Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ask Ray... about a "Swing and a Miss" and "Dummy Hits"

The Query: If while attempting to hit the ball an attacking player misses but the act of attempting to hit causes a defending player to check his/her stride because of the flailing stick, can there be an argument that the defending player has been disadvantaged and could be awarded a free hit?

The usual response I receive to this question is that only if the flailing stick is deemed to be dangerous. However, it could be viewed that the very fact that the defending player checked his/her run or withdrew from a tackle is proof that they deemed the swing to be dangerous.

Likewise a "dummy hit" where an attacker raises his/her stick as if to hit the ball; a defending player checks his/her run or withdraws from a tackle only to have the attacker retain possession of the ball. I understand that this is bound to happen from time to time but increasingly some players seem to be using it as a tactic.

Ray’s Response: To answer this week’s question, I must use the quotes from the rule book - sorry about this! The way this question is framed, it tells me that the person who asked the question would only be happy with what the rule book has to say and play it by the book.

I am afraid, hockey umping is not that simple. Yes it is true, a player must not swing over the top of the ball (dummy hit) so as to be dangerous or intimidate other players (9.4 FIH Rule book*).

What an umpire must decide is did the action itself cause danger? This can only be done based on the proximity of the oncoming player, not the actions of the oncoming player who will very often try to impress the umpire as to the danger they felt they were in!

To sum up, the only reason a player must not make a (dummy hit) is, if it is dangerous to another player.

* FIH rule book 2010 9.4 - Players must not intimidate or impede another player.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stepehn glad Ray could clear that up! just on another point if i could get cleared.....there's a rule where if a player recieves a ball and unintentionally it hits his/her foot while nobody is near them the umpire waves play on....which is fair enough but in a match i was playing in 2 weeks ago, the left back recieved a ball with nobody witin twenty yards of him....he missed the ball completely at his own 25 near the sideline but it hit his foot and the umpire waved play on! i argued the point that if it didnt hit his foot after he missed the ball the ball would have gone out of play which would have been a line ball? was the umpire correct? a small point i realise but i would just like to know....its kind of on the same lines of it happening in the defenders sure a short corner would be awarded!

Anonymous said...

If the infringment leads to a clear advantage and in this case, it did as the ball would have gone out of play had it not hit the foot then the defender must be penilised.
Its a good question as with a ball played up to a forward in space and it hits a foot then it is a free out everytime. But, in that instance the forward is getting a clear advantage as its a genuine goal scoring opportunity. Hitting a defenders foot deep in their own half with no one around then play on as the decision wont affect the game.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to dummy hit thing is clear. Whether it's body/ball/ stick positioning, we all use ways to disguise our play, a dummy hit is just another way of doing this as long as it's not dangerous.

Anonymous said...

hey ste did u hear any word on interpros this weekend??
will u be doing coverage of it???

Anonymous said...

Any news about the junior A girls final?