With the completion of another Champions Trophy, the women’s game looks to be evolving once again with some exciting hockey played over the two weeks. The new rules were put on display for the first time in a Major, and we’d like your thoughts on how they have impacted on the game we love.
The new auto-play rule has been embraced and highlighted the speed that the game can be played at. It has meant that the girls are fitter and faster and now need to think differently with and without the ball. Running angles has never been more important from stoppages and those that do it well dominate the midfield and eliminate swarming defences and presses.
ATTACKING 25 FREE HITS
The jury is out on this rule. Its interpretation is varied and although having a positive impact in the reduction of dangerous balls into the circle, it has also meant that fewer balls reach the critical zone in and around the circle. Where circle free-hits were anticipated in the past (is it going to result in a corner, a goal, a deflection, some great defending) they are now slow, congested and in some opinions, a blight on the game. An alternative view-point is that teams must now reinvent their tactics and sharpen their ability to get the ball into the critical zone through slicker passing, better skills, and perhaps the most exciting development, 3D skills on the circle’s edge to beat the defensive line. Where this has been the domain of the Argies and Spanish in the past, more teams and individuals are getting better at lifting and moving the ball several times in the air to eliminate low, mobile defences. Watch this space as this could be the start of something big in World Hockey.
Well, we have our opinions, so what are yours? Let us know by commenting below as the greatest innovators in World Hockey are the players themselves at all levels, and its important that your voice is heard…