Hockey: Penalty rule amended

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The Independent Online
THE Hockey Rules Board have moved quickly to plug a loophole in their mandatory experimental penalty corner rule under which the ball was required to be stopped outside the circle before the first shot at goal was made.

Coaches had decided that to avoid having to stop the ball all that was necessary was to take the hit out from the goal-line at least five yards outside the circle line - thereby allowing a dangerous first-time hit at goal.

The rule has now been amended, with immediate effect, to reduce the potential danger to players, so that when the hit out is taken at a distance greater than five yards from the edge of the circle, towards the corner flag, the ball must be stopped inside or outside the circle before a hit at goal is made.

There is still nothing to stop a second player (standing five yards from the player taking the hit out) from stopping the ball and then crossing it so that a colleague inside the circle can take a flying hit at goal, which must be only marginally less dangerous. It would have been simpler, and beneficial to the game, to have stipulated that the hit out should be from the 10-yard spot.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, who have ended their seven-year sponsorship of of the Indoor Club Championship, are to support the Hockey Association's premier competition, the outdoor knock-out club championship.

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND HA CUP First-round draw: Ipswich v Romford; Norwich City v Old Southendians; Colchester v Lincoln Imps.; Brentwood v Spalding; Redbridge v Wisbech; Blueharts v Welwy Garden City; Bury St Edmunds v Broxbourne; Pelicans v Dereham; Peterborough Town v Luton Town; Womborne v Northampton Saints; Nottingham v Bloxwich; Worcester Norton v West Bridgford; Finchfield v John Player; Khalsa (Leamington) v Bridgnorth; Leicester Westleigh v Belper; Derwent v Derby; Chaddesley Corbett v Edgbaston; Old Halesonians v Olton & West Warwicks; Glaxo v Swalwell; Blackburn v Alderely Edge; Liverpool Sefton v York; Sheffield v Durham Univ.; Prescot v Wakefield; RAF v Formby; Harrogate v Disley; Ramgarhia v Ben Rhydding; Norton v Preston; Southport v Knutsford; Ramsey (IOM) v Timperley; Bracknell v Old Beccehamians; Army v Eastcote; Old Holcombeians v Middleton; Staines v Oxford Hawks; Marden Russetts v Sunbury; Woking v Tunbridge Wells; City of Portsmouth v Beckenham; Winchester v Old Whitgiftians; Southgate Adelaide v Spencer; Fareham v Wimbledon; Dulwich v Old Walcountians; Basingstoke v Milton Keynes; Maidenhead v Worthing; Chichester v Barnes; Hampstead & Westminster v Barclays Bank; Gore Court v Wokingham; Anchorians v Morris Motors; Marlow v Old Tauntonians; Bognor Regis v Richings Park; BTI v Hendon; Gloucester City v Weston-super-Mare; Jersey v United Services Plymouth; Newquay Saints v West Wilts; Westbury Utd. Banks V Plymouth; Bournemouth & West Hants v East Devon; Clevedon or Old Bristolians v PGSOB; Hereford v BAC. (Ties to be played on Sunday 18 October).