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Penalties for Misconduct Fouls Revised in High School Field Hockey



Contact: Elliot Hopkins


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 17, 2011) — Changes in penalties for misconduct fouls in high school field hockey highlighted the January 12-14 meeting of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Field Hockey Rules Committee. The changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

With this change in Rule 8, the game officials will determine the penalty based on the type and severity of the foul. Officials may now impose as few as five minutes of penalty time for a yellow card or they may enforce a 10-minute penalty for a more severe offense. On a third offense, a yellow or red card could be issued. The yellow card will carry a 10-minute penalty, and a red card would disqualify the player.

Elliot Hopkins, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Field Hockey Rules Committee, said the committee wanted to establish more appropriate penalties for less severe violations, such as delay of game or improper equipment.

The penalty for a third misconduct offense by a coach was also modified. Although the coach is still removed from the field on a third offense, a penalty stroke no longer will be awarded to the opponent. The committee said that players should not be further penalized because of the actions of the coach.

A new article was added to Rule 1 (1-8) that states the responsibilities of head coaches. The new language notes that head coaches are responsible for ensuring that their players are properly attired and legally equipped, and that they participate in a sportsmanlike manner.

“The officials will still go through their legal equipment checks before the game, but the head coaches are still responsible,” Hopkins said. “The rule puts in writing that both the coaches and officials work collaboratively to ensure a positive educational experience.”

Another rule change will slightly adjust game play. Rule 10-2-6 now requires that no shot on goal may be scored after a penalty corner hit until the ball has left the circle and is then brought back into the circle. The revision will minimize risk of injury from close-distance shots and clarify when the attack (offensive team) has possession after the penalty corner hit.

“It’s an adjustment to the game mainly to minimize risk,” Hopkins said. “The attack (offensive team) will still have the opportunity to score, but it will require additional strategy.”

A complete listing of all rules changes approved by the committee is available on the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Athletics & Fine Arts Activities” on the home page, and select “Field Hockey.”

Field hockey is the 12th-most popular sport for girls at the high school level, according to the 2009-10 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the NFHS, with 63,719 participants nationwide at 1,827 schools. In addition, 308 boys participate in field hockey.

This press release was written by Steven Peek, the spring 2011 intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department and a senior at Butler (Indiana) University. 


About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) 

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and fine arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and fine arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and Rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing Rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.6 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; produces publications for high school coaches, officials and athletic directors; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, spirit coaches, speech and debate coaches and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org.

See Also: Field Hockey; News;

Copyright ©2011 National Federation of State High School Associations. All Rights Reserved.

National Federation of State High School Associations
PO Box 690 • Indianapolis, IN 46206 • PHONE: 317.972.6900 • FAX: 317.822.5700


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