The statement below has been prepared on behalf of the Hockey Rules Board after discussion at its meeting last month. Please bring this information to the attention of your members. The information is also being circulated to FIH umpires and will be posted on the FIH website.
If you have any questions about this please contact me.
Attention is drawn to the ‘low forehand’ hit. This note provides an interpretation of this action in relation to dangerous play (Rule 9.7).
This is a relatively new technique where the ball is played with the edge of the stick (in a similar way to the ‘low backhand’) just above the hook on the forehand with the face of the stick upwards.
This action is considered to be dangerous. This is because the ball must be hit very precisely at the correct spot, otherwise it is likely that the ball will be raised at high speed and in an uncontrolled manner. Also, the direction of the ball from these hits is not predictable by opponents and in most cases not even by the player hitting the ball. This action can be executed accidentally or can be disguised as a different action so opponents have little or no chance to react if the ball is raised.
This applies only to a (hard) hit of this type. It is not considered dangerous to use the forehand edge of the stick in a controlled action such as the "jab" tackle, raising the ball in a controlled way over an opponent’s stick or goalkeeper who is lying on the ground or when "sweeping" the ball along the ground on the forehand.
This interpretation has been drawn up by the Hockey Rules Board. A change to the Rules of Hockey to reinforce this interpretation is under consideration.
Roger Webb Technical Manager
International Hockey Federation (FIH)
Residence du Parc
Rue du Valentin 61
1004 Lausanne - Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)21 641 0606
Direct: +41 (0)21 641 0633
Fax: +41 (0)21 641 0607
Mobile: +41 (0)79 619 7733