Hockey: New rule improves game

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There is little doubt that the no offside rule introduced at the start of the season has improved hockey as a spectator sport, writes Bill Colwill.

Surprisingly, and in spite of the high scoring by certain sides such as Doncaster, who seem to have come up with ideas ahead of others to take advantage of the greater freedom, there has not been a vast increase in the number of goals scored. The men's National League is averaging just over a goal per game more than last season while in the women's National League it is exactly a goal a game more.

Few teams seem to have altered their tactics drastically. The fear of some coaches that the midfield would be by-passed, leading to a lot of long balls out of defence, has not materialised.