FIH decides to implement 4-quarter match format from Sept
New Delhi: Taking a cue from Hockey India League, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) today made significant changes in the structure of the game, moving away from two 35-minute halves to four-quarter format of 15 minutes each in a match.
As per the new format, overall game time will move from 70 minutes (previously two 35-minute halves) to a 60-minute affair with four 15 minute quarters where there is a time-out for penalty corner setup and goals.
After the first and third quarters, each team will have a two-minute break, while the existing 10-minute half time will remain unchanged.
The HIL, which has completed two editions so far, plays in a four-quarter format of 17 and a half minutes each in a match.
The FIH, which took the decision today in its Executive Board in Lausanne, said that the change will improve the flow and intensity of the game and increase the fan experience and opportunity for game presentation and analysis.
“Following the already-existing formats of several other sports such as basketball, American football and netball, the FIH Executive Board has decided to move hockey into a four-quarter format,” the FIH said in a statement.
The new regulations will come into force from September 1 and thus will not be implemented in the Hockey World Cup to be held in The Hague (the Netherlands) from May 31 to June 15.
“The new regulations will be applied to the upcoming Champions Trophy, World League Round 2, World League Semi-Final and Final, all continental Olympic qualifying events as of 1 September 2014 as well as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” the FIH said.
Supplementing the new 60-minute regulation, the FIH also announced the implementation of a 40-second time-out when a penalty corner is awarded.
Additionally, a 40-second time out will also be added when a goal has been scored. Both time-outs allow for on-field team celebration time, video replays and analysis for televised matches, as well as additional opportunities to engage fans.
The time-outs ensure that the new 60-minute format is primarily actual playing time and eliminates the dead time associated with penalty corner set up while allowing for teams to enjoy their goal celebrations, the world body said.
“The decision today demonstrates our commitment to fan engagement. With the additional breaks, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy more replays and be more engaged with the event, whether in the stadium or watching from a far, while hockey commentators will be allowed more time to provide sport analysis between plays,” FIH president Leandro Negre said.
“In addition, coaches and players will see improvement in their performance with the additional opportunities to re-hydrate and re-strategise,” he added.