umpire should deal with when there are problems of misbehaviour on the team bench is the captain and hope that the captain is able to manage.

In some cases, as in the TRR situation, the captain was warned about the behaviour of the team bench. The captain, in this case, was unable to get control of the bench. The umpire having warned the captain was eventually left with no choice but to send of the captain.

A player who receives 3 yellow cards in IHL games will receive a one match ban. I do not have the count of yellow cards in this particular case.

* If you have any queries on umpiring interpretations or decisions, email with "Ask Ray" in the subject line. Meanwhile, to check out Ulster hockey's "Whistleblower" section, click here


Anonymous said...

The one thing that bugs me ray is; when a free is awarded, the player that the free has been awared to takes the free quickly but is brought back for it not being taken in the 'exact' spot at which the foul took place.

I know that a free needs to be taken as close to the spot of the foul but most umpires get so caught up with this ruling that it creates tension between players & umpires which leads to cards eventually.

It's so frustrating as a player because it slows the game down, it gives the opposition the chance to get back to defend thus taking away the advantage, and as you said the umpires are meant to make the game flow.

Anonymous said...

i would agree.. except for in silly cases where the attacker is maybe gaining 5 yards why "bring the ball back". the idea is that the defender cannot gain an advantage by fouling and slowing down the attack so to "bring the ball back" seems nonsensical.these days the game is so fast that a yard here or there is negligible in its' effect but speeds up the game which is what these rules are in place for, first and foremost

RYaBlindRef? said...

Umpires want to see play proceed as quickly and as smoothly as the players do.

If an umpire calls for a quick free to be re-taken, it is not to slow up play, but it might be because the quick free was taken from a spot which gave an unfair advantage to the free-taker. Or maybe the ball was never stopped, which makes it impossible for defenders to know where the 5 metre zone starts.

Defenders have to be given a fair chance to defend a free hit, within the rules, and attackers should not be given an unfair advantage when taking a free hit.

Anonymous said...

My thought would be to go a step further (and maybe a bit radical)... why should a free ever have to be brought back five/ten metres to where the free occurred?

If a team makes a foul they should get no advantage, seems everyone in is agreement about this. Any stoppage gives the defence an advantage to get players back.

If they foul and the ball runs ten metres away in any direction, they have already got a huge time advantage to get back.

If the player was likely to progress if the foul had not come in why should they have to bring it back because a free was awarded.

Any notion of bringing the play back is a massive advantage for 'old school' coaching of breaking it down.

As long as they stop and go, let it play please.

Anonymous said...

yeah but defenders cant get an advantage from fouling. thats the point.if the free is taken from a position that grants an advantage of a few yards who cares the ball obviously ended up there because of the foul so RYaBlindRef i wouldn rely agree with you.i cant subscribe to your belief that attackers shouldnt be given an unfair advantage at taking a free hit,obviously they shouldn but if an advantage is to be gained it should undoubtedly go to the attacking team and not the other way around. I think sometimes we are slow here in this country to grasp that concept

Anonymous said...

At what point when the defending team does not get 5m away from a free hit in their defending 25 area should a short corner be awarded to the attacking team?
I was at ladies match last weekend where a team continually didn't get 5m on various occasions and no short corners were given, the refs told the team to take the frees again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Could you ask Ray for me is an aerial ball allowed to be played into the circle, to land say on the PF spot. No forwards present but on the goal line behind the GK 7 metres away from the balls landing place. I have seen this used and allowed so I am just interested. Personally I can see no reason for it not to be allowed