Indoor hockey to be six-a-side affair

Lausanne, Sep 10 (IANS) The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Thursday announced that an indoor hockey side will have six players on the pitch, instead of the existing five, from January 2016.

Among the six new rules announced, one of them relates to attacking Free Pushes within three metres of the edge of the line. According to the new rule, an attacking Free Push awarded within three metres of the circle will now be taken from the point of the offence.

Another rule which will now be officially adopted is the interpretation that was first introduced at the 2015 Indoor World Cup in Leipzig, Germany — the banning of ‘Trapping’ players in the circle or against the side-boards.

This occurs when a player in possession of the ball is ‘trapped’ in either the corner of the pitch or against the side-boards by opponents’ flat sticks. They will have to be left with an outlet for the ball – failure to do so will result in the opponents being penalised.

Compared to previous Indoor World Cups, this resulted in far fewer ‘bullies’ and a more attractive game.

Furthermore, players who deliberately aim to trap the ball between their and an opponent’s stick to gain a ‘bully’ will be similarly penalised.

The number of times a team may substitute a fully kitted goalkeeper off the pitch for either a player with goalkeeping privileges or another field player will be limited to a total of two per match as of 2016.

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